For years, most people in Waco, TX only had two options for high speed internet. That’s not helpful when you are upset with service, or pricing. You can only go back and forth so many times before your efforts to “send them a message” by canceling your account – are futile.
Channeling their inner Arnold Schwarzenegger, the internet providers simply laugh and smile, whispering, “You’ll be back”.
INTERNET PROVIDERS IN WACO
You’ll be happy to learn that the number of internet providers in Waco has expanded over the years, and will likely continue to expand well into the future. As of today, there are at least 9 internet options in Waco that you may be able to choose from – depending on your exact location.
Side Note: If you’re working remotely (full or part-time) and you need fast, reliable internet connections to work with, then I’d also recommend checking out some of the best co-working spaces in Waco, too!
Let’s explore your residential internet options in Waco, TX, shall we?
First and foremost is Waco WiFi – a locally owned Waco internet provider. If you are new to town, then you may want to see if one of the below-mentioned fiber optic internet providers are available for your address. If you don’t have any luck with that, then chances are, that means you’re in a suburb of Waco, or even in a rural area around Waco.
And in that case, Waco WiFi will likely have you covered.
What is Waco WiFi?
Waco WiFi is not fiber-optic internet service. Waco WiFi is a fixed-wireless internet service provider (ISP) and while they may not have big fancy numbers like “speeds up to 1GB” – they do have “dedicated speeds”. And in the world of internet, dedicated speeds can be as important, if not more so, then promises like “speeds up to”.
Shared Circuit vs Dedicated Signal
Even with most fiber-optic internet providers, you generally “share” an internet circuit of some kind with other people; you share it with either other people in your neighborhood, or other businesses on your network. That’s why the speeds are “up to”, because during peak usage times, you generally won’t be getting anywhere near those speeds.
With Fixed-Wireless, you generally get what’s called a “Dedicated Network” where you’re getting the full benefit of your 20 MBPS, or 50 MBPS, or whatever speed you’re paying for.
And even if a ton of people are using that internet service in your area, they’re not siphoning from your network because it’s “dedicated” to you. So your speeds are more consistent, and your latency rates are often as good (if not better than in some cases) fiber optics networks in your area.
So, if you live in the Waco area and are out of traditional cable or fiber-optic internet options – give Waco WiFi a call. Or, continue reading the rest of the article to discover similar internet options available in the Waco area.
Side Note: Waco WiFi will be offering Fiber Optic Internet service in the near future in Waco, TX.
If you are in a newer development, or live in Waco city limits, then there’s a good chance you can get fiber-optic internet. Here are the primary options for fiber-internet service in Waco:
Astound Broadband (formerly Grande)
The internet provider Astound Broadband (formerly known as “Grande Communications”) was one of the only internet providers in the Waco area for many years. Thankfully, they get pretty solid ratings from locals, and to this day if you ask on social media which internet provider in Waco is the best – the overwhelming majority of people will say Grande (now known as Astound Broadband).
For some, it’s because they still don’t have any other options, so they have nothing to compare it with. For others, it’s because they genuinely like the services they receive with Astound; with up to a 1.2 GBPS download speed, it’s easy to see why!
Astound Broadband is a fiber-optic internet provider, which generally means that you’ll get some of the fastest, most consistent speeds and latency rates available in the Waco market.
Oh, and Astound also operates Astound Mobile. That’s their mobile division that sells cellular plans in the US too. When you bundle your cellphone and home internet, you get even better internet deals.
Spectrum internet (formerly Time Warner Cable & RoadRunner Internet) is another internet provider in Waco that is based on a fiber-optic network.
While not available in as many areas as Astound is, Spectrum (also referred to as Charter Spectrum) has increased their internet service coverage in Waco over the years – and competition is always a good thing, especially in the realm of internet providers.
A lot of newer communities in and around the Waco area will often find that they have multiple fiber-optic internet options, and one of those options will typically be Spectrum.
If you need a fast internet speed (including upload speed) and a fairly priced internet plan, then Spectrum may be a good option for you.
Earthlink is another Fiber Internet provider in Waco. They are not as widely available as Spectrum or Astound, but they’re making progress. If you’re in the downtown area of Waco, then you have a pretty solid chance of being in the Earthlink service area.
Earthlink’s speeds in the downtown Waco area can be as high as 5GB’s per second. That’s a pretty outrageous speed and highly unnecessary for the average internet user, but – it’s available in some neighborhoods in Waco!
If you’re on the outskirts of Waco, or in the rural suburbs, then your chances of having access to Earthlink internet services is significantly reduced. But, don’t let that deter you from checking your address anyway!
AT&T Fiber Internet is another option in the Waco area. They too are expanding their internet service in the Waco area, and while not available in every neighborhood – you’re lucky if yours is included in their coverage area!
