TDS Vs AT&T are both internet service providers for the United States. They are a little similar in the terms of service they provide. Both of these providers allow you to reach high speeds and the quality of the internet service provided stays top-notch. However, both of these providers do have their difference in a large market that is highly competitive.

AT&T is an internet provider that has quite a few service types. From high-speed IPBB to cable and fiber internet, you get a little taste of everything with AT&T. It also has a greater coverage so no matter where you are in the U.S you are likely to receive AT&T internet service. It is available to around 150 million people across 22 states. AT&T also has a commendable fiber internet service that can reach lightning-fast gigabit speeds, ideal for streaming, gaming, video conferencing, and more.

TDS Telecom provides broadband internet connections and a lot more other services too. It has wide coverage in 27 states available to almost 1.2 million people. The service type for TDS telecom is mainly cable and fiber but does have quite a bit of DSL thrown in too, for good measure. The DSL service ensures that the internet can reach suburban and rural communities where no other type of internet reaches. TDS has fiber plans that can reach great speeds over 1000 Mbps and give you the ultimate internet experience.

That, however, was just a very short intro. In this article, we discuss the differences between TDS and AT&T in-depth and what will be the ideal pick for you this year.

TDS Vs AT&T: Installation 

One of the very first things you have to think about with getting a service is the installation and the cost associated with it. For AT&T, professional installation does come at a steep price tag of $99 as a one-time fee. However, you can choose to forego this professional installation if you are confident that you can do it yourself. Under those circumstances, you still have to pay $49 for the activation of the service, which is waived off if you decide to opt for professional installation. 

TDS telecom internet has an installation fee of $49.95 for one time. However, some plans with TDS also come with free installation so you will have to check that. At the moment, self-installation is not available with TDS internet speed tiers, so you will have to trust a professional with the job.  

TDS Vs AT&T: Equipment fee

The equipment for AT&T’s internet service is essential; your internet authentication cannot happen without it. Hence, if you do not use the equipment from AT&T you cannot use their service either. Fortunately, however, the modem and gateway device for AT&T is available for easy rental with all of their plans. The equipment fee per month just comes up to be around $10 per month which is quite a small price to pay for the service you receive.

TDS internet speed plans too, come with a device that can be rented and adds up to your monthly bill. The monthly equipment fee for a TDS modem/router varies depending upon your TDS internet speed plans and can range between $6.95 to 12.95 per month. 

TDS Vs AT&T: Contracts and fine print

AT&T offers promotional pricing for a year or two but you do have to sign a contract for that to work out. You must at least sign a contract of 1 year or 12 months if you want to get the benefit from their internet plans. This locks your price for the rest of the year so you don’t suffer from any price hikes. If however, you do not like AT&T’s internet you can cancel their service within the first 14 days of an activation without an early termination fee (ETF). If you cancel the service after 14 days, you do get an ETF the most being $180 and the least being $15. You can find out your ETF by multiplying 15 to the months you have remaining on the contract for a rough estimate.  

TDS internet speed plans are set with a two-year contract as well. On the bright side of things, TDS offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its plans. If you are not pleased with the TDS internet service, you can terminate their subscription before this 30-day trial period finishes without any extra costs. If you decide to cancel after the trial period ends, you will be asked to pay cancellation fees. This is roughly about 50% of the total amount for the remainder of your contract term. 

TDS Vs AT&T: Internet speeds and plans

AT&T has multiple internet speeds ranging from 1 Mbps to 940 Mbps, which is the highest speed tier that it has. This is a fiber plan so comes with symmetrical upload and download speeds. The price ranges for AT&T plans range between $55 to $80 depending upon your plan type.  

TDS internet speeds are quite comparable to AT&T the highest speed tier only slightly better at 1000 Mbps. The lowest speed tier is 15 Mbps which is quite a contrast to AT&T’s 1 Mbps plan. TDS internet plans range between $45 to $109 per month depending upon the speed tier and type. 

TDS Vs AT&T: Data allowance and data caps

If you choose to get AT&T Internet 500 plan or the higher, 1000 plan you get unlimited data allowance and no caps. However, lower speed tiers and plans do come with certain data caps depending upon the type. For their IPBB plans, AT&T offers a data cap of 150 GB and 1 TB on their cable and internet plans with speeds up to 300 Mbps. You can choose to opt for unlimited data on any of these plans by adding $30 to your monthly bill. Conversely, you can also get an extra 50 GB added to your allowance for a mere $10 per month.

TDS does offer unlimited internet but some plans of it do come with data caps. These data caps may range between 200 to 500 GB varying on plan types and regions. It may not seem like a lot but for most internet subscribers with basic use, this data allowance is more than enough. 

Final word: Is AT&T better than TDS?

AT&T and TDS telecom both offer great service to a big part of the United States. They have similar services and provide good high-speed internet. If you want great speed but are not ready to commit directly, TDS may work out in your favor. You can get the service and monitor it for a while before you get into the contract. 

AT&T on the other hand is ideal if you have want a high data allowance because TDS does tend to limit it with some of their plans. AT&T also has the edge on TDS, in a way that it has plans that cost less and provide comparable service to TDS. Both AT&T and TDS come with initial installation costs, and an early termination fee so you have to be mindful of that. The equipment rentals for both the services are almost the same. 

In the end, it is never a question of what service is better than the other. It is always a question of what works best for you? Is it AT&T with its better pricing options? Or does the high TDS internet speeds sway you west?

Either way, it is your decision to make! 

By Alin

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