CenturyLink Internet Review

All CenturyLink internet plans now have unlimited data, but you may want to avoid the bumbling DSL download speeds

Centurylink
CenturyLink
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • pro
    Awesome fiber plan
  • pro
    No data caps
  • con
    DSL plan doesn’t offer much value
Tyler Abbott
Feb 16, 2024
bullet6 min read

We may earn money when you click our links.

CenturyLink offers two internet plans: one DSL option and one fiber option. The long and short of our CenturyLink review is that the fiber internet plan offers excellent value, whereas the DSL option leaves a lot to be desired. If you’re deciding between the two options, allow us to make your life easier and strongly recommend choosing the CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit plan over the Simply Unlimited plan.

If you want to dive deeper into plans, pricing, data caps, and equipment costs, then this CenturyLink internet plans review is for you.

CenturyLink internet deals
Plan
Price
Download speed
Connection type
Details
CenturyLink Fiber Internet 500 Mbps$50/mo.Up to 500 MbpsFiber
Simply Unlimited Internet 100 Mbps$50/mo.*Up to 100 MbpsDSL
Simply Unlimited Internet Up to 40-80 Mbps$55/mo.Up to 80 MbpsDSL
CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit$75/mo.Up to 940 MbpsFiber
* Speed may not be available in your area. Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Get the fastest internet speed available at your location (max speed is up to 100 Mbps).
Speed may not be available in your area. Maximum download/upload speed of up to 940 Mbps via a wired connection. Paperless billing required. Taxes and fees apply. Offer details. Offer includes professional installation at customer’s eligible location

How does CenturyLink compare to competitors?

CenturyLink is one of the last bastions of DSL internet service. It also happens to be one of our favorite DSL options.

Also, CenturyLink has a fiber plan compares super favorable with other fiber internet providers. You’ll pay less for fiber speeds with CenturyLink than you will with just about any other internet provider out there.

CenturyLink internet price comparison
Provider
Monthly price
Download speeds
Connection type
Details
CenturyLink Internet$50-$75100-940 MbpsDSL/Fiber
Frontier Fiber Internet$44.99-$154.99^500-5000 MbpsFiber
AT&T Fiber$55-$225°300-5000 MbpsFiber
Cox Internet$9.95-$149.99**100-2000 MbpsCable
Xfinity Internet$19.99-$120††75-2000 MbpsCable/Fiber
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Speed may not be available in your area. Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply.
^ Requires Auto Pay or $5/mo. fee applies. Beginning April 2022, a printed bill fee of $2.99/mo. will apply, NY, PA and select customers excluded. A $10 fee applies when Internet is disconnected. Equipment return required at disconnection, up to $150 per device if not returned. Multi-Device Security covers up to 10 devices. Other applicable charges and additional services are extra. Service subject to availability. Cannot be combined with other offers. Other restrictions, Frontier policies and service terms apply.
° Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes $ fees. Limited availability. May not be available in your area.
** Prices exclude taxes, surcharges, usage-based charges, certain equipment, and other fees or charges, which are subject to change.
†† Pricing for some packages are for the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.

CenturyLink internet speed and data

CenturyLink keeps it simple and only offers two internet plans, one DSL plan, and one fiber plan.

Our turn to keep it simple: If you can get the CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit in your area, you should absolutely choose that plan over the Simply Unlimited Internet 100 Mbps plan. Fiber internet, unfortunately, isn’t as widely available as DSL internet, so consider yourself lucky if the Fiber Gigabit shows up as an option in your area. Speaking of which, you can enter your ZIP code below to see if you can get the CenturyLink fiber plan in your area:

reviews.org next zip logo
See CenturyLink prices and plans in your area.

Now that you know your internet plan options, let’s take a closer look at both plans. There’s a few things to shout out that apply to both internet plans, namely the inclusion of unlimited data caps. Feel free to download and install all the games you want and stream a movie every night because you’ll never run out of data with either CenturyLink plan.

