Best Internet Providers in Concord, North Carolina

Best Internet Providers in Concord, North Carolina

We didn’t have internet when I grew up in Concord and Kannapolis. That’s not a “back in my day” statement; home internet wasn’t a thing then, aside from early iterations of AOL. By the time I moved to Charlotte and, eventually, just across the southern state border, AT&T and Time Warner Cable (later to become Spectrum) had emerged as the two big players in the area. Others, like Kinetic, my pick for the best internet provider in Concord overall, followed shortly after.

Kinetic stands out in Concord for its high availability of fiber-optic internet, fast speeds and favorable service terms like unlimited data and no contract requirements. Not everyone in Concord will be serviceable for Kinetic, however, which is where other top providers including Spectrum, T-Mobile Home Internet and, more recently, Google Fiber come into play.

Best internet service providers in Concord

The best internet provider for your Concord home will depend on what’s available in your area and what you’re looking for. I lean towards the high-speed, high-value fiber plans from Kinetic, but if you’re looking for a low-cost wireless alternative, T-Mobile may be your best option. Spectrum is also a solid choice, particularly if you want to bundle internet and TV service together. And virtually no provider can compare to Google Fiber when it comes to gig service. You’ll find more details about each provider, including Concord availability, pricing and service details, below.

Note: The prices, speeds and features detailed in the article text may differ from those listed in the product detail cards, which represent providers’ national offerings. Your particular internet service options — including prices and speeds — depend on your address and may differ from those detailed here.

Kinetic by Windstream

Best internet provider in Concord overall


Price range

$40 – $70 per month

Speed range

100 – 1,000Mbps

Connection

Fiber

Key Info

Unlimited data, no contracts

Fiber is arguably the best internet connection type you can get, but availability is often limited to larger metro areas. AT&T Fiber is the largest fiber ISP in the Charlotte metro area, but Kinetic does a good job of bringing fiber service to Concord and Cabarrus County, where coverage from AT&T Fiber ends. 

Availability: Kinetic is available throughout most of Concord thanks to its combination of fiber-optic and copper-based (DSL) networks. You’ll find the greatest availability of fiber service internet in neighborhoods along Poplar Tent Road, parts of West Concord and the Jackson Park area, as well as just south of the airport. Those not yet serviceable for fiber may still have access to Kinetic’s DSL network, which covers over 90% of Concord households. 

Plans and pricing: Kinetic offers two fiber plans in the Concord area: symmetrical download and upload speeds up to 500Mbps starting at $40 a month or gig service (up to 1,000Mbps) starting at $70 a month. If your address is only serviceable for DSL, you’ll get the fastest speeds available — around 50Mbps to 200Mbps, depending on where you live in Concord — starting at $40 a month.

Fees and service details: Regardless of the network type you’re on, renting your router from Kinetic will add $10 to your bill, though you can use your own equipment and skip the fee. There are no data caps or contract requirements with either Kinetic service.

Read our Kinetic home internet review.

Google Fiber

Best for gigabit internet


Price range

$70 – $100 per month

Speed range

1,000 – 2,000Mbps

Connection

Fiber

Key Info

Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included

After a multiyear expansion hiatus in the Charlotte area, Google Fiber recently resumed growth and now offers service to about a quarter of Concord residences. Entry pricing is a bit higher than other Concord ISPs, but if you want gigabit speeds, Google Fiber is a great choice.

Availability: Google Fiber serviceability is greatest in southwest Concord, particularly along Highway 49. 

Plans and pricing: You’ll have up to three Google Fiber plans to choose from in Concord, all of which are of the gigabit variety. The provider’s lowest speed tier, 1 Gig, starts at $70 a month. If you want faster speeds, consider the 2 Gig plan for $100 a month or 5 Gig starting at $125.

Fees and service details: There are no equipment fees, data caps or contracts with Google Fiber internet.

Read our Google Fiber review.

T-Mobile Home Internet

Best wireless internet provider in Concord


Price range

$50 per month ($30 for eligible mobile customers)

Speed range

72 – 245Mbps

Connection

Fixed wireless

Key Info

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

5G home internet is still new, but it’s already showing promise as a viable alternative to traditional wired internet service. T-Mobile Home Internet is capable of speeds as fast or faster than DSL service from Kinetic for around the same price, making it an excellent choice for internet in rural areas. 

Availability: T-Mobile covers around 87% of Concord households, according to the FCC. That said, your address may not be eligible for 5G home internet, even if you can get 5G internet on your phone at home. Visit the T-Mobile Home Internet eligibility page to check serviceability at your address.

Plans and pricing: T-Mobile currently offers one 5G home internet plan that includes the fastest speeds available (expect somewhere between 72 to 245Mbps down and 15 to 31Mbps up) starting at $50 a month. That’s a decent internet deal on its own, but customers with a Magenta Max mobile plan can get an additional $20 off home internet, bringing the monthly price down to $30.

Fees and service details: There are no equipment fees, data caps or contracts with T-Mobile Home Internet, though a $35 device connection charge may apply to get started.

Read our T-Mobile Home Internet review.

Spectrum

Best for bundling internet and TV


Price range

$40 – $70 per month

Speed range

300 – 940Mbps

Connection

Cable

Key Info

Unlimited data, simple pricing, no contracts, modem included, free access to nationwide Wi-Fi hotspots

Kinetic, Google Fiber and T-Mobile are great options for internet in Concord, but they don’t offer internet and TV service. If you’re looking to bundle the two, Spectrum will be your best, and possibly only, option. You don’t have to bundle to sign up for one of Spectrum’s traditional cable TV packages (so you could have Kinetic internet and Spectrum TV separately, for example) but if you’d prefer one of Spectrum’s cheaper streaming plans, bundling with Spectrum Internet is required. 

