If you live in the US, AT&T is a ubiquitous provider of internet service, DIRECTV STREAM, cell phone coverage, and other critical electronic infrastructure. For many people, AT&T’s bundles are the easiest way to purchase an entire suite of essential services that you’ll use every day.
It can be challenging to decide between which of the AT&T packages will be right for your family and which will be not worth the cost, however. In this article, we’ll help you to understand which AT&T services and packages are great pickups and which ones you do not need.
By the time you finish reading, you’ll understand how to navigate the AT&T ecosystem to get the most out of whichever package you ultimately purchase.
First I’ll break down today’s best online-exclusive AT&T bundle deal.
Best AT&T Internet & TV Bundle Deal » Get AT&T Internet + DIRECTV STREAM for $114.99 mo + $200 VISA Reward Card
Ready for the absolute best bundle deal of the year? New customers who sign up for bundled AT&T Internet + DIRECTV STREAM get a $200 VISA Reward Card! As part of this promotional offer, you also get 3 Free months of HBO Max.
I break down the bundle deal in detail below, but here’s the quick version: Get ultra fast 100/20 Mbps Internet plus 65+ digital channels with 20 hours of cloud DVR storage for a grand total of just $114.99 mo for 12 mos. Best of all, DIRECTV STREAM gives you access to 40,000+ on-demand titles. When you factor in the $200 reward card AT&T will send you in the mail, it’s undeniable that this month’s deal is a strong one.
Almost anyone can sign up. AT&T is widely available just about everywhere in the US, and is likely available in your area. Plus AT&T compares well against the top ISPs such as Verizon Fios and EarthLink Internet. To check your availability, click the link above. To learn more, read on…
AT&T Internet and TV Packages
AT&T has a handful of different packages for getting TV and internet service, and each of these packages has a different emphasis.
While emphases differ, many of the packages have overlapping feature sets, so it’s a matter of finding the one that has the best offerings for the utilities that you use the most.
DIRECTV STREAM Packages
DIRECTV STREAM packages are priced the least competitively of the bunch, but they might be the right choice for families who utilize the TV very heavily.
With the U-Family TV package, you’ll get more than 190 channels of TV access and 100 Mbps internet speeds for $95 mo. This price is not guaranteed to stay at that level for any period, however, meaning that price increases are to be expected.
Similarly, the U-200 TV package for $105 mo has the same internet speeds as the U-Family package, but it also includes premium channels like Bravo, ESPN, and Cartoon Network. There are also more than 360 other channels in comparison to the U-Family’s 190.
Next, the U-300 TV plan for $115 mo includes more than 470 TV channels as well as Showtime, Starz, and the Movie Channel. Finally, the U-450 TV plan costs $150 mo and also includes HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime.
AT&T Internet Packages
AT&T’s internet packages vary substantially concerning their pricing, monthly bandwidth caps, and speeds.
The Internet 100 plan is the basic package, priced at $35 mo plus one-time installation costs of $19.95. With the Internet 100 plan, you’ll get 100 Mbps download speeds and a one-year pricing guarantee.
For the speed, the Internet 100 plan isn’t too bad. Unfortunately, heavy internet users will have a hard time taking advantage of the plan’s speeds because of the monthly bandwidth cap of one terabyte.
For a family of four people who like to watch streaming videos separately almost every night, the bandwidth cap will be a significant problem with this plan. You should expect to pay an equip fee and penalty fees of up to 20% of your monthly bill’s cost for every time your family goes over the bandwidth cap.
For faster internet service, the Internet 300 plan is favorable to the Internet 100 plan for most people. The Internet 300 plan costs $45 mo. This means that for the first year, the pricing is the same as with the Internet 100 plan.
With 300 Mbps of speed, however, the Internet 300 plan is up to three times as fast as the Internet 100 plan. Furthermore, you’ll also have all installation costs waived with the Internet 300 plan.
In other words, if you’re only going to be in your current home for a year, the Internet 300 plan is much better than the Internet 100 plan in nearly every way. Unfortunately, the Internet 300 plan also has the same one terabyte monthly bandwidth cap.
The Internet 1000 plan has no such monthly cap, however. The speeds of the Internet 1000 plan are also superior to the other internet plans, clocking in at up to 1000 Mbps. You’ll pay $60 mo for the first 12 mos with the Internet 1000 plan.
The high speeds and unlimited bandwidth use on the Internet 1000 plan make it the best plan for households full of people who are heavy internet users. You could ostensibly support up to six or seven people’s heavy internet usage with the Internet 1000 plan, unlike all of the other internet plans.
AT&T Internet Promotions and Bundle Deals
For people who want internet service packages which are priced more competitively and offer a more balanced mix of services, AT&T’s hybrid packages are great bundles to check out, so long as you understand the benefits and drawbacks which they entail.
The critical thing to remember with hybrid packages is that they have feature sets which are meant to compromise between internet speed and TV access while offering a lower cost.
You probably won’t be able to get the fastest internet speeds or the most extensive live TV coverage when you purchase a hybrid service. The lower initial costs may be worth your while anyway.
