Looking for internet providers in Fort Worth may be a bit overwhelming. There seem to be unlimited choices, some of which are technical and confusing. How do you keep track of all the details to find the one that is right for you? Whether you’re moving to Forth Worth, or you’re a long-time resident just looking to switch up your internet service, we can help you make an informed decision.
Internet Providers in Fort Worth: Overview
When you think of cities on the cutting edge, Fort Worth, Texas may not immediately spring to mind. And while it’s true that tradition is important to the last major city to do a daily cattle drive, you’ll find that ultramodern tech is equally important to this North Texas community. Companies like AT&T and Metro by T-Mobile have a strong presence in the city, TCU’s College of Science and Engineering is educating future tech innovators, and a surprising 66% of residents have access to fiber internet.
Despite the majority of the population having access to fiber, for those on the outskirts, things can be trickier. The Dallas-Arlington-Fort Worth metropolitan area is the 4th most populous in the United States. Yet when it comes to internet speed, it’s nowhere near its peers. Other large cities in Texas such as San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, and Corpus Cristi all top Fort Worth. Here is a look at some of the companies that provide internet service in Fort Worth so that you can know which ones might provide you with the service you need.
Types of Internet Service
Before we decide which service companies provide the best internet service in Fort Worth, it’s important to understand the different types of internet connections, so you can understand the service that these companies are providing. Let’s look at a few of the most popular types of connections.
A digital subscriber line or DSL is an internet connection that runs through already existing phone lines. Those of us who remember dial-up remember the days when lifting a receiver would interrupt the internet connection. Thanks to DSL, that experience is a thing of the past. Though a DSL connection uses existing phone lines, it does not compete with telephone service. It’s ideal for those looking to keep costs low and for those living on the outskirts of the city, as it uses already existing lines avoiding the need to install and expand costly new systems.
Purists will tell you that fiber is the way to go, and with good reason. This type of connection uses fiber-optic cable to transmit data. Why is that good? Well, fiber optics can transmit data incredibly fast. As fast as 2 GB a second. Why isn’t all internet service carried through fiber optics? It’s incredibly costly and time-consuming to install. So, while the future may be fiber-optic, the present is a mixed bag. Luckily, two-thirds of Fort Worth residents have access to this technology.
DSL uses existing phone lines, fiber has to install brand new fiber lines, and cable internet uses… you guessed it: existing cable TV lines. Much like DSL, this option is widely available (about 90% of Americans have access), and also like DSL the speed of data transmission is inferior to fiber internet. While coaxial cables are not as fast as fiber optics, they are slightly faster than most DSL lines. It should be noted that there is a major drawback to cable, however. Download speeds can be unreliable, particularly during peak usage times as their respective networks become congested.
We’ve seen a service that uses existing phone lines, one that uses existing cable lines, and one that installs new lines dedicated exclusively to internet service. What could be left? How about no lines at all? This type of internet service transmits data via satellites, meaning it’s accessible to everyone on the planet. But, like all seemingly perfect solutions, there is a drawback: you have to install a satellite dish on your home and service can be spotty depending upon the user’s location. Though, experts say the best connections are available to those with a clear view of the southern sky. If you’re on the far-flung edges of the Fort Worth City limits, this might be worth a try.
The Best Internet Providers in Fort Worth
The following internet service providers seem to be the best in the city
AT&T has been closely linked with the Dallas-Fort Worth area for quite some time. This relationship means that the metropolitan area is one of only 100 where AT&T has introduced its multi-gig plans. The five fiber plans offered at 300Mbps, 500Mbps, 1,000Mbps, 2,000Mbps, and 5,000Mbps rival some of the best internet service plans in the country. Each fiber plan also features unlimited data, no annual contracts or additional monthly fees for equipment, and symmetrical upload and download speeds, which is great for small businesses as well as individuals.
In some of the outskirts, fiber may not be an option, but don’t worry, AT&T also offers DSL. While a good stop-gap solution, AT&T has stated that it plans to reduce its DSL coverage by half before 2025. It would appear as if the company is signaling those old copper-based connections will eventually be a thing of the past and that they are committed to bringing fiber-based coverage to all customers in the near future.
While AT&T seems to believe fiber is the future, Charter’s broadband service Spectrum seems to believe cable internet connections are the future, or it certainly believes they are the present. And even though its competitor calls the Dallas-Fort Worth area home, Spectrum is a bit more present, serving a few more homes than its fiber-loving competitor. They have accomplished this by keeping things simple and it seems as if they have no intentions of that winning strategy anytime soon.
Spectrum offers Fort Worth customers three download speeds: 300, 500, or 940 Mbps. Also, every plan includes unlimited data and covers the cost of a modem rental. If you don’t have your own Wi-Fi router, you’ll have to pay a $5 monthly fee for one of theirs. They also offer great promotional rates for new customers. Be aware that these do have an expiration date and rates can subsequently climb.
While AT&T goes all-in on fiber and Spectrum stays the course with cable, T-Mobile is championing the future of 5G, introducing home internet versions of it in 2022. But until wireless is a viable option, T-Mobile home internet is sticking with DSL. Though the use of DSL is great news for those who live on the outskirts of town, it should be noted that T-Mobile’s home service may not be available in every location, so be sure to check before committing.
Offering speeds between 33 – 182 Mbps, unlimited data, and equipment included, T-mobile is serviceable coverage for those on a budget. Other perks include no contracts, no additional fees, a price-lock guarantee, free Paramount Plus for 12 months, and $10 off per month on Philo TV for the first year. For the indecisive among us, T-Mobile offers a 15-day free trial period so you can try it out without breaking your current contract.
The Rest of the Internet Providers in Fort Worth
Other internet service providers in Fort Worth include but are not limited to:
HughesNet is a satellite service provider that may be a good choice for some of those on the rural edges of the city, but probably won’t be the best option for most. A required two-year contract, data restrictions, and the installation of a satellite dish make this service less than ideal for most people within the city limits.
Much like AT&T Frontier offers fiber internet which may be an appealing alternative to the behemoth. Unfortunately, Frontier’s smaller stature also comes with a shorter reach. Their fiber services aren’t available in every corner of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, and if DSL is your only option we recommend you take another look at T-Mobile.
Verizon 5G Home Internet
Verizon seems to also believe that wireless 5G is the future. Unlike T-Mobile however, they did not aggressively attempt to expand the service in 2022, and therefore their service may be ill-suited to those on the rural periphery of the city. However, if it’s available in your area, and you are looking to go with 5G, this might be your best choice. Verizon 5G Home Internet tends to get faster speeds than its T-Mobile counterpart.
Internet Providers in Fort Worth: Conclusion
The best internet service provider for you varies depending on your own personal situation. Whether you live downtown, or on the far-flung edges of Fort Worth could drastically impact your decision. Your data usage, speed requirements, and budget will also be factors. Whether you go with tried and true DSL or cable, or whether you decided to step into the future and give satellite, 5G, or fiber a try, hopefully, you can find the internet service that’s right for you.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Dalton Aiken/Shutterstock.com.