Satellite Internet Providers in Chicago

Satellite internet providers like HughesNet and Viasat are available almost everywhere—including the areas of Chicago that are underserved by traditional internet service providers (ISPs).

Of course, major metro areas like Chicago tend to have a wide range of internet options, including high-speed cable internet and fiber-optic internet providers. But even so, there are pockets where traditional ISPs don’t think it’s a good investment to build out cable or fiber infrastructure. If you live in such an area or a small town or rural area outside the urban core of Chicago, you should consider satellite internet.

Fortunately, satellite internet in Chicago has gotten faster and allows for bigger internet data caps than ever before. HughesNet now offers speeds up to 50Mbps (or 25Mbps for a lower price per month), and Viasat and Starlink offer speeds up to 100Mbps.

But if you have the option, cable and fiber internet are often faster and cheaper than satellite internet. Depending on where you live in Chicago, you can probably find good options for cable or fiber broadband service. We’ve even rounded up some of the best internet options in Chicago for you.

Let’s take a closer look at the best internet options in Chicago.

Best satellite internet providers in Chicago

Intro. Price
Internet type
99% in Chicago

Service plans require a 24-month commitment. Pricing not available in all areas.

Intro. Price
25–100Mbps Satellite
Internet type
99% in Chicago

Offer available to new qualifying customers. One-time standard installation fee may be due at checkout. Minimum 24-month service term required. Equipment lease fee is $12.99/mo. Taxes apply. Service is not available in all areas. Offer may be changed or withdrawn at any time.

HughesNet and Viasat are the best satellite internet options in Chicago because of their reliable nationwide coverage. These two satellite ISPs are not always as fast as Starlink, which has a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation, but they are available in more places.

HughesNet and Viasat also offer download speeds that are competitive with Starlink—up to 50Mbps for HughesNet or 100Mbps for Viasat. Viasat even has data caps reaching up to 500GB of priority data for heavy internet users. HughesNet is a great pick for budget-conscious customers who want to use the internet just to check email or search the web.

Best internet providers in Chicago

Intro. Price
Internet type
99% in Chicago

Pricing for some packages are for the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.

Intro. Price
Internet type
99% in Chicago

Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes $ fees. Limited availability. May not be available in your area.

Intro. Price
Internet type
DSL & Fiber
91% in Chicago

*With a 12 month contract.

Chicago offers three great options for high-speed cable or fiber internet. Xfinity, AT&T, and Earthlink are all widely available and offer fast speeds. Xfinity covers 99% of the city with cable internet service that delivers up to 1,200Mbps. AT&T offers fiber hookups with plans reaching 5,000Mbps (5Gbps), and EarthLink is another fiber internet provider that gets high marks for customer service while delivering up to 5,000Mbps (5Gbps) speeds.

All three of these options cover over 90% of Chicago, but your exact download speeds, plans, and pricing from these providers depends on your specific address.  

What is the fastest internet in Chicago?

We've shown you our picks for the best internet in Chicago based on availability. But if you want the facts about the fastest internet in Chicago, the list of providers ... looks familiar. Depending on where you live in Chicago, you should be able to get access to the fastest internet options, such as ultrafast 5Gig fiber from EarthLink or AT&T.

Check out your fastest internet options in the Windy City.

Our Rating
3.5 out of 5 stars
• $30.00–$85.00/mo.
• Up to 1,200Mbps**
• Availability: 99%
AT&T Fiber
Our Rating
3.5 out of 5 stars
• $55.00–$80.00/mo.*
• Up to 1,000Mbps
• Availability: 99%
Our Rating
3 out of 5 stars
• $49.99–$199.99/mo.***
• Up to 100Mbps
• Availability: 99%
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
• $59.95–$89.95
• Up to 1,000Mbps
• Availability: 91%

* Price after $5/mo. AutoPay & paperless billing discount. One-time install charge may apply.

** Plans with 400–1,200Mbps require a two-year contract; pricing includes $10/mo. automatic payments and paperless billing discount with a stored bank account, or $5/mo. with stored credit card.

***Prices and availability vary by location. Installation fees, monthly equipment lease fees, and taxes may apply. After 500 GB of High-Speed Data usage, you still have unlimited access to Standard Data, which may result in slower speed.

† Locked-in rate for 12 months.

Xfinity cable internet delivers speeds up to 1,200Mbps, which makes it Chicago’s fastest cable internet provider. Cable internet is a great choice for fast internet, but keep in mind that fiber internet—at its best—is even faster. Depending on where you live in Chicago, check to see if 5Gbps (5,000Mbps) fiber internet is available from AT&T or EarthLink. To learn more about Xfinity, check out our Best Cable Providers article.

AT&T Fiber and EarthLink both offer some of the fastest fiber internet in Chicago. But if you sign up for EarthLink, make sure you choose one of their fiber plans, not one of their slower, cheaper DSL plans. EarthLink has highly rated customer service, so its team can help you find the right plan if you want fast fiber internet in Chicago.

If you prefer satellite internet in Chicago, Viasat is likely your fastest option, offering speeds up to 100Mbps depending on where you live.

But keep in mind that satellite internet tends to be more expensive than cable or fiber. Unless you live in a rural suburb or underserved neighborhood that is not well-connected to other ISPs, satellite internet is probably not your best choice for fast internet service in Chicago.

What is the cheapest internet provider in Chicago?

What if you’re on a budget and looking to save money on your Chicago home internet service? Fortunately, there are several good low-cost internet providers in Chicago.

View plan
XfinityXfinity Connect*$30.00/mo.75Mbps1.2TB (1,200GB)
Rise BroadbandRise Broadband Fixed Wireless$25.00/mo. for first 12 months25MbpsUnlimited
T-Mobile 5G Home InternetT-Mobile 5G Home Internet**$30.00–$50.00/mo. 33–182MbpsUnlimited
HughesNetHughesNet 50GB Data Plan***$49.99/mo. for first 12 months25Mbps50GB

*Pricing for some packages are for the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract. **w/ Auto Pay. Regulatory fees included in monthly price for qualified accounts. See full terms. ***Service plans require a 24-month commitment. Pricing not available in all areas. †With a 12 month contract

This table shows our picks for the best cheap internet plans in Chicago, in increasing order of monthly costs. First up is Xfinity Connect, a low-priced cable internet plan that gives you practically unlimited data at 75Mbps.

Rise Broadband’s low-cost fixed wireless internet plan runs on cellular data networks, just like a smartphone, so the speeds aren’t as fast as cable or fiber.

T-Mobile Home Internet is available in 5G, giving it some of the fastest speeds of any low-cost Chicago internet choices. But to qualify for that cheap $30.00/mo. price, you need to have a qualifying T-Mobile phone plan. Otherwise, the price is $50.00/mo.

HughesNet is our choice for lowest-cost satellite internet—but be aware that after the first 12 months, the price goes up by $25 per month (to $74.99/mo.). And even the cheapest satellite internet plan is more expensive than most other low-cost internet options.

EarthLink’s pricing for 100Mbps doesn’t look cheap compared to other choices listed here, but keep in mind that EarthLink also offers some lower-cost DSL and fixed wireless internet options that aren’t shown here. You can get exact pricing for these other low-cost internet plans by calling EarthLink.

All of these low-cost Chicago internet plans should be available in most Windy City locations; each provider is rated at 90%–99% availability. But remember that exact plans and pricing always depend on your home address.

A reminder for cheap internet plans

Everyone loves saving money on home internet, but be prepared for the downsides. Unless you’re a casual internet user who just wants to send email and check social media, the slower speeds of low-cost internet plans might get frustrating. Streaming HD videos and other heavy-bandwidth activities online might require faster download speeds.

Think carefully about how much internet data you need for the number of people in your home, especially if you’re considering a satellite internet plan with a data cap. Satellite internet with 25Mbps and 50GB of data could be enough for a single person, but it’s probably too slow for a family with video game-loving kids at home.

Internet deals and promotions in Chicago

Enter your zip code below to see the best internet deals in your area.

What are the fiber internet providers in Chicago?

View plan
ATT$55.00–$80.00/mo.*Up to 1,000MbpsUnlimited
Earthlink$59.95–$89.95/mo.**Up to 1,000MbpsUnlimited
Google Fiber$70.00/mo.***1,000MbpsUnlimited

*Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes $ fees. Limited availability. May not be available in your area. **With a 12 month contract ***Plus taxes and fees. Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual Internet speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc.

AT&T Fiber, Earthlink, and Google Fiber Webpass are the only three fiber internet providers for Chicago residential customers. But there are a few other companies that sell fiber internet to multi-dwelling units like apartment buildings and commercial real estate.

AT&T Fiber and EarthLink have comparable availability (covering more than 90% of Chicago), prices, and speeds. EarthLink specifically gets high ratings for its strong customer service.

Google Fiber Webpass is another fiber internet provider gaining ground in the Chicago home internet market, but it’s currently available to only 34% of Chicago homes.

Check out the list below for all fiber internet providers in Chicago.

All fiber internet in Chicago

  • AT&T Fiber
  • EarthLink
  • Google Fiber Webpass

Chicago internet availability

There’s a wide range of internet providers competing for business and providing high-speed internet service in America’s third largest city. But if you live in a small town or rural area outside of the main metro area, your internet service options are likely more limited.

Here's a look at internet service in Chicago and where you can find it.

Chicago internet statistics

  • According to SpeedTest, as of July 2023, Chicago internet users had a median fixed internet connection download speed of 82Mbps.
  • The University of Chicago Data Science Institute did research showing that, although 80% of Chicago residents have internet connectivity, there is a digital divide that affects poorer neighborhoods on the South and West sides of the city. In the least connected communities, up to 40% of households lack internet access.
  • 40,000 Chicago families get internet service from Chicago Connected, a City of Chicago program that provides free high-speed internet to low-income Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students and their families.
Enter your zip code below to see all the best internet providers in your area.

Cities in Chicago, Illinois—Cook County

  • Alsip
  • Arlington Heights
  • Barrington
  • Barrington Hills
  • Bartlett
  • Bedford Park
  • Bellwood
  • Bensenville
  • Berkeley
  • Berwyn
  • Blue Island
  • Bridgeview
  • Broadview
  • Brookfield
  • Buffalo Grove
  • Burbank
  • Burnham
  • Burr Ridge
  • Calumet City
  • Calumet Park
  • Central Stickney
  • Chicago
  • Chicago Heights
  • Chicago Ridge
  • Cicero
  • Country Club Hills
  • Countryside
  • Crestwood
  • Deer Park
  • Deerfield
  • Des Plaines
  • Dixmoor
  • Dolton
  • East Dundee
  • East Hazel Crest
  • Elgin
  • Elk Grove Village
  • Elmhurst
  • Elmwood Park
  • Evanston
  • Evergreen Park
  • Flossmoor
  • Ford Heights
  • Forest Park
  • Forest View
  • Frankfort
  • Franklin Park
  • Glencoe
  • Glenview
  • Glenwood
  • Golf
  • Hanover Park
  • Harvey
  • Harwood Heights
  • Hazel Crest
  • Hickory Hills
  • Hillside
  • Hines
  • Hinsdale
  • Hodgkins
  • Hoffman Estates
  • Hometown
  • Homewood
  • Indian Head Park
  • Indian Hill
  • Inverness
  • Justice
  • Kenilworth
  • La Grange
  • La Grange Highlands
  • La Grange Park
  • Lansing
  • Lemont
  • Lincolnwood
  • Lynwood
  • Lyons
  • Markham
  • Matteson
  • Maywood
  • McCook
  • Melrose Park
  • Merrionette Park
  • Midlothian
  • Morton Grove
  • Mount Prospect
  • Niles
  • Norridge
  • North Riverside
  • Northbrook
  • Northfield
  • Northlake
  • Nottingham Park
  • Oak Brook
  • Oak Forest
  • Oak Lawn
  • Oak Park
  • Olympia Fields
  • Orchard Place
  • Orland Hills
  • Orland Park
  • Palatine
  • Palos Heights
  • Palos Hills
  • Palos Park
  • Park Forest
  • Park Ridge
  • Phoenix
  • Posen
  • Prospect Heights
  • Richton Park
  • River Forest
  • River Grove
  • Riverdale
  • Riverside
  • Robbins
  • Rolling Meadows
  • Roselle
  • Rosemont
  • Sag Bridge
  • Sauk Village
  • Schaumburg
  • Schiller Park
  • Skokie
  • South Barrington
  • South Chicago Heights
  • South Holland
  • Steger
  • Stickney
  • Stone Park
  • Streamwood
  • Summit
  • Sutton
  • Techny
  • Thornton
  • Tinley Park
  • University Park
  • Westchester
  • Western Springs
  • Wheeling
  • Willow Springs
  • Wilmette
  • Winnetka
  • Woodridge
  • Worth

Travel Wi-Fi: Chicago internet

Chicago is a great city to visit. With beautiful buildings and many photo opportunities, you’ll want to stay connected to keep sharing your adventures with your loved ones. To do so, you can use your cellular data, a mobile hotspot from your cellular phone provider, or free internet via Chicago public Wi-Fi.

How can I get free internet in Chicago?

Chicago parks with free Wi-Fi

  • Millennium Park
  • Daley Plaza
  • Kells Park
  • Douglas Park
  • 31st Street Beach
  • 57th Street Beach
  • North Avenue Beach
  • Osterman/Hollywood Beach
  • Montrose Beach
  • Foster Beach
  • Rainbow Beach

Chicago hotels with free Wi-Fi

  • 21c Museum Hotel Chicago
  • Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile Suites
  • Hyatt Regency O’Hare Chicago
  • The Drake
  • Thompson Chicago

Many Chicago hotels offer free Wi-Fi to guests in the lobby. But don’t automatically expect free Wi-Fi from hotels where you are not a guest. Many hotels require the use of a passcode or room key to access the Wi-Fi network.

Chicago libraries

  • Free Wi-Fi is available at all Chicago Public Libraries (“ChicagoWiFi”)

Chicago public Wi-Fi

  • The Cultural Center
  • Daley Plaza
  • O’Hare Airport (“_Free_ORD_Wi-Fi”)
  • The Field Museum

The City of Chicago offers free public Wi-Fi (the network’s name is “ChicagoWiFi”) at numerous public places. Many Chicago museums—such as the Field Museum—also offer free Wi-Fi. Free Wi-Fi has become more common at Chicago restaurants and coffee shops, too. 

There can be information security risks when using public Wi-Fi networks. It’s always possible for people to listen in on network traffic, especially on public networks. Avoid entering important personal details while using free public Wi-Fi.

Cell service in Chicago by carrier

  1. Verizon
  2. AT&T
  3. T-Mobile
  4. Visible
  5. US Mobile

According to CoverageCritic, Verizon has the best cell coverage in Chicago, but other providers like AT&T and T-Mobile aren’t too far behind. It’s a big city with lots of cell towers, so most national mobile carriers can keep you connected in the Windy City.

Visible and US Mobile, which both use the Verizon network, rank highly among low-cost carriers. Since Chicago has such strong cell coverage for these major providers, Verizon home internet or T-Mobile home internet could be good options for Chicago home internet.

Chicago satellite internet FAQ

How can I get internet service outside the Chicago metro area?

Depending on where you live, there are a few good options for home internet in Chicago suburbs and nearby towns and rural communities. EarthLink offers fixed wireless internet for homes that are not reachable by fiber, and there are satellite internet providers like Viasat and HughesNet that cover 99% of the U.S.

How much is Wi-Fi a month in Chicago?

According to Numbeo, the average cost of Chicago internet service is $66.20 per month—assuming at least 60Mbps with unlimited data.

Is there fiber internet in Chicago?

There are three fiber internet service providers in Chicago that sell to consumer households: AT&T, EarthLink, and Google Fiber Webpass.

What is the internet speed in Illinois?

According to, the average download speed in Illinois is 346Mbps.