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Verizon FiOS is best, but expensive

Fiber-optic ISPs offer the fastest service, but are less widely available than cable and DSL. You'll likely pay more, too, although some packages that bundle Internet, home phone and TV service cost less.

Verizon FiOS uses a dedicated fiber-optic cable system to deliver downstream speeds from 15 Mbps (*Est. $70 per month) to 300 Mbps (*Est. $220 per month). While some cable ISPs can deliver competitive speeds on the low end of this range, this is still far faster than any DSL provider. FiOS Internet service is relatively expensive if purchased on its own, but prices are significantly lower when bundled with FiOS television and/or Verizon phone services. You get nine free emails, web space, Wi-Fi access at thousands of hotspots and 24/7 customer support. Verizon's Internet Security Suite costs an extra $10 per month for up to three computers, and includes 50 GB of storage space for online backups.

Verizon, and especially its FiOS Internet service, earns high ratings from professional reviewers and customers alike. Its average user score at BroadbandReports.com over the past six months is 83 percent, earning FiOS a Gold Award. However, Verizon has indicated that it won't focus on expanding the availability of FiOS. According to David Murphy of PCMag.com, Verizon will instead concentrate on marketing in the dozen states already covered as well as deployment in locations where it has an already-signed franchise agreement. Verizon sold some of its network,  including its fiber-optic FiOS network, to Frontier Communications in certain U.S. regions.

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