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Comparison – The Best Internet Providers in Germany
Last update: 19 July 2021
So, you made it through the housing market jungle? Now it is time to look for internet providers 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.
Use the below calculator to find the internet provider that fits best to your needs. Here’s an explanation of what you need to enter:
Ihre Vorwahl: the area code of the city you’re living in (e.g. 030 for Berlin) Geschwindigkeit: your desired internet speed in MBit/s Flatrates: choose if you want to add a landline or TV flatrate Vertragslaufzeit: select a maximum contract duration in months Laufender Vertrag?: select here if you already have an existing internet contract Restlaufzeit aktueller Vertrag: select the remaining contract duration (only if you have an existing contract) vergleichen >>: show comparison details
Things to know about internet in Germany
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.
Important notice for internet contracts in Germany
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 40 Mbits/s) and the possibility to add telephone service in the package. There are no physical stores which means that their whole service is only provided online.
Very competitive pricing, starting at 13.99 EUR/month Widely available in Germany WiFi Router included for free Maximum speed available is capped to 40 Mbits/s Minimum contract duration of 24 months
3 factors you should look out for in an Internet comparison
For many people, the price is of primary importance. In the Internet comparison, this can be read directly from each provider. However, there are other criteria that are decisive. These include, for example…
the maximum surfing speed
the duration of the minimum contract period
Furthermore, the hardware that is part of the contract can also be the deciding factor. Sometimes the contracts are available in combination with a current smartphone or similar, which makes the offers more attractive. Keep an eye out for special promotions: a starting credit brings with it some discounts. All these factors are taken into account in the Internet comparison. They are offset against each other to determine the monthly basic fee during the term in this way.
Difference between DSL and cable network
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is a digital transmission standard for Internet connections. Data is transferred exclusively via copper cable. The broadband technology is implemented via the telephone line and enables Internet speeds of up to 250 Mbps.
Cable network operators offer cable Internet via the TV cable. Telephony is also enabled via the Internet, usually in the form of voice-over-IP.
The advantage of cable Internet over conventional DSL is the higher transmission speed.In developed areas, up to 500 Mbit/s or even more can currently be achieved via cable. In some cities, up to 1 gigabit is already possible via optical fiber. With copper cables, the signal quality decreases with every meter and thus automatically the data transfer rate. On the other hand, the bandwidth of a cable connection can fluctuate if many users access the Internet at the same time.
Most DSL offerings for residential customers are ADSL accesses, whose performance is perfectly adequate for average use. The more expensive SDSL accesses are designed more for business customers who need to transfer larger volumes of data to the Internet.
Differences between the transmission standards
DSL: Internet access via the telephone line
Cable: Internet access via television cable
DSL: Up to 16 Mbit/s; with VDSL up to 250 Mbit/s
Cable: Up to 500 Mbit/s
DSL: Stable transmission rates
Cable: Transmission fluctuations possible
Flexibility as a criterion in the Internet comparison
To ensure that you do not miss out on any offers because you are tied in for the long term, it makes sense to opt for contracts that can be terminated on a monthly basis. To do this, select a minimum contract term of one month in the Internet comparison. This way, you will only receive offers that meet these specifications. While this flexibility is advantageous for the customer, the providers lack the long-term planning capability. As a result, they charge a higher basic fee for these models.
However, it should be worthwhile to accept these costs. After all, an expanded network will soon make faster surfing speeds possible across the board, which will push down the prices for LTE and VDSL. And you will benefit from this if you cancel at short notice.
How do I find the best internet provider for me?
The first thing to do is to take stock of the connections already in place. Is a cable connection available? In this case, a complete package consisting of Internet and telephone flat rates from a cable provider is certainly a good idea. If no cable connection is available, the availability of DSL via telephone connection should be checked. One possible alternative to DSL and cable Internet is LTE.
To find out which offers are available where you live, simply enter your area code in the DSL price comparison – and you’ll get a detailed overview that takes into account offers from both telephone and cable providers. When choosing the right offer, you should pay particular attention to the maximum surfing speed, possible promotions such as start-up credits, and the contract term.
Important: Transparent price display
In the price comparison, you can see all costs and discounts at a glance. These include, for example:
Monthly basic fee in the first 24 contract months
Costs after the minimum contract period
Costs for hardware and selected additional options
Set-up fees (for new connections)
What is broadband?
Broadband access refers to high-speed access to the Internet of one Mbit/s or more. Broadband access can be provided via different technologies – telephone cable, TV cable, satellite or mobile communications.
Phone calls with DSL: What is VoIP?
You can use DSL access to make phone calls via Voice over IP (VoIP) and also surf the Internet at the same time. To do this, you need a VoIP-capable router. With Internet telephony, voice information is not sent over the conventional telephone network, but in split IP packets over the data network. Most connections in Germany have now been converted to IP technology.
Whether you look for an internet provider or a SimCard 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).
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