Richmond is one of the oldest cities in the US, but its residents benefit from a fully modern internet infrastructure. A thriving local data center has attracted the business of Google and Netflix, according to a 2022 report by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which also described the region as having one of the highest concentrations of fiber-optic cables in the country.
Virginia is one of eight states where Verizon Fios has set up shop, giving many Richmond residents access to the companys fiber internet service — one of the best options available anywhere, according to CNETs analysis of speed and pricing data. And if Verizon isn’t a viable option, Xfinitys cable internet is a solid runner-up and available almost everywhere in the city.
That noted, if you cant get Verizon Fios or Xfinity at your address, internet speed is more of a mixed bag: Richmonds median internet speed is on the slower side. The city ranked 83rd out of the 100 most populous cities, according to Ooklas most recent data. But at 169Mbps download speed and 50Mbps upload speed, thats still plenty fast for most households.
Our team considers speeds, pricing, customer service and overall value to recommend the best internet service in Richmond 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 Richmond. 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 Richmond
The providers we recommend below offer widespread coverage in Richmond. A check of your home address against the Federal Communications Commissions broadband map will show your specific options.
Top Richmond internet providers
|Provider||Internet technology||Monthly price range||Speed range||Monthly equipment costs||Data cap||Contract||CNET review score|
|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
Other available Richmond residential internet providers
While the providers listed above are by far the best options for internet in Richmond, according to CNETs analysis, there may be a few other choices available. Keep in mind, youll have to check your actual address to see what plans you have access to.
- Earthlink: Earthlink uses the networks of other providers for its internet service, which usually means its more expensive than going through those providers directly. Youll have to call to find out which plans are available at your address.
- Satellite internet: If you cant get anything else, theres always satellite internet. While its available almost everywhere in the country, it nearly always comes with long contracts, slow speeds, low data caps and high latency. HughesNet and Viasat are the traditional satellite competitors, and theres not much to recommend about them. Starlink is a newer provider that offers significantly faster speeds, but theres a high upfront equipment cost of $599, and service may not be available yet at all addresses in Richmond.
- Verizon 5G Home Internet: Like T-Mobile, Verizon has started to leverage its cellular network for home internet service. Its not as widely available in Richmond as T-Mobile, but speeds can reach 1,000Mbps in some areas.
Pricing details on Richmond home internet service
The average starting price for internet service in Richmond is about $44 per month, but thats heavily skewed by Xfinitys bargain-bin $25 monthly plan. While Xfinity offers some of the lowest starting prices youll find anywhere in the country, your price will increase considerably after one to three years.
Source: CNET analysis of provider data
Richmond internet speeds
Residents of Richmond have access to several internet service providers offering high-speed connections. Verizon Fios offers some of the highest upload speeds in the area, ranging from 300 to 880Mbps, while Xfinity offers cable internet plans with download speeds from 200 to 1,200Mbps.
Source: CNET analysis of provider data
Whats the final word on internet providers in Richmond?
Richmond residents dont have a lot of providers to choose from, but its hard to go wrong with the ones they do have. No matter where you are in the country, Verizon Fios is a no-brainer — if its available, you should probably get it. The only exception is if youre looking for the cheapest price and you dont need a ton of speed. In that case, Xfinitys Connect More 200Mbps plan for $25 a month is one of the best values youll find in the area. 200Mbps is enough for several people to stream or work at once, but gamers may run into issues with Xfinitys low upload speeds.
How CNET chose the best internet providers in Richmond
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. Plans and prices also vary by location, so we 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:
- 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. To explore our process in more depth, visit our how we test ISPs page.
Internet providers in Richmond FAQs
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