PROS / Windstream can deliver adequate DSL speeds and offers services to numerous rural areas.
CONS / Windstream does not offer free internet security software with its internet plans.
VERDICT / If you live in a rural area in the eastern or southeastern part of the U.S., Windstream may be a good DSL option for you.
This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about internet service providers here.
Windstream Communications operates out of Little Rock, Arkansas, and offers services to over three million customers in the eastern half of the United States. Like most ISPs, this company has gone through many evolutions. Most recently, the company was the Valor Communications Group. Since 2007, Windstream has acquired six additional companies to expand its infrastructure, coverage and number of access lines. Currently, Windstream offers four residential internet plans ranging from 3 Mbps to 24 Mbps subscriptions.
Since Windstream offers services to specific areas of the eastern half of the U.S., it only provides DSL services to one of the test addresses we used on the other internet service providers we looked at. However, Windstream provides services to over three million customers and that makes it a midsize ISP, comparable to EarthLink and Suddenlink in size. The company offers three plans. If you are interested in using the internet to stream movies and play games, you will want to consider two faster options. But if you just need the internet to read webpages and check email, the 3 Mbps subscription will work for you. In third-party speed tests Windstream lands in about the mid-range compared to other major providers, but that is on par for DSL services – the top performers are usually cable or fiber optic services.
Subscriptions come with five email addresses with 1GB of storage each. Windstream also offers internet security and data backup as additional services. You can purchase plans that offer McAfee security software, ID protection, 25GB of storage, automatic backup and more for a low monthly fee. The security package includes parental controls, utility tools, antispyware, email protection and antivirus protection.
In terms of customer support, you can contact Windstream by telephone, chat or email. You can also follow the company on Twitter and Facebook; on these websites, you can read company news and more. The customer and technical support phone numbers are toll-free and Windstream does not charge for basic support. We like that the company offers a variety of payment options for customers, including online, by phone or by mail. You can also pay in person at one of the retail locations or payment centers. If you need additional help, you can find useful FAQs online as well as video tutorials, internet security information, home networking support and email assistance.
We did not run into too many issues with Windstream Communications. Though some customers have had issues with Windstream's service, most report consistent speeds and reliable service. This internet provider is continuously adding new infrastructure and access lines to increase the coverage area and may give Frontier a run for its money someday soon.