Best DSL Internet Service Providers 2019
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!)
|Provider||Monthly price||Download speeds||Learn more|
|Frontier High Speed Internet||$20–$60*||6–115 Mbps||View Plans|
|CenturyLink Internet||$45–$85†||10–1000 Mbps||View Plans|
|AT&T Internet||$40–$50‡||5–100 Mbps||View Plans|
|Verizon High Speed Internet||$24.99–$34.99^||.5-1–1.1-15 Mbps||View Plans|
|Windstream Internet||$5–$85°||25–1000 Mbps||View Plans|
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.
|Simply Broadband Core||$20/mo.**||6 Mbps||View Plan|
|Simply Broadband Ultra||$25/mo.**||12 Mbps||View Plan|
|Simply Broadband Plus||$30/mo.**||18 Mbps||View Plan|
|Simply Broadband Elite||$35/mo.||25 Mbps||View Plan|
|Simply Broadband Power||$40/mo.||45 Mbps||View Plan|
|Simply Broadband Performance||$45/mo.||70 Mbps||View Plans|
|Simply Broadband Extreme||$50/mo.||90 Mbps||View Plan|
|Simply Broadband Velocity||$60/mo.||115 Mbps||View Plan|
- No contract necessary
- Value download speeds
- 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.
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.
2. CenturyLink: Best value
Home of the lifetime guarantee.
|Price for Life 10 Mbps||$45/mo.††||10 Mbps||View Plan|
|Price for Life 12 Mbps||$45/mo.††||12 Mbps||View Plan|
|Price for Life 40 Mbps||$55/mo.††||40 Mbps||View Plan|
|Price for Life 80 Mbps||$55/mo.††||80 Mbps||View Plan|
|Price for Life 100 Mbps||$65/mo.††||100 Mbps||View Plan|
- No surprise price hikes
- No contracts
- 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.
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.
|Internet Basic 5||$40/mo.‡||5 Mbps||View Plan|
|Internet 10-100||$50/mo.‡||100 Mbps||View Plan|
- Bundling promos
- Solid 10–100 internet plan
- Expensive basic plan
What we like about AT&T
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.
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.
|High Speed Internet||$24.99/mo.‡‡||.5-1 Mbps||View Plan|
|High Speed Internet Enhanced||$34.99/mo.^^||1.1-15 Mbps||View Plan|
- Limited time offer
- Affordable pricing
- 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.
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.
|High Speed Internet 25 Mbps||$19.99/mo.||25 Mbps||View Plan|
|High Speed Internet 50-100 Mbps||$19.99/mo.||100 Mbps||View 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.
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:
- The Best Internet Service Providers
- The Fastest Internet Providers
- The Best Internet for Streaming
- The Best Internet for Gaming
- The Best Satellite Internet Providers
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.