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.
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|
|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|
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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.
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.
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.
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.