Too long to read? Here is my pick: Go with Telekom or *PYUR as a Telekom reseller to get a better price.
Is there fast internet in Germany?
Germany is ranking below much poorer countries when it comes to internet speed source. There can be issues getting access to fast internet in remote rural areas but all cities in Germany have good and unlimited internet access.
Telekom owns most of the internet infrastructure and made some bad decisions in the past like not investing in new glass fiber connections early enough. Usually, the fiber cable only goes to a central place in the street and the last distance to the houses is covered with copper cables which have less bandwidth.
The German broadband internet market doesn't have a lot of competition. Telekom still has the majority share with more than 35%, followed by Vodafone and 1&1 source.
Types of internet connections in Germany
The most popular types of internet connections in Germany are:
- Glass fiber or Glasfaser. Fiber is fast but expensive. Have a look at *Deutsche Glasfaser, Vodafone fiber, Telekom fiber or PYUR fiber plans. *Deutsche Glasfaser has 300MB/s to 1000MB/s highspeed internet tarifs starting at 25.- Euro per month for the first year.
- Cable or Kabel. This is internet over a TV line. Vodafone is the biggest cable internet provider.
- DSL. The biggest DSL internet providers in Germany are Telekom, Vodafone, *1&1 and *PYUR.
- LTE-based internet via a SIM card, also sometimes called Surf stick, Homespot or Gigacube. See *Congstar Homespot.
Internet providers in Germany often bundle internet access in packages with mobile or landline phones. Make sure to select a package without Festnetz if you do not need the landline phone and want to get a cheaper price.
Internet prices in Germany
These are some prices for German internet in 2022:
- 1000MB download speed costs roughly between 50.- Euro (Vodafone Red Internet & Phone 1000 Cable) and 70.- Euro (*O2 My Home XXL or *1&1) per month.
- 250MB download speed costs roughly between 25.- Euro (*O2 My Home XL), 50.- Euro (*1&1) and 55.- Euro (Telekom Magenta Zuhause XL) per month.
- 100MB download speed costs roughly between 25.- Euro (*O2 My Home L) and 45.- Euro (Telekom Magenta Zuhause L or *1&1) per month.
- 50MB download speed costs roughly between 35.- Euro *1&1) or 40.- Euro (Telekom Magenta Zuhause M per month.
- 20MB download speed costs roughly between 14.- Euro (Eazy20) and 25.- Euro (*PYUR 20Mbit/s) per month.
- 16MB download speed costs about 30.- Euro with *1&1.
All prices checked 22. September 2022.
You get the cheapest price if you sign up for a 2-year minimum contract duration. This is called Mindestvertragslaufzeit. In this case you profit from a reduced monthly fee for the first 6 or 12 months. You can still pay monthly though. Internet contracts can move with you to a new address if the same provider is available at the new address.
Use *Check24 to sign up with any of the internet providers above. Check24 automatically calculates the total costs for each contract in a very transparent way. An automatic online assistant sends you a notification when the contract runtime is over and helps you to switch to another cheaper contract.
How do I get an internet contract in Germany?
Generally, the process is this:
- Go to the website of a provider like *PYUR DSL, *O2, Telekom or Vodafone.
- Enter your address to check availability.
- Sign up online.
- Wait for instructions from the company, including the date when you get access, whether a technician will come to your house (that's included in the price usually) and the date when you get the router or modem. Make sure your last name is on the mailbox and the doorbell.
However, I highly recommend not ordering directly from the provider but using the comparison website *Check24 instead. This has several advantages:
- You get the best price.
- The price Check24 displays include all costs.
- Check24 makes it very easy to switch the contract once a cheaper offer is available. I recently used Check24 to switch internet providers and they automatically canceled my old contract.
Follow these steps to get wifi into your home in Germany:
1. step: Enter your ZIP Code or city, street and house number in the form on the *Check24 website to check availability and prices across a wide range of internet providers.
2. step: Set the filters on the results page in the left sidebar to your preferences:
- WLAN Router inkl. means that you are leasing the router from the internet provider for a small fee which is more expensive in the long run than buying one for yourself. Router models like the AVM Fritz!Box 4020 are compatible with all providers and lines.
- Make sure to uncheck Festnetz in the Gewünschte Flatrates box if you don't need a landline phone.
- Laufzeit means the duration of your contract. A longer running time means you get some discounts but you cannot cancel the contract before the Laufzeit is up.
- Speed-Drosslung ab means that the internet connection will become very slow once a certain traffic threshold is reached. Select keine if you want unlimited traffic.
3. step: Select weiter zum Tarif to enter your personal data.
4. step: Receive the modem (and the Wifi router).
5. step: Wait for a technician to set the line in place for you. This can take up to 4 weeks.
A technician has to come to your house if there was no previous connection of this kind (DSL, fiber or cable) at your address. It usually takes some weeks before you get an appointment. The technician needs access to the plug in your apartment and to the general switch in the basement.
*Check24 guarantees that they get you online at the agreed date or offer you mobile internet temporarily instead. Check the 100% Funktioniert Garantie! badge next to each plan.
