Best Internet Providers in Bismarck, North Dakota

 

 

Midco – Best overall internet provider in Bismarck

  • Prices from $49 – $79 per month
  • Speeds from 250 – 1,000Mbps
  • Unlimited data

CenturyLink – Best fiber internet provider in Bismarck

  • Prices from $49 – $65 per month
  • Speeds from 200 – 940Mbps
  • Unlimited data

T-Mobile Home Internet – Best alternative to wired home internet in Bismarck

  • Prices from $50 per month
  • Speeds from 72 – 245Mbps
  • Unlimited data

 

Bismarck residents dont have a ton of options when it comes to picking an internet plan — at least compared to bigger cities. But that doesnt mean there arent still excellent options, according to CNETs analysis of locally available internet service providers.

 

Midco, our pick for the best internet in Bismarck, recently announced that it would invest $200 million to expand its fiber network in North Dakota, with the goal of servicing 10-gigabit speeds by 2030. Multiple other providers in the state’s capital currently offer gig speeds, the connections required to stream and game from several devices at once. Thats a rarity in a US city of this size — and you should be able to access fast, reliable internet at just about any address in the area.

Our team considers speeds, pricing, customer service and overall value to recommend the best internet service in Bismarck across a variety of 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 is variable: Certain addresses may qualify for different tiers of service 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.

Note that 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, while the text is specific to whats available in Bismarck. The prices referenced within this articles 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 be available as well, for things like committing to a contract or bundling with a cellphone plan.

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

Best internet providers in Bismarck

The best internet providers in Bismarck strike a balance between speed, price and availability. Those listed below are widely available in the area, but youll still need to check your address to see what plans you can get.

 

Midco

Best overall internet provider in Bismarck

Product details

 


Price range

$49 – $79 per month

Speed range

250 – 1,000Mbps

Connection

Cable

Highlights

Unlimited data, no contracts, 30-day guarantee

Midco offers fast, reliable cable internet to almost every address in Bismarck. Cable internet doesnt provide the same symmetrical speeds as fiber, but Midco still reaches gig speeds. Midco is also the highest-rated ISP in the region by overall satisfaction, according to J.D. Power.

Availability: Midco plans are available virtually everywhere in Bismarck, covering 99% of households, according to Federal Communications Commission mapping data.

Plans and pricing: Midco has four internet plans in Bismarck. You can get download speeds of 250Mbps for $49, 500Mbps for $59, 750Mbps for $69 and 1,000Mbps for $79.

Fees and service details: Though Midco’s plans are competitively priced, the monthly price increases by $11 after the first year. All Midco internet plans feature unlimited data. The company charges $9 per month for a modem or $11 per month for a modem/router combo (if you dont have your own Wi-Fi router).

 

 

CenturyLink

Best fiber internet provider in Bismarck

Product details

 


Price range

$49 – $65 per month

Speed range

200 – 940Mbps

Connection

Fiber

Highlights

Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included with gigabit tier

CenturyLink offers fiber-optic internet plans featuring speeds up to 940Mbps, with unlimited data and no contracts. Fiber internet is the fastest and most reliable connection available, providing the same upload and download speeds.

CenturyLink has a mixed reputation for customer satisfaction. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, CenturyLink scores below average for nonfiber service, though J.D. Powers evaluation is more positive. Many of the specific complaints focus on CenturyLinks slower DSL service — so it might be wise to avoid that.

Availability: CenturyLink is available to 74% of households in Bismarck, according to FCC data, but in much of the area, only its slower DSL plans are available.

Plans and pricing: CenturyLink’s fiber plans cost $50 per month for 100Mbps and $70 for 940Mbps, though pricing may vary by address. In fact, we saw the faster plans price fluctuate between $65 and $70 during our research before publishing this guide. The 100Mbps plan is among the cheapest you’ll find anywhere in Bismarck, though the higher-end plan is the better deal on a dollar-per-Mbps basis.

Fees and service details: CenturyLink doesnt require a contract or credit check, and there’s no installation fee (if you set it up yourself). All plans feature unlimited data. You can use your own modem or lease one from CenturyLink for an additional $15 per month.

Read our CenturyLink home internet review.

 

T-Mobile Home Internet

Best alternative to wired home internet in Bismarck

Product details

 


Price range

$50 per month ($30 for eligible T-Mobile Magenta Max customers)

Speed range

72 – 245Mbps

Connection

Fixed wireless

Highlights

Unlimited data, equipment included, no contracts, no additional fees

T-Mobiles 5G home internet service is a great alternative if you cant get CenturyLink or Midco. The package includes a Wi-Fi Gateway device that connects you wirelessly to T-Mobiles 5G network, and your price is guaranteed for as long as you stay a customer.

The primary drawback is that it’s slower than a fiber or cable connection; your speed may slow during peak hours, which can make it a lesser choice for high-bandwidth needs like online gaming or videoconferencing. That noted, T-Mobile ranked first for nonfiber providers in the 2023 American Customer Satisfaction Index survey, suggesting that speed is not a major issue for most customers.

