Best Internet Providers in Harlingen, Texas – CNET

What is the best internet provider in Harlingen?

Vexus Fiber is the best internet provider overall for most households in Harlingen because of its symmetrical speeds and reasonable introductory pricing. However, you can’t get Vexus Fiber everywhere in Harlingen, so Spectrum or T-Mobile Home Internet are also solid picks, depending on what’s available in your area. 

We’ve also found those top options if you’re hunting for the lowest prices or fastest speeds. The cheapest internet in Harlingen is Spectrum’s $50-per-month plan with 300 megabits per second download speeds. It skims in under Vexus Fiber’s 500Mbps plan, which costs $45 per month but has an additional $10 network access fee tacked on. The fastest available internet speed in Harlingen comes from both Vexus and Spectrum. They offer 1,000Mbps downloads and are widely available across town.

Our methodology

CNET considers speeds, pricing, customer service and overall value to recommend the best internet service in Harlingen across several categories. Our evaluation includes referencing a proprietary database built over years of reviewing internet services. We validate that against provider information by spot-checking local addresses for service availability. We also do a close read of providers’ terms and conditions and, when needed, will call ISPs to verify the details.

Despite our efforts to find the most recent and accurate information, our process has some limitations you should know about. Pricing and speed data are variable: certain addresses may qualify for different service tiers, and monthly costs may vary, even within a city. The best way to identify your options is to plug your address into a provider’s website. 

Also, the prices, speed and other information listed above and in the provider cards below may differ from what we found in our research. The cards display the full range of a provider’s pricing and speed across the US, according to our database of plan information provided directly by ISPs. At the same time, the text is specific to what’s available in Harlingen. The prices referenced within this article’s text come from our research and include applicable discounts for setting up automatic payments each month — a standard industry offering. Discounts and promotions might also be available for signing a term contract or bundling multiple services. 

To learn more about how we review internet providers, visit our full methodology page.

Best internet in Harlingen, Texas

3 Internet providers


SORT BY

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Connection

Fiber

Speed range

400 – 1,000 Mbps

Price range

$40 – $70 per month

Our take – Vexus Fiber is the new kid in town for Harlingen residential internet. Symmetrical upload and download speeds and good introductory pricing give this fiber option a leg up over Spectrum’s cable service. 

...

Check with Vexus

Connection

Fiber

Speed range

400 – 1,000 Mbps

Price range

$40 – $70 per month

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Connection

Cable

Speed range

100 – 1,000 Mbps

Price range

$30- $90 per month

Our take – Spectrum from Charter Communications has been the dominant ISP in Harlingen for a long time, but the arrival of Vexus Fiber has shaken up the scene. Spectrum still covers the most ground in town and offers cable internet speeds up to a gig. 

...

Check with Spectrum

Connection

Cable

Speed range

100 – 1,000 Mbps

Price range

$30- $90 per month

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Connection

Fixed wireless

Speed range

72 – 245 Mbps

Price range

$60 per month

Our take – T-Mobile and Verizon run neck and neck with their 5G home internet services. If you can pull down decent speeds, either can be a reasonable alternative to wired internet, particularly if cable is your only option. 

...

Check with T-Mobile

Connection

Fixed wireless

Speed range

72 – 245 Mbps

Price range

$60 per month

Harlingen internet providers compared

Provider Internet technology Monthly price range Speed range Monthly equipment costs Data cap Contract CNET review score
AT&T Internet DSL $55 768Kbps-100Mbps None 1.5TB (no data cap for 100Mbps plan) None 7.4
AT&T Internet Air Fixed wireless $55 ($35 with eligible mobile plans) 40-140Mbps None None None N/A
Spectrum Cable $50-$90 300-1,000Mbps Modem free; $5 for router (optional) None None 7.2
T-Mobile Home Internet Fixed wireless $60 ($40 with eligible mobile plans) 72-245Mbps None None None 7.4
Verizon 5G Home Internet Fixed wireless $50-$70 ($35-$45 for eligible Verizon Wireless customers) 50-300Mbps None None None 7.2
Vexus Fiber Fiber $45-$70 500-1,000Mbps $10 router (optional) None None N/A

