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Cheap Internet for Seniors

The 3 Best Brands
Accolades Best value Best customer satisfaction Best bundles and perks
Starting prices $19.99 per month $5 per month $9.95 per month
Internet speeds (starting at) 25 Mbps 3 Mbps 50 Mbps
Free antivirus software Yes Yes No
Prepaid option Yes No Yes
How to Order
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855-929-4241
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How We Chose the Best Cheap Internet for Seniors

Researching affordable internet options can make your head spin! You don’t have to go through this process alone. After careful evaluation, our team has hand-picked five of the best cheap internet providers. We based our decision on the following criteria: plan pricing, customer support, service areas, perks, and features. We also share 15 hidden internet rates and fees to look out for.

It’s important to note that internet plans and prices vary significantly by location and seasonal discounts. The prices and speeds listed for providers below may not be the same in your area, so we recommend plugging in your address on the provider’s website for the most accurate prices and plan options. Read on to learn what providers dominated the competition!

  • 1. Cox – Best value

    Low-cost internet is just the tip of the iceberg with Cox. It also offers advanced digital video, telephone, and home security services. Serving over 6.5 million residences and businesses across 19 states, Cox provides a one-stop shop for your network needs. The company prides itself on getting you connected quickly, with free next-day delivery available for internet, TV, and voice orders placed before 1 p.m.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Above Average Above Average Above Average Above Average
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Cox Internet Starter 25 plan priced at $19.99
    • 30-day money-back guarantee
    • Option to bundle with cable and phone
    • Free internet security software powered by McAfee
    • 24/7 customer support
    • Access to over 3 million Cox hotspots nationwide
    Cons
    • One-year contract required for most plans
    • Up to $120 early termination fee (after 30 days)

    Pricing

    Cox internet starts at $19.99 for the Internet Starter 25 plan with a one-year contract. You’ll receive speeds up to 25 Mbps with this affordable plan. Unlike other internet providers, Cox is transparent about its promotion price versus standard price. After 12 months, your Internet Starter 25 plan will be $44.99 per month.

    Don’t want to lock yourself into a contract? Cox has you covered with the StraightUp prepaid internet plan for $50 per month, taxes and fees included. The StraightUp plan delivers speeds up to 25 Mbps. It requires no credit check, deposit, or term agreement. With StraightUp, you’ll receive a Wi-Fi modem at no cost.

    The Bottom Line

    If you live in a Cox service area, this provider is a solid contender. Offering cheap internet, stellar customer support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee, Cox is a budget-friendly option for seniors on a fixed income. You can rest easy with Cox’s guarantee that you’ll receive the same deals whether you order online, over the phone, or in a Cox retail store.

    Ready to learn more about Cox internet plans? Head to our Cox internet review for additional details on this provider.

  • 2. AT&T – Best customer satisfaction

    For over 144 years, AT&T has delivered tech services to customers across the United States. Offering everything from internet and phone to wireless service and TV, AT&T is a communications powerhouse. With service in 21 states and a low-cost internet plan, AT&T has budget-conscious consumers covered. The company’s customer-centered service shines! The AT&T Thanks program offers customers great deals on products, services, accessories, and entertainment.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • AT&T Access plan pricing starts at $5 per month for lower-income households.
    • You have the option to bundle internet with television.
    • There’s no annual contract.
    • It includes free antivirus software and an AT&T Internet Security Suite powered by McAfee.
    • The AT&T Thanks program offers you perks just for being a customer.
    Cons
    • To be eligible for the AT&T Access plan, enrollees must participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Access Program (SNAP). Eligibility through Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is only open to California residents.
    • Standard plans have substantial add-on fees.

    Pricing

    AT&T’s Access plan offers free installation, no deposit, and no contract, starting at $5 per month for speeds up to 3 Mbps for qualifying customers. If you can stretch your budget a bit, for $10 per month, you’ll receive speeds up to 10 Mbps.

