THE BOTTOM LINE: Suddenlink’s cable internet plans don’t require a contract, which is awesome. Suddenlink’s pricing isn’t too bad either, even if could be more clear on its website. The biggest downside to Suddenlink is a data limit on some plans.
Is Suddenlink Right for Me?
- If you want no-contract internet.
- If you want to add TV service.
- If you’re scared of data limits.
- If you don’t want to pay an installation or activation fee.
No contract is the best contract
We think Suddenlink’s no-contract internet service is a HUGE deal, really, and you don’t even have to pay extra for it. For example, Comcast XFINITY internet charges an extra $10 a month for no-contract service, which makes Suddenlink quite attractive in comparison. We know what it’s like to be tied up in an internet service contract (early cancellation fees can be painful), so we appreciate it when providers don’t force them on us. It also doesn’t hurt that Suddenlink’s price is pretty fair, too.
The need for (internet) speed
We found Suddenlink’s 50 Mbps (megabits per second) service in our area for $39.95 a month (pricing will vary by location, but not by too much). That’s a good pricing for 50 Mbps speed, which will let you download a two-hour movie (in HD) in less than 10 minutes. If 10 minutes is too long a wait you can pay an extra $10 a month for 75 Mbps speed, but we’d rather save the money and get ourselves some dinner to go with that movie.
Suddenlink does offer, as of January 2017, 100 Mbps, 200 Mbps, and 1 Gb plans, but those speeds are limited to areas of availability (you can get pricing if it’s available in your area). In other words, if you want extremely fast internet and you can get it, by all means go for it … but most people will be out of area and out of luck.
If you’re wondering about Suddenlink’s upload speed, it’s not so hot (see speed section). For example, the 50 Mbps plan has a 5 Mbps upload speed. That’s not great (uploading a batch of hi-res photos will take more than a few minutes) but unless you’re constantly uploading photos, music, movies, etc., it shouldn’t be anything to be too worried about. You’ll just have to be patient.
The best internet for Netflix, really
If you’re concerned about streaming movies or shows, Suddenlink is the best ISP to watch Netflix, according to Netflix. We checked Netflix’s ISP Index, which measures ISPs’ Netflix performance, and did some number crunching. Turns out Suddenlink has the best average speed for 2015. It beat out AT&T (DSL), Windstream, CenturyLink and Verizon (DSL). If you’re more worried about Netflix buffering than data limits, Suddenlink is the way to go.
Some odd prices and data limits
If there’s something that might raise an eyebrow or two, it’s the online pricing for Suddenlink. We found plans listed for the same price as better plans (the 30 Mbps plan and 50 Mbps plan are the same price). We think this is because the quality of cable line connections vary by area, so speeds will vary too. In fact, all of Suddenlink’s internet plans are cable internet.
If you’re not familiar with how cable works, you can find out everything you want to know here. In short: cable is better than DSL, in general, but speeds can be affected by how many people are sharing the cable line. For example, if everybody sharing the cable line is binge-watching Stranger Things, you can experience slower internet. You might not even notice anything if you have a high-speed plan and you’re not sharing internet with anyone else in your house, but it’s good to know how cable internet works.
Suddenlink’s biggest downside is its data limit. Most plans limit you to 250 or 350 GB of data. That’s probably more than enough data if it’s just you using the internet, but if you have a bunch of devices connected and you’re sharing with friends or family, it might not be enough. Suddenlink does offer plans with unlimited data, but they’re limited to availability. It doesn’t hurt to call and ask if you can get unlimited data in your area, but we weren’t so lucky.
If the data limit is a big worry, we do have some good news. There is no fee until the third time you go over your data limit, and the fee is a reasonable $10 per 50 GB. Other ISPs aren’t so lenient when you break the rules, so we appreciate Suddenlink’s tendency to forgive.
Support, fees, and other services
If you’re curious about customer support, our experience was fine, but Suddenlink has received average ratings from the likes of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and JD Power. Despite these lukewarm ratings from third parties, we still gave Suddenlink a “low” for frustration level. The biggest reason is because it offers service without a contract, which means we don’t have to deal with early termination fees (ETF).
If you’re curious about any Suddenlink fees, we did find an installation charge ($30) and activation fee ($20) for the internet service plan we chose (the 50 Mbps plan), but such charges are specific to the plan you order (you might have just one or both, or they could both be higher). Be sure to ask a representative what additional fees there are, if any, and get an answer in writing if possible.
If you want to add TV to your internet service, you can. And if you’re wondering what Suddenlink TV is like, check out our full review here. If you’re looking for a way to save money on TV and internet, “bundling” the services together is worth looking into. Suddenlink TV isn’t too shabby; it’s also available without a contract and it uses a TiVO DVR.
Suddenlink’s Internet 75 plan earns our top pick. It’s 75 Mbps download speed will cover almost all internet needs for 2–3 people with multiple devices, and it only cost us $49.95 a month.
The Other Option:
If you want TV and internet together, you can get the HDTV & Internet 75 plan at $92.95 a month, which has 200 channels.
We love it when no-contract internet service is available to us, and Suddenlink offers it at a fair price with little fuss or frustration.If you’re eager for new service or looking to ditch your current ISP, Suddenlink is mighty appealing. Some of us at Reviews.org wish we had Suddenlink in our area so we could get out of dealing with contracts.
We think Suddenlink is worth checking out, and you can start by asking a Suddenlink representative what they’d be willing to do to get you as a customer.