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Compare home internet plans in Canada with PlanOffers Canada. Compare plans on the basis of internet providers, plan costs, terms contracts, or no term contracts, and various other factors, even which one is the best home internet plan or the best internet provider. Always try to first consider what do you 'need', and we can help you figure that out as well.
How much speed is enough? In terms of different sort of comparison, do you need a race car to go to the corner store to buy milk? Likely you do not need a race car for that task, likely most any car would work just fine, you may even find out that all you needed was a bicycle. It can be like that in terms of internet speeds, depending on the task you are using the internet for. One can always buy the most expensive plan, just because, which is fine if that is what you 'want' to do. It is your money, but that may not be what you 'need' to do. You do not need to pay for more or faster internet than you actually need, unless you want to. If in doubt, start at a lower speed (less expensive home internet plan), and try it out. If you need to, you can usually upgrade to the next fastest internet plan that your internet provider offers.
Please click on your Province or Terriory below, so that we can start the free process of helping you to compare home internet plans by home internet providers where you live.
The best home internet plans, are the home internet plans which best fit your needs and your budget. Most people would want lowest cost and best customer service within their defiantion of best home internet plans or best internet provider. You decide.
In most urban parts of Canada, you can get coax cable internet (which comes over a cable TV line). You do not have to get it from 'the cable company', there are other internet providers than can provide it over the cable company's wires, and you do not have to have cable TV in order to get cable internet. Cable internet is also called 'coax cable internet', 'fibre powered internet, and 'fibre to the node' or 'FTTN'. If you are not able to get cable internet where you live, then you might be able to get DSL internet. Other options include Starlink satellite internet.
Some urban areas or some buildings have access to fibre to the home (FTTH) also called fibre to the premises (FTTP). (Not to be confused with FTTN, or 'fibre-powered'.) The big advantages of FTTH is usually faster speeds and upload speeds which are equal to each plan's download speed. (As a note in Canada Fibre is spelt fibre, where as in the USA it is spelt fiber.)
When comparing internet providers to see which is the fastest internet provider, it is important to first know a few things. One is that generally speaking, all of the cable internet providers use the same cable TV networks (the one owned by the cable company) to deliver their plans over. These cable TV networks are the slowest part of the route to the internet, especially the part from the house to the road (or node if it is further away than just at the side of the road by your home, for example it could be a block away, and their could be a lot of houses on your node), as the rest of the cable network is usually fibre optic. So comparing a whole bunch of cable internet providers for the same plan speed, for an address for 'speed', who are all using the same line, does not accomplish much, but it can consume a fair amount of time. It is much like testing different colours of the same model of car for 'speed' to find out which one is the fastest! You may be better off comparing other factors such as cost, and customer service, etc. Once internet traffic raches the fibre optic portion of networks then from there no matter even if the route the traffic takes, when on fibre optic, none of that matters, as the differences in speed would be so sligth that humans should not really be able to tell the differences between them. This is why some companies are now taking to calling it 'fibre-powered'.
Much the same for 'fibre to the home' internet providers, of which there are few, as most of the companies which have 'fibre to the home' networks are not letting the other internet providers 'play' on their FTTH networks providers which they now own (which is a situation the CRTC is just fine with, which is part of the reason that many smaller internet providers either went out of business in 2023 or sold out to larger companies). If you wish to compare 'cable internet providers' to 'fibre to the home' providers, no need to do any tests, the 'fibre to the home' plans will usually have upload speeds that match their download speeds (so they will be 'faster', where as cable internet plans are usually structured for upload speeds which are far less than their download speeds, as people mostly only care about download speed, as that is what matters for streaming and surfing the internet. People mostly only 'download' and don't do much 'uploading', the big exception being Zoom meetings and video conferencing, which as they are 'two way' by nature may use upload as much as download.