    If you don’t qualify for the AT&T Access plan, there are other reasonably priced options. AT&T fiber internet is priced at $35 per month for speeds up to 300 Mbps. The AT&T 10 plan is $45 per month for speeds up to 10 Mbps. This price includes AT&T’s autopay and paperless billing discount. Keep in mind that fiber internet is not offered everywhere, so while the cost is low, you may not have access to fiber in your area.

    The Bottom Line

    AT&T knocks it out of the park in customer satisfaction. If you live in the South, West, or North Central regions of the U.S., you’re in luck, as AT&T is rated No. 1 in customer satisfaction for residential internet service by J.D. Power.1 If you qualify for the low-income plan, AT&T is an excellent internet provider to explore.

    Read our latest AT&T internet review to learn more about the company’s cheap internet plans.

  • 3. Xfinity – Best bundles and perks

    Xfinity, part of media giant Comcast NBCUniversal, is available in 39 states across the U.S. Xfinity makes it simple to power up your home with internet, cable, phone, and more! The company’s competitive pricing, plan and bundling options, and free add-ons are attractive for older adults who use a variety of technology in their homes.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Average Above Average Average Average
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Xfinity Internet Essentials plan’s starting price of $9.95 per month for low-income customers
    • 30-day money-back guarantee
    • Guaranteed two-hour appointment window
    • 24/7 customer support
    • Access to millions of secure Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots
    • Option to bundle with TV, mobile, home phone, and home security
    • Free Flex 4K streaming TV box with voice remote and Peacock Premium with Xfinity Performance plan
    Cons
    • To qualify for Internet Essentials, enrollees must participate in Medicaid, public housing assistance, Veterans Pension, SNAP, SSI, or other assistance programs.
    • The price increases considerably after the promotional period.

    Pricing

    At just $9.95 a month for qualifying customers, Xfinity’s Internet Essentials plan offers speeds up to 50 Mbps. It charges no credit check, long-term contract, cancellation, or equipment rental fees. This program also offers an option to purchase a computer for $149.99 (plus tax).

    If you don’t qualify for Internet Essentials, Xfinity offers the Performance Starter+ internet plan. Priced at $19.99 a month for the first year, the Performance plan delivers speeds up to 50 Mbps. At no additional charge, internet customers can add Xfinity Flex 4K streaming service with Peacock Premium. This 12-month price includes a $10 discount for automatic payments and paperless billing.

    It’s important to note that, at $19.99 per month, Xfinity offers wallet-friendly internet during the promotional period. However, that price increases considerably once the promotion is complete, with a new monthly rate of $50.

    Prefer to prepay? No worries! Xfinity offers a prepaid internet plan with no annual contract, no deposit, and no hidden fees. At the price of $45, you’ll receive 30 days of internet coverage with speeds up to 50 Mbps. There is a one-time modem purchase for $35.

    The Bottom Line

    Xfinity goes beyond a simple internet plan; it offers an online experience! For customers looking to bundle and save money, Xfinity is an excellent option to check out. Xfinity’s downside? While it has some budget-friendly plans, pricing may increase substantially after the introductory period.

    For a closer look at all Xfinity has to offer, read our review of Xfinity’s internet plans.

  • 4. Spectrum – Best coverage areas

    Spectrum has far-reaching coverage, serving more than 31 million customers in 41 states. It is part of Charter Communications, a major broadband connectivity company and cable operator. Spectrum customers can bank on reliable internet access at an affordable price.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Starting price of under $20 for Spectrum Internet Assist
    • 30-day money-back guarantee
    • No contract
    • No data caps on internet usage
    • Free modem and antivirus software
    • No termination fees
    • Option to bundle internet, TV, and mobile
    Cons
    • To qualify for Spectrum Internet Assist, enrollees must participate in SSI.
    • It does not offer 24/7 customer service.

    Pricing

    Through Spectrum Internet Assist, eligible low-income households can receive discounted internet with speeds up to 30 Mbps, antivirus software, and an internet modem, all at no additional charge.

