The Best and Worst ISPs

I play games...I wish they'd increase the upload speed to at least a meg. Chris Hesler, IT professional, Cincinnati
Chris Hesler
Photograph: Andy Snow
You want a faster Internet? So does IT professional Chris Hesler of Cincinnati. When his 5-megabits-per-second Road Runner broadband connection from Time Warner Cable proved too sluggish for his needs, Hesler, 22, upgraded to the company's top-of-the-line 8-mbps service. For him, the reduced latency times and 512-kilobits-per-second upload speed (up from 256 kbps) paid off.

"My roommate and I play a lot of video games, like World of Warcraft. We switched to get our latency times down a little bit on the games," says Hesler, who now has the ability to download a 1GB document in just 20 minutes.

That's fast, perhaps, but not fast enough--especially when it comes to uploads. Like many broadband users, Hesler craves more bandwidth: "I wish they'd increase the upload speed to at least a meg."

Chart: Fiber and Cable Providers Continue to Impress Home Users

Verizon came out on top with its FiOS ISP service; last year's favorite, Cablevision, came in a close second, tied with Cox. Click either the link or the icon below to see how ISPs scored.

ISP Connection type Overall satisfaction Connection reliability Download speed Upload speed Customer service Technical support E-mail service Spam blocking Antivirus/security
Verizon Fiber Above Average Above Average Above Average Above Average Above Average Above Average Above Average Above Average Above Average
Cablevision Cable Above Average Above Average Above Average Above Average Above Average Above Average Average Average Average
Cox Cable Above Average Above Average Above Average Above Average Above Average Above Average Average Average Average
Insight Cable Cable Above Average Average Above Average Above Average Average Average Average Average Average
EarthLink Cable Above Average Average Average Average Average Average Average Above Average Average
EarthLink DSL Average Average Average Average Average Average Above Average Above Average Average
AT&T Yahoo (formerly SBC Yahoo) DSL Average Above Average Below Average Below Average Average Average Average Above Average Above Average
Time Warner Cable (Road Runner) Cable Average Above Average Above Average Above Average Average Average Average Below Average Below Average
Verizon DSL Average Above Average Average Average Average Average Average Average Average
Comcast Cable Average Average Above Average Above Average Below Average Below Average Average Below Average Above Average
Qwest DSL Average Average Average Average Average Average Average Average Average
EarthLink Dial-up Average Average Below Average Below Average Average Average Average Above Average Average
BellSouth (now AT&T) DSL Average Average Average Average Average Average Average Average Below Average
MSN 1 Average Below Average Below Average Below Average Average Average Average Average Average
AOL 1 Below Average Below Average Below Average Below Average Below Average Below Average Average Above Average Average
Charter Cable Below Average Below Average Average Average Below Average Below Average Below Average Below Average Below Average
CHART NOTES: Services are ranked by total number of negative and positive ratings, and in the case of a tie, alphabetically. All ratings reflect survey respondents' satisfaction with the given aspect of service. Source: Survey of 6463 PC World readers and PCWorld.com visitors from April 26 to May 10, 2007. FOOTNOTE:1 Rating reflects more than one connection type. We received insufficient responses to rate this ISP's connection offerings separately.
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