Suddenlink vs. CenturyLink
Type of Service
50 Mbps–1 Gbps
$44.99–$99.99 per month
$10.00 per month
On select plans
Type of Service
20–80 Mbps (DSL), 1 Gbps (Fiber)
$45.00–$85.00 per month
$9.99 per month
3.35/5 (DSL), 3.72/5 (Fiber)
*Pricing and speeds are current as of 8/14/17. Pricing and speeds are subject to change. Not all offers are available in all areas.
Should I Choose Suddenlink or CenturyLink as my High-Speed Internet Service Provider?
Choose Suddenlink for transparent billing practices. If you worry about surprise fees or price hikes, choose Suddenlink as your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Surveyed customers ranked Suddenlink fourth for its monthly bills, so you can count on it to calm your bill anxieties and keep your budget in check.
Choose CenturyLink High-Speed Internet for smooth installation and setup. If the thought of installing internet equipment makes you quiver with dread, select CenturyLink High-Speed Internet as your provider. CenturyLink High-Speed Internet scored very well in the installation and setup category. While you won’t get the highest speeds with this DSL-based service, it likely won’t be an issue if you stick mostly to checking Facebook and perusing Amazon.
Choose CenturyLink 1-Gig for reliable connectivity. If you stream a lot of movies or games, you require a steady—and fast—internet connection. Such a connection becomes a reality with fiber-based internet. It reduces latency (the time it takes for data to transfer and be received) and download time, both important factors for the hardcore Destiny player.
Find and compare Suddenlink and CenturyLink plans and pricing in your area:
Suddenlink is most commonly found where you can find Southern hospitality and outdoor living. Its top states include those in Appalachian country, as well as Arkansas and Oklahoma. Suddenlink drifts into the bayou, too: Louisiana claims the fifth-top area served by state.
Minus Minnesota, you’ll generally find CenturyLink High-Speed Internet in the western half of the United States. Its main coverage areas occur in desert conditions, with Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico taking some of the top five spots. CenturyLink High-Speed Internet also climbs the Rockies to deliver service to Colorado residents.
Because CenturyLink 1-Gig is a newer internet service, it hasn’t yet been offered on a statewide level. Instead, the coverage areas rest in specific cities. More cities, and eventually states, should receive service as CenturyLink grows its fiber-based network.
- West Virginia
- New Mexico
CenturyLink 1-Gig Availability Map
- Columbia/Jefferson City, Missouri
- Denver, Colorado
- La Crosse, Wisconsin
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
Customer Satisfaction Ratings
Every year, HighSpeedInternet.com asks customers to review their Internet Service Providers. Their feedback covers five areas: installation and setup, speed, reliability, billing, and customer support. HighSpeedInternet.com then tallies respondents’ scores on a five-star scale, with five being the best and one the worst. To view the full survey, visit our 2016 Internet Provider Customer Satisfaction Survey.
Installation & Setup
Installation and setup scores include both professional installations and self-installations. Suddenlink earns almost four out of five stars, meaning the installation process on both fronts is likely easy. The higher-than-average score may be attributed to Suddenlink’s free installation service.
CenturyLink High-Speed Internet scores moderately well for its installation and setup processes. Customers who self-installed their equipment likely found it relatively easy to accomplish from the get-go or received support from a technician who helped get the job done. This score also seems to indicate that customers experienced good professional installation service, too, which usually means one that’s prompt and courteous.
Installation and setup is a solid category for CenturyLink 1-Gig, and the results may tie directly into the nature of fiber-based internet. As a newer service, it almost always requires an onsite professional installation, which is more likely to go well than a self-installation. Even then, the score relies primarily on the experience, so customers must be receiving a good one when the technician comes knocking.
Because Suddenlink provides cable internet service, it gets a solid score in the speed category. Customers with Suddenlink internet watch on-demand television shows and movies with little to no lag. They also will likely experience short loading times for websites.
DSL internet will never win a speed race when it’s in the running with cable and fiber. It’s just a given. Still, the speed proves adequate for customers desiring only basic internet access.
It’s no surprise that CenturyLink 1-Gig takes a strong lead in the internet speed category. Fiber is the fastest type of internet available today, so it makes sense that the ISP takes top marks in this category. Customers seem to agree that the speeds match the reputation, given their responses to the annual HighSpeedInternet.com survey.
Suddenlink’s reliability score slightly eclipses its speed score. That’s a good thing because it means customers receive high speeds with little worry about outages.
Like Suddenlink, reliability comes in higher than speed for CenturyLink High-Speed Internet. So customers should find some comfort in the fact that just because they purchased a lower-than-average speed doesn’t mean they’ll be left in the lurch when making an Amazon purchase or performing other internet tasks that require a steady connection.
Fiber-based internet also aids with reliability because it consistently delivers strong, steady connections to people’s homes. Customers must agree, considering they gave CenturyLink 1-Gig four out of five stars, ranking it among the likes of Frontier FiOS.
The score for monthly billing relates to transparency and fulfilling expectations. Unfortunately, few ISPs excel in this category, although they continue to make improvements. Suddenlink receives an adequate score for its billing, so customers should be more or less satisfied with the provider’s practices.
CenturyLink High-Speed Internet ties with other providers in the monthly bill category, falling a little below average. Its companions include AT&T and Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable). CenturyLink’s score might not be the highest, but its billing practices likely won’t contain too many surprises, especially with its Price for Life discounts.
