Looking for a mobile contract? Check out our comprehensive comparison of the best mobile providers in Germany
Comparison – The Best Internet Providers in Germany
Last update: 14 June 2020
So, you made it through the housing market jungle? Now it is time to look for an internet provider in Germany. Usually, apartments in this country do not come with a broadband line included. Although this might add an extra to do to the list, deciding on your next internet provider gives you the opportunity to tailor your contract to your exact needs and get the best conditions. You don’t speak German, or you tend to get lost in the comparisons? Don’t worry. This article will help you find the best internet provider in Germany (whether it is an internet provider in Munich or an internet provider in Berlin) and will give you some tips to decide what is best for you.
Let’s start with a cultural note. Up until the late 90s, the formerly state-owned telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom AG used to have the exclusive right to provide telephony services. Starting January 1st, 1998 this monopoly was abolished, and a phase of liberalization started. Several companies had been waiting to enter the German market. Only one month after already 13 companies had obtained licenses to provide their services. After one year the number of companies exploded to 150. This explosion in the telecommunications market has created more competition so finding the best internet provider in Germany can be challenging.
Some general technical information about internet providers in Germany that might be important for you. In general, a broadband connection contract will cost somewhat between 20 and 30 EUR per month. The range of average speeds that the providers offer varies between 16 Mbits/s to 150 Mbits/s. However, if speed is very important to you, some of the best internet providers in Germany offer contracts with up to 1 Gb/s in some regions. Broadband internet is delivered either via the TV cable line or the phone line. If you are not sure which one you have or you should choose, just check the availability on the provider’s website by entering your address. Please note that internet providers in Germany tend to be very regional. It is always advisable to first check if your desired company offers the service in your address before you dive deep in the consideration of their services.
A very important thing you should pay attention to when signing a contract with an internet provider in Germany is the minimum contract duration. The typical minimum contract duration for a broadband internet connection is 24 months. In Germany you will have the right of an extraordinary termination (“Sonderkündigung”) in one of two cases:
First, you will be allowed to cancel your contract if you can prove that you are moving away from Germany.
The other case is when you move to a new home and the company cannot provide you the service (for example, you have a contract with an internet provider in Berlin, you move to Hamburg and this provider cannot provide you the service, so you will be free to look for a new internet provider in Hamburg).
If you do not want to be attached for 24 months, note that there are some more flexible models in the market (for example, with only one-month minimum duration). You will learn more about this in the comparison below.
So let’s get started and let’s have a look at the best internet providers in Germany!
The Best DSLInternet Providers Germany
DSL is the most common internet access technology with an estimated 30 million subscribers in Germany using this type of connection. DSL stands for “Digital Subscriber Line” and its technology relies on the copper land phone lines that are already present in almost any home. Although DSL internet providers in Germany cannot compete with the average download speeds that cable internet providers offer, it has the advantage of providing a consistent internet signal (independent of peak hours) since telephone cables are directly connected to your home. The best internet providers in Germany for DSL connections are:
1&1 is the third biggest internet provider in Germany with a strong presence in other European countries as well. It has a variety of plans that will adapt to almost any requirement.
They offer competitive pricing with packages starting at approx 20 EUR/month Fast-start guarantee – They send you a SIM card with unlimited data that you can use until your broadband connection at home is activated They offer some packages with low minimum contract duration (cancellable monthly after a 3 month start period) High-quality hardware (FritzBox! Router) included for free or for a small monthly fee It has been reported that there are long waiting times for the activation of the connection (fast-start guarantee should help in those cases)
Even after the liberalization of the telecommunications’ market, Deutsche Telekom remains the biggest internet provider in Germany. They offer an average speed of up to 250 Mbit/s. In general, Telekom is known for being a bit pricier than its competition, however, in certain regions where there is not the big diversity of choice like internet providers in Berlin, internet providers in Hamburg, or internet providers in Munich, Telekom will offer a reliable service.
Being the biggest internet provider Germany, it offers very good coverage Users report quick activation of contract as they own lines in several regions Usually very responsive customer support Their contracts tend to be pricier than other providers and usually do not include the router (extra fee) Minimum contract duration of 24 months
Cable internet technology uses the same copper coaxial cable lines that provide cable TV. This means it will usually be available in areas that support cable TV. Usually, cable internet moderns provide faster internet speeds than DSL. A further advantage is that this type is highly reliable and is less likely to suffer outages due to bad weather or stormy conditions. There is however one downside, the speed of the internet can be slowed in peak times of highly populated areas where a lot of users are online. Cable internet access was introduced in 2003 in Germany. Here you can find the best internet providers in Germany:
Vodafone is one of the biggest players in the German telecommunications market. With the acquisition of Unitymedia in 2019, it became the biggest cable internet provider in Germany. They are one of the few internet providers in Germany that offer up to 1 Gbit/s. They have packages that include telephone + internet, or telephone + internet + TV. User reviews tend to agree that the quality of the connection is usually very good and fast since they rely on high-quality glass fiber cables. Vodafone is the cable internet provider in Germany that offers the most widespread service being present in 13 of the 16 German states.
It offers the highest bandwidth speed rates with their Gigabit network (up to 1,000 Mbits/s) Competitive pricing with packages starting at approx 20 EUR/month Packages that also include telephone and TV Minimum contract duration of 24 months
eazy is not entirely an independent cable internet provider in Germany, it can be better understood as the budget branch of Unitymedia-Vodafone (for example, the communication and customer support work directly over Unitymedia). This internet provider seeks to convince with an aggressive and transparent pricing model that is very budget-friendly and relies on simplicity offering only two speed rates (20 Mbits/s and 50 Mbits/s) and the possibility to add telephone service in the package. They also offer the possibility to have a contract that can be monthly canceled (after a 3 month start period) There are no physical stores which means that their whole service is only provided online.
Very competitive pricing, starting at 11.99 EUR/month They offer some packages with low minimum contract duration (cancellable monthly after a 3 month start period) WiFi Router included for free Maximum speed available is capped to 50 Mbits/s Service is not widely available
Whether you look for an internet provider in Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, or in a remote region of Germany, this article should help you navigate the vast world of internet providers in Germany. Since the liberalization of the telecommunications market in the late 90s, a plethora of companies has appeared that mean to provide services in the market. This has meant that many more options are available. Use this to your advantage to get the most out of your internet contract and find the best internet providers in Germany.
Here a quick list of the most important considerations:
Decide the type of connection that you want to have: Cable or DSL. (Remember, cable internet connections tend to be faster but also more expensive and sensitive to the number of people in the network. DSL internet connections are not so fast but in general cheaper)
Look for the companies that offer your desired type of internet connection
Before diving very deep in their offers, check whether the internet provider you are interested in provides service in your region. This might save you a lot of time since internet providers in Germany are very regional.
Decide whether flexibility in termination time of the contract is important to you (Note that more flexible contracts tend to be more expensive)
Choose the average speed that you want (they can widely range between 16 Mbits/s to 1 Gbit/s).
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I earn a commission if you use those links.