What is the best internet provider in Michigan?
Among the potential internet options available throughout Michigan, Spectrum is the best internet service provider overall due to its fast speeds, simple pricing and wide availability throughout the state.
WOW Internet offers the cheapest internet in Michigan, starting at $20 a month for 100Mbps. Also worth noting is the company’s gigabit plan, which is the best value at $50 a month for speeds up to 1Gbps.
Xfinity offers the fastest internet speed in Michigan, with a 10-gigabit fiber connection available at some residential locations. That said, AT&T, Frontier, T-Mobile and others also offer compelling internet service depending on what you’re looking for and where you live in the Great Lakes State.
Best internet in Michigan in 2024
100 – 1,000 Mbps
$30- $90 per month
300 – 5,000 Mbps
$55 – $250 per month
100 – 1,200 Mbps
$20 – $95 per month
$50 per month
75 – 2,000 Mbps
$20 – $120 per month
All Michigan residential internet providers
I’ve listed my recommendations for the best internet providers in Michigan above, but they aren’t the only ones you may encounter or should consider for your home. You’ll find a quick comparison of popular ISPs in Michigan below, followed by a closer look at potential rural internet services.
Top Michigan internet providers
|Monthly price range
|Monthly data cap
|100GB-200GB (no hard data cap)
|T-Mobile Home Internet
|Verizon 5G Home Internet
|2 years (optional)
Show more (9 items)
Source: CNET analysis of provider data.
Rural and 5G home internet in Michigan
In areas where a wired connection will not reach, wireless internet may be the last resort for broadband internet. Here are the providers you may want to consider in rural Michigan.
Hughesnet: Thanks to a new satellite, Hughesnet recently boosted its speed and data allowances. Pricing ranges from $50 to $80 monthly for speeds up to 50 or 100Mbps and data caps of 100GB or 200GB, depending on your chosen plan. Once you’ve surpassed your data allowance, Hughesnet may slow your speeds for the remainder of the billing cycle.
Mercury Broadband: Fixed wireless providers like Mercury Broadband can typically offer faster speeds and higher data allowances than satellite internet. In the case of Mercury, speeds of 30Mbps to 150Mbps are available in most service areas, and there are no data caps to worry about. At $50 to $100 a month, the pricing is fair for what you get compared with the alternatives.
Starlink: If you want fast internet in rural Michigan, especially in the northern part of the state and the Upper Peninsula, Starlink may be your best bet. Speeds of 250Mbps or higher are available in select areas of Michigan, according to the FCC, though signing up will potentially cost you $600 to get started and $120 a month thereafter.
T-Mobile Home Internet: Aside from Frontier, T-Mobile 5G Home Internet may be your best option for internet in rural Michigan. Broadband coverage spans much of the state, speeds range from 72Mbps to 245Mbps and the $60-a-month service comes with unlimited data, no equipment fees and no contracts.
Viasat: Potential speeds are a bit higher with Viasat compared to HughesNet. Much of Michigan can get download speeds of 50Mbps or higher with Viasat. Data allowances are also marginally higher with Viasat, but so are the prices, unfortunately. Plans start at $70 to $300 a month and the rate increases after a short three-month period.
What about Verizon 5G Home Internet? That’s currently less of a rural option, although it could serve as a low-cost, low-hassle alternative to traditional wired internet providers in Ann Arbor, Detroit and Grand Rapids — areas where Verizon’s Ultra Wideband network is most accessible. Service is $50 a month for speeds of 85Mbps to 300Mbps, or it’s $70 a month for 300Mbps to 1Gbps. Eligible Verizon mobile customers can get a discount of $15 or $25 off Verizon’s 5G home internet service for a limited time.
Michigan broadband at a glance
Per the most recent FCC data, broadband speeds of 25Mbps down, 3Mbps up are available to 100% of Michigan households. Satellite and fixed wireless internet skews that number a bit, as only 91% of residences can get broadband speeds from a wired cable, DSL or fiber-optic connection. Still, many in Michigan’s more densely populated areas will have access to two or more practical options for high-speed internet.
Internet pricing in Michigan
WOW and Xfinity have the cheapest internet plans among major ISPs in Michigan. WOW’s cheapest plan edges out Xfinity’s in price and speed, but either is a solid choice for budget-friendly broadband. For added savings, consider using your own Wi-Fi equipment. Rental fees from WOW and Xfinity could inflate your bill by around $15 a month but you can skip the fee by using your own compatible router.
If you can’t get WOW or Xfinity, or want a little more speed than the 75Mbps to 100Mbps you’d get, expect to pay at least $50 to $60 a month for the service. AT&T, Frontier, Spectrum, T-Mobile 5G and Verizon 5G all start around there, although none come with fees that will excessively add to the cost.
Source: CNET analysis of provider data.
How fast is broadband in Michigan?
Gigabit download speeds are available throughout much of Michigan thanks to high-speed providers including AT&T Fiber, Spectrum, WOW and Xfinity, among others. Upload speeds are a different story, as fiber internet — essentially the only technology to offer symmetrical or close download and upload speeds — is limited to roughly 16% of Michigan residents.
Recent speed test reports by Ookla placed Michigan 22nd for fastest download speeds at 182Mbps. Xfinity was the fastest provider in the state, averaging speeds of 236Mbps. Upload speeds did not fare as well. Michigan ranked 36th in upload speeds at around 20Mbps.
Keep in mind that there are many factors affecting tested internet speeds. Using an Ethernet versus Wi-Fi connection, distance from your router when using Wi-Fi and a plan’s maximum speeds can all have an impact on tested speeds. While Michigan’s tested speeds are somewhat middle of the pack, faster speeds are certainly available to many Michigan residents.
Internet breakdown by city in Michigan
It’s hard to cover the broadband options of an entire state 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 Michigan. We tackle details such as internet connection types, max speeds and cheapest providers. Check back later if you don’t find the city you’re looking for below. We’re working to add more locations every week.
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.
- 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 engage in high-bandwidth activities such as videoconferencing, streaming and gaming simultaneously.
- 500 to 1,000Mbps allows three or more users to engage in high-bandwidth activities such as videoconferencing, streaming and gaming.
How CNET chose the best internet providers in Michigan
Internet service providers are numerous and regional. Unlike the latest smartphone, laptop, router or kitchen tool, it’s impractical to personally test every ISP in a given city. What’s our approach? We start by researching the pricing, availability and speed information drawing on our own historical ISP data, the provider sites and mapping information from the Federal Communications Commission at FCC.gov.
It doesn’t end there: We go to the FCC’s website to check our data and ensure we’re considering every ISP that provides service in an area. We also input local addresses on provider websites to find specific options for residents. To evaluate how happy customers are with an ISP’s service, we look at sources including the American Customer Satisfaction Index and J.D. Power. ISP plans and prices are subject to frequent changes; all information provided is accurate as of the time 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 answer to those questions is 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 — the criteria are relatively simple. We look for the service package with the lowest monthly fee, though we also consider promotional rates and price per megabit. As for choosing the fastest internet service, we look at provider throughput. Most often, that means a fiber-optic service. That said, fiber availability may be limited to fewer addresses.
To explore our process in more depth, visit our how we test ISPs page.