Illinois Internet Guide

Provided below you’ll find a guide we’ve written for you on how to get internet access in Illinois state. We’ve included details on who the internet service providers are, where to find 3G mobile coverage, what the top colleges in the state provide their students and where to find free wi-fi hotspots.

Find the Best Internet Service Provider in Your Area of Illinois

Local Residential Internet Service Providers

What we have here are 3 ISPs that are local to Illinois and provide internet access to residential areas. For more information, use the links or give them a call using the numbers listed.

  • WideOpenWest: WOW offers different internet service packages. They have a 2 Mbps download speed, 15 Mbps, 30 Mbps, and 50 Mbps. To know more information as well as to get a price quote, call 866-496-9669.
  • Tel-Star Cablevision: Tel-Star’s internet packages vary on the location. For example, in Hanna City, they have an Internet Lite only with 3 Mbps download speed for $29.95/month. They have a High Speed Internet only with 10 Mbps download speed for $49.95/month, and Enhanced High Speed Internet with 15 Mbps download speed for $99.99/month. To know more information, call them at (888) 842-0258.
  • Consolidated Communications : Consolidated Communications has different internet packages for your home. They have a 3 Mbps package which is good for sharing photos with your family and friends, 6 Mbps package for watching media-rich content, movies and gaming, 10 Mbps for multiple users in a household, and 20 Mbps for all of the above plus more. Prices are not stated on the website but you can call them at 866.989.2255 for more details.

Local Business Internet Service Providers

The following 4 ISPs are also local to Illinois, but they provide internet service to businesses (as opposed to residential areas).

  • Business Only Broadband: Business Only Broadband has different high speed internet packages for your needs. They have a Small Business with a minimumu of 1.5 Mbps download speed, Medium Enterprise with a minimum of 10 Mbps, Large Enterprise with a minimum of 10 Mbps. Call 877-627-5262 to get a price quote.
  • Infobahn Outfitters: Ingobahn Outfitters has Residential & Business Traditional DSL packages with a 256 Kbps download speed for $34.95/month and a 1.0 Mbpd download speed for $49.95/month. However, prices may vary depending on your location in Illinois. Call them to get more details by dialling (800) 839-3706.
  • Madison Telephone Company: Madison has high speed packages for your business needs. They have a 3 Mbps download speed for $89.95/month, 5.0 Mbps for $129.95/month, and 10.0 Mbps for $179.95/month. Call them at 800-422-4848 for more info.
  • e-vergent: e-vergent provides fast microwave based internet connection as al alternate to fiber optics in the Milwaukee-Chicago corridor. The speeds are comparable to fiber, and doesn’t require laying cables which may be prohibitively expensive for some businesses. Call them at 888-782-1454 for more info.

Illinois Internet Connections and Coverage

In this section you’ll find details regarding the connections and coverage in Illinois state.

In regards to internet speed, Illinois has an above average speed of 13.51 Mbps, just slightly higher than the nation’s average of 12.55 Mbps.

The 5 cities with fastest internet speed in Illinois are:

  • Maryville – 35.08 Mbps
  • Mount Vernon – 29.33 Mbps
  • Mascoutah – 24.57 Mbps
  • Centralia – 24.50 Mbps
  • Elmhurst – 23.28 Mbps

The 5 fastest internet service providers in Illinois are:

  • SilverIP Communications – 65.55 Mbps
  • Charter Communications – 25.08 Mbps
  • Family Video – 21.51 Mbps
  • Comcast – 19.75 Mbps
  • AT&T – 19.59 Mbps

Keep in mind that these number change regularly, so if you want the most up to date information, then check out the Illinois page at

Mobile 3G Internet Coverage for Illinois

Here you’ll find some details on where to find 3G internet access, and whom from, based on the state’s terrain. Keep in mind that you’ll still want to check the coverage maps on each of the ISP’s websites to ensure that they (still) have mobile coverage where you need it.

Clear: Clear’s mobile coverage in Illinois is pretty good. Most cities have 3G signal and is really strong in the Chicago area.

AT&T: AT&T’s mobile coverage is present everywhere except for a few in the western area and the southeastern area. These are due to lakes and mountains that are present in the area which make it a challenge to have 3G signals.

Verizon: Verizon 3G coverage is good in Illinois. Mobile signals are pretty solid except for some areas in the western area as this is where Mississippi river lies.

Top 5 Colleges in Illinois & Their Internet Access

Below are the top 5 colleges in the state of Illinois, their internet access and details on how to get connected.

Northwestern University

Northwestern’s wireless network provides secure, mobile Internet access from hundreds of access points on both campuses. For guests on campus, you can connect to the guest wireless network, called Guest-Northwestern, from most wireless access point locations conveniently located in campus buildings, residence halls, and public spaces including the Norris University Center and the Northwestern University Library.

Illinois Institute of Technology

Wireless Internet is available throughout the IIT Main Campus and the Office of Technology Services manages and maintains the network to provide the best possible service to all users. There are four OTS-managed network connections (SSIDs) on Main Campus:

SSID “iit” supports 802.11a/g

SSID “IIT-WiFi” supports 802.11a/g/n

SSID “IIT-Secure” supports 802.11a/g/n: Secure wireless network that protects users by encrypting all data sent between their wireless devices and the wireless access point.

SSID “IIT-Console” supports gaming systems in IIT Housing.

Loyola University Chicago

Loyola’s wireless network provides all Loyola students, faculty, and staff with access to the Internet from multiple locations on campus. Students, faculty and staff can use their wireless-capable devices for Internet connections without the need to plug into a network outlet.

The network SSID to connect to is named “loyola”.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois provides several types of wireless network access in order to support a diverse community.

IllinoisNet is a full-featured wireless network, with both authentication and security built into the wireless protocol itself.

UIUCnet Wireless is a simple wireless service that allows you to connect to the Internet with the assistance of add-on authentication tools like QuickConnect or the campus VPN.

UI Public Wireless is the only campus network service available without either a NetID or a guest ID. This is good for campus visitors.

eduroam is a secured wireless service offered at many universities and research centers around the world.

The University of Chicago

I T Services introduced a new secure wireless network, ‘uchicago-secure’.

The ‘uchicago-secure’ wireless network will prompt for your CNet credentials to connect. For guests, they simply select the ‘uchicago-guest’ SSID from a wireless device (laptop, tablet, or phone) and enter the Guest Network UserID and password provided to them by their Sponsor. The UserID is customarily the fully-qualified email address they provided the sponsor and guests can change their password at first login.

Free Internet Access Spots in Illinois

Free Wi Fi in Illinois can be spotted in guesthouses, public libraries, cafes, and restaurants. Here are other places where you can connect wirelessly:

  • Crescent Moon in Algonquin
  • METRA Station in Arlington Heights
  • Turtle Wax Car Wash & Auto Appearance Centers in Aurora
  • Books Again in Buffalo Grove
  • Illini Pediatrics in Columbia

Keep in mind that this is far from a complete list of free wi-fi hotspots in Illinois. It’s just a shortlist to give you a few places to go, as well as an idea of where to look in your area.