Best DSL Internet Service Providers 2019

Just because you don’t have fiber or cable internet access doesn’t mean you can’t surf the web.
Best Overall
Our rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Monthly price:
$20$60
Download speeds:
6115 Mbps
Best Value
Our rating:
3 out of 5 stars
Monthly price:
$45$85
Download speeds:
101000 Mbps
Best Bundle
Our rating:
3 out of 5 stars
Monthly price:
$40$50
Download speeds:
5100 Mbps
Best Deals
Our rating:
out of 5 stars
Monthly price:
$39.99$194.99
Download speeds:
100500 Mbps
Best Budget Option
Our rating:
3.5 out of 5 stars
Monthly price:
$5$85
Download speeds:
251000 Mbps

If fiber and cable high-speed internet access haven’t made it to your neck of the woods, don’t sweat it. You can get your internet hookup with DSL internet—and you might be surprised to see speeds rivaling those of cable.

A lot of DSL internet service providers (ISPs) augment their DSL lines with fiber. (But if you live in a truly rural area, you likely won’t see speeds over 15 Mbps.)

So stop driving to the library like it’s 2002 and check out the best DSL internet providers to see which is best for you.

Before you do anything else

Not every DSL provider services every city. Before you dive in and decide you love one company or another, enter your ZIP code below and find out which internet service providers are actually available in your area.

(Now you can read about just the DSL providers that actually apply to you. We saved you from reading stuff you didn’t even need to read!)

Find the best Internet Providers in your area.

Light Bulb icon
Do I get Wi-Fi with a DSL internet connection?
You do! But you’ll need to pick up a router. Your DSL modem connects to the router and you’ve got Wi-Fi, friend. Your wireless devices can connect to your internet access.
DSL internet provider comparison
ProviderMonthly priceDownload speedsLearn more
Frontier High Speed Internet$20$60*6115 MbpsView Plans
CenturyLink Internet$45$85101000 MbpsView Plans
AT&T Internet$40$505100 MbpsView Plans
Verizon High Speed Internet$24.99$34.99^.5-11.1-15 MbpsView Plans
Windstream Internet$5$85°251000 MbpsView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Actual speeds may vary. Installation, equipment fees, taxes & other fees apply. Services subject to availability and all applicable terms and conditions.
New customers only. Rate requires paperless billing and excludes taxes. Additional fees apply.
For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
^ For 1 year plus taxes & fees. Verizon home phone service required.
° For the first 12 months.

1. Frontier: Best overall

Lots of options, value-driven prices, and top-tier speeds make Frontier our number-one pick.

Frontier Simply Broadband offers a massive list of download speeds and price options, but the variety isn’t the best part. The real game changer is that you won’t need to sign a contract to grab Frontier DSL internet service. Nice.

If only other internet service providers followed suit.

Frontier internet options
PlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Simply Broadband Core$20/mo.**6 MbpsView Plan
Simply Broadband Ultra$25/mo.**12 MbpsView Plan
Simply Broadband Plus$30/mo.**18 MbpsView Plan
Simply Broadband Elite$35/mo.25 MbpsView Plan
Simply Broadband Power$40/mo.45 MbpsView Plan
Simply Broadband Performance$45/mo.70 MbpsView Plans
Simply Broadband Extreme$50/mo.90 MbpsView Plan
Simply Broadband Velocity$60/mo.115 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
** For the first 24 months.

Pros

  • No contract necessary
  • Value download speeds

Cons

  • Not available countrywide

What we like about Frontier

No contract necessary

When you sign up for an internet service provider, you usually have to commit the next two years of your life as well. It’s like an awkward relationship where maybe you want to break up, but neither of you knows how, so you just keep dating forever. (Just us? Cool, cool.)

Anyway, Frontier doesn’t require an intense commitment from you. You can sign up for any internet download speed that works for you and then cancel if fiber or cable internet finally roll into town.

Value download speeds

Compared to other DSL internet options, Frontier’s speeds are value packed. As you can tell from the table above, there are tons of internet speeds to choose from.

Barring promotions, you’re likely getting the best value for that download speed. For example, the 6 Mbps internet download speed with Windstream costs $20 more than the same speeds from Frontier.

Info Box icon
What can I do with 6 Mbps of internet speed?
Lots of things! You can stream Netflix, listen to music on Spotify, watch videos on YouTube, and online shop. Just make sure you don’t have more than one or two devices accessing the internet at a time.