Availability: T-Mobiles home internet service is available almost everywhere in Bismarck; check your address to be sure you’re eligible.

Plans and pricing: T-Mobile’s one plan costs $50 per month, offering download speeds between 72 and 245Mbps and upload speeds between 15 and 31Mbps.

Fees and service details: There are no data caps, equipment fees, contracts or early termination fees. Some T-Mobile cellular customers are eligible for a $20 monthly discount, which pushes the price down to $30 per month.

Read our T-Mobile Home Internet review.

Overview of Bismarck internet providers

Provider Internet technology Monthly price range Speed range Monthly equipment costs Data cap Contract CNET review score
CenturyLink Fiber $50-$70 100-940Mbps $15; none for gig plan None None 6.7
Midco Cable $49-$79 250-1,000Mbps $9-$11 None None N/A
T-Mobile Home Internet Fixed wireless $50 ($30 with eligible phone plan) 72-245Mbps None None None 7.4
Verizon 5G Home Internet Fixed wireless $50-$70 (50% off with eligible phone plan) 85-1,000Mbps None None None 7.2

 

Source: CNET analysis of provider data

What other internet options are there in Bismarck?

There are a few other options available for internet in Bismarck. They provide inferior service and higher prices, though, and CNETs analysis suggests you’re better off with one of the four highlighted above. If your address isn’t eligible for one of those, here are other options to explore:

  • Earthlink: Internet service from Earthlink uses the networks of other providers. In Bismarck, Earthlink primarily uses CenturyLinks DSL network. When I checked a few addresses around town, the top speeds I could find through Earthlink were 10Mbps — well below what most households need.
  • Satellite internet: Satellite internet is available almost everywhere in the country but comes with long contracts, slow speeds, low data caps and high latency. HughesNet has a slightly better track record with outages than its main rival, Viasat, but neither are great options. The newer Starlink service from SpaceX provides faster speeds, but equipment costs a hefty $599 upfront.
  • Verizon 5G Home Internet: Like T-Mobile, Verizon leverages its 5G cellular network to provide home internet. Speeds can get up to 1,000Mbps at some addresses, but its currently only available to about 4% of Bismarck households.

 

North Dakota State Capitol building in Bismarck.

 

 

Dennis Macdonald/Getty Images

Pricing details on Bismarck home internet service

Bismarck residents can expect to pay between $49 and $79 per month for internet service, depending on the provider and connection type. On average, starting prices for internet in Bismarck are around $50 monthly.

Cheapest internet plans in Bismarck

Source: CNET analysis of provider data

Internet speeds in Bismarck

Residents of Bismarck can expect to find a wide range of options for their internet needs, with the highest speeds available being up to 1,000Mbps. While that’s more than enough speed for most people, fiber providers like AT&T and Frontier offer speeds up to 5,000Mbps in some cities.

Fastest internet plans in Bismarck

Provider Max download speed Max upload speed Starting price Data cap Contract
Midco 1,000Mbps 250Mbps $79 None None
CenturyLink 940Mbps 940Mbps $70 None None

 

Source: CNET analysis of provider data

There are only two internet providers that offer gig speeds in Bismarck, but theyre both excellent deals. Midco has surprisingly fast upload speeds of 250Mbps for a cable internet company — more than enough for almost any household —¬†while CenturyLinks gig plan is one of the most affordable youll find anywhere in the country.

Whats the final word on internet providers in Bismarck?

Compared to other cities of its size, Bismarck residents have it pretty good when it comes to internet service. There are two excellent options, Midco and CenturyLink, that are widely available and offer a variety of choices. CenturyLinks 100Mbps plan for $50 per month is one of the most affordable plans youll find in the area, but Midcos plans all offer great value, too.

How CNET chose the best internet providers in Bismarck

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? 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.

This guide leverages an in-house artificial intelligence tool called RAMP, which is trained on our own writing and uses our database to generate content about specific internet service providers that our writers can use in determining and presenting our picks for a given guide. Check CNETs AI policy for more information about how our teams use (and dont use) AI tools.

Because our database is not exhaustive, we go to the FCCs website to check the primary data for ourselves and make sure were considering every ISP that provides service in an area. We also input local addresses on provider websites to find the specific options available to 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 our prepublication fact-check.

Once we have this localized information, we ask three main questions:

  1. Does the provider offer access to reasonably fast internet speeds?
  2. Do customers get decent value for what they’re paying?
  3. 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. To explore our process in more depth, visit our how we test ISPs page.

Bismarck internet FAQs

Which is the best internet service provider in Bismarck?

 

Is fiber internet available in Bismarck?

 

Who is the cheapest internet provider in Bismarck?

 

Which internet provider in Bismarck offers the fastest plan?

 


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