Which are the most reliable internet providers in Germany?
This is hard to say. Let me tell you about some of my experiences.
At my home in Berlin-Neukölln we used a Vodafone 50MB cable connection. Down and upload speed was more or less reliable until the second half of 2021 when we had outages for days. The Vodafone support was no great help either. I changed to Telekom in 2022 because of this, and so did some of my coworkers who had the same experience.
My 100MB Telekom DSL line so far works quite well. The technician showed up on time to install the line and was quite helpful.
We used a Vodafone 25MB DSL line at a workshop I shared with 2 other people in Berlin-Neukölln. The line went offline a couple of times per year and the internet speed was definitely not great once more than one person went online at the same time.
At work in Berlin-Mitte we used Telekom DSL. We had downtimes a couple of times per year when the entire block went offline for a day. We switched to a fiber connection and didn't have any issues since then.
1&1 has mixed reviews. 1&1 uses Telekom lines. Please note that the reviews do not necessarily share the situation at your location. 1&1 reliability might be good where you live. 1&1 offers a 30 days money-back guarantee source](https://dsl.1und1.de/dsl-tarife).
*Deutsche Glasfaser seems to be a decent option for fiberglass connections. They have their own grid.
My neighbor uses *PYUR DSL and never had any issues.
I recommend asking your neighbor what internet provider they use and what their experience is. Reliability and internet speed can change by the provider and by location.
Which internet providers offer the fastest internet in Germany?
According to this internet speed test, the fastest internet providers in Germany measured by speed at the time of writing are:
1. Unitymedia which is a cable provider and part of Vodafone
3. Vodafone DSL
This said, your internet options depend on what providers are available at your address. Use Check24 to find out.
Fiber / Glasfaser can be faster if you own the entire connection to your place. In that case, you don't experience any slowdowns in the evening when the other people in your building go online and watch movies. Please note that Vodafone support also talks about fiber when they actually mean a shared fiber connection. A fiber connection is not shared if it is a so-called FTTH (fiber to the home) connection. Vodafone and Deutsche Glasfaser offer non-shared fiber in some regions.
The internet up and download speed is mostly not guaranteed by the provider. If the connection to your apartment block is overloaded, then you won't get the full speed with cable or DSL connections. Especially cable connections are known to slow down once everybody in your house starts watching Netflix in the evening.
It seems like cable beats DSL in terms of speed in Germany source. The situation is less clear which of the DSL providers is the fastest. Some say Vodafone source, some say Telekom is the fastest DSL provider source. Ask your neighbors what provider they are using as the quality of the provider infrastructure varies by region.
*Deutsche Glasfaser has 300MB/s to 1000MB/s highspeed internet tarifs starting at 25.- Euro per month for the first year. Click the Verfügbarkeit prüfen button to *check the availability on the Deutsche Glasfaser website.
Best ISPs in Germany where you can cancel anytime
O2 has 10MB to 250MB DSL plans with a *1-month minimum runtime. Make sure to select the Ohne Laufzeit option.
What are the best wifi router options?
You can save some money by buying your own router. Internet providers usually offer you to lease the Wifi router for a couple of Euros per month. It's cheaper in the long term to own the Wifi router yourself.
I recommend a Fritz Box router from the German company AVM. The Fritz Box is compatible with most DSL, cable and fiber connections. You can setup your own router with a couple of clicks and there are tons of instructions on the web. On the downside, internet providers have limited support if you are running your own router.
Many internet tariffs in Germany have a one-time fee to set the line in place (Einrichtungsgebühr).
Contracts without Mindestvertragslaufzeit can usually be canceled after three months but are more expensive.
LTE and 5G home spot options in Germany
LTE is mobile internet, the same you are probably using on your phone. LTE internet means that no technician is coming to your home so setup is rather painless. You receive a SIM card and a wifi router, that's it. Read this guide if you want to get internet on your phone.
This is the same technique used for internet on your phone with the exception that the LTE spot is often tied to your address. You can usually request a location change in 24 hours. LTE internet is an option if you have to change addresses frequently.
The downside with LTE internet is that the data volume is limited per month. This means that the internet stops working, becomes very slow or additional costs occur once you reach the data limit as defined in your contract. LTE might not be available in all areas.
- *Congstar Homespot costs between 20.- Euro and 40.- Euro per month. The data volume is limited to 30GB, 100GR or 200GB per month.
- Vodafone Gigacube starts at 75.- Euro.
- *O2 HomeSpot offers a LTE/5G data connection. The price range is from 15.- Euro to 35.- Euro depends on data speed and contract duration. Select Ohne Laufzeit if you want to have the option to cancel anytime. There is a one-time installation fee.
All prices checked 22. September 2022.
Your options: main providers like Telekom or less expensive resellers like *PYUR. The price range is from 14.- Euro per month for a basic DSL connection to 70.- Euro per month for performant 1000 MB/s lines. I do not recommend Vodafone because of the experience I had with this provider.