What we don’t like about Frontier

Frontier is the best DSL internet service provider and it’s a bummer you can’t get it everywhere. (Don’t you hate it when you read that something is the best but you find out you can’t get it in your area?)

Hopefully, this isn’t one of those moments. Frontier is available in 29 different states—so enter your ZIP code below and let’s see how lucky you are.

Find the best Internet Providers in your area.

2. CenturyLink: Best value

Home of the lifetime guarantee.

CenturyLink internet options
PlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Price for Life 10 Mbps$45/mo.††10 MbpsView Plan
Price for Life 12 Mbps$45/mo.††12 MbpsView Plan
Price for Life 40 Mbps$55/mo.††40 MbpsView Plan
Price for Life 80 Mbps$55/mo.††80 MbpsView Plan
Price for Life 100 Mbps$65/mo.††100 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
†† Service and offer are not available everywhere. Additional fees apply. Rate excludes taxes.

Pros

  • No surprise price hikes
  • No contracts

Cons

  • Customer service issues

What we like about CenturyLink

No surprise price hikes

At first glance, CenturyLink’s prices may seem a tad high compared to other DSL competitors like Frontier and Windstream. But the value in these internet plans is that they come with CenturyLink’s Price for Life guarantee. That’s right: no price hikes here.

And price hikes do happen from time to time with high-speed internet. For example, my Google Fiber internet plan price increased shortly after fiber-optic internet was installed in my area. Hook, line, and sinker.

No contracts

Now that both CenturyLink and Frontier are both in on this no-contract thing, hopefully other internet service providers will feel the peer pressure. So whichever DSL high-speed plan you choose, you are free to opt out whenever you like without incurring an early termination fee.

So yeah, you get the lifetime price guarantee for your internet speeds, and you can leave whenever you want. That sense of security is a rare find with an internet plan.

What we don’t like about CenturyLink

Almost everybody we talked to before writing our CenturyLink review had something negative to say about its customer service. One user was even ghosted by CenturyLink despite setting an appointment. The internet specialist just never showed up! Talk about poor customer satisfaction.

Nobody wants to go days without an internet connection, and shaky customer service can certainly make that possible.

 3. AT&T: Best bundle

Get your phone, TV, and internet from the same source.

AT&T internet options
PlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Internet Basic 5$40/mo.5 MbpsView Plan
Internet 10-100$50/mo.100 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.

Pros

  • Bundling promos
  • Solid 10–100 internet plan

Cons

  • Expensive basic plan

What we like about AT&T

Bundling promos

If you’re planning on signing up for a TV or phone service at the same time as broadband internet, AT&T might make a lot of sense for you. When you bundle everything together, expect a discount of about $10 per month on your internet service.

Bullhorn icon
DIRECTV works especially well for sports fans
You can bundle your AT&T broadband internet with DIRECTV and save some money. It just so happens that DIRECTV is our favorite network for sports.

Solid 10–100 internet plan

Okay, but what does a 1o–100 Mbps internet plan even mean? Basically, AT&T will automatically hook you up with the fastest of those speeds available in your area. And you’ll pay the same price regardless of the size of your Mbps connection—whether it’s 10, 25, 50, 75, or 100 Mbps.

Who knows, you might get lucky and spend $50 a month for 100 Mbps. If that happens to you, just know that you’re getting an amazing deal.

What we don’t like about AT&T

Whatever you do, don’t sign up for the Internet Basic 5 plan. You don’t want to pay $40 for just 5 Mbps. That’s like paying $20 for a Big Mac. Or like paying $100 to fill up a golf cart with gas. You’d be better off going with a different internet service provider.

4. Verizon: Best deals

Save some money with a limited time offer.

Verizon internet option
PlanPriceDownload speedDetails
High Speed Internet$24.99/mo.‡‡.5-1 MbpsView Plan
High Speed Internet Enhanced$34.99/mo.^^1.1-15 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
‡‡ When added to home phone. For 1 year plus taxes & fees. Speeds .5 to 1 Mbps. Verizon home phone service required.
^^ When added to home phone. For 1 year plus taxes & fees. Speeds 1.1-3 Mbps, 3.1-7 Mbps, and 7.1-15 Mbps. Verizon home phone service required.