AT&T Fiber Internet is one of the fastest options available in the Waco market, and if you have their cell service, it makes it convenient to have all of your billing in one place. Not to mention the discounts available when you bundle it all together.
If you live in any of the following rural areas (including the few towns that are in the general Waco area), then you may be able to get Pathway Fiber-Optic internet:
Valley Mills, TX
Southwest Burleson, TX
If you can get fiber-optic internet in any of the above-mentioned rural areas through Pathway, then consider yourself very fortunate! It’s not common for rural areas in Texas to have access to fiber-optic networks.
Thankfully, rural internet options are slowly but surely improving with internet service providers such as Pathway!
The next two companies will feature internet service providers using the same technology as Waco WiFi; Fixed Wireless Internet. These providers do not require any type of hard-wire through the ground, but rather a signal sent (typically from a nearby tower) to a receiver attached to the home.
Unlike satellite internet options, Fixed-Wireless internet service providers typically don’t have outages due to clouds, rain, or other bad weather. I’ve had Fixed-Wireless Internet for 3+ years, and have had consistent connection despite dealing with some pretty crazy Texas thunderstorms with torrential rain, and 60+ MPH winds. If it were satellite internet, my internet would be out until the storms passed.
Nextlink is an internet service provider in Waco and the surrounding areas. Whether you’re rural or in town, there’s a good chance that Nextlink provides service in your area. The only question is whether or not your home is within range of one of their Fixed-Wireless Internet towers.
I personally use Nextlink and have had nothing but good experiences with them so far. In the 3+ years that I’ve used them, I’ve had 2-3 short-lived outages.
My kids can also game on Amazon Luna (a cloud-based gaming system), and I can play Xbox Live multi-player games without any issues as well. Streaming in 4K on platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and others is also a non-issue with unlimited data, and zero throttling.
Rise Broadband is another Fixed-Wireless Internet provider in Waco and the surrounding areas. They use the same technology as Nextlink (and Waco WiFi), and depending on your location to their nearest tower, latency rates are oftentimes just as low as any fiber-optic internet provider.
If you can’t get fiber-optic internet, or fixed wireless internet – don’t worry. You’re not out of options yet! Some new players are in the home-internet market. Those new players are mobile data companies such as T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T and they want to be your next in-home internet service provider.
T-Mobile Home Internet
T-Mobile Home Internet is a relatively new product that released nationwide a short while back. It’s seen pretty solid traction across the country, and is easy to sign up and get set up. It doesn’t require any special installation, and is very much a “plug-n-play” internet system that just about anybody can get set up without issue.
There are no big receivers, no line-of-sight signals, and no drilling into any walls, or installing anything except for plugging in what is essentially a receiver, modem and a router combined into one little device.
It detects the signal from T-Mobile and soon after you’re ready to get connected to the internet!
Of course, that’s all a very simplistic way of describing it, but that’s essentially how it works.
Verizon Home Internet is very similar to T-Mobile Home Internet, and works in much the same way. The biggest difference is the last time I checked, you could only get Verizon Home Internet if you already had a Verizon Mobile Data Plan. It’s essentially treated as an in-home add-on to your existing service.
That may have changed by the time you are reading this article, so even if you don’t have a Verizon phone plan, it might be worth looking into.
Last, but not least, is satellite internet. If you are completely out of ALL other in-home internet options, then satellite internet is still available to pretty much everybody and anybody, regardless of where you live.
The downsides to satellite internet are typically high-latency rates, slower speeds, low data caps, and extreme throttling. Not to mention the fact that your internet gets taken out as soon as the slightest sign of a storm rolls in. But, as the saying goes – beggars can’t be choosers.
And it pains me to say that. But, allow me to reduce the pain a bit with the first satellite internet option (and the only one I recommend even bothering with).
Starlink Internet is an internet service provider started by Elon Musk. It’s a new and improved type of satellite internet vs what we typically think of when we think about legacy satellite internet service providers such as ViaSat and Hughes Satellite internet.
The Starlink satellites fly lower in orbit, and through use of new technology often achieve latency rates unheard of on satellite internet. Speeds can also be equally impressive, often rivaling that of Fixed-Wireless Internet Service Providers, and sometimes surpassing their upload and download speeds.
The additional downside to Starlink is the cost of getting started on their service, since you have to put down a substantial sum for the satellite receiver and equipment.
But, it’s still internet. And if it’s your only option for internet service in the Waco area – then it’s a good option to have!
Side note: Starlink Mobile is also available for those who live more of a Nomad lifestyle. If you travel a lot, live in an RV, a lake boat, etc., and need internet for a roaming lifestyle, then you’ll probably be interested in Starlink Mobile.