CenturyLink Reviews



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CenturyLink Review by WhichVoIP.com

Centurylink is a major supplier of communication services to homes and businesses in the USA and is in fact the third largest provider, after acquiring Qwest in 2011. The technology is primarily DSL based but also has fiber optic service (FiOS) in certain areas. TV is provided through DirecTV or through Prism which is its own IPTV offering similar to AT&T U-verse. They do offer many options for businesses, including DSL, Ethernet, VoIP, data backup, business applications like Exchange and more. However, this review is primarily focused on their residential DSL product.

The Good

With their Internet service primarily DSL the cheapest option available come with a home phone bundled service. They do offer a "Pure Broadband" option which does not require home phone service through them, but you will need to pay a premium for it. Depending on the cost of their home phone service and the cost of other options available to you (mainly VoIP services), it could still come out with you saving money.

Connection speeds up to 40Mbps (download) are offered in select areas. Other available service download speeds are 768kbps, 1.5Mbps, 3Mbps, 7Mbps, 10Mbps, 12Mbps, 20Mbps, and 25Mbps. The upload speed is typically 896kbps for most plans, except for the 40Mbps plan, where it can be up to 5Mbps.

The higher the speed the higher the monthly cost of the plan so we recommend you select the plan with the speed that best suits your usage needs. If you only use the Internet for mainly emailing and surfing websites then the lower speeds will be just fine. However, if you are streaming movies and downloading HD movies over the Internet you will want to select a plan with higher speeds. Monthly fees for Internet service only can range from $30 to $70 per month, once any introductory rates have expired.

A 30-day satisfaction guarantee is available, providing a great way for users to test out the service without risk. If you cancel within the 30 days following activation they will refund the monthly fee, as well as any shipping and handling fees for the equipment. You must return the equipment within 30 days though.

Technical customer support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A reasonable knowledgebase is available through their website, helping with items such as modem setup/issues, email setup, anti-virus software setup etc.

A self installation kit is included so you can do it yourself. You also get a homepage that you can customize, free email accounts, and the ability to watch full television shows from over 250 networks inside the CenturyLink portal. A full suite of backup and security services can be added on to your service. Internet subscribers do get 2GB storage capacity at no additional charge for backing up their computer files.

The Bad

Their wireless modem requires a lease fee of $6.99 per month. They also sell wireless adapters that can plug into a PC, providing a wireless connection to your modem if needed. They are in the $40 region and can be found at lower costs elsewhere if you are a frugal shopper.

To get the best deals you typically have to sign up for a one year term agreement. Once that year has passed the monthly fees will increase to the standard rates, based on your speed selection. You may also be required to sign up for autopay and e-bill to get the best rates.

Actual speeds can be affected by the distance that your house is from the Central Office and also by your internal phone wiring in the house. Speeds can be up to 15% lower.

A shipping and handling fee is typically charged for the modem/router delivery.

A termination fee of $99 or an amount determined by your monthly rate and remaining months left on your term (up to $200) will apply.

Similar to most Broadband providers they only support certain locations across the USA. You will need to enter your address into their website to check availability.

The Bottom Line

  • Pure Broadband Plan: This plan allows you to get what many people call "naked DSL", which means you can get the DSL service without having to also subscribe to their phone service. Current deals start at $30/month for the first year. Following the one year price lock the cost increases to their standard rates, depending on speed of service. Rates vary from $30 to $70 per month currently (based on service speed).
  • Home Phone Package: With this package the Internet service starts at $20 per month for the first 12 months or up to 3 years price fixed for lower speeds. This is the best deal available if you want to have their home phone service also. However, you could be paying from $65 per month for this bundle (phone + Internet).
  • Other Packages: There are other bundled packages available through CentruyLink that includes the addition of television and also cell phone service through Verizon.
  • Additional Fees: On top of the monthly plan rate there will be taxes and regulatory fees. This is normal for any Internet provider. The amount may vary depending on your location. A modem lease fee of $6.99 is added. Expect a charge for shipping and handling for delivery of the modem and self installation kit. If you require professional installation then expect to pay for that, especially if any wiring is required inside your home. Expect to pay a termination fee also if you decide this service is not for you after the 30 day guarantee period.

Overall Thoughts

If you are looking for an option to get DSL service into your home without having to subscribe to a home phone service also then CenturyLink are worth checking out. This gives you the option of using a 3rd party VoIP phone service at a much lower cost than a traditional phone line.

Speeds and pricing are similar to other large providers and with Broadband services it typically comes down to availability in your area. You can bundle in television but it is through a Satellite provider. This may put some people off, depending on your location. You can bundle in cell phone service through Verizon which is a nice option of keeping multiple bills into one.

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