San Diego is a business-friendly city with numerous job opportunities. It’s also among the fastest-growing cities in the US because of its friendly environment, consistently mild weather, plenty of outdoor activities, and thriving economy.
There are a number of trustworthy internet service providers (ISPs) in San Diego, offering reliable connectivity to boost growth and productivity. Each ISP provides various unique features and high-speed Internet to its subscribers. While they ensure the entire city has decent coverage, only a few providers offer outstanding performance. Let’s review the best Internet providers in San Diego.
AT&T covers over 99% of San Diego and 43% of California. They provide internet plans with speeds ranging between 50Mbps and 1000Mbps. Its bonuses include speed upgrades and no activation fees for online orders.
Many US metropolitans need help to adapt to fiber-optic technology, and AT&T provides lightning-fast, reliable Internet services. Moreover, it partnered with DIRECTV for television services and home phone services.
- Contract options: 12 months
- Zero upfront equipment fees
- Packages/plans: Internet $55, $55, $80, $110, and $180.
- Data and speed: 100Mbps, 500Mbps, or 1Gig, 2Gig, 5Gig speed.
- Price: $50 to $75 per month, plus a $15/month equipment fee and no activation fees when purchased online
That isn’t necessarily bad; cable is an excellent alternative to DSL because cable allows for greater bandwidth.
Cox offers five plans with speeds ranging from 10Mbs to 940Mbs. Pick Internet 1000 and enjoy an unlimited data plan; otherwise, plans include 1TB coverage.
Speeds aren’t as high as some of its competitors, but Cox has more flexible pricing. You can access Cox Security Suite Plus, cloud storage, and hotspots for free Wi-Fi.
- Contract options; 12 months
- Price: $35.00 to $100.00 per month, plus equipment fees
- Data and speed: 10, 30, 150, 300, 940 with 1TB per month of data
- Packages/plans: Cox Internet Starter 10, Preferred 150, Essential 30, Gigablast 940, Ultimate 300
EarthLink’s coverage area was significantly higher than our best picks. Its DSL speeds go up to 75Mbs, while its fiber-optic services through the Hyperlink Internet plan can go up to 1000Mbs.
San Diego is the leading access area for EarthLink users, which means super-dependable and high-speed Internet services for their users. The company doesn’t have data caps and teaser rates. However, it charges extra monthly fees and sign-up fees, so be careful to figure that math into your decision.
- Contract options: 12 months
- Packages/plans: HyperlinkTM Internet
- Data and speed: 15, 30, 60, 70, 80, 100, 200, 1000 with unlimited data
- Price: $15 to $50 per month, plus $7/month equipment rental, $70 installation cost, and about $200 in cancellation fees
Other Internet Service Providers in San Diego
Ultra Home Internet
Like EarthLink, Ultra leases cellular airwaves from T-Mobile to provide Internet services at suitable locations in San Diego. Regardless, Ultra’s plans aren’t as budget-friendly as T-Mobile’s $50 monthly plan.
To begin with, you should pay Ultra about $65 per month for the same speeds. Unlike T-Mobile, you may have to pay equipment fees of $15 per month for your router and modem. Ultra’s plans come with a low monthly data cap of 25GB, which most homes would hit quickly.
You might raise that cap to 55GB if you’re willing to pay $90 per month or as high as 170GB for $200 per month. But even then, you would only be getting a one-eighth as much data as you would with a cable provider that enforces data caps, like Cox. Its cellular Internet, but without the more enticing terms of significant providers, which makes Ultra an option to avoid if possible.
Google Fiber Webpass
Google doesn’t have full-fledged SDL or Fiber infrastructure in San Diego. Yet, select addresses throughout the area are hooked up to Google Fiber’s Webpass services, which uses receivers mounted to building exteriors and rooftops to offer the residents inside high-speed fixed wireless connection.
Availability is limited, but the terms are reasonable — no data caps for $60.00 per month with an annual commitment or $75.00 per month without one.
Most of San Diego’s Webpass-ready buildings are located downtown and in its surrounding environs, including the Gaslamp Quarter, the Marina, East Village, and Cortez Hill.
You might find other Webpass locations clustered further north in areas like University Heights, Morena, Hillcrest, and the Midway District, among other spots.
T-Mobile is a nationwide broadband service provider. After a recent merger with Sprint in April 2020, they expanded their 4G LTE network to 99% of the country and their 5G network to 80% of the country. Unlike its competitors in San Diego, it offers traditional broadband internet services to its customers starting from $50 per month.
T-Mobile offers home internet services with the promise of no hidden charges or annual contracts. Its most popular home service available in San Diego is the 5G home internet option. It is a fixed wireless internet service with only one plan for one price. The speeds range between 33Mbps and 182Mbps, sometimes faster than DSL and satellite. The plan is also unlimited, with no soft or hard data caps imposed. There are no installation costs because a user only requires a 5G gateway device, which they can plug in by themselves.
T-Mobile Internet service is advantageous because of the zero equipment and installation costs and no other hidden contract and commitment fees. It is disadvantaged by the limitations in coverage and the fluctuation of the speeds. Overall, it is an option worth considering.
Race is another small company popular in San Diego because of its good fiber internet service. It also bundles internet, phone, and TV into one premium fiber service. Race communications currently serve close to 8000 residents within California, mainly targeting people from rural areas.
It offers constant internet speeds of 1 Gigabit within its network. The installation costs between $1000- $2000, including installing fiber conduit and house wiring. Race rents out internet equipment at a charge of $5 per month per Wi-Fi mesh unit. Gigabit internet-only goes for $70, phone for $20, and Expanded TV for $119. It is an option worth checking, especially if you come from a remote region within San Diego.
Fast Facts for San Diego
The chart below contains an overview of the type of Internet services in San Diego. For more information on specific plans, contact one of the listed companies.
|Fastest provider||AT&T Internet provides 500Mbps Cable for $180 per month|
|Cheapest provider above 15Mbps||Cox Communications provides 100Mbps cable for $50 per month.|
|ISPs providing bundled services||AT&T Internet, Cox Communications, and Race|
|Average speed in the city||150Mbps|
Fiber Internet Providers in San Diego
Race Communications, Ting, EarthLink, and AT&T, are fiber Internet providers in San Diego. AT&T is the most popular fiber provider with the best prices and the fastest speeds. Race Communications and Ting are regional providers worth considering if you can get fiber from EarthLink or AT&T where you live.
Fiber isn’t widely available in the city- you’re more likely to find DSL or cable providers in America’s Finest City. However, if you can get fiber in your location, we highly recommend it. Fiber offers the most reliable connection and fastest speeds and is often cheaper than lesser connection types.
Cheapest Internet Provider Plan in San Diego
Most providers in the city offer home Internet services starting from $50.00 per month, but Cox is the most affordable plan of all, with an upload speed of 3Mbps and download speed of 25Mbps, for $30.00 per month during the first year and $45.00 afterward. If you need a basic connection and want to pay as little as possible, that’s a nice place to start.
If you’re a Verizon mobile client, we recommend checking to see if Verizon 5G Home Internet is available at your location. It’s worth considering if so- with speeds of about 1000Mbps and a monthly base rate of $50.00. If your Verizon mobile plan qualifies, you might get a 50% waiver, bringing the cost to $25.00. That’s with no data cap and no charge increase after the first year.
No matter how you use your high-speed Internet — streaming sports, movies, videos, or online gaming with your loved ones — a stable and fast connection is a must. Slow-down speeds or too much buffering can ruin your experience. Thankfully, these ISPs can offer the best Internet solutions in San Diego.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©metamorworks/Shutterstock.com.