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Seven ways to lower your expensive internet bill

Published 3:03 pm ET Mar 8

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If you’ve had the same Wi-Fi plan for years, it’s normal that your internet bill per month might increase incrementally over time. Find out how to save money on your internet costs and learn tricks to lower your internet bill.

Know the details of your internet costs

The average broadband bill is $67.57/mo., according to . Your bill may differ depending on your location, your plan’s speed and the number of internet providers in your area. Areas with fewer options or a higher cost of living typically have higher-than-average internet costs as well. Places with more internet providers often have cheaper options due to market competition.

Often, monthly prices will increase after a new customer promotional period ends. If you’ve noticed a big spike in prices, it’s time to examine your internet bill and make sure you aren’t overpaying for speed, equipment or applications you do not need.

How to get a lower internet bill

Before you overhaul your home internet plan, find out how to modify your plan to keep getting high-speed internet for a lower cost. If you’re searching for how to get cheaper internet, examine your internet statement and try these solutions for a cheaper internet bill.

1. Lower your internet speed

Changing your internet speed with your current provider is the quickest and most hassle-free way to get a lower internet bill. Some providers, like Kinetic by Windstream, offer speed upgrades to new customers at a discounted rate. However, the standard price can increase your bill by $30 or more after the deal ends. If you have a high-speed plan of 1 GB or more, odds are you can downgrade your speed and still have Wi-Fi that meets all your needs. 

Before changing your internet plan, make sure you understand the speeds you need. You don’t want to modify your plan to the cheapest option only to realize that a slower speed doesn’t support your online activities or the number of connected devices in your home. Use these guidelines to determine if a slower speed will work for you:

  • Fewer than five connected devices can run fine on 100 Mbps. 
  • For 5–10 or fewer connected devices, speeds of 100–300 Mbps are enough to support online activities, including gaming or streaming. 
  • If you have 10–20 devices doing multiple high-speed activities, try 300–800 Mbps. More than 20 devices should stick with 1 GB. 

2. Remove optional add-ons

New customer internet promotions often include free equipment or services. After the trial period ends, these add-ons are automatically added to your plan and can cost $20 or more per month. The following list highlights hidden expenses and the average cost these features could be adding to your monthly internet bill. 

  • Whole-Home Wi-Fi ($15–$20/mo.): Many internet deals include a whole-home Wi-Fi upgrade with one or more Wi-Fi extenders. Extenders boost the wireless signal in your home to make the network reach a larger area, but not all homes need them. Disconnect your extenders and test your Wi-Fi signal throughout your home. If you still receive a strong signal in all rooms, changing to a standard Wi-Fi router without extenders can save you money. 
  • Security applications or Premium technical support ($5–$20/mo.): Antivirus software, like NortonTM or McAfee, or upgraded tech assistance can cost money once the free trial ends. Consider canceling services like premium technical support or shopping for cheaper security options. 
  • Mobile lines ($15–$40/mo.): Free or discounted mobile service included in new customer bundles can cost extra once the promotion ends. For example, Spectrum offers free unlimited mobile service for a year, which costs $29.99/mo. after 12 months. 
  • Home phone ($10–$25/mo.): Landline service may be included in bundle packages. Check if your bill is cheaper without the phone, and drop the landline if you do not use the service. 
  • TV or streaming services ($5–$30/mo.): Additional streaming options or free basic TV packages might be part of an introductory price. However, even “free” TV packages usually have additional fees for TV boxes or Broadcast TV charges. Getting rid of TV and the accompanying equipment is another way to cut costs. 

3. Use your own equipment

Some companies, like Xfinity and Spectrum, allow you to buy your own router or modem instead of renting. Other providers, like Astound Broadband, offer a free gateway for the first 12–24 months. After that, you are charged a monthly fee for your equipment. 

Supplying your own equipment is a possible solution for how to get internet for cheap that can save up to $15/mo. but you need to ensure that you purchase the correct equipment. If you don’t buy a compatible router, you could limit your wireless speeds. 

