CenturyLink Internet Review

The ISP offers fast, affordable fiber options along with slower DSL

CenturyLink

Price: $50.00–$65.00/mo.*
Speeds: 1–940 Mbps
Data cap: None
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Provider ratings are based on user reviews and our independent customer satisfaction survey.

Our CenturyLink internet review

CenturyLink is a major internet provider with two types of internet to choose from: fiber and DSL. Its fiber-optic plans are some of the best deals you can get, with very fast speeds at affordable prices with lots of extra perks. The DSL internet plans aren’t nearly as fast, but they’re worth considering if you live in a rural area and have few internet service options otherwise.

 Pros

  • No data caps
  • No annual contracts
  • Excellent speeds on fiber plans
  • Affordable prices

 Cons

  • Limited availability for fiber
  • Inconsistent DSL speeds

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Compare CenturyLink internet plans and pricing

PlanPriceSpeedView on CenturyLink site
Simply Unlimited Internet 140$50.00/mo.*Up to 140 MbpsShop Plans
CenturyLink Fiber Internet 200 Mbps$50.00/mo.200 MbpsShop Plans
CenturyLink Fiber Internet$65.00/mo.940 MbpsShop Plans

* 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 140 Mbps).

Rate requires paperless billing. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Speeds may not be available in your area. Maximum download/upload speed of up to 200 Mbps via a wired connection. Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply.

Rate requires paperless billing. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Speeds may not be available in your area. Maximum download/upload speed of up to 940 Mbps via a wired connection. Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply.

CenturyLink speeds

CenturyLink’s fastest plan can reach speeds up to 940 Mbps, which is powerful enough to let up to a dozen users or more stream in 4K, play online games, attend Zoom meetings with ease. On the other hand, CenturyLink’s DSL plans are fairly slow. Although they technically top out at 140 Mbps, in reality, many DSL users get sluggish speeds in the range of 5–25 Mbps.

Use our How Much Internet Speed Do I Need? tool for a quick rundown of how much bandwidth is best for you.

CenturyLink data caps

CenturyLink does not have data caps on any of its internet plans. You can use all the data you want all month long without worrying about overage fees or throttled speeds. Yay!

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Our favorite plan: CenturyLink Fiber Internet 200 Mbps

We love CenturyLink’s Fiber Internet 200 Mbps because it delivers fast, reliable speeds for a bargain price. A speed of 200 Mbps is excellent for a modest-sized household of four to six people, and you also get symmetrical upload speeds to give you a massive speed boost for backing up cloud drives and making Zoom calls. This plan also comes with unlimited data, installation, and a router at no extra cost.

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CenturyLink ongoing deals and promotions

Order CenturyLink’s gigabit fiber plan and get a waiver on the cost of modem rental and installation.

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CenturyLink internet fees

Cost
Equipment fee$15.00/mo. (no fee on fiber gigabit plan)
Installation fee$15.00–$99.00 (no fee on fiber gigabit plan)
Data overage feeN/A
Early termination feeN/A

CenturyLink goes easy on the fees. None of its plans have data caps or annual contracts, so you don’t have to worry about overage fees for using too much data or early termination fees when you cancel your plan. CenturyLink’s fiber gigabit plan also comes with a gateway (modem/router) at no extra charge.

CenturyLink internet installation, equipment, and contracts

Depending on the type of internet service you’re getting and where you live, installing internet with CenturyLink is either fairly simple or somewhat complex. Standard installation costs just $15—you get a kit and set up the internet yourself. Pro installation costs $99, with the price going up if CenturyLink’s technician needs to install any wiring underground outside your home. Installation doesn’t cost anything for gigabit fiber customers.

CenturyLink installation and equipment

In most cases, CenturyLink installation is fairly straightforward—all you need to do is set up the modem and router and activate it through the internet service provider’s customer portal. But you need a professional technician to help if your home doesn’t have the proper cabling, an optical network terminal for fiber, or an internet–friendly phone jack for DSL.

You also need a modem and router. You can rent a gateway (modem/router combo) from CenturyLink for $15 a month. But we actually recommend getting your own router because that saves you money in the long run and gives you more flexibility when it comes to speed, security features, and more.

Pro tip: 

If you’re shopping for a router, we recommend Google Nest Wi-Fi. Coming at a solid price, it gives you up-to-date wireless standards for fast speeds and works in homes of all sizes.

CenturyLink internet contracts

CenturyLink internet plans don’t require annual contracts. You get a plan that works month to month, so you can cancel any time without having to worry about early termination fees.

