What is the best internet provider in San Diego?

San Diego presents a few options for home internet service, but AT&T Fiber is CNET’s pick for the best internet service provider for most San Diego households. AT&T Fiber isn’t available everywhere in America’s Finest City, so Cox, Spectrum or T-Mobile may be your go-to, depending on what’s available in your area.

The most affordable internet service in San Diego is Race Communications’ $25 per month plan, offering 25 megabits per second of speed. However, T-Mobile Home Internet and Verizon 5G Home Internet offer faster speeds and a better cost value. Plus, both ISPs offer discounts to eligible mobile customers, dropping your monthly bill to $35-$40. If you want the fastest plan, consider AT&T Fiber’s 5-gigabit tier (5,000Mbps) for $225 monthly.

CNET considers speeds, pricing, customer service and overall value to recommend the best internet service in San Diego across several categories. Our evaluation includes referencing a proprietary database built over years of reviewing internet services. We validate that against provider information by spot-checking local addresses for service availability. We also do a close read of providers’ terms and conditions and, when needed, will call ISPs to verify the details.

Despite our efforts to find the most recent and accurate information, our process has some limitations you should know about. Pricing and speed data are variable: certain addresses may qualify for different service tiers, and monthly costs may vary, even within a city. The best way to identify your particular options is to plug your address into a provider’s website. 

Also, the prices, speed and other information listed above and in the provider cards below may differ from what we found in our research. The cards display the full range of a provider’s pricing and speed across the US, according to our database of plan information provided directly by ISPs. At the same time, the text is specific to what’s available in San Diego. The prices referenced within this article’s text come from our research and include applicable discounts for setting up automatic payments each month — a standard industry offering. Other discounts and promotions might also be available for things like signing a term contract or bundling with multiple services. 

To learn more about how we review internet providers, visit our full methodology page.

Best internet in San Diego in 2024

Product image
Speed range

300 – 5,000 Mbps

Price range

$55 – $250 per month

Our take – AT&T Fiber is one of the top internet options in the country right now, with fast speeds, attractive terms and reasonable rates that don’t go up after a year.

... Or call to learn more:

Check with AT&T

Speed range

300 – 5,000 Mbps

Price range

$55 – $250 per month

Product image
Speed range

100 – 1,000 Mbps

Price range

$30- $90 per month

Our take – Among San Diego’s top cable ISPs, Spectrum is the best choice for home internet. Spectrum and Cox both offer $50 base plans, but Spectrum offers speeds of up to 300Mbps, while Cox offers speeds of only 100Mbps.

... Or call to learn more:

Check with Spectrum

Speed range

100 – 1,000 Mbps

Price range

$30- $90 per month

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Connection

Fixed wireless

Speed range

72 – 245 Mbps

Price range

$60 per month

Our take – T-Mobile’s home internet service uses 5G and LTE airwaves to deliver internet connections throughout the San Diego area without needing ground-laid cable, DSL or fiber infrastructure. Signup and setup are simple, and the unlimited data, free equipment and no-contract requirements make the new service even more enticing.

... Or call to learn more:

Check with T-Mobile

Connection

Fixed wireless

Speed range

72 – 245 Mbps

Price range

$60 per month

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Connection

Cable, some fiber

Speed range

25 – 2,000 Mbps

Price range

$40 – $100 per month

Our take – There’s a decent chance that Cox will be an option at your address, and the list of plans you can sign up for includes one with download speeds as high as 2,000Mbps.

... Or call to learn more:

Check with Cox

Connection

Cable, some fiber

Speed range

25 – 2,000 Mbps

Price range

$40 – $100 per month

San Diego internet providers compared

Provider Internet technology Monthly price range Speed range Monthly equipment costs Data cap Contract CNET review score
AT&T Home Internet
Read full review
DSL hybrid $55 20-100Mbps None 1.5TB None 7.4
AT&T Fiber
Read full review
Fiber $55-$225 300-5,000Mbps None None None 7.4
Cox Communications
Read full review
Cable $50-$150 100-2,000Mbps None 1.25TB None 6.2
Google Fiber Webpass
Read full review
Fixed wireless $63-$70 1,000Mbps None None 1 year for cheaper cost 7.5
Race Communications Fiber $35-$70 25-1,000Mbos None None None N/A
Spectrum
Read full review
Cable $50-$70 300-1,000Mbps Modem free; $5 for router (optional) None None 7.2
Ting Fiber $89 1,000Mbps $11-$18 (optional) None None N/A
T-Mobile Home Internet
Read full review
Fixed wireless $60 ($40 for eligible Go5G Plus and Magenta Max mobile customers) 72-245Mbps None None None 7.4
Verizon 5G Home Internet
Read full review
Fixed wireless $50-$70 ($35-$45 with qualifying Verizon 5G mobile plans) 50-1,000Mbps None None None 7.2

Show more (4 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

Other available internet providers in San Diego

Google Fiber Webpass: Google doesn’t have a full-fledged fiber infrastructure in San Diego. Still, select locations throughout the area are hooked up to the provider’s Webpass service, which uses receivers mounted to rooftops and building exteriors to offer the residents inside high-speed fixed wireless connections. Availability is somewhat limited, but the terms are reasonable — gigabit speeds and no data caps for $63 per month with a year commitment or $70 per month without one.

Race Communications: Race is a hyper-targeted fiber-to-the-home provider servicing a scattering of small communities throughout California. That includes the 3,000 or so residents of Rancho Santa Fe to the north of San Diego. As a fiber provider, Race offers two service plans: $25 per month for speeds of 25Mbps and $70 monthly for 1,000Mbps speeds.