Show more (2 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

Other available internet providers in Harlingen

  • AT&T Fiber: AT&T’s fiber network is extremely scarce around Harlingen, but you might find a few isolated pockets of coverage, like around Ed Carey Drive and Morris Road. Plans range from $55 monthly for 300Mbps to $80 for a gig. There are no contracts, data caps or equipment fees. 
  • AT&T Internet: AT&T’s legacy DSL network extends across large areas of Harlingen, but slow speeds make it a low-priority choice for home internet. It costs $55 per month, but speeds depend on your address. You may be able to pull down 100Mbps, or you may only get 5Mbps. Spectrum or Vexus are better and faster options. 
  • AT&T Internet Air: AT&T’s DSL offering in Harlingen is supplemented by its newer fixed wireless service, AT&T Internet Air. Pricing is $55 monthly for whatever speed you can get at your address. Typical speeds are 40-140Mbps, but your mileage may vary. There are no data caps, equipment fees or contracts. 
  • Gigabit Communications: The residential services side of Gigabit Communications provides fixed wireless internet in the Harlingen area. Here’s how fixed wireless compares to other connection types. Plans start at $49 per month for 50Mbps and top out at $99 monthly for 100Mbps. There are no data caps. Check into this option if you’re in a rural location and can’t get coverage from a faster or more affordable ISP. 
  • Satellite internet: Rural homes with few (or no) internet options can check into satellite service from Starlink, Viasat or Hughesnet. It’s not the cheapest internet, and speeds can be slow and variable. Consider satellite as a last resort when other ISPs are unavailable or unsatisfactory.
  • Verizon 5G Home Internet: While Verizon’s home internet service reaches up to gig downloads in some places, you’ll find it tops out at 300Mbps in Harlingen. The 5G Home plan costs $50 per month for speeds up to 100Mbps, while the 5G Home Plus plan is $70 per month for speeds up to 300Mbps. Bundle with an eligible phone plan to bring down your home internet price. 
  • VTX1: VTX1 is a regional fiber and fixed wireless ISP but offers only fixed wireless in Harlingen. Prices start at $55 per month and reach 400Mbps, but you’ll need to check directly with VTX1 to find out what’s available for your specific location. Check into this as an option if you’re in a rural spot outside of town or don’t have good options for wired internet at home.
At sunset, silhouetted wind farm turbines produce clean renewable energy near Harlingen, Texas. At sunset, silhouetted wind farm turbines produce clean renewable energy near Harlingen, Texas.

Milehightraveler/Getty Images

Cheap internet options in Harlingen

You won’t find much in the way of bargain-basement internet prices in Harlingen. Most plans start around $50 monthly, including Spectrum’s 300Mbps cable plan. While Vexus Fiber starts at $45 per month for 500Mbps, you have to add a $10 network access fee the ISP says it uses to maintain and enhance its infrastructure. That means the entry-level Vexus plan effectively costs $55 per month. To sidestep equipment rental fees, you must provide your own router for either Spectrum or Vexus. 

One way to lower your monthly home internet cost is to use a 5G home internet option from T-Mobile, Verizon or AT&T and then bundle an eligible mobile plan. This makes the most sense if you can get a strong connection at your house and are already a phone customer with a qualifying plan.

What’s the cheapest internet plan in Harlingen?

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Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

How to find internet deals and promotions in Harlingen

The best internet deals and top promotions in Harlingen depend on what discounts are available during that time. Most deals are short-lived, but we look frequently for the latest offers. 

Harlingen internet providers, such as Spectrum, T-Mobile or Vexus, may offer lower introductory pricing or streaming add-ons for a limited time. Many, however, including AT&T and Verizon, tend to run the same standard pricing year-round. 

For a more extensive list of promos, check out our guide on the best internet deals

How fast is Harlingen broadband?

A recent Ookla speed test report shows Harlingen with an average median fixed internet download speed of nearly 234Mbps. That’s in line with how the state of Texas fares overall, though it comes in a little below nearby McAllen’s 248Mbps. Harlingen internet speeds get a boost from Spectrum’s widespread cable network and the fiber offering from newcomer Vexus Fiber. Both offer plans with gig download speeds. With Vexus, uploads are as fast as downloads.  