CenturyLink internet customer ratings

Overall RatingReliability RatingCustomer Service RatingSpeed RatingPrice Rating
CenturyLink customer satisfaction rating3.4/53.2/53.4/53.5/53.5/5
Average rating*3.8/53.3/53.7/53.7/53.7/5

CenturyLink consistently ranks at the bottom in our annual customer satisfaction survey. It gets the lowest ratings for overall satisfaction, speed, reliability, and customer service. And it gets the second-lowest ratings for price.

The poor results likely have a lot to do with CenturyLink’s DSL service, which delivers much slower speeds than most fiber and cable plans that cost the same price.

However, when we look closer at the results, we find that a lot of CenturyLink’s fiber customers actually seem pleased with the service. Fiber customers gave CenturyLink a great 3.7 rating for speed. Over half of the survey’s respondents also said they haven’t dealt with unexpected price hikes or hidden fees, which are common practices with other providers.

Does CenturyLink have good customer service?

CenturyLink gets bottom rankings for customer service in our satisfaction survey. A total 13% of CenturyLink customers said they were not satisfied with the provider’s overall customer service—that’s the highest percentage among providers.

See what other CenturyLink customers are saying

We love to collect data about customer experiences to get a better sense of how an internet service provider performs. If you’re interested, head to our Customer Review form to let us know about your experience with CenturyLink and see what others have said.

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CenturyLink vs. the competition

SpeedPriceCustomer rating*Order online
Xfinity 50–3,000 Mbps$25.00–$299.95/mo.3.5/5View Plans
Spectrum Up to 30–up to 1,000 Mbps$17.99–$89.99/mo.3.6/5View Plans
Up to 25–5,000 Mbps$55.00–$180.00/mo.3.8/5

While CenturyLink offers an unbeatable fiber gigabit plan, Xfinity—a major rival internet service provider—has more variety, including great budget options and bundle packages. Its lower-tier plans are cheaper and often faster than what you get from CenturyLink.

As for Spectrum, another big internet service provider with overlap in CenturyLink areas, its fastest plans have wider availability than CenturyLink, and it gives you a wider range of speed tiers to pick from. But both providers offer unlimited data and month-to-month contracts with no annual requirement.

CenturyLink beats out rival fiber provider AT&T, though. A fiber plan from CenturyLink gets you faster speeds for a lower price. CenturyLink’s DSL plan also costs $5 less than AT&T’s DSL packages.

Read our full reviews of CenturyLink vs its main internet competitors

Is CenturyLink internet right for you?

CenturyLink internet is right for you if you can get a fiber plan or if you live in a rural area and are content with a relatively sluggish DSL connection.

We love CenturyLink’s recently introduced 200 Mbps fiber plan. It’s super affordable while still delivering excellent download and upload speeds. We’re also fans of CenturyLink’s flagship gigabit fiber plan—it costs less than most other gigabit plans and comes with a gateway and installation at no extra cost.

It’s hard to give equally glowing reviews to CenturyLink’s DSL internet plans, since DSL in general is just kind of an old and borderline obsolete service. But we do like the fact that CenturyLink offers unlimited data on all of its plans and doesn’t impose annual contracts. And if you’re living in a rural area, then DSL might just be your best option, since satellite and many fixed wireless options are usually a lot more expensive.

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FAQ about CenturyLink

What are the best routers for CenturyLink internet?

The best router for CenturyLink is Google Nest Wi-Fi. Its up-to-date Wi-Fi standards ensure top speeds, and its mesh system works over a range of up to 2,200 square feet.

Need more recommendations? We’ve got all the details on the best Wi-Fi routers, the best long-range routers, and the best routers for streaming.

Amazon.com Price (as of 5/9/22 10:15 MST). See full disclaimer.

How fast is CenturyLink DSL?

CenturyLink DSL internet service tops out at 140 Mbps. But many customers experience slower speeds, since a DSL connection weakens as it gets farther away from a provider’s central node.

Can you get CenturyLink internet service in Las Vegas?

Yes, you can get CenturyLink internet in Las Vegas. Alongside Cox, it’s one of the major internet service providers in the city, offering both DSL and fiber internet.

Methodology

Our HighSpeedInternet.com editorial team bases our analyses on customer input from our annual customer satisfaction survey, results from our speed test tool, and proprietary internet provider data on speeds and pricing. To strengthen our research, we look closely at provider contracts to get hard-to-find information on price hikes, data caps, and extra fees, and we keep tabs on the latest news reports and online reviews. When applicable, we also rely on our personal experiences testing these services.

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