Satellite internet: Satellite internet from Hughesnet, Viasat or Starlink is an option wherever you live. But it shouldn’t be your first pick — with high prices and slow speeds, cheaper and faster options are available. 

Ting: A part of the internet services company Tucows, Ting Internet now offers fiber internet service in select markets in the US. Customers can sign up for gigabit speeds and no data caps at $89 per month, plus installation costs, an optional $11-$18 monthly equipment fee and an additional “monthly access fee.” Service appears to be centered south of the city, near Solana Beach. Ting’s fast speeds and appealing rates make it well worth a look if you live in that region.

Verizon 5G Home Internet: This cellular provider now offers home internet service at addresses with a strong enough 5G signal. With speeds of up to 1,000Mbps in some areas, Verizon can claim to be the fastest cellular internet provider in the US. The flat monthly rate of $50 with no data caps or price increases is tempting. Verizon promises not to raise your price for two years; you can make that three years by paying $70 per month. 

Cheap internet options in San Diego

Most providers in San Diego offer home internet service starting at around $50 per month. If you need a basic connection and want to pay as little as possible, that’s a good place to start. While Race Communications technically offers the cheapest internet service — $25 for 25Mbps — you’ll save more money per Mbps and get faster speeds by going through T-Mobile or Verizon instead. Both providers offer discounts to eligible mobile users, dropping your monthly bill to $35-$40.

Most 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. 

What’s the cheapest internet plan in San Diego?

Provider Starting price Max download speed Monthly equipment fee
Race Basic Internet $25 25Mbps None
Cox 100
Read full review
$50 100Mbps None
Spectrum Internet
Read full review
$50 300Mbps $5 (optional)
Verizon 5G Home Internet
Read full review
$50 ($35 for eligible phone customers) 300Mbps None
AT&T Home Internet
Read full review
$55 100Mbps None
AT&T Fiber 300
Read full review
$55 300Mbps None
T-Mobile Home Internet
Read full review
$60 ($40 for eligible phone customers) 245Mbps None
Google Fiber Webpass
Read full review
$63 1,000Mbps None
Ting $89 1,000Mbps $11-$18 (optional)

Show more (4 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

How to find internet deals and promotions in San Diego

The best internet deals and top promotions in San Diego depend on what discounts are available during that time. Most deals are short-lived, but we look frequently for the latest offers. 

San Diego internet providers, such as Spectrum and Cox, may offer lower introductory pricing or streaming add-ons for a limited time. Others, including AT&T, Google and Verizon, run the same standard pricing year-round. 

For a more extensive list of promotions, check out our guide on the best internet deals. 

San Diego Harbor

David Toussaint/Getty Images

How fast is San Diego broadband?

Feel the need for speed? While San Diego’s median download speed is a little under 224Mbps, according to Ookla, faster speeds are available from several San Diego internet providers. AT&T Fiber and Cox will be your best bet for gig speeds and higher, but Spectrum, Google Fiber, Verizon 5G Home Internet, Ting and Race Communications offer gigabit download speeds as well.

Fastest internet plans in San Diego

Provider Starting price Max download speed Max upload speed Connection type
AT&T Fiber 5000
Read full review
$225 5,000Mbps 5,000Mbps Fiber
AT&T Fiber 2000
Read full review
$125 2,000Mbps 2,000Mbps Fiber
Cox 2 Gig
Read full review
$150 2,000Mbps 100Mbps Cable
AT&T Fiber 1000
Read full review
$80 1,000Mbps 1,000Mbps Fiber
Cox 1 Gig
Read full review
$110 1,000Mbps 100Mbps Cable
Google Fiber Webpass
Read full review
$63 1,000Mbps 1,000Mbps Fixed wireless
Race Gigabit Internet $70 1,000Mbps 1,000Mbps Fiber
Spectrum Internet Gig
Read full review
$70 1,000Mbps 35Mbps Cable
Ting Home Gigabit $89 1,000Mbps 1,000Mbps Fiber
Verizon 5G Home Plus
Read full review
$70 ($45 for eligible phone customers) 1,000Mbps 50Mbps Fixed wireless

Show more (5 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

Internet providers in popular cities near San Diego

See all results for internet providers in California.

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 San Diego

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 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, 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 San Diego?

AT&T Fiber’s most affordable plan gets you matching upload and download speeds of 300Mbps for $55 per month, which would be more than enough for most households. If you’re itching for gigabit speeds, you can go with the provider’s 1,000Mbps plan or one of its multi-gig plans of 2Gbps or 5Gbps. If fiber and cable aren’t available at your address, it’s worth checking to see if a cellular, fixed wireless connection from T-Mobile or Verizon might be available.

Internet providers in San Diego FAQ

Does San Diego have fiber internet?

Yes. Along with smaller regional providers like Ting and Race Communications that service communities like Encinitas and Rancho Santa Fe, AT&T offers fiber internet to “hundreds of thousands of households” in San Diego. But it isn’t available everywhere. The company’s multigig plans are available at select addresses in San Diego, but that level of service is even more limited for now.


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How much does internet cost in San Diego?

Prices will vary by provider, but most of the top internet options in San Diego offer service starting at around $50 per month, plus applicable taxes and fees.


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Does San Diego have Google Fiber?

Not really. The city isn’t wired for Google Fiber service, but select buildings in the downtown area are wired for Google Fiber Webpass, a high-speed fixed wireless internet service offering gigabit upload and download speeds for $63 to $70 per month. You can search for eligible addresses in San Diego directly through Google Fiber’s site.


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