Speaking of the CRTC, they encourage, perhaps even mandate some competition over cable company networks, even get involved in wholesale home internet rates. Then again the CRTC is a double edged sword, a creature answering to fickle political masters, and it can in the blink of an eye, stunningly reverse well researched and well justified changes to wholesale rates — rates upon which many a smaller Canadian internet provider had based their business model. There were several news articles about the rate reversals, for example the CBC one "CRTC scraps plan to mandate lower wholesale internet rates" May 27, 2021 which said "In a victory for Canada's large internet and phone companies, Canada's telecommunications regulator has reversed a 2019 decision to drop wholesale internet rates." and it also said "The CRTC says it made errors when it ordered major phone and cable companies to slash their wholesale internet rates [in 2016]." Others including a famous yet curious photo of two people having an unrealted beer. No ethics rules were breached. Interesting reading to be sure!
In effect the CRTC has wiped out many of the various competitors it helped come into existence, and helped to grow. OK, maybe they were not quite wiped out, they just decided to sell out to the larger companies en-mass for no real reason, and some simply closed their doors for mysterious reasons. Others will likely follow... At least the above is the humble view of the author, supplemented by what he reads in the newspapers.
According to the newspapers, one or more seem to be currently accepting bids for new ownership (they are said to be up for sale). For example, you may wish to read the newspaper article "Independent internet provider TekSavvy puts itself up for sale amid industry turmoil", Globe and Mail 23 June 2023. Another interesting article is "Homegrown Start.ca bought by Telus as consolidation of telecoms ramps up - London has lost a homegrown high-tech darling as internet service provider Start.ca was sold to industry giant Telus, the latest casualty in a national tech turf war that has seen independent internet providers snapped up." The London Free Press 7 Feb 2023. This one is also very telling "Canada’s small internet providers — and choice — are dying at the hands of Ottawa and the CRTC. At the rate small internet service providers are being gobbled up, writes Rosa Addario, there may not be any left by the end of the year," 25 Feb 2023 Toronto Star. Indeed as of the Fall of 2023, many smaller internet providers are now owned by much larger internet providers, and that trend will likely continue. The end result of all of this, is that the consumer is now left with comparing a range of internet provider brands, many of which are no longer independents, rather many might now be owned by a couple of large internet providers. Over the long term, this might not be in the best interests of the end customers. The boys and girls at the CRTC are very smart people, they 'do not make mistakes' rather they make well thought out decisions, which may result in 'road kill' of smaller internet providers on the information highway.
All that said, on 3 Oct 2023, Vicky Eatrides, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), said in a speach to the C.D. Howe Institute, "Over the course of the last two years, we have seen many independent providers either acquired by larger firms or put up 'for sale' signs. There may be a variety of reasons for this, but the fact is that smaller providers are having a hard time." and "competitors do not have a workable way to sell Internet services over the new, fibre-to-the-home networks being deployed across Canada. This access is important in a world where Canadians want higher-speed plans. Our approach is to tackle this issue first -- and we plan to have a decision out soon." [Sounds encouraging, but, soon could mean months, or years, let's hope it is not years!]
On 6 Nov 2023, in Mississauga, Ontario, Vicky Eatrides, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the CRTC, in her speach to the The Canadian Telecom Summit, stated that "This decrease is most significant in Ontario and Quebec, where independent competitors now serve 47% fewer customers than they did just two years ago. At the same time, several competitors have been bought out by larger Internet providers. This has left many Canadians with fewer options for high-speed Internet services." Well, no news there, if anything she was sugar coating the rather dire situation. She made reference to a CRTC decision that was being released concurrently, and she also said "the CRTC is acting quickly to help stabilize the market. On a temporary and expedited basis, the CRTC is providing competitors with a workable way to sell Internet services using the fibre-to-the-home networks of large telephone companies in Ontario and Quebec, where competition has declined most significantly. Our decision requires large telephone companies to provide competitors with access to their fibre-to-the-home networks within six months. The six-month period will allow companies to prepare their networks, and to develop information technology and billing systems. The CRTC is also setting the interim rates that competitors will pay when selling services over these fibre-to-the-home networks." OK, this sounds a bit more interesting for those smaller providers who six months from now have not yet gone out of business or been bought out by the larger ones. Also note the words 'temporary' and 'interim', and try taking those words to the bank or a group of investors! As with most things, time will tell!
