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Joe Supan is a senior writer for CNET covering home technology, broadband, and moving. Prior to joining CNET, Joe led MyMove’s moving coverage and reported on broadband policy, the digital divide, and privacy issues for the broadband marketplace Allconnect. He has been featured as a guest columnist on Broadband Breakfast, and his work has been referenced by the Los Angeles Times, Forbes, National Geographic, Yahoo! Finance and more.
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What is the best internet provider in Bellevue?
Quantum Fiber is Bellevue’s best internet service provider, offering the best combination of speed and price. It’s a true fiber-to-the-home connection, so you’ll get symmetrical upload and download speeds on all plans. Quantum Fiber also offers a price-for-life guarantee, an extremely valuable benefit.
If you want to pay the lowest prices possible, Xfinity and Ziply Fiber have the cheapest internet in Bellevue, with plans starting at $20 monthly. Unfortunately, that price goes up significantly in the second year, but both providers offer an array of affordable options. Ziply Fiber also has the fastest internet in Bellevue (and the entire country), with speeds going up to an unfathomably high 50,000Mbps.
Verizon and T-Mobile both offer wireless home internet service in Bellevue. While they’re not quite as reliable as wired options in the area, you can save significantly on both by bundling with an eligible cellphone plan.
Best internet in Bellevue, Washington
200 – 8,000Mbps
$30 – $165 per month
Our take – Quantum Fiber is the fiber-to-the-home brand owned by Lumen Technologies, which also offers DSL service under the CenturyLink moniker in Bellevue. If you can get Quantum Fiber at your address, it’s an easy choice. It provides fast, symmetrical upload and download speeds at a fair price, and Quantum Fiber’s plans come with a price-for-life guarantee — a rare perk in the internet world.
Our take – Xfinity is ubiquitous in Bellevue — FCC data shows that 99% of addresses in the city can get it — and it also offers prices starting at just $20 per month. That plan increases to $35 in year two and $54 in year three, but every other plan is locked in for two years. Xfinity also includes Wi-Fi equipment at no extra cost on every plan but the cheapest one.
Our take – Ziply Fiber isn’t just the fastest internet in Bellevue; it’s the fastest internet in the country. It offers upload and download speeds up to 50,000Mbps for $900 per month — about 50 times more than any residential home would ever need. (Fortunately, Ziply offers more reasonable plans too.) It would have a strong argument for our top spot if it were more widely available. As it stands, Ziply Fiber is available to only around one in 10 homes in Bellevue, with the highest coverage on the northeast side of the city. Prices increase by $20 to $25 per month after a year.
Our take – Another good option for cheap internet in Bellevue is Verizon’s 5G Home Internet. You’ll have two plan options: 300Mbps for $50 monthly or 1,000Mbps for $70. Wireless internet is a little more vulnerable to network disruption than wired options like cable or fiber, but Verizon provides plenty of speed for most homes. Bundling with an eligible Verizon Wireless plan can save $15 to $25 each month.
How to find internet deals and promotions in Bellevue
The best internet deals and the top promotions in Bellevue depend on what discounts are available during that time. Most deals are short-lived, but we look frequently for the latest offers.
Bellevue internet providers, such as Xfinity and Verizon, may offer lower introductory pricing or streaming add-ons for a limited time. Many, however, including T-Mobile Home Internet and Quantum Fiber, run the same standard pricing year-round.
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 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 Bellevue
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. 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 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.