Fastest internet plans in Harlingen

Provider Starting price Max download speed Max upload speed Data cap Connection
Vexus Fiber Internet 1 Gig $70 1,000Mbps 1,000Mbps None Fiber
Spectrum Internet Gig $90 1,000Mbps 35Mbps None Cable

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

What’s a good internet speed?

Most internet connection plans can now handle basic productivity and communication tasks. If you’re looking for an internet plan that can accommodate videoconferencing, streaming video or gaming, you’ll have a better experience with a more robust connection. Here’s an overview of the recommended minimum download speeds for various applications, according to the FCC. Note that these are only guidelines — and that internet speed, service and performance vary by connection type, provider and address.

For more information, refer to our guide on how much internet speed you really need.

  • 0 to 5Mbps allows you to tackle the basics — browsing the internet, sending and receiving email, streaming low-quality video.
  • 5 to 40Mbps gives you higher-quality video streaming and videoconferencing.
  • 40 to 100Mbps should give one user sufficient bandwidth to satisfy the demands of modern telecommuting, video streaming and online gaming. 
  • 100 to 500Mbps allows one to two users to simultaneously engage in high-bandwidth activities like videoconferencing, streaming and online gaming. 
  • 500 to 1,000Mbps allows three or more users to engage in high-bandwidth activities at the same time.

How CNET chose the best internet providers in Harlingen

Internet service providers are numerous and regional. Unlike the latest smartphone, laptop, router or kitchen tool, it’s impractical to personally test every internet service provider in a given city. So what’s our approach? For starters, we tap into a proprietary database of pricing, availability and speed information that draws from our own historical ISP data, partner data and mapping information from the Federal Communications Commission at FCC.gov. 

But it doesn’t end there. We go to the FCC’s website to check our data and ensure we consider every ISP that provides service in an area. We also input local addresses on provider websites to find specific options for residents. We look at sources, including the American Customer Satisfaction Index and J.D. Power, to evaluate how happy customers are with an ISP’s service. ISP plans and prices are subject to frequent changes; all information provided is accurate as of publication. 

Once we have this localized information, we ask three main questions: 

  • Does the provider offer access to reasonably fast internet speeds? 
  • Do customers get decent value for what they’re paying? 
  • Are customers happy with their service? 

While the answers to those questions are often layered and complex, the providers who come closest to “yes” on all three are the ones we recommend. When selecting the cheapest internet service, we look for the plans with the lowest monthly fee, though we also factor in things like price increases, equipment fees and contracts. Choosing the fastest internet service is relatively straightforward. We look at advertised upload and download speeds and consider real-world speed data from sources like Ookla and FCC reports.

To explore our process in more depth, visit our how we test ISPs page.

What’s the final word on internet providers in Harlingen?

There are two main competitors in Harlingen regarding wired home internet: Spectrum and Vexus. Spectrum has an advantage in coverage area while Vexus offers desirable fiber plans with fast upload speeds. If both service your address, then consider your upload needs. Both ISPs will raise your rates after your initial promotional period ends, but Vexus has a more affordable introductory deal at the gig level. If you’re dissatisfied with your wired internet options, check into 5G home internet from AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile. 

Internet providers in Harlingen FAQs

What is the cheapest internet provider in Harlingen?

Several ISPs offer plans for $50, $55 or $60 per month in Harlingen. Spectrum’s 300Mbps cable plan is $50 per month. Vexus Fiber’s 500Mbps plan is $45 per month, but a required $10-per-month network access fee makes that a $55 plan. AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile customers can consider bundling a qualifying phone plan with a home internet plan for monthly savings. 

Which internet provider in Harlingen offers the fastest plan?

Spectrum and Vexus Fiber are competitive on their top-end download speeds of 1,000Mbps. The story is different when we look at upload speeds. Spectrum tops out at 35Mbps, while Vexus offers 1,000Mbps uploads. 

Is fiber internet available in Harlingen?

Vexus Fiber has made a big move in Texas by expanding into the Rio Grande Valley with its fiber-to-the-home network. Vexus doesn’t reach every nook and cranny of Harlingen yet, but it has been building across the city and is providing strong competition to incumbent cable ISP Spectrum.

What internet provider has the best coverage in Harlingen?

Spectrum’s cable internet network reaches roughly 90% of Harlingen homes, making it the widest-reaching wired ISP in the city. 

This post was originally published on Cnet

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