Pros

  • Limited time offer
  • Affordable pricing

Cons

  • Slower speeds

What we like about Verizon

Limited time offer

Finding discounts can be difficult with internet service providers (unless you bundle everything), so when you come across one, it’s wise to jump on it. When you sign up for a DSL Verizon internet plan, you get $5 off your monthly price.

And hey, $5 may not sound like much, but it’ll add up. Look at it this way—you’ll save $60 over the course of a year, which just so happens to be the price of a new video game, or a somewhat fancy dinner, or tickets to a basketball game. The possibilities are endless.

Light Bulb icon
You do need a home phone with Verizon broadband internet
It’s a bit of a head-scratcher for us, but if Verizon DSL is what’s available in your area and you want home phone service, the prices are still low enough to make it a good deal compared to, say, satellite internet.

Affordable pricing

You won’t have blazing-fast internet speeds, but at least you won’t pay a premium. At $34.99 a month, you’d pay less than you would for AT&T’s basic internet or for CenturyLink’s starting broadband internet plan.

You might end up getting an even better deal if you have fast DSL speeds in your area. Verizon DSL internet ranges from 1.1–15 Mbps depending on where you live. Hopefully, it’s closer to 15 Mbps for you.

What we don’t like about Verizon

If you happen to live on the wrong side of the tracks (internet wise), you might end up with internet that moves at a snail’s pace. You don’t want to be stuck with less than 5 Mbps of internet, unless you like streaming in low quality.

(Don’t do that. You deserve better than that.)

Our advice would be to call Verizon and ask which speeds you can expect in your area. You’ll want to do that before committing to the Verizon network.

5. Windstream: Best budget option

Your wallet will love Windstream’s speeds and low prices.

Not long ago, Windstream’s choices were a bit lackluster. But this ISP has since stepped up its game, offering speeds up to 100 Mbps—or up to 1,000 Mbps, if you’re lucky enough to live in an area with fiber.

Windstream internet options
PlanPriceDownload speedDetails
High Speed Internet 25 Mbps$19.99/mo.25 MbpsView Plan
High Speed Internet 50-100 Mbps$19.99/mo.100 MbpsView Plan

Windstream also offers no-contract options and an unlimited data cap. Most internet service providers use similar data caps, but it’s nice knowing you won’t get any passive-aggressive emails sent at 2 a.m. warning you that you’ve almost reached your data cap.

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Misleading pricing
As you can tell from the table above, Windstream’s pricing can feel a little misleading. After the first year of your contract, expect the price to double. Make sure to ask about the price increase before signing up.

Recap—what are the best DSL ISPs?

In a nutshell, here’s how these five DSL internet providers stack up.

  • Frontier DSL: Best overall—With lots of speed choices, no contracts, no data cap, and value-packed prices, Frontier’s DSL internet is a no-brainer for most.
  • CenturyLink: Best value—Who could say no to CenturyLink’s Price for Life guarantee and lack of contracts? We sure can’t.
  • AT&T Internet: Best bundle—If you love to binge-watch, you can’t beat AT&T Internet’s DIRECTV bundles. You get money off your internet bill too.
  • Verizon DSL: Best deals—Verizon pulls ahead of AT&T’s DSL internet in terms of speed, plus it boasts low prices. But you’ll also need a home phone plan to get it.
  • Windstream: Best budget option—No contracts, no data cap, and some pretty rad speeds and prices make Windstream our favorite budget pick.

Not sure DSL is right for you? Check out our reviews of cable and fiber internet:

What about you—where did you decide to get your DSL internet access? What’s your experience been like? Let us know in the comments below!

What is DSL internet service?

You might assume that digital subscriber line (DSL) is just a fancy term for dial-up, but while both technologies use your phone line to connect you to the internet, that’s pretty much the only thing they have in common.

While good ol’ dial-up means you can’t take phone calls while surfing the web, DSL lets you do both. (Thank goodness, right?)

DSL is also a lot faster than dial-up—and you won’t need to wait for all those beeps and trills before you click on Netscape, err, your internet browser. (Thinking about dial-up has us stuck in the late 1990s.)

But why might you pick DSL over cable internet? Well, DSL is usually cheaper and more widely available than cable, since pretty much every part of the US has phone service. Of course, there are always exceptions to this, but if you’re digging life in the wilderness, you can always check out our picks for satellite internet.