We all know that Cleveland rocks, but how does it roll -- online? (Sorry, not sorry.)
The coastal city, home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as the birthplace of Superman, may not turn it up to 11 when it comes to fast internet, but it gets the job done with median download speeds of about 216 megabits per second, according to Ookla. That lands it at 52nd on its list of internet speeds across the 100 most populous cities in the US, behind Ohio’s capital of Columbus at 32nd but ahead of sister cities Cincinnati and Toledo. In terms of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Ohio comes in at a respectable 16th place, with median download speeds of about 204Mbps.
So which internet service provider lets Ohio residents browse the web the fastest? That would be Spectrum with median speeds of about 245Mbps across the state. Spectrum is also CNET’s choice for best overall internet provider for Cleveland residents due to its availability and array of affordable options across the city. CNET examines customer service, speed, pricing and overall value before recommending the best broadband in your area.
All prices listed on this page reflect available discounts for setting up paperless billing. If you decide not to go with automatic monthly payments, your price will be higher.
Best internet providers in The Forest City
Of course, Spectrum isn't the only internet game in town, but your options will depend on where you live in Forest City. Those options include AT&T’s fiber and DSL internet, 5G home internet (from Verizon and T-Mobile) and satellite internet from HughesNet, Viasat and Starlink.
Note: The prices, speeds and features detailed in the article text may differ from those listed in the product detail cards, which represent providers’ national offerings. Your particular internet service options -- including prices and speeds -- depend on your address and may differ from those detailed here.
Best overall among internet providers in Cleveland
Price range $40 - $70 per month Speed range 300 - 940Mbps Connection Cable Key Info Unlimited data, simple pricing, no contracts, modem included, free access to nationwide Wi-Fi hotspots
Charter Communications' Spectrum Internet is one of the country's most widely available internet providers, and it’s one of the top choices to most residents of Forest City.
Availability: Spectrum’s cable internet service is available across the city, while its fiber offering is limited to around Playhouse Square and Asiatown.
Plans and pricing: Confoundingly, Spectrum charges different rates based on your specific address, so you’ll have to visit the company’s website to see what you’ll be charged. Here’s an example of the prices we found for one home in Ohio City: 30Mbps for $20 per month, 100Mbps for $30 (price lasts for 24 months), 300Mbps for $50, 500Mbps for $70 and 1,000Mbps for $90. The prices for the latter three are for 12 months before increasing to $80, $100 and $120 monthly, respectively.
Fees and service details: Spectrum Internet has no data caps or contracts. The company offers a free modem and a $5 monthly fee for a router, or you can bring your own.
Read our Spectrum Internet review.
Best fiber service among internet providers in Cleveland
Price range $55 - $180 per month Speed range 300 - 5,000Mbps Connection Fiber Key Info Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included
Typically, our top recommendation goes to AT&T’s excellent fiber internet service, but we can’t do that here due to its limited availability within Cleveland. It also appears that many residents have access to AT&T’s DSL internet, which is both slow and expensive, so we recommend staying away from it.
Availability: AT&T’s fiber and DSL internet services are available across the whole city, according to the FCC. However, plugging multiple addresses into the company’s website yielded mixed results, with some addresses only presenting fiber options and others only DSL. You’ll have to give the company your address to see what’s available to you.
Plans and pricing: AT&T Fiber is available for $55 per month for 300Mbps, $65 for 500Mbps and $80 for 1,000Mbps. Other speeds may be available based on your address. For comparison, AT&T’s DSL can cost $55 for up to 20Mbps based on where you live.
Fees and service details: There are no contracts, equipment fees or data caps with AT&T Fiber.
Verizon 5G Home Internet
Best fixed wireless among internet providers in Cleveland
Price range $50 - $70 per month (50% off for eligible 5G mobile customers) Speed range 85 - 1,000Mbps Connection Fixed wireless Key Info Unlimited data, no contracts, free equipment, 50% discount for qualifying Verizon mobile customers
Many Cleveland residents may have access to both Verizon and T-Mobile’s 5G options, but we’re giving a nod to the former because of its higher speeds.
Availability: Verizon’s home 5G internet is theoretically available throughout the city, but you’ll need to plug your address into Verizon’s website to see if your home is eligible for it.
Plans and pricing: If you don’t have a plan with Verizon, Verizon’s 5G home internet will cost $50 for 5G Home (85 to 300Mbps) and $70 for 5G Home Plus (300 to 1,000Mbps). For those who are already Verizon wireless customers of any unlimited plan, the prices drop by half, $25 and $35, respectively.
Fees and service details: There are no data caps, contracts or equipment fees with Verizon’s 5G offering.
Read our Verizon 5G Home Internet review.