CenturyLink internet promotional prices
Plan
Price
Download speed
Connection type
Details
CenturyLink Fiber Internet 500 Mbps$50/mo.Up to 500 MbpsFiber
Simply Unlimited Internet 100 Mbps$50/mo.*Up to 100 MbpsDSL
Simply Unlimited Internet Up to 40-80 Mbps$55/mo.Up to 80 MbpsDSL
CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit$75/mo.Up to 940 MbpsFiber
* Speed may not be available in your area. Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Get the fastest internet speed available at your location (max speed is up to 100 Mbps).
Speed may not be available in your area. Maximum download/upload speed of up to 940 Mbps via a wired connection. Paperless billing required. Taxes and fees apply. Offer details. Offer includes professional installation at customer’s eligible location

Simply Unlimited Internet 100 Mbps 

CenturyLink’s Simply Unlimited plan costs you $50 a month and gives you download speeds up to 100 Mbps, which means that the best-case scenario still doesn’t even come close to fiber speeds. You can still make the Simply Unlimited plan work if you’ve only got one or two people in your household and neither of you are big online gamers.

Honestly, if CenturyLink’s DSL plan is your only option, we’d recommend trying a 5G home internet service instead. For example, you can get up to ~250 Mbps with T-Mobile 5G home internet for the same price you’d pay for the CenturyLink Simply Unlimited plan.

CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit

If you can get CenturyLink’s fiber internet plan in your house, then this won’t be a hard decision at all. The CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit plan gets you speeds up to 940 Mbps, which means you (and the entire household) can stream, game, and scroll TikTok without latency issues.

What’s wild is that the service only costs $75 a month, only $25 more than what you’d pay with the DSL option. Fiber internet is just so much more efficient than DSL internet that you can basically 10x the performance without having to pay 10x the price.

CenturyLink’s fiber plan compares super favorable with other fiber internet providers out there as well. You’ll pay less for fiber speeds with CenturyLink than you will with just about any other internet provider out there.

CenturyLink contracts, equipment, and fees

No price hikes, no contracts 

If you go with CenturyLink, how long will your contract be? How much do you need to pay for equipment? And what hidden fees will you stumble across?

The answers: you won’t have a contract, and while equipment fees depend on your plan but those should be the only extra charges you see. But we’ll talk about these answers in more detail next.

Trust me, we’ve researched every major internet provider in the country, and CenturyLink not implementing price hikes is a major anomaly. As opposed to an ISP like XTREAM by Mediacom, the price you pay for your CenturyLink internet on day one will be the same price you pay five years later. Most ISPs give users a “discounted” rate for the first year of service and then hike the price up after your first year of service–not something you need to worry about with CenturyLink.

Since your price won’t fluctuate, you won’t have to sign a contract for your CenturyLink service either. For example, if you’ve been using CenturyLink’s DSL internet plan, you can easily cancel your service and switch to 5G mobile internet if it ends up being the better option.

CenturyLink equipment fees 

More good news for CenturyLink fiber customers: you don’t have to pay for a modem, you’ll get it for free with your service, and you also get installation for free as well.

Some more bad news for CenturyLink DSL customers: you’ll either need to rent a modem from CenturyLink for $15 a month, or pay $200 outright to own the modem. Our advice is to stick with renting the modem until you can get a better internet connection than DSL.

CenturyLink customer service

CenturyLink subscribers say its customer service is a headache, but then again, that’s the case with most internet services. We wish internet providers would level up their customer service efforts. This goes for pretty much every ISP out there, not just CenturyLink.

One customer, Candice, told us her CenturyLink technician never showed up on the day her installation was scheduled.

She called customer service and CenturyLink ended up telling her that someone canceled her appointment. Candice finally managed to get her installation date rescheduled, but only after she talked to multiple people. Even then, her family didn’t have internet for six days.

Installation issues like this can be a real pain, just like outages and slow internet speeds. If your internet is on the fritz, check out our guide on what to do if your CenturyLink internet isn’t working. Or, if you end up having to call, take a quick look at these customer service tips to make your experience at least a teensy bit better.

  • CenturyLink customer service phone number: 800-871-9244
  • CenturyLink live chat link

Where can you get CenturyLink internet?

In the internet sphere, availability is a big part of customer service. A service that’s widely available is, in our opinion, a service that’s really interested in reaching its potential customers.

Right now, CenturyLink is not quite up to snuff in the availability department. Currently, CenturyLink offers internet service in 16 different states, including Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota, and North Carolina, among others. Unfortunately, those in states like California and New York can’t get CenturyLink internet.

A map showing CenturyLink internet availability, mainly in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado

In the internet availability map above, states in dark blue have more CenturyLink internet coverage, while states in light blue have less coverage. And states in gray have no CenturyLink internet coverage.