Another thing to consider is that most internet companies will not provide technical support or troubleshooting if you use third-party equipment, so you are on your own if you run into Wi-Fi issues. Decide if this tradeoff is worth it to you before you let go of your rented equipment. 

4. Eliminate bundle packages or bundle your services

Both bundling or unbundling your services can result in cheap internet, depending on your situation. If you pay for multiple streaming services à la carte, an internet and TV bundle could consolidate your services and save money. Alternatively, bundled packages that include items you rarely use can be simplified to include just what you need. 

5. Negotiate your price

Negotiating with your internet provider can be tricky since many companies now standardize rates. Still, try calling your provider’s customer support line to ask them how to get cheaper Wi-Fi. A representative may be able to suggest solutions on less expensive internet plans or offer retention rates if you are at risk of ending your service. 

6. Get help with your internet bill

Cheap or free internet is offered by internet providers like Xfinity, Spectrum, AT&T, Verizon Fios and T-Mobile. You may be eligible for affordable Wi-Fi if your household qualifies for other assistance programs, including Medicaid, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or the Supplemental Nutritional Access Program (SNAP). Check with internet providers in your area for discounted plans for low-income families. 

7. Switch your internet provider

Switching to a different internet provider as a new customer can get you a lower internet bill. Make sure to read the fine print with a new provider regarding charges for equipment, installation, activation, contracts or early termination fees. Companies like Verizon 5G, CenturyLink, Optimum and Frontier often offer price guarantees for 12 months or more, along with additional perks like free equipment or gift card offers. 

When you switch, remember to return equipment from your current provider if necessary to avoid extra fees. Make sure you are not in a contract so you don’t have to pay early termination fees; if you are, check if your new provider will cover termination fees. T-Mobile, Spectrum and Verizon Fios are a few companies that will reimburse you for termination fees when you switch to their services. 

The easiest way to cut internet costs

The easiest way to lower your internet bill is to modify your current plan. Changing your speed or removing extra services won’t interrupt your Wi-Fi. Working with your current provider to get a lower rate will prevent the hassle of scheduling an installation or undergoing a credit check with a new company. However, switching providers may be necessary if you’ve done everything you can with your current internet company and you are still paying too much. 

How to save on internet FAQs

What’s the cheapest internet available?

The cheapest internet plans range from $10–$20/mo., but these deals aren’t available everywhere. Depending on your location, the cheapest plans might be around $40–$50/mo. Overall, average standard internet rates range from $60–$70/mo. after promotional pricing.

How much should I pay for internet per month?

The type of internet technology (fiber, cable, 5G, etc.) you have and your internet speed will determine your typical bill. Regardless, if you are paying more than your budget allows, modify your plan or shop around for another internet provider to get a better deal.

Why is my internet bill so high?

Your internet bill can be expensive if you are paying for more speed than you need, renting equipment or paying for optional supplementary services.

This content is produced through an alliance between ӣƵ and Allconnect.com. Under the alliance, Allconnect publishes articles about broadband-related topics upholding strict editorial integrity standards in line with . The opinions, analyses, reviews and recommendations expressed are those of the Allconnect editorial staff alone. The information is believed to be accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information. Read more about our Allconnect Advertising Disclosure.

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Lisa IscrupeAllconnect.com

Lisa Iscrupe is a senior writer helping readers understand the complexities of broadband, internet and other home services, including energy and renewable products. Her work appears on SaveOnEnergy.com and CNET.com, with national sources such as CNN, The Daily MBA and The Media Bulletin referencing her articles.

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Hannah WhatleyAllconnect.com

Hannah Whatley is an editor who enjoys collaborating with writers to offer readers the most relevant, accurate, and up-to-date information for their home purchases. She has previously edited for The Motley Fool, The Modest Wallet, Grammarly, JoinCake.com and SaveOnEnergy.com, gaining expertise in several industries. Hannah has a B.A. in English from Thomas Edison State University. When she isn’t editing, she enjoys studying linguistics and languages.