The best internet providers in Germany in 2024

A honest review of German internet companies and how to pick the best one for your location (and save money).

This post was last updated on January 12, 2024

In this guide

Wifi router in front of a sofa and a laptop

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:

  • DSL. The biggest DSL internet providers in Germany are *Telekom, *Vodafone, *1&1 and *PYUR.
  • Cable or Kabel. This is internet over a TV line. *Vodafone is the biggest cable internet provider.
  • Glass fiber or Glasfaser. Fiber is fast but expensive. Fiber providers in Germany are *Deutsche Glasfaser, Telekom fiber, *PYUR and *1&1 fiber plans. The Telekom link will redirect you to DSL options if fiber is not available at your address. *Deutsche Glasfaser has 300MB/s to 1000MB/s highspeed internet tariffs starting at 35.- Euro per month.
  • 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 2023:

  • 1000MB download speed costs roughly 35.- Euro (*PYUR) per month.
  • 400MB download speed is available by *PYUR for roughly 35.- Euro per month.
  • 250MB download speed costs roughly between 23.- Euro (*PYUR), 35.- Euro (*1&1) and 46.- Euro (*Telekom Magenta Zuhause XL) per month.
  • 20MB download speed costs roughly 19.- Euro (*Eazy20) per month.

These costs include the initial free months that many providers offer: you don't pay for the first say 6 months and after the 6 months a monthly rate is debited. These are all internet flat rates: you pay a fixed monthly sum independent of data usage.

All the *1&1 contracts listed here include one or several SIM cards so you can cover the internet at home and the internet on your phone with one contract.

All prices checked 27. December 2023. Prices are not guaranteed. Please check the provider websites for prices.

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 and the contract can be terminated on a monthly or 3-monthly basis once the 2 years are over. Internet contracts can move with you to a new address if the same provider is available at the new address.

Use *Verivox to sign up with any of the internet providers above. Verivox 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 internet in Germany?

Generally, the process is this:

  1. Go to the website of a provider like *PYUR, *Telekom or *Vodafone.
  2. Enter your address to check availability.
  3. Sign up online.
  4. 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 *Verivox instead. This has several advantages:

  1. You get the best price.
  2. The price Verivox displays includes all costs.
  3. Verivox makes it very easy to switch the contract once a cheaper offer is available.

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 *Verivox website to check availability and prices across a wide range of internet providers.

2. step: Set the filters on the results page to your preferences.

3. step: Enter your data and order online.

4. step: Wait for a technician to set the line in place for you. This can take up to 4 weeks.

You can go to the internet provider websites like Telekom or Vodafone directly but that does not necessarily get you a better price.

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.

*Verivox 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 DSL in 2022 because of this, and so did some of my coworkers who had the same experience.

My *100MB DSL Telekom line so far works quite well. The technician showed up on time to install the line and was quite helpful. We had two days of internet outage in 2023.

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 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.

O2 has even worse reviews than 1&1 but they are also the cheapest provider on the list.

*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 highly recommend asking your neighbor what internet provider they use and what their experience is. Reliability and internet speed can change by provider and by location.

Which internet providers offer the fastest internet in Germany?

According to this 2022 internet speed test, the fastest internet providers in Germany measured by the speed at the time of writing are:

1. *Vodafone cable had the best internet speed according to the test.

2. *Telekom has the fastest DSL connections.

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 in my experience 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.

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 35.- Euro. 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 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 set up the 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.

A Vodafone modem with a Fritz Box router

A photo of my old setup: a Fritz Box router connected to the Vodafone modem. Wifi on the Vodafone box is disabled as I ran Wifi via the Fritz Box.

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 the internet on your phone with the exception that the LTE spot is often tied to your address. You can usually request a location change within 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.

All prices checked 27. December 2023. Prices are not guaranteed. Please check the provider websites for prices.

Summary of the best internet providers

Your options: main providers like *Telekom or less expensive resellers like *PYUR. I do not recommend Vodafone because of the experience I had with this provider.

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