As for the CenturyLink Fiber Internet plan, so far it’s available in 19 cities in the United States, but the list is likely to continue growing. Here are the 19 cities with CenturyLink fiber coverage:

  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Boulder, Colorado
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Fort Myers/Cape Coral, Florida
  • Ocala/The Villages, Florida
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Idaho Falls/Pocatello, Idaho
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Columbia/Jefferson City, Missouri
  • Springfield, Missouri
  • Omaha, Nebraska
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Seattle-Tacoma, Washington
  • Spokane, Washington
  • La Crosse, Wisconsin
  • Platteville, Wisconsin

If you live in an area of the country without a fiber connection, we’d recommend checking out either a 5G home internet service, or a satellite internet service.

reviews.org next zip logo
Look for CenturyLink internet plans in your area.

Recap: Is CenturyLink a good internet provider?

CenturyLink simplifies things by only offering two internet plans: one DSL plan, and one fiber plan. If you have the choice between the two, definitely choose the fiber option.

CenturyLink’s fiber internet plan gives customers near-gigabit speeds at a cheaper-than-average price. CenturyLink’s DSL option maxes out at 100 Mbps and will still cost you $50 a month. If the DSL option is your only option with CenturyLink, we recommend going with a different ISP.

Methodology

In reviewing CenturyLink internet, we employed a systematic approach that evaluated critical factors, including price, data speeds, data caps, price increases after introductory pricing, and regional availability. Our methodology used the following steps:

Data Collection

We began by gathering data on CenturyLink internet plans from official CenturyLink sources, including their website and customer service representatives. We also accessed third-party sources, such as online forums and social media (like Reddit), to gain insights from real customers' experiences. This allowed us to collect a wide range of data points and ensure the accuracy of our findings.

Pricing Analysis

In evaluating CenturyLink’s internet plans, we analyzed its pricing structures, including introductory offers, regular rates, and any additional fees or price hikes. Our goal was to compare the overall value offered by each plan, considering both cost-effectiveness and the features included.

Speed and Data Cap Assessment

Whenever possible, we conduct internet speed tests to measure actual performance. We also examined any data caps or limitations imposed by each plan, assessing how they could impact users' online activities. Plans offering higher data speeds and data caps are recommended.

Price Increases and Contract Terms

To understand the potential long-term costs of subscribing to CenturyLink internet service, we scrutinized any price increases after the introductory period. Additionally, we examined the terms and conditions of service contracts to make sure users don’t get fined if they decide to cancel and switch internet service providers.

Regional Availability

As CenturyLink’s service is regionally available, we considered the geographical coverage of CenturyLink internet plans. In this case, CenturyLink covers 19 states with internet coverage.

FAQ

Depending on which download speed you can get, CenturyLink should be okay for streaming. The DSL plan with 100 Mbps data speeds plans should be fine even for a household of two to three people, while its Fiber Internet option has more than enough speed for larger families supporting multiple streams at a time.

CenturyLink’s download speed isn’t the most reliable—it didn’t make our fastest ISPs.

But if you prefer to save money over getting the fastest speeds available, CenturyLink is still an excellent choice thanks to its low monthly prices.

EarthLink and CenturyLink are similar providers but are two separate companies. Both providers offer high-speed DSL and fiber internet with a variety of pricing options. 

Tyler Abbott
Written by
Tyler Abbott
Tyler has been obsessed with watching sports as efficiently as possible since the creation of the DVR. He is always on the lookout for the best tech in TV and wireless so he can watch all the sports and still have enough time to hang out with his baby. He has written about streaming, wireless, and TV for over three years. He hopes the Lakers will eventually get better.

Related Articles

An African-American man works at a desk with a laptop
CenturyLink Internet Review
Are CenturyLink prices as good as they seem? We spill the beans on its Price...
Young family using Cox internet in their living room
Cox Bundles Review
Save hundreds of dollars by combining your cell phone plan and internet service with Cox.
A man lies on a brown couch and shops online with his laptop
Cheapest Internet and Wi-Fi Providers
Looking for cheap internet? Read our review to find the best cheap internet and Wi-Fi...
5G coverage
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet vs. Verizon 5G Home Internet
Verizon’s 5G home internet service offers the best speeds and prices, but T-Mobile’s superior availability...