    The next-cheapest internet plan, for older adults who don’t qualify for Internet Assist, is Spectrum’s 12-month $44.99 internet plan, providing download speeds up to 200 Mbps.

    The Bottom Line

    Out of our five cheap internet providers, Spectrum offers the widest coverage. With bundling discounts, free antivirus software, and a free modem, customers can save on pricing without sacrificing reliability.

    Learn more about Spectrum’s internet offerings in our Spectrum review.

15 Hidden Internet Rates and Fees to Look Out For

The budget-friendly senior internet plan you just signed up for can turn costly after surprise fees, taxes, rental costs, and other charges have been tacked on. According to the 2020 Cost of Connectivity study by the Open Technology Institute of New America, internet customers face overly complicated pricing structures, poorly itemized fees, and a lack of transparency.2

Some of these fees, such as for the federal Universal Service Fund (USF) and Regulatory Cost Recovery, aren’t government-mandated. This means the internet companies can decide how much to charge their users.

Don’t let these unexpected fees break the bank. Before choosing the best internet provider for your budget, ask for detailed information on your total monthly internet costs. Knowing the charges ahead of time will help you avoid an inflated internet bill.

Ask your potential providers how these costs factor into your bill:

  1. Activation fee
  2. Installation fee
  3. Equipment rental fee
  4. Early termination fee
  5. Data overage fee
  6. Internet Cost Recovery fee
  7. USF fee
  8. Late payment fee
  9. Administrative fee
  10. Paper statement fee
  11. Convenience fee for payments over the phone
  12. Service plan upgrade fee
  13. Unreturned equipment fee
  14. Returned check fee
  15. State and local sales tax

Pro Tip: If your internet is painfully slow, check out our guide on how to make your internet faster, which explains several ways to increase your speed.

Cheap Internet for Low-Income Seniors

Struggling to pay your internet bill? If you’re an older adult receiving veterans benefits, Medicaid, SSI, or SNAP, you may be eligible for free or low-cost internet through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

  • Lifeline: Eligible low-income subscribers may receive up to a $9.25 monthly internet service discount through Lifeline. Eligible subscribers on tribal lands may receive up to $34.25 per month.
  • Emergency Broadband Benefit: The EBB program offers a discount up to $50 per month on internet for eligible households and up to $75 per month for homes on qualifying tribal lands.

How to Find Free Internet Access

There are plenty of locations across the U.S. with free Wi-Fi! If you need access to a computer and the internet, your local library or senior centers are excellent options. If you have a laptop or smartphone, you can use free Wi-Fi hotspots in cafes, hotels, airports, and restaurants. For example, McDonald’s and Starbucks are two major chains that offer free hotspots.

Caution: Whether you’re using the internet in your home or at your local coffee shop, identity theft protection is important. Find out which identity theft protection services our experts recommend.

Don’t forget to take advantage of your internet provider’s free hotspots. They’re easy to find; just head to your provider’s website and check the Wi-Fi hotspot map.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cheap Internet for Seniors

  • How do I find cheap internet?

    Your first step is to find the providers that offer internet in your area. Then, contact each provider and ask if they offer a senior internet plan, senior discount, or low-cost coverage.

  • How much does internet coverage cost each month?

    You’ll find that cheap internet prices vary by internet type, speed, and provider. The cheapest internet option is AT&T’s Access plan at $5 per month.

  • Why did my internet bill go up?

    It’s common for providers to offer an introductory or promotional rate. Once that rate expires, your monthly internet cost may spike. Before you choose a plan, ask what the post-promo monthly cost will be.

  • What’s the difference between fiber, cable, and DSL?

    Fiber internet uses fiber-optic cable to transmit information in the form of light rather than electricity. Cable internet uses the same line (or at least the same type of line) that your cable TV service uses. DSL (digital subscriber line) internet also uses telephone lines to transmit data.

Written By

Jeff Hoyt

Editor in Chief

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt