In a Nutshell
- Wireless modem and router in one
- No annual contracts
- Built-in privacy and parental controls
- Fiber internet not available in all locations
- DSL options aren’t that cheap
- $99 installation fee
CenturyLink at a Glance
Best for: Families
Starting Price: $50/month for 3-100 Mbps, $65/month for 940 Mbps
Connection Type: DSL, fiber
Download Speeds: 3-940 Mbps
Coverage: 36 states (17% coverage nationwide)
Money-Back Guarantee: No
What Services and Features Does CenturyLink Offer?
CenturyLink features include:
- Mobile app. Lets you manage your WiFi network name and password, see a list of connected devices and their signal strength, and run speed tests.
- Parental controls. Gives you control of your children’s access to the internet, lets you pause internet access to any device at any time, and guards against inappropriate web content.
- Secure WiFi. Built-in security from McAfee keeps all your connected devices free from cyber threats.
- Device protection. Downloadable security for PC/Mac/Android/iOS devices for extended protection and when you use these devices through public WiFi connections.
Prices, Plans and Value for Money
CenturyLink’s pricing structure is fairly straightforward. DSL ranges from 3-100 Mbps, depending on where you live, and costs $50/month plus taxes, which is higher than the market average. Fiber internet gives you 940 Mbps when available and costs $65/month plus taxes, which is lower than the market average.
The good thing about CenturyLink is that there are no contracts and you can cancel any time. On the other hand, there are a bunch of additional fees built into the service. These include:
- Modem lease - $15/month or $200 flat fee
- Professional installation - $99 flat fee
- New internet service line installation (if you don’t already have one) - $150 to $300 one-off fee
- Non-return fee (if you don’t return leased equipment within 30 days of cancellation) - $200 one-off fee
CenturyLink does not offer a money-back guarantee.
Ease of Use, Hardware and Setup
The upside of the obligatory installation fee is that a technician will come to your home to do a professional installation. Depending on where you live, a technician should be available within one to two weeks of completing your order.
In most cases, customers must use CenturyLink’s modem and router in one, which comes with WiFi 6 advanced technology for enhanced connectivity and data capacity.
The device includes:
- Support for multiple WiFi devices
- Built-in security from McAfee
- Downloadable McAfee security for PC/Mac/Android/iOS devices
- Automatic software updates
Like most ISPs, CenturyLink’s capacity and performance vary from area to area. According to the FCC Broadband Map, CenturyLink covers 16.5% of the U.S. population. It offers DSL connection in 99% of the areas it serves and fiber internet in 38% of the areas it serves. The max speed of fiber internet usually ranges from 250-500 Mbps and rarely reaches 940 Mbps. With that said, 250-500 Mbps is fast enough to support simultaneous streaming, gaming, and other activities on multiple devices.
CenturyLink Customer Service
CenturyLink offers technical support from 7 am – 9 pm ET, Monday to Friday, at 866-642-0444. For answers to frequently asked questions, check out the Internet Support page on the CenturyLink website.
Q: What type of internet connection does CenturyLink offer?
A: CenturyLink offers two types of connections: DSL (ranges from 3-100 Mbps) and fiber (ranges from 100-940 Mbps).
Q: Where is CenturyLink currently available?
A: CenturyLink is available in parts of 36 states. States with broad availability include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon, North Carolina, Utah, and Washington.
Q: Who owns CenturyLink?
A: CenturyLink is owned by Lumen Technologies, a New York Stock Exchange-listed company headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana that specializes in communications, network services, and voice services.
With coverage for around one in six American households, CenturyLink is a major internet service provider. Its DSL is a little on the expensive side. However, its fiber internet, which is available in around one-third of the areas served by CenturyLink and offers consistent speeds of around 250-500 Mbps, is well priced compared to competitors.