CenturyLink internet may not be always the fastest, but its contracts conditions and its big coverage in the United States makes the provider a good choice.
When we are looking at our next internet provider, probably we will get to CenturyLink’s page at some point —or maybe Lumen, its new name.
The company does not often offer the fastest download speed, but nevertheless there are a few aspects you might want to consider before taking it aside.
When it comes to contracts, CenturyLink offers you some good deals and will not impose a data limited plan.
The company is still expanding its fiber services, but meanwhile, if you only have DSL alternatives in your region, it will offer you a good deal, also in rural areas.
It might not often be ranked as one of the top internet providers of the United States, but it certainly has something to offer its customers.
So, lets take a closer look at what does this provider have to offer.
One of the main attractions for CenturyLink is that the company is (almost) everywhere.
Actually, its internet services are present in at least 36 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
This is more than, for example, AT&T, which also has a large coverage, but is only available in 21 different states. Actually, CenturyLink is available in more states than any other provider in the US.
However, the DSL plan is the only alternative for many of those places. The company is still expanding its fiber services and, as for today, it is only available in 19 cities.
To check if your adress is a lucky one, take a look at CenturyLink’s web page. You will find a place where you can write your zip code and find it out.
But, if you only have access to DSL, should you choose it? Let’s understand.
What is DSL?
First of all, you need to understand what a DSL internet means. It stands for Digital Subscriber Line.
It is one of the many internet technologies, such as satellites, cable or fiber.
The downside is that it is old and uses phone wires to transmit data, which is by far not the fastest way. So it can not offer you big download speeds as cable and especially fiber can.
But on the other hand, phone lines have existed in our cities since long ago. Because of that, the DSL is available in far more places than the fiber or even cable technology.
Therefore, many rural areas or even some places in big cities will only have access to it.
Fiber technology, anyway, is much faster. It uses light tech to transmit data through cables and, as a result, it supports larger amounts of data (higher download and upload speed capacity) and is also more resistant to time.
But choosing it or not, considering you have other alternatives, depends on your needs.
For many basic day to day tasks and also if you do not have many devices connected simultaneously, CenturyLink’s DSL plans can be a good choice, much because it will offer you good prices.
But, if you are looking at high internet data usage at your house and if you need high download and upload speed, DSL might let you down.
Is it worth it? Well, it depends on the plan. Let’s see what the provider offers us.
Plan Max speeds Monthly cost
Simply Unlimited 20 20Mbps download, 2Mbps upload $50
Simply Unlimited 40 40Mbps download, 5Mbps upload $50
Simply Unlimited 60 60Mbps download, 7Mbps upload $50
Simply Unlimited 80 80Mbps download, 10Mbps upload $50
Simply Unlimited 100 100Mbps download, 12Mbps upload $50
Simply Unlimited 120 120Mbps download, 30Mbps upload $50
Simply Unlimited 140 140Mbps download, 40Mbps upload $50
Fiber Internet 200 200Mbps download, 200Mbps upload
Fiber Gigabit 940Mbps download, 940Mbps upload $65
As you can see by the list, CenturyLink still offers just a few fiber alternatives for its customers.
Nevertheless, it has attractive prices, both for fiber and DSL. The difference probably will be which plan will be available in your region.
If you have the 140 Mbps DSL one, it has a good price, only $ 50. And for only $ 15 more, you can have almost 1,000 Mbps of download and upload speed at the fiber plan, if it is available at your address.
So, if you are looking at good prices, maybe you got where you wanted. And for most people, 100 Mbps is enough speed, actually.
You will maybe need more if you have simultaneous movies been streamed at the sane time at your house, or if your work requires dowload and upload of very big files.
Another good news is that none of CenturLink’s plans will have data caps, which mean no limited quantity of download or upload —you can watch as many movies as you want.
It is recent good news, indeed. In previous years, the unlimited plans were only available for DSL internet.
Other good news is that there are no contracts, which means you can exit you plan whenever you want and, also, that the bill will not raise after one year —in almost every provider, the price will increase past 12 months of contract.
Last, but not least, CenturyLink allows you to have your own modem and router set. Or, if you prefer, you can rent the company’s equipment paying a $ 15 fee.
Having your own devices might be good. As with any technological hardware, there are many different alternatives on the market.
Usually, devices provided by IPS are average. They are not great, but not bad. But, in some cases, you might need something great.
For example if you love streaming while gaming, or if you work with 4K videos. Also, if you have a house so big that internet signals do not get to every corner.
In those cases, you might want to buy devices that are more powerful than usual and, with CenturyLink, you will not have any trouble with it.
Customer service satisfaction
One down side of CenturyLink are its reviews. At the American Customer Satisfaction Index, it has scored 62 points out of 100 in 2021, getting the 6th place out of 12th, right in the middle of the table.
It is a 1,6% downgrade at its rating compared to last year, when it got 63 points. But considering the last few years, the company is improving: it got 58 in 2018 and 59 in 2019.
Another thing to consider is that, according to the Federal Communications Commission report, DSL internet often is below what the plan promises.
According to the J.D. Power US Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study, Century Link also has not so good reviews. It has scored 710 out of 1,000 points.
The bottom line
Century Link positive points
- Good affordable prices for everyone
- No contract plans
- Unlimited Data
- Short fiber coverage
- Not every speed is available everywhere
- Middle of the table costumer services
After all, CenturyLink is not the best, but it is a good choice.
It is a strong competitor because it gets to almost everywhere and with affordable prices. While its fiber coverage still lacks, its DSL can be a nice alternative for many people, especially for regular online taks.
Also, it has good contract conditions: unlimited data, no one year price raise, you can choose to have your own modem and router set and you can exit whenever you want.
The downside is that many areas do not have options for its fastest plans and, considering fiber, which is the best technology today, it is available in a few cities only.
Also, customer reviews are not the best.
More about CenturyLink
The company dates back to 1930. It offers not only internet, but also TV and phone services.
But it was only really named CenturyLink following a merge with Embarq. Before, it was called CenturyTel. The two became one in 2008 and, in 2009, announced the name CenturyLink.
It stood until 2020, when CenturyLink got a rebrand to Lumen, just as did Facebook, becoming Meta.
The move comes as the company tries to expand its fiber network, while leaving behind the DSL world.
As the company said: “The Lumen Platform helps our customers capitalize on emerging technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution to deliver amazing things such as smart cities, retail and industrial robotics, real-time virtual collaboration and automated factories, as well as power today’s business applications that require high-performance networking and security.”
“The platform brings together our highly interconnected global fiber network infrastructure, edge cloud capabilities, and security and communication and collaboration solutions to deliver a fast and secure foundation for the application and data services vital to our customers’ success”.