EarthLink Internet Review

If you’ve ever wanted better customer service from your provider, EarthLink might be for you.

EarthLink

Price: $49.95–$189.95/mo.*
Speeds: 10–5,000 Mbps
Data cap: None (fiber and DSL)
50–150 GB (fixed wireless)
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Provider ratings are based on user reviews and our independent customer satisfaction survey.

Our EarthLink internet review

EarthLink’s unconventional business model is unique among internet providers. Instead of building its own infrastructure by burying cables, constructing broadcast towers, or launching satellites, EarthLink rents space on other internet service providers’ (ISP’s) networks. That gives EarthLink nationwide reach and allows the company to focus all its efforts on providing the best customer experience around.

 Pros

  • Highly rated customer support
  • Expansive coverage area

 Cons

  • 1-year contracts
  • Higher monthly cost
  • Limited gigabit availability

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Compare EarthLink internet plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeed TypeShop plans
EarthLink 10 Mbps Internet$49.95/mo.*10 MbpsDSLShop EarthLink Plans
EarthLink 45 Mbps Internet$59.95/mo.*45 MbpsDSLShop EarthLink Plans
Fiber 100$59.95/mo.*100 MbpsFiberShop EarthLink Plans
Fiber 300$69.95/mo.*300 MbpsFiberShop EarthLink Plans
Fiber 500$79.95/mo.*500 MbpsFiberShop EarthLink Plans
Fiber 1 Gig $89.95/mo.*1,000 MbpsFiberShop EarthLink Plans
Fiber 2 Gig$129.95/mo.*2,000 MbpsFiberShop EarthLink Plans
Fiber 5 Gig$189.95/mo.*5,000 MbpsFiberShop EarthLink Plans
EarthLink LTE Home 25 GB$54.95/mo.Up to 100 MbpsFixed wirelessShop EarthLink Plans
EarthLink LTE Home 50GB$64.95/mo.Up to 100 MbpsFixed wirelessShop EarthLink Plans
EarthLink LTE Home 75 GB$79.95/mo.Up to 100 MbpsFixed wirelessShop EarthLink Plans
EarthLink LTE Home 100 GB$99.95/mo.Up to 100 MbpsFixed wirelessShop EarthLink Plans

Data effective 7/14/2022. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

*with a 12-month contract.

EarthLink speeds: What’s best for you?

EarthLink has a huge variety of plans, which means you can save a bit of money if you know how much speed you need. EarthLink fiber plans, which range from 75 Mbps to 5 Gbps, offer the best value for speed and reliability.

EarthLink data caps

EarthLink’s DSL and fiber plans don’t have data caps, which is a big selling point. Its only plans with data caps are its fixed wireless plans, which have data limits comparable in size to those you’d find in other wireless connections, like satellite internet.

Is EarthLink internet available where you live?

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Our favorite plan: EarthLink 1 Gig Internet is similar in price to other gigabit fiber plans but comes with EarthLink’s highly rated customer service.

EarthLink offers service in all 50 states using other ISP’s networks. Because it uses different networks, EarthLink’s connection speeds and reliability vary by location. Fortunately, EarthLink’s focus on customer service makes it easy to get outages and other issues resolved quickly.

EarthLink is also one of the only providers to offer fiber plans below 1,000 Mbps. Although speed is what most people think of when they think about fiber internet, fiber-optic internet connections are also incredibly reliable. Plans like EarthLink 100 Mbps Internet are great if you want fiber reliability without paying for speed you don’t use.

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EarthLink internet fees

Cost
Equipment Fee$6.95/mo. to rent or $74.95 to purchase
Installation Fee$69.95 professional installation
Other FeesUp to $200.00 early termination fee

Most of EarthLink’s fees are reasonable, but it enforces a hefty early termination fee on all its standard plans if you cancel service before the end of your 1-year contract. If you plan on moving in the next 12 months, you might consider a more temporary solution.

EarthLink internet installation, equipment, and contracts

EarthLink doesn’t give a self-installation option like other providers, but it manages to keep installation and equipment costs fairly low.

EarthLink installation and equipment

EarthLink offers professional installation at a pretty reasonable price. The installation experience varies somewhat by area—like most things with EarthLink—but the ISP’s customer service ensures that most people end up very satisfied with the process.

EarthLink internet contracts

All EarthLink fiber and DSL plans come with a 1-year contract. This isn’t uncommon for an internet provider, but we definitely prefer the flexibility of no-contract plans.

EarthLink internet customer ratings

Overall RatingReliability RatingCustomer Service RatingSpeed RatingPrice Rating
EarthLink customer satisfaction rating4.1/53.9/54.0/54.0/54.2/5
Average rating*3.8/53.3/53.7/53.7/53.7/5

EarthLink was the undisputed champion of our 2021 customer satisfaction survey, sweeping every category by a significant margin. This is also the second year in a row EarthLink has taken the top spot. EarthLink clearly sets the standard for customer service in internet service providers.

One of the most notable results from the 2021 survey is that even in areas where EarthLink struggles, it still provides a great experience to its customers. Despite reporting more outages, EarthLink customers reported being more satisfied with the reliability of their connections than customers of other providers. And despite reporting unexpected price hikes, EarthLink customers were ultimately very satisfied with their monthly bills. If you dread having to deal with your ISP’s customer service, EarthLink might be a welcome breath of fresh air.

While all EarthLink customers love their internet, fiber customers gave EarthLink especially high marks. If EarthLink offers fiber in your area, it’s definitely worth looking into.

See what other EarthLink customers are saying

We love to collect data. The more we can learn about customer experience, the more confident we can be in our recommendations. If you’re an EarthLink customer, we’d love to have you fill out our Customer Review form and let us know about your experience with EarthLink and check out what others have said, too.

Read Reviews

EarthLink vs. the competition

SpeedPriceCustomer rating*Order online
EarthLink 10–5,000 Mbps$49.95–$189.95/mo.4.2/5View Plans
25–5,000 Mbps$55.00–$180.00/mo.3.8/5
Xfinity 25–2,000 Mbps$20.00–$299.95/mo.§3.5/5View Plans

Since EarthLink uses its competition’s networks, it can’t offer higher speeds, but it can offer better customer service. Although EarthLink plans are generally more expensive than similar plans by nationwide providers like AT&T and Xfinity, 79% of EarthLink customers said that their speeds usually or always meet the speed that they were promised—the highest of any ISP.

That EarthLink has some of the most satisfied and enthusiastic customers might seem contradictory. By the usual metrics for an internet connection, like speed, price, and reliability, EarthLink seems to lag behind other major providers. Nevertheless, EarthLink customers have better experiences with their internet than customers with other ISPs.

We love having fast connections, but many would rather settle for a bit less bandwidth, rather than having to spend hours on hold trying to fix a technical problem. EarthLink focuses on what actually provides a better experience to its customers, and it seems like that effort pays off.

Read our full reviews of EarthLink vs. its main internet competitors

Is EarthLink internet right for you?

If the main things you look for in an internet plan are download speed and price, you can probably find a better deal going with a more traditional ISP than EarthLink.

On the other hand, if you’ve had bad experiences with other providers and are looking for an internet provider that will be more responsive when problems arise, then EarthLink is just what you’re looking for. Because it’s so widespread, it can provide a welcome alternative in areas where customers have limited options for internet access. It also has no data caps, which keeps internet customers happy.

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FAQ about EarthLink

What are the best routers for EarthLink internet?

We recommend the TP-Link Archer AX10. It can handle the fastest speeds EarthLink offers and costs a fraction of the price of many other routers. It also uses Wi-Fi 6, which has lots of features to make your home internet experience even better.

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.