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When I last visited Annapolis, its internet service providers were far from my mind. I was preoccupied with the area’s renowned crab cakes. But residents of this historic city on the Chesapeake Bay have a handful of broadband options. The area is dominated by two nationally known brands, cable provider Xfinity and DSL/fiber provider Verizon. You can find a few other choices, including 5G home internet and cheaper cable internet plans from Astound Broadband, but most area households will be choosing between the two major players.
What is the best overall internet in Annapolis?
Verizon Fios is CNET’s pick for the best overall internet provider in Annapolis. It’s got the distinct advantage of being the only extensive fiber internet provider in the area. Additionally, it boasts straightforward pricing, symmetrical speeds and high customer satisfaction ratings. CNET examines customer service, speed, pricing and overall value before recommending the best broadband in your area.
Your ISP choices will vary depending on your location, but most in the area are capable of delivering gigabit speeds. 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 options in Annapolis
Our general rule of thumb when it comes to home internet connection types is that fiber rules. It’s the most reliable form of broadband and is less prone to outages or slowdowns due to network congestion. That’s why Verizon Fios is head of the class in Annapolis. But if you can’t get fiber at your house, all is not lost. You can lean on Xfinity’s superior range of plan selections, Astound Broadband’s cheap promo prices or 5G home internet from Verizon and T-Mobile.
Note: The prices, speeds and features detailed in the article text may differ from those listed in the product detail cards, representing providers’ national offerings. Your particular internet service options — including prices and speeds — depend on your address and may differ from those detailed here.
Internet providers in Annapolis overview
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Source: CNET analysis of provider data
All available Annapolis residential internet providers
Though Annapolis could be seen as mainly a clash between Xfinity versus Verizon Fios, there are a few other options beyond the two others — Astound Broadband and T-Mobile Home Internet — we highlighted above.
- Verizon 5G Home Internet: As we mentioned earlier, not all Annapolis residents have access to Verizon Fios, the company’s fiber-optic internet service. Verizon also supplies broadband in the area via its 5G home internet service. It closely rivals T-Mobile and, in some cases, betters it. While Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband coverage isn’t as widespread as T-Mobile’s in the area, Verizon 5G Home Internet does offer potentially higher speeds on the top end: downloads of up to 1,000Mbps are available with its $70-per-month 5G Home Plus plan in some areas. The basic 5G Home plan is $50 monthly for average speeds between 50-300Mbps. If you have an eligible 5G mobile plan, you can knock the price down to $35 per month (or $45 monthly for the 5G Home Plus plan).
- Satellite internet: Folks in Annapolis should be adequately covered, per the FCC, but if you find yourself without internet options, you can always turn to satellite internet from Starlink, Viasat or HughesNet. Do we recommend it? Not when you have other ways of getting online. Satellite internet is notoriously laggy, expensive and requires two-year contract commitments, though Elon Musk’s Starlink nixes the contracts.
Annapolis broadband at a glance
Verizon Fios is our pick for the best internet provider in Annapolis, but residents have some decent options. Xfinity covers the area to the tune of 99% coverage, so your plan options won’t be lacking. However, if you want to save money, Verizon and T-Mobile offer discounts if you bundle home internet service with certain phone plans. Finally, households in the northern portion of Annapolis can turn to Astound Broadband for the area’s best cheap internet rates.
Pricing info on Annapolis home internet service
The average starting rate for internet service in Annapolis is a decent $40 per month. That’s slightly cheaper than its Maryland neighbor of Baltimore, which rings in at an average starting price of $41 monthly. Even more impressive is the cheapest rate of $25 per month, shared by Xfinity and Astound, which comes with decent download speeds of 200 and 300Mbps, respectively. Comparatively, one of Baltimore’s cheapest providers, Port Networks, features maximum download speeds of 25Mbps.
Cheap internet options in the Annapolis region
I just mentioned that Astound and Xfinity offer monthly broadband plans for $25. Xfinity also has a $35 monthly plan that’ll get you 400Mbps, and Astound offers a 600Mbps tier for $40 per month. Let’s not forget that while T-Mobile Home Internet and Verizon 5G Home Internet start at $50 per month, both offer discounts to eligible mobile plan customers that’ll take those monthly costs down to $30 and $35 monthly.
Additionally, low-income households can apply for the federal Affordable Connectivity Program. If you’re eligible, you can get $30 ($75 on tribal lands) off your monthly internet bill. That means you could get the cheapest Xfinity and Astound internet plans for free.
Source: CNET analysis of provider data
How fast is the broadband in Annapolis?
Recent Ookla speed test data shows Annapolis with median download speeds around 223Mbps. That’s not bad. For context, Baltimore notched an average of 172Mbps and the state of Maryland averages 208Mbps. Also, FCC broadband data for Annapolis shows that 99.6% of Annapolis households can access broadband speeds of 250Mbps down and 3Mbps up. Again, that’s slightly higher than the rest of the state at 96%.
Fastest internet providers in Annapolis
While decent speeds can be found in Annapolis, residents won’t find some of the snazzy, multi-gig internet plans like you’ll find in Google Fiber cities, for example. The top speed in the area is just over a gigabit, at 1,2000Mbps, which you’ll find with Astound Broadband and Xfinity. Both of those plans are via cable internet connections. Verizon Fios’ top speed (940Mbps) doesn’t match them, but as a fiber connection, its upload speed of 880Mbps runs laps around the 20 and 35Mbps upload speeds of its competitors. That makes a huge difference for all you remote workers and gamers out there.
Source: CNET analysis of provider data
What’s the final word on internet providers in Annapolis?
In Annapolis, our first recommendation is to look to Verizon Fios. But if those symmetrical fiber speeds aren’t available at your address, you can still get plenty of pep from the cable connections of Xfinity and Astound Broadband. If you don’t have multiple users at home, consider T-Mobile and Verizon as 5G home internet alternatives, especially if you can bundle them with an eligible cellphone plan for a deeper discount.
How CNET chose the best internet providers in Annapolis
Internet service providers are numerous and regional. Unlike with 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’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?
Though 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 our how we test ISPs page.