Internet providers in Cleveland overview
|Provider||Internet technology||Monthly price range||Speed range||Monthly equipment costs||Data cap||Contract||CNET review score|
|DSL/fiber||$55-$180||10-5,000Mbps||None||1.5TB for plans under 100Mbps||None||7.4|
|HughesNet||Satellite||$50-$175||25Mbps||$15 or $350 one-time purchase||15-200GB||2 years||5.7|
|Spectrum||Cable||$20-$90||30-1,000Mbps||Free modem; $5 router||None||None||7.2|
|Starlink||Satellite||$90-$120; $250-$1,500 (Priority)||25-220Mbps download, 5-20Mbps upload||$599 one-time purchase (or $2,500 for Priority)||Unlimited; 1-6TB (Priority)||None||N/A|
|T-Mobile Home Internet||Fixed wireless||$50 ($30 for eligible mobile customers)||72-245Mbps||None||None||None||7.4|
|Verizon 5G Home Internet||Fixed Wireless||$50-$70 ($25 to $35 for eligible mobile customers)||85-1,000Mbps||None||None||None||7.2|
|Viasat||Satellite||$50-$300||25-100Mbps||$15 or $300 one-time purchase||40-300GB||2 years||6.1|
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Source: CNET analysis of provider data
All available Cleveland residential internet providers
Some Cleveland residents may be fortunate enough to have a few choices when it comes to their ISP. If you find yourself in this situation, we recommend fiber internet if it’s available for its speed and stability. For those who live in parts of the city without access to the options mentioned above, here are the other choices:
- HughesNet: Hopefully, if you’re in Cleveland or its surrounding suburbs, you won’t need satellite internet. It’s only available at speeds of 25Mbps, with prices starting at $50 with a two-year contract and equipment fees.
- Starlink: Cleveland is among the cities with access to SpaceX’s satellite internet, but like the other satellite internet options, we don’t recommend it for city dwellers. First of all, it’s pricey, with a $600 starting price for equipment, and speeds won’t match most wired connections.
- T-Mobile Home Internet: Cleveland residents also have access to 5G internet from T-Mobile, which is available for $50 monthly and offers speeds up to 245Mbps.
- Viasat: Viasat’s monthly prices start at $50 and go up to $300, with speeds ranging from 25 to 100Mbps, based on your chosen plan.
Pricing info on Cleveland home internet service
Much like its sister cities in Ohio, Cleveland residents can expect to pay a median price of $50 to connect online. Cheaper plans are available from Spectrum, as well as pricier satellite internet options.
Cheap internet options in the Cleveland metro area
If you want the most affordable internet in Cleveland, Spectrum has you covered. Although it’s not available for every address, the company offers a 30Mbps plan for $20 per month and a 100Mbps option for $30. Most people should be able to get Spectrum’s 300Mbps plan for $50 per month. If you’re eligible for the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, you can get $30 knocked off your monthly internet bill.
What’s the cheapest internet plan in Cleveland?
|Provider/Plan||Starting price||Max download speed||Monthly equipment fee||Contract|
|Spectrum Internet Assist||$20||30Mbps||Free modem; $5 router||None|
|Spectrum Internet 100||$30||100Mbps||Free modem; $5 router||None|
|Spectrum Internet 300||$50||300Mbps||Free modem; $5 router||None|
|T-Mobile Home Internet||$50 ($30 with eligible mobile plans)||245Mbps||None||None|
|Verizon 5G Home Internet||$50 ($25 with eligible mobile plans)||300Mbps||None||None|
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Source: CNET analysis of provider data
What’s the state of broadband in Cleveland?
Median download speeds sit around 216Mbps in Cleveland, and options are available from Spectrum and AT&T that exceed that. Plans that offer speeds around a gig are available to certain addresses from AT&T and Spectrum.
Fastest internet providers in Cleveland
Multi-gigabit plans from AT&T Fiber may be available somewhere in Cleveland, but it’s unclear where. CNET was unable to find them. Mostly, the fastest plans tap out around a gig and are available from Spectrum and AT&T Fiber.
What are the fastest internet plans in Cleveland?
|Provider/Plan||Max download speed||Max upload speed||Starting price||Data cap||Contract|
|Spectrum Internet Gig||940Mbps||35Mbps||$90||None||None|
Source: CNET analysis of provider data
What’s the final word on internet providers in Cleveland?
Cleveland’s internet options can be fairly confusing, because the same ISP will charge different prices based on address. Most providers hope you don’t notice, thinking you’ll be stuck with whatever options they give you. But the advent of 5G home internet service means that consumers now have some additional options, even if that just means additional leverage to better negotiate with your ISP. One thing is for sure, though: if you have access to fiber internet, we recommend going with that.
How CNET chose the best internet providers in Cleveland
Internet service providers are numerous and regional. Unlike the latestsmartphone,laptop,routerorkitchen tool, it’s impractical to personally test every ISP in a given city. So 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 atFCC.gov.
But 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.
To explore our process in more depth, visit ourHow We Test ISPspage.