TV and Internet Bundles
AT&T’s base-level bundled package includes the Internet and DIRECTV STREAM Entertainment Package, which costs 114.99 mo. In this plan, you’ll get 65+ channels of TV, internet speeds of up to 100 Mbps, and a discounted installation fee as a signup bonus.
Furthermore, you will also get the Smart Home Manager App, HD DVR and wi-fi router that you need to utilize AT&T’s services. If you’re moving into a new place where you don’t have any of the old infrastructures, this plan can be a great way to get started.
The Internet + DIRECTV STREAM Choice Package is very similar. The primary difference between this plan and other internet plans is that you get an expanded selection of live TV channels, and bonuses like Free HBO Max for 3 months.
The Internet + DIRECTV STREAM Ultimate Package includes 130+ live TV channels to go along with 100 Mbps internet speeds. If you’re looking for a robust live TV plan with a fast internet connection, $139.99 mo is not unreasonable.
You have a handful of opportunities to reduce the up-front costs of the hybrid package bundles, but you’ll need to work for them. Setting up auto-pay, paperless billing, and accepting a one-year contract will help to lower your bill somewhat.
The other thing to know about the hybrid bundles is that they guarantee 99% streaming reliability except for customers who use DSL. While 99% of uptime may seem very reliable, for people who spend a lot of time-consuming streaming media, it may be very frustrating.
99% reliability means that if you watch streaming videos of two standard-length TV episodes, each with a duration of 50 minutes, you’ll spend one entire minute experiencing disruptions.
Typically, the gold standard of reliability for internet service providers like AT&T is more than 99.9%, meaning that if you watched 2 hours of streaming video each weekday, you would probably only encounter one minute of disruption in an average week.
It’s a big difference in reliability between the industry standard and what AT&T’s hybrid internet plans offer — so be sure to understand what you’re getting into if you purchase the hybrid internet plans.
Signup Bonuses and Long-Term Pricing with Hybrid Packages
Hybrid packages also have a few signup bonuses which may sway your opinion. In particular, if you purchase a hybrid package with internet plans that are at least 100 Mbps and agree to buy TV access through AT&T, you get a $200 reward card.
Notably, nearly all of the hybrid packages have internet speeds faster than 100 Mbps.
Importantly, to get signup bonuses like these from the hybrid packages, you’ll need to accept being locked into specific elements of the package. Typically, this means that you will agree to pay for 12 mos, 24 mos, or 36 mos of service even if you do not use the service.
In other words, the hybrid packages can sometimes offer very lucrative signup bonuses that are in effect, offloading the cost of the package to your future self. Because AT&T knows that you’ll be paying for an extended period, they are willing to subsidize you when you get started.
There is no guarantee that the price of a hybrid package remains the same after the first year. You could be locked into a three-year contract wherein the price of the internet service increases at the start of the second year, then again at the start of the third year.
Furthermore, the price of hybrid packages, as stated by AT&T, is not necessarily the price that you will pay. Live TV service typically requires an additional equip fee.
Which AT&T Plan Is The Best For My Family?
The question of which AT&T plan will be the best for your family is not obvious.
The best plan for your family will vary depending on how large your family is and what your family likes to do when they’re at home.
If your large family prefers using the internet to watch a streaming video rather than normal TV, the Internet 1000 plan is probably the best option because of the high speeds and unlimited bandwidth which it provides.
On the other hand, a smaller family or an individual may be able to avoid the bandwidth cap of the Internet 300 plan if they are cautious with their internet use around the end of the month.
Some families want access to TV channels rather than the equivalents from internet streams, however. For these families, the question of internet use is instrumental.
The larger the family, the more likely a hybrid plan will be a better choice than a TV-centric plan, provided that everyone in the family uses the internet at least some of the time.
The Internet and U-300 plan is a great choice for a mid-sized family which prefers the TV to the internet but still needs solid internet connectivity at acceptable speeds. If you want your family to have a landline, there’s only one plan which includes it as part of the standard bundle.
On the other hand, if your family does not use the internet very much, the TV-centric plans are the way to go. If you have a mix of people in different age groups, the U-450 plan has the widest selection of programming, so it is the most likely to please everyone equally.
For true live TV junkies, the U-450 is also the choice that is the most desirable –, but for families with narrower TV interests, other internet plans might do the trick, too.
On the other hand, if you only watch non-premium TV channels, the basic U-Family package has a decent selection at a lower price.
This makes the U-Family package preferable for families who already have subscriptions to internet streaming services which they use to catch the programs that would otherwise require access to premium channels.
That wraps up our roundup of AT&T’s internet and TV packages, prices, and bundle deals for 2021.
Remember to keep your family’s needs in mind when you’re selecting which type of package to purchase, and keep your eye out for packages which don’t include excess features that your family won’t use.
Try to understand the costs associated with being locked into a contract if the plan you selected requires you to purchase a subscription for a defined period. It may sometimes be possible to get out of your contract obligations, but it’s better to avoid needing to do so for most people.
Finally, don’t be afraid to shop around with AT&T’s competitors. AT&T is almost certain to be available in your area, and while select areas don’t have much selection in terms of the telecommunications providers, in some places, you may have the option to pick between several competing companies to find the best deal for your family.