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Best Internet Providers in Washington, D.C.

Team FYI

Team FYI on July 3, 2020

Find Your Internet - Best Internet Providers in Washington, D.C.

As you start to get settled in your new home, one of the first things you’ll want to do is to research internet providers in Washington, D.C. to find one that meets your home networking needs.

Relocating to a big city like Washington, D.C. is probably not exactly a stroll in the National Mall. Even if you’re the master of the to-do list, chances are your meticulously orchestrated plan will be interrupted by a monkey wrench or two.

No matter what happens, make sure that your internet, cable TV, and/or phone services are set up properly. This will help you feel at home—and allow you to fix any snags as soon as possible so you can enjoy a seamless transition to your new pad.

Here’s what you need to know to when researching internet providers in Washington, D.C.

Overview of Services from Internet Providers in Washington, D.C.

When you shop for internet plans, you’d notice that there are various types of internet connections. DSL (digital subscriber line) transmits data over a telephone network while a cable connection transfers data via a cable television network through a coaxial cable. Fiber-optic internet service uses plastic or glass wires to transmit data as light waves.

Over 96% of the D.C. area is covered by DSL or cable internet services and about 73% of it has access to fiber-optic connections. Depending on your home address, you can choose from a variety of providers, internet types, and speeds.

Verizon, Xfinity, and RCN are the three major internet providers in the Washington D.C. area. All three offer standalone internet plans or bundles that include cable TV and digital home phone services.

You can also add home security features to your Verizon or Xfinity plan. These bundles help you save money while consolidating your bills for added convenience.

How to Select the Right Internet Plan in Washington, D.C.

Telling a teenager to stop gaming so you can host a video conference from your home office isn’t the best strategy (and you’d likely lose the battle!). It’s important to select an internet service plan that balances availability, speeds, and price to meet the needs of everyone in the household.

Here’s what you should consider:

    • If you use the internet connection mainly for browsing and music streaming, basic plans with a speed of 5 Mbps is often sufficient. For HD video streaming and/or frequent gaming by 2 to 4 household members, a faster connection (e.g., 20+ Mbps) is recommended.

    • You’ll need a plan with a higher speed to support multiple household members using a number of devices to access online media simultaneously. For example, a speed of 40+ Mbps is recommended if 4 or more people are HD streaming and gaming at the same time.

    • If you work from home and need to download and/or upload large media files frequently, having a slow connection can make the process feel like watching paint dry. Instead, select a plan with the highest speed available in your area to help minimize interruptions (and preserve your sanity!).

    • For those who want to get online while out and about, consider providers (e.g., Verizon and Xfinity) that offer free WiFi hotspots access throughout the city to their customers. Keep in mind that hotspot coverage typically correlates with the provider’s availability in a specific neighborhood so some areas may get better signals than others.

How Much is Internet Service in Washington, D.C.?

Verizon’s DSL internet plans start at $25 per month for up to 15 Mbps while its fiber-optic services start at $39.99 per month for up to 940 Mbps. Xfinity’s plans start at $29.99 per month for a maximum speed of 2,000 Mbps and RCN’s plans start at $29.99 per month for up to 1,000 Mbps.

If you’re a heavy internet user, signing up for a plan with no data cap can help you avoid unpleasant surprises.

Should I Get Home Phone Service?

While kids today may draw a blank when you say “landline” and more people are using mobile numbers as their primary contact, there are circumstances under which you may want to a home phone service when you move to D.C.

While almost the entire D.C. area is covered by cellular networks (check your provider’s coverage map to confirm availability in a specific neighborhood), a home phone service is more reliable and delivers better call quality. You should consider setting up a landline if you work from home and/or tend to be on the phone frequently.

Most internet providers offer VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) home phone service as part of their bundles. These plans typically have unlimited calling nationwide and low rates for international calls.

Will Moving to a New Apartment Complex Limit My Internet Options?

Like most big cities, D.C. has many newly developed apartment complexes that are pre-wired for internet service with selected Internet Service Providers (ISPs). While some people like the convenience, it can also limit the choice for those with specific requirements.

You can use a different ISP by setting up a new line, but first verify that it’s within the terms of your lease to do so. Keep in mind that internet access is included in the rent of some apartment complexes so getting a separate line means you may be paying twice for internet service.

Home Sweet Home

Finding and setting up internet service for your new home probably isn’t the most exciting item on your to-do list, but the good news is that in a big city like D.C., you can choose from a variety of providers to meet your needs. Check out the best options for internet providers in Washington, D.C. that are available in your new neighborhood.

Want to avoid the hassle and wasted time spent individually going online or calling each internet provider available in your area? Use the free FindYourInternet shop-and-compare tool to easily search available offers at your home address.

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