As a result of the 6 Nov speech, on 7 Nov 2023 TekSavvy confirmed in a CNW Group article that appeard in Yahoo Finance, that 'it is not currently for sale', and it made the observation that 'the CRTC set those wholesale rates higher than many of the retail prices Bell and Telus charge their own customers.' If that is indeed the case, (perhaps we misunderstood), it makes one wonder how exactly the CRTC was trying to help the smaller internet providers (six months from now), by providing them wholesale rates above their competitors retail prices? Does one call that 'a negative profit margin'? Could be a trendy new business term? Maybe it is new math? It could be, as not long ago some senior Federal government guy, said 'the budget would balance itself' (or words to that effect), and I am still not seeing that happen...
On 9 Nov 2023 there seems to be news that Rogers is buying internet service provider Comwave. There is even confirmation. According to a news article on MobileSyrup, Rogers has confirmed that it has acquired Comwave. Yet another smaller ISP has now been bought up by one the largest internet providers. Likely it will not be the last one to either close up shop or be bought up.
Please note that in some areas, cable internet plans (over cable TV networks) may be lower than the advertised plan speeds due to technical factors on that portion of that cable TV network. These can include a node that is further away from the home that usual, a problem with the lines in the road to the node, for example maybe when that real estate agent pounded in that for sale sign up the road he or she may have nicked a cable line, or same thing with a lawn irrigation system being installed, etc. Often cable lines are just under the sod (or overhead in older areas). People often cut cable lines without knowing it, or simply damage them, degrading service to end customers.
DSL internet is an older technology, which Bell, Bell Aliant, and Telus still have, on parts of their copper wire home phone networks. It is not being expanded. It will eventually be phased out. DSL internet speeds are limited by the physical distance (length) of the copper phone line from the home to the Central Office (CO), meaning the 'switch' where it might then be going onto a fibre optic network. This means that DSL internet plan speeds are only available in download speeds of 6 mbps, 10 mbps, 15 mbps, 25 mbps, 50 mbps, and 75 mbps. These are 'best case' scenario speeds. Most addresses, if they are able to even get DSL internet, likely will not be able to get the 75 mbps, and many will not be able to get the 50 mbps, some migth be able to get the 15 mbps or 10 mbps, more will be able to get the 6 mbps. Then there is the bad news, that the upload speeds for DSL plans are usually only a fraction of the downlod speeds. So yes, with DSL internet you can stream Netflix, and you can read most of your email, but compared to fibre to the home plans which can range up to 8 GB speed download and upload, people are not so interested in getting DSL internet once they hear the speeds they might be able to get. So, DSL internet is obsolete and fading away.
Satellite internet is an option, for those who can't get cable internet or fibre to the home internet. It can be more expensive. There is one company in particular that sells a lot of satellite internet, and lots of people are not happy. Then there is the American company Starlink, which is a new internet provider in Canada, and is set to over time likely take over the entire rurual internet makret place in Canada. Let's put it this way, if I lived out in the country, (and I could not get cable internet, or FTTH internet), personally I would be very seriously be considering getting Starlink, very seriously! (Before you ask, no Starlink does not pay us anything or any commission, and we do not have any relationship with them.)
Cheapest home internet plans, are well, the 'cheapest'. Use caution in comparing home internet plans. Some of the prices you will see, in fact many of them and not regular prices, rather they are introductory offers and require a two year term contract, and 'prices may change' during that term. So be sure to compare like to like, that is the only true way to determine which is really the cheapest.
How to choose your home internet plan? These days most (but not all) home internet plans offer 'unlimited' data usage. (Best to not pick any plan which does not have unlimited data usage!) Do not spend more on your home internet plan that necessary. Do not get a faster home internet plan that you need, unless you know what speed you need, start at a lower priced plan, and if need be you can move up one or more plans, usually very easily. You can stream Netflix with most any speed of internet plan. Zoom may be more resource intensive, if you know you will be having Zoom meetings or other video conferences, you may want a faster speed plan, especially one with more upload speed, as unlike streaming, video conferencing and Zoom are two way. Serious gamers may want a faster plan. For example, a home internet plan with a download speed of 75 Mbps and an upload speed of 30 Mbps would easily suit most family's needs for speed, most of the time. Perhaps avoid 'term contracts' if you are able to (which you usually are able to), that way your options are always open!