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CenturyLink internet review

CenturyLink offers fixed monthly prices without contracts, and a range of internet speeds to ensure there's something for everyone.

CenturyLink review
(Image: © CenturyLink)

Our Verdict

CenturyLink offers a decent range of plans and internet speeds, of up to 940 Mbps depending on where you live and the plan you select, and a number of phone and TV bundles on offer. You also don't need to sign a contract, which is very attractive.

For

  • No contracts – cancel anytime
  • Variety of connection speeds
  • Includes Norton Internet security

Against

  • No cable internet, only DSL and fiber

CenturyLink offers high speeds at middle of the road prices, which is one of the reasons we added it to our list of the best internet service providers. It offers reliable internet for residential use, and there are dedicated plans for business use, plus phone and TV bundles if you're looking to go all-in.

The other big draws are that you don't sign a contract to take up the service, plus the price of your monthly bill is locked on via CenturyLink's Price for Life guarantee, so there won't be any nasty surprises down the line. The only downside is that if you don't live in a fiber area, CenturyLink’s DSL internet tends to clock in at slower speeds than cable.

CenturyLink provides residential internet services across 37 states, including Florida, Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, Washington ,and Utah, with a full spectrum of tutorials and speed tests to get you up and running quickly. You can also contact the company's customer support by email, telephone and chat, and delve into a wealth of online tutorials if you need assistance troubleshooting issues at home.

CenturyLink review: TV bundle landing page

(Image credit: CenturyLink)

According to CenturyLink, you'll find the best prices for its internet plans and bundles on the company's website. If you're considering CenturyLink for residential use, and you're happy with paperless billing, prices start from $49 a month for all internet speeds up to 100Mbps. Though it's worth keeping in mind that the top speeds aren't available in all areas.

Here are the main plans available right now:

  • Price for Life 15 Mbps through to 100 Mbps – from $49
  • CenturyLink Fiber internet 940 Mbps – $65

CenturyLink’s Price for Life guarantee ensures that you get that same price for the entire time you use the service, except for the Fiber Internet plan. But at $65 a month, the Fiber Internet option could be attractive to heavy internet users.

There are bundle offers available too. For example, you could combine internet and a home phone service. Bundle prices start from $65 a month for internet with speeds of up to 940Mbps, plus unlimited home phone. Again, paperless billing is a caveat of the lower prices on offer.

CenturyLink is also partnering with DISH to offer a range of TV packages. These start from $59.99 and run all the way up to $94.99 a month for the 290+ channel package. That is a lot of TV, and these packages are only really matched by Comcast Xfinity.

CenturyLink review: internet plans

(Image credit: CenturyLink)

CenturyLink currently offers download speeds of 15Mbps to 100Mbps with its DSL service, so your speed could fall anywhere in that range. You’ll pay the same price each month regardless of what end of the speed scale you're able to access. The more common speed range detected by our third party testing is 20Mbps, so if you're a casual internet user, CenturyLink should be able to satisfy your needs.

Again, if you're a heavy internet user who enjoys playing online games and streaming movies, consider CenturyLink's Fiber Internet for speed of up to 940Mbps, depending on where you live. Each CenturyLink internet plan has a 1TB data limit, which is pretty standard.

You'll find more flexible plans and slightly better speeds at Verizon Internet, but at a higher cost.

Your internet subscription come with 11 email accounts that have about 5GB of online storage each. Norton Antivirus is also included. Should you need the service, CenturyLink also offers a low-income plan, but you have to qualify for it.

CenturyLink's lower-tiered and slower speed options aren't impressive. However, if you can obtain one of the faster connection options, such as 20Mbps or more with a dedicated line, you can enjoy most of the media that the internet has to offer, such as video and music streaming.

Other features you may wish to purchase include Secure WiFi for an additional $5 a month, which could be worth the peace of mind it brings if you don't already have the best internet security software on your side.

CenturyLink rents modems for up to $15 a month if you don't want to buy your own. However, if you think you're going to be using the company's internet service for more than 10 months, you'll be better off buying the modem outright for $150.

There's a $50 shipping and handling fee for modem purchases, but you can avoid that cost completely if you complete your order online rather than via phone.

According to ConsumerAffairs, CenturyLink has near a four star rating out of five based on 2,166 reviews in the last year. A positive review by Jon of Park City, UT, said: "We've had CenturyLink internet service in one of our Park City, UT condos for about 3 years now and we've been very happy with it. I'd highly recommend their internet service if you're looking for high speed internet."

A negative review, from Andrew of Boulder, CO, said: "I purchased a remote cabin in which internet is imperative to have. Before closing I double checked to make sure that the transfer would be no issue. Seller called to transfer and was told it was easier cancel and have me call and sign up. We did that but when I called it too 9 (NINE) hours on the phone for them to find the account and tell me that because the seller canceled that there was nothing they could do."

The site Broadbandnow rates CenturyLink as 3.14 out of five based on 3393 customer reviews. A negative from Darrell said: "I was charged for a pay per view that I did not order. They would not give me a refund even though I did not make the order. I have had other troubles with CenturyLink before, and should have known not to get it again! I say to anyone thinking about this service to not buy it."

One positive review, by Joanna Rand, said: "Have had CenturyLink for 7 years at my present address and so far I have to say they have been the fairest and easiest to deal with in regards to service. I want something in particular and they were the only ones to provide me that service where I live."

Whether CenturyLink is the right internet service provider for you comes down to how often you use the internet and what you're doing. For example, if you're regularly streaming or downloading movies and other large files, you'll need a provider that can deliver fast speeds. It's a good choice if you want to bundle internet with home phone, and there's a decent array of TV packages on offer too thanks to a collaboration with DISH.

The biggest draw with CenturyLink is that you don't have to sign a contract, so essentially you keep the service for as long as you want without attracting penalties for cutting out early. We also like the Price for Life guarantee, which protects you from unwanted price hikes. Overall, we feel CenturyLink is best for families, gamers, and small home business owners. While it has wide availability, you could try HughesNet if you can't get access to CenturyLink.