What is the best internet provider in Hawaii?
Living in Hawaii involves sacrificing some things you’d find on the mainland — snakes, daylight saving time, billboards — but fortunately, high-speed internet isn’t one of them. Gig speeds from Spectrum, CNET’s pick for the best internet provider in Hawaii overall, are available throughout much of Hawaii from the Big Island to Kauai. Spectrum also offers a variety of speeds and simple service details, including unlimited data and a free modem with all plans.
There’s also Hawaiian Telcom, which uses a fiber-optic network to deliver speeds as fast as or faster than Spectrum. T-Mobile’s $60-per-month 5G home internet service is another decent broadband alternative, and its wireless delivery may help fill in the gaps that other internet service providers don’t reach.
Spectrum, Hawaiian Telecom and Verizon all offer blazing-fast plans up to 1,000Mbps with no data caps or required contracts. If you’re looking to save money on internet, Hawaiian Telecom’s 300Mbps plan costs only $40 per month, which is $10 cheaper than the average home broadband price in Hawaii.
Best internet in Hawaii in 2024
100 – 1,000 Mbps
$30- $90 per month
300 – 1,000 Mbps
$40 – $70 per month
72 – 245 Mbps
$60 per month
12 – 150 Mbps
$70 – $300 per month
Hawaii internet providers compared
|Monthly price range
|Monthly equipment costs
|CNET review score
|$10 gateway (optional)
|Free modem; $5 router (optional)
|T-Mobile Home Internet
|$60 ($40 for eligible Go5G Plus and Magenta Max mobile customers)
|Verizon 5G Home Internet
|$50-$70 ($35-$45 with qualifying Verizon 5G mobile plans)
|$15 monthly or $300 one-time fee
Show more (1 item)
Source: CNET analysis of provider data.
Internet breakdown by city in Hawaii
It’s hard to cover the broadband options of a state like Hawaii and give individual cities the attention they deserve. That’s why we also compile lists of the best internet providers in cities across the US, including those in Hawaii. We tackle details such as internet connection types, max speeds, cheapest providers and more. Check back later if you don’t find the city you’re looking for below. We’re working to add more locations every week.
Cheap internet options in Hawaii
Unless you qualify for the T-Mobile or Verizon 5G discounts, Hawaiian Telcom has the cheapest starting price for internet in Hawaii at around $40 per month for speeds up to 300Mbps. Spectrum is $10 more monthly for the same download speed potential but has a lower equipment rental fee than Hawaiian Telcom.
Most of the providers we’ve mentioned also participate in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, which gives eligible low-income households a $30 monthly discount (or up to $75 for households on tribal lands) for high-speed internet. You can use the ACP toward any internet plan — not just the cheapest ones — from participating providers.
Source: CNET analysis of provider data.
How to find internet deals and promotions in Hawaii
The best internet deals and top promotions in Hawaii depend on what discounts are available during that time. Most deals are short-lived, but we look frequently for the latest offers.
Hawaii internet providers, such as Spectrum and Viasat, may offer lower introductory pricing or streaming add-ons for a limited time. Many, however, including Verizon, 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 Hawaii broadband?
The FCC reports that 100% of households in Hawaii are eligible for broadband speeds of at least 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up. The most recent Ookla speed test data ranks Hawaii’s average download speeds 13th among all states (and Washington, DC) at about 226Mbps. Spectrum, Hawaiian Telcom and Verizon 5G Home will be your best bets for those speeds and higher.
Regarding speed potential and reliability, I’d prefer a fiber-optic connection like the one you get with Hawaiian Telcom over a cable one from Spectrum. Fiber internet is equipped to support much faster upload speeds and is less susceptible to speed fluctuations during peak usage times.
Fastest internet plans in Hawaii
|Starting monthly price
|Max download speed
|Max upload speed
|Hawaiian Telcom Fioptic 1Gig
|Spectrum Internet Gig
|Verizon 5G Home Plus
|$70 ($45 with eligible mobile plan)
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 Hawaii
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 Hawaii?
Though some amenities are less accessible or affordable in Hawaii than other parts of the US, broadband connectivity and pricing are as good in Hawaii as anywhere. Spectrum is the best high-speed internet source throughout much of Hawaii, but Hawaiian Telcom’s fiber service could be the better value if available at your address.
If neither offers service where you live, T-Mobile Home Internet is a decent option for low-hassle broadband. And as a last resort, satellite provider Viasat is available throughout the Aloha State.