Availability: Spectrum has the greatest availability of any non-satellite internet provider in Concord. Most Concord residents (around 93% of households, according to the FCC) will be serviceable for Spectrum, though availability is a bit more sparse just to the east of Concord and Mount Pleasant.

Plans and pricing: You’ll have one or two more plan options with Spectrum compared to Kinetic and T-Mobile. Spectrum’s lowest tier advertises max download speeds of 300Mbps starting at $50 a month or $30 when you bundle with Spectrum mobile. There is no mobile discount with Spectrum’s faster speed tiers, though they are still competitively priced: $40 a month for speeds up to 500Mbps or gig service (up to 1Gbps) starting at $60. 

That’s around the same price as Kinetic for the same download speed potential, but you’ll have faster upload speeds (Spectrum tops out at 35Mbps) with Kinetic’s fiber service. Additionally, a fiber-optic network typically boasts better speed consistency and reliability than a cable one, especially during peak usage times.

Fees and service details: Spectrum includes your modem at no extra cost but renting a Wi-Fi router will add $5 to your monthly bill. There are no data caps or contracts.

Read our Spectrum Internet review.

All internet providers in Concord

The providers listed above aren’t the only ones you may come across in Concord, just the ones I’d recommend most and consider first if I were back in my hometown. Here’s a look at all your possible, practical options for internet service in Concord, North Carolina.

Concord ISP quick comparison

Provider Monthly price range Download speed range (Mbps) Equipment cost CNET review score
AT&T Fiber $55-$250 300-5,000 None 7.4
Google Fiber $70-$125 1,000-5,000 None 7.5
Kinetic (DSL) $40 50-200 $10 6.7
Kinetic (fiber) $40-$70 500-1,000 $10 6.7
Spectrum $40-$60 300-1,000 $5 7.2
T-Mobile Home Internet $50 ($30 with qualifying discount) 72-245 None 7.4
Verizon 5G Home Internet $50-$70 ($35-$45 for qualifying Verizon mobile customers) 50-1,000 None 7.2

Show more (3 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data

Best Concord ISP honorable mentions

These providers are also technically available in Concord, but lack the availability or value to be included with CNET’s picks of the best.

AT&T Fiber: Coverage from Charlotte and Mecklenburg County spills over into Concord, but not by much. Those just north of Concord Mills are most likely to be eligible for service, but if you’re any further north into Cabarrus County, look to Kinetic or possibly Google Fiber for fiber internet.

Kinetic (DSL): As mentioned above, most Concord residents can get Kinetic internet service, but not all will be eligible for fiber. Those who can’t get fiber will have to rely on Kinetic’s DSL network, which is actually better than most. Speeds of 50Mbps to 200Mbps are possible depending on where you live, and the no-contract, unlimited data service starts at just $40 a month.

Verizon 5G Home Internet: Verizon is another popular option for 5G home internet service, but its Concord coverage isn’t as good as T-Mobile. If you can get service, expect max download speeds ranging from 50 to 300Mbps starting at $50 a month or 85 to 1,000 starting at $70. 

Satellite internet: For rural areas — and I know there are still some in Concord despite how much the area has changed in the last decade — satellite internet may be the only option for broadband. HughesNet, Starlink and Viasat offer service throughout Concord and Cabarrus County, though pricing is high while speeds and data allowances are low (though Starlink may offer some relief to the speed and data drawbacks). I’d recommend making sure no other options are available before resorting to satellite internet.

Cabarrus County Arts Building in downtown Concord, North Carolina, looking from the street view.

Rick Lanier/Getty Images

Internet pricing in Concord

The average starting price for internet (excluding satellite) in Concord is $51 a month. That’s not exactly cheap internet, but Google Fiber and AT&T Fiber bring the average up. 

Between the three largest Concord ISPs — Kinetic, T-Mobile and Spectrum — the average starting price is around $43 a month assuming no mobile discounts from T-Mobile or Spectrum. That’s lower than the average starting cost for internet in Charlotte, and select plans from Spectrum may be priced lower in Concord than Charlotte thanks to the local competition from Kinetic.

Cheapest internet plans in Concord

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Source: CNET analysis of provider data

Options for low-income households

Concord residents seeking affordable internet service or assistance covering the costs of internet can apply to the Affordable Connectivity Program. Through the program, qualifying households can receive $30 a month ($75 on tribal lands) to help pay for home internet service. 

AT&T, Google Fiber, Kinetic, Spectrum, T-Mobile and Verizon accept the ACP credit, but AT&T and Spectrum also offer a separate internet plan specifically for low-income households. Spectrum’s Internet Assist plan and Access from AT&T are available for just $30 per month, or a net cost of $0 when combined with the ACP credit. Your internet service is unlikely to be completely free, however, as taxes and fees may still apply.

Internet speeds in Concord

Concord had a median download speed of 282Mbps in the most recent speed test data from Ookla. That’s higher than the state average (215Mbps) and the national average (207Mbps). Google Fiber showed the fastest speed range, 203 to 619Mbps, but it’s important to note the provider’s lowest speed tier is 1,000Mbps.

Fastest internet plans in Concord

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Source: CNET analysis of provider data

Recap of Concord internet providers

For the most part, home internet options in Concord are as good as anywhere. I consider Kinetic by Windstream to be the best provider in the area thanks to its broad fiber coverage and competitive pricing, but the best Concord ISP for your home will depend on your specific needs and address. Google Fiber, Spectrum and T-Mobile are also decent choices in their own right, so it’s important to explore and compare all your internet options before deciding which is best for you.

How CNET chose the best internet providers in Charlotte

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? 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? 

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.

Concord internet providers FAQs

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