PROS / EarthLink offers more premium anytime bandwidth than most other services on the lineup.
CONS / Basic and premium plans only provide you with 1 Mbps for upstreaming.
VERDICT / High speeds and bandwidth make this service worthwhile, though its limited plan availability and throttling may ultimately restrict your usage.
With EarthLink, you can enjoy some of the fastest satellite internet and highest bandwidth capacities of any service on our lineup. You can purchase small quantities of additional data, but its customer service is frequently unhelpful and unpleasant, making it a weaker option than some of the other services.
In case you don't have the budget to shell out for a premium satellite internet plan, EarthLink's basic plan is the only one in our lineup that gives you 6 Mbps for downstreaming. However, both the basic and premium plans only offer 1 Mbps for upstreaming, which greatly limits your capacity to do things like upload videos or photos to social media. Other satellite internet providers grant you up to 3 Mbps, the maximum upstream rate for this type of internet, so they're better options than EarthLink for frequent uploading.
As far as rural internet providers go, EarthLink not only gives you great downstreaming speeds but also plenty of anytime and off-peak bandwidth to use. Basic subscribers can enjoy up to 10GB of anytime bandwidth, and those on the premium plan have up to 50GB. All plans can use a separate 50GB of bandwidth during off-peak hours, which are generally from about 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. You can purchase small amounts of overage data at about $10 per gigabyte once you go over your allotment. Without that overage data, once you use up your allotment, EarthLink throttles your internet speeds until your next billing period rolls over.
The best satellite internet options on our lineup offer a large variety of plans; this one only gives you one or two options, depending on where you're located. The typical contract length for EarthLink customers is two years. If you want to cancel before the end of that period, you have to pay a cancellation fee, which depends on how much time is remaining in your contract. Should you only need to stop your service temporarily, it has a hibernation plan available that lets you suspend your service without violating your contract.
Most new customers can expect free installation, though this may not be the case for all, depending on location. Plan prices and additional fees for activation and equipment leasing also vary by location. You can reach the company's customer support via telephone or live chat, but in our testing, we found the representatives difficult to talk to and borderline rude. There are minimal informational resources available on the website.
Though its customer service is subpar and it throttles your data speeds once you use up your monthly allotment, EarthLink does have some of the fastest satellite internet and largest bandwidth quantities available. Lots of off-peak bandwidth and free installation for most customers makes it a decent service if satellite internet is your only option.