CenturyLink 1-Gig surpasses both CenturyLink High-Speed Internet and Suddenlink for its billing practices. It could be that with new technology comes new billing practices. Whatever CenturyLink 1-Gig is doing differently than CenturyLink High-Speed Internet, customers certainly seem to appreciate it.
Technical Support & Customer Service
This category covers what customers experience after signing on the dotted line. Suddenlink scores relatively well here, which may be explained by its customer service or online support materials that stand out for their informative and practical nature.
When it comes to technical support and customer service, CenturyLink High-Speed Internet scores above only a few other providers. The cause likely lies in the ISP’s struggle to integrate fiber into its overall network, leaving many frustrated customers in its wake. But growing pains with new networks are to be expected, and these ones will likely abate over the coming year.
CenturyLink 1-Gig struggles a bit with technical support, ranking close to the bottom among ISPs. The result comes as a surprise, since most fiber-internet providers shine in the customer service category. CenturyLink 1-Gig’s lower score may be due to expanding too quickly in an attempt to offer fiber across the United States, which often makes it difficult to build out the necessary customer support infrastructure as fast as it is needed.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Easy-to-use online support materials
- Customizable bundling options
- No publicly disclosed pricing
- Limited coverage areas
- Easy installation and setup
- Price for Life agreements
- No-term agreements on select plans only
- Monthly bills that are sometimes confusing
- Highest speeds on the market today
- Limited availability
- Limited customer support
Many Internet Service Providers sell other communications offerings, including telephone and cable television. Some even offer home automation systems or business-class services. Customers can buy the items à la carte, but most prefer to bundle them to cut down on expenses or monthly bills.
Suddenlink TV and Internet Bundles
Suddenlink offers a robust television service, ranging from TiVo to pay-per-view (PPV), and from on-demand video to basic cable service. Its cable television service delights, too, serving up to 200 channels, including some free high-definition (HD) ones. In addition, customers can add specialty channels to gain access to sports, movies, and family programming.
Many customers bundle Suddenlink’s television and internet services to either save money or receive some sort of perk. However, to figure out your exact bundling options, you must go through the Suddenlink storefront. You input your address, select the desired services, and choose the plan that best meets your needs and budget.
CenturyLink TV and Internet Bundles
CenturyLink offers DIRECTV television service. DIRECTV comes in via satellite and pairs well with CenturyLink’s High-Speed Internet.
CenturyLink offers a variety of bundles, including ones specific to its DSL and fiber internet offerings. And the bundles are too good not to consider. With some packages, you’ll find price guarantees or no-term agreements, a nice bonus factor that will protect you from getting locked into a plan for years on end.
Suddenlink provides customers with a DOCSIS 3.0 modem-router, a required piece of equipment for higher internet speeds. The ISP typically either mails an ARRIS, Hitron, or SMC model to customers who elect to self-install or hand-delivers it during an onsite installation.
Our cable modem recommendation for Suddenlink:
Because CenturyLink offers two types of internet, it employs a number of modem-routers to ensure reliable connectivity. CenturyLink 1-Gig, for example, requires a DOCSIS 3.1 modem-router to reach gigabit speeds. DSL relies on the earlier standard, DOCSIS 3.0, to enable strong connections and speed throughout the home. Some of CenturyLink’s common models include Actiontec, Westell, and ZyXEL.
Our modem/router recommendation for CenturyLink:
What You Should Consider When Comparing Suddenlink and CenturyLink
Types of Connections
When comparing Suddenlink and CenturyLink, some primary considerations apply. Customer service stands as one element, as do reliability and ease of installation. But before contemplating those items, you should examine two others: coverage area, which receives attention in the next section, and what type of internet Suddenlink and CenturyLink offer.
The two ISPs actually provide a few different types of internet service. Suddenlink provides you with cable internet, which runs on the same lines as your cable television. Cable service tends to produce reliable high speeds—at least compared to satellite, dial-up, and DSL.
CenturyLink lives on opposite spectrums, providing both DSL and fiber internet service plans. DSL uses existing telephone lines to deliver internet service. Because the lines are older, they can be prone to slower speeds and interference, especially when compared to fiber.
Fiber offers the fastest and most reliable speeds. As a more modern technology, it uses new infrastructure formed from fiber-optic networks to deliver service. The networks can send and receive data much faster than cable and DSL lines, explaining why fiber usually clocks in with the highest speeds and reliability among internet service types.
About the Providers
Suddenlink Communications spans multiple states, with regional offices found in Greenville, North Carolina; Charleston, West Virginia; Tyler, Texas; and Lubbock, Texas. The Internet Service Provider offers television, telephone, home automation, and cable internet service in sixteen states. Be forewarned that availability of the four services varies by state.
CenturyLink calls Monroe, Louisiana, home. The Internet Service Provider offers business and residential internet throughout the United States and around the world. Besides internet, CenturyLink provides telephone and television services. Both the internet and the television come in two flavors: DSL or fiber for internet, and DIRECTV television.
With the information listed here, you should be able to confidently select your next Internet Service Provider. If you’re feeling unsure of which provider to choose, start with one easy step: use the tool below to find and compare the internet plans available in your area.
Erin is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. She has over ten years of experience, with a background in marketing and creative writing