Internet for Seniors

See where to get low-cost or discount home internet options for seniors and how to choose the best plan for your needs.
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    $30.00/mo. for Access from AT&T
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    Up to 100Mbps
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    Unlimited data
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    $9.95–$29.95/mo. for Internet Essentials plans
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    Available in 35 states
Check Availability
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    Starting at $49.99/mo.
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    15GB priority data (unlimited standard data)
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    Great for rural areas–coverage in 99% of the U.S.

Ben Gran
Aug 03, 2023
Icon Time To Read8 min read

Internet service providers (ISPs) don’t typically offer senior-specific discounts on home internet service. But depending on your financial situation and how you like to use the internet, there are a few internet plans that can help seniors save money while also getting fast internet speeds with enough data to enjoy them. 

We recommend AT&T, Xfinity, and HughesNet plans to keep you connected and your wallet happy. Wherever you live, at least one of these providers will be available. 

Let’s take a closer look at our recommendations for the best internet options for seniors.

Our top picks: Best internet options for seniors

Based on our research, we chose these three internet service providers (ISPs) as the best internet options for seniors. These companies each deliver a different type of internet service: cable (Xfinity), fiber (AT&T) and satellite internet (HughesNet). But they all offer budget-friendly plans with plenty of data and a high-speed home internet experience.

Best fiber internet plan for seniorsBest cable internet plan for seniorsBest satellite internet plan for seniors
$55.00/mo.$25.00/mo. for two year$99.99/mo.
Unlimited data1.2 TB (1,200GB) of high-speed data100 GB of high-speed data (then unlimited standard data)

Want a deeper look into these great internet providers? Check out our deep dives below.

AT&T Internet for seniors

AT&T makes our list of best internet options for seniors because it has budget-friendly options (their low-income internet service, Access from AT&T, costs $30.00/mo.) and high speed internet service (up to 300Mbps with unlimited data).

If you get AT&T Fiber, this should be sufficient for cord-cutting and watching online streaming videos, which could also help you save money on cable TV. 

What it’s best for
Get It
Access from AT&T$30.00/mo.100Mbps
Unlimited data
Everyday internet activities, some video streaming
AT&T Fiber$55.00/mo.300MbpsVideo streaming, heavy-duty online usage

Access from AT&T  is the low-income internet option from AT&T Internet, costing $30 per month for up to 100Mbps and unlimited data. To qualify for this plan, you need to be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), be a California resident on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, have someone in your household who participates in the National School Lunch Program, or your household income needs to be below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. If you don’t mind slower speeds and lower data limits, you can also choose lower-cost Access from AT&T plans for as little as $5–$10 per month.

If you’re willing to pay more per month, AT&T Fiber can provide faster internet service and more bandwidth for video streaming and heavy-duty online usage. Pricing for AT&T Fiber starts at $55 per month for speeds of 300Mbps, which will be more than enough speed for most older adults’ online activity. However, as of July 2023, AT&T Fiber  is only available in 21 states.

AT&T Internet pros and cons

There are a few advantages and potential downsides of AT&T Internet when comparing the best internet options for seniors.

AT&T Internet pros
pro High speeds at low cost (100Mbps for $30/mo.)
pro Super-fast fiber internet starts at $55/mo.
AT&T Internet cons
con Limited availability: only 21 states as of July 2023
con Might not reach rural areas

Bottom line: AT&T is one of the best internet options for seniors, but your customer experience will depend on your budget and location. The Access from AT&T plan gives you 100Mbps and unlimited data at $30 per month. 

But AT&T internet and AT&T Fiber are not available everywhere. As of July 2023, AT&T’s internet service is only available in 21 states, and AT&T Fiber is available mainly in major metro areas within those states. Many traditional telecom providers, like AT&T, do not offer high-speed internet in rural areas.

Enter your zip code to see all internet providers available near you.

Xfinity for seniors

Xfinity is Comcast’s internet and TV service provider, available in 35 states plus the District of Columbia. Several Xfinity home internet plans can be good choices for seniors, depending on your budget.

We chose Xfinity as one of the best internet options for seniors because of its low-cost Internet Essentials and Internet Essentials Plus plans, which are great choices for qualifying low-income internet customers. However, even the regular Xfinity plans are budget-friendly, starting at $35 a month. Xfinity delivers plenty of speed that should be more than enough for older adults to get a great home internet experience.

What it’s best for
Get It
Internet Essentials$9.95/mo.50MbpsEveryday internet activities
Internet Essentials Plus$29.95/mo.100MbpsVideo streaming
Xfinity Connect$20—$25/mo. for one year* 200Mbps Heavy-duty internet usage: video streaming, video games

*Promotional price expires 5/1/2024. Final price depends on location.

Internet Essentials  and Internet Essentials Plus are Xfinity’s lowest-cost internet plans, intended for people who have significant financial need. To qualify for these plans, you need to be eligible for certain programs like Medicaid, SNAP, or housing assistance.

Internet Essentials is priced at $9.95 per month and gives you 50Mbps, while Internet Essentials Plus gives you 100Mbps for $29.95 per month. Internet Essentials plans require no credit check and no long-term contract. Learn more and apply online at the Xfinity website. 

If you want higher speeds and don’t qualify for Internet Essentials plans, the Xfinity 200Mbps plan starts at $25 per month for your first two years of service, or 75Mbps for $19.95 per month. You can also choose higher-speed plans of 400Mbps, 800Mbps, or 1,200Mbps, with exact pricing and availability depending on where you live. Depending on your state, most Xfinity internet plans offer 1.2 terabytes (1,200 GB)  of high-speed data per month.

Enter your zip code to see all internet providers available near you.

Xfinity Internet pros and cons

Let’s look at the potential upsides and disadvantages of Xfinity internet for seniors.

Xfinity Internet pros
pro High speeds at low cost (50Mbps for $9.95/mo. or 100Mbps for $29.95/mo.)
pro Superfast internet (200Mbps) starting at $35.00/mo.
pro Available in 35 states plus Washington, D.C.
Xfinity Internet cons
con Plans not as fast as the highest-speed AT&T Fiber
con Might not reach rural areas

Bottom line: Xfinity offers two great choices of low-income internet service if it’s available where you live and you qualify for the plans. If you’re willing to pay for faster internet, you can jump aboard the Xfinity Network starting at $35 per month for your first year.

However, just like other traditional phone and cable companies, Xfinity might not reach every rural location. They are working on it, though; the company recently announced that they are expanding their network into more rural communities in Florida. Use our zip code search tool to see if Xfinity is available for your home.

Enter your zip code to see all internet providers available near you.

HughesNet for seniors

If you live in a rural area that is underserved by the usual ISPs, you should consider satellite internet. Fortunately, HughesNet is both a leading satellite internet provider and one of the best internet options for seniors.

We chose HughesNet as one of the best internet options for seniors because it has nationwide service, covering rural areas and small towns that other internet providers don’t reach. HughesNet is also the most budget-friendly satellite internet provider, with plans as low as $50 a month. The newly launched HughesNet Fusion 100 GB plan is also a great fit for many older adults because of its faster speeds and higher reliability.

What it’s best for
Get It
HughesNet 15 GB$49.99/mo.15 GB of high-speed data15MbpsBasic internet usage: email, web browsing
HughesNet 50 GB$74.99/mo.50 GB of high-speed data25MbpsOnline shopping, social media, listening to music
HughesNet Fusion 100 GB$99.99/mo.100 GB of high-speed data25MbpsVideo calls, watching online videos
HughesNet Fusion 200 GB$174.99/mo.200 GB of high-speed data50MbpsVideo streaming,

HughesNet is our choice for the best satellite internet provider for seniors because it has the lowest-cost plans, starting at $49.99 per month for 15Mbps and 15 GB of high-speed data.

HughesNet is usually the better bet for budget-conscious seniors compared to the other satellite providers, Viasat and Starlink. There are a few special features that make HughesNet a better value. HughesNet gives you an extra 50 GB per month of “Bonus Zone” data during the off-peak hours of 2 a.m. to 8 a.m., making it a great deal for night owls and early risers. HughesNet also offers a two-year price guarantee.

However, if you’re willing to spend more money for faster speeds and bigger data bandwidth, HughesNet can deliver what you need. Their Fusion plans offer 100 to 200 GB of high-speed data and a faster, more responsive experience powered by unique wireless technology. And unlike other providers, HughesNet’s satellite technology covers 99% of the U.S. This makes HughesNet a great choice for people in rural areas that often are not reachable by other internet services.

HughesNet pros and cons

Every internet service provider has its pros and cons. Let’s look at a few for HughesNet:

HughesNet satellite internet pros
pro Lowest price for satellite internet ($49.99/mo. for 15Mbps and 15 GB)
pro Available in all 50 states (99% of the U.S.)
pro 2-year price guarantee
HughesNet satellite internet cons
con Not as fast as Xfinity or AT&T, unless you pay more for Fusion 200 (50Mbps)
con Less data than Xfinity and AT&T

Bottom line: HughesNet is not as speedy as Xfinity or AT&T internet, and it has limited amounts of high-speed data. Even though HughesNet offers a Video Data Saver tool to help you stop buffering and use less data while watching videos, HughesNet should not be used as a full-time video streaming replacement for TV service. You might want to get satellite TV along with your satellite internet.

How to choose the right internet service provider for seniors

Choosing the best internet options for seniors is first a matter of figuring out how much internet bandwidth you need in the first place. Ask yourself:

  • How many hours per day do I use the internet?
  • What do I use the internet for—online shopping, web searches, listening to music, or video streaming?
  • How many people use the internet in my house?
  • Which do I use more often—home internet or mobile internet?
  • Which internet providers are available in my area?

Depending on where you live, you could be limited to just one or two internet service providers. Or if you live in a major metro area where the high-speed internet infrastructure has been built-up, you might have access to faster alternatives, like 5G home internet.

If you’re still working and need internet service to operate from home, your internet usage will be different from someone who’s already retired. If you like to watch online videos, shows and movies and you use the internet instead of a cable TV subscription, you will need more data and faster speeds than someone who doesn’t use the internet for this purpose. Families often need more bandwidth for their kids’ homework and online entertainment. But if you live alone or with a partner who doesn’t use the internet much, you could get by with less.

If you’re on the go and out of the house most of the time, your mobile phone could be your primary way of accessing the internet. You might want more mobile data for your cellular phone plan, instead of a more expensive home internet plan.

Whatever your living situation, just make sure to keep in mind when deciding on an internet plan.

Tips for saving money on internet for seniors

Whether you’re on a fixed income and trying to save money in your budget or comfortably retired and just don’t want to waste money on internet service, there are several ways for seniors to get a better deal on home internet.

Getting promotional discounts

Many internet service providers offer discounts for new customers. For example, you might save $25 per month off the usual price for a three-month or 12-month introductory period. Some internet providers might even pay you extra money to switch to their plan. T-Mobile announced that they’d cover up to $500 of early termination fees for new customers that move internet service from another internet provider.

The exact deals will depend on the internet service provider and where you live. Check the websites or ask the customer service representative when you call to sign up.

Bundling services for additional discounts

Internet service providers often have special deals when you sign up for multiple services, such as AT&T phone service to go with your AT&T internet or cable TV with your cable internet. Satellite internet providers sometimes have special satellite TV bundle deals too.

Even if you end up spending more money with one company, you can often get extra value by bundling than if you purchased each of these services separately.

Referring friends and family for referral bonuses

Many internet service providers offer referral bonuses if you get a family member or friend to sign up for service. For example, Xfinity offers a $175 “Refer-a-Friend” bonus  for each friend that signs up for qualifying Xfinity services. If you love your internet service and you’re happy to recommend it to your friends and family, this can be a great way to earn extra cash.

Negotiating with customer service representatives

Another way to get discounts on internet service is more straightforward: call customer service. Ask the representative if they can offer you any deals, discounts or retention bonuses. And discounts aren’t just for new customers. If you’re an existing customer, and you tell the customer service rep that you’re not happy with the internet service and might not renew your contract, they will try harder to persuade you to stay on as a customer. They might offer significant discounts to sweeten the deal.

Ben Gran
Written by
Ben Gran