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EarthLink ISP Review 2021

Top10.com Staff

In a Nutshell

EarthLink has been around since the ‘90s, and it was the first ISP to offer flat-rate plans. Today the company has grown to a massive 200+ million customers, providing DSL and fiber options to a large percentage of the country through a network of partnerships. EarthLink is known for delivering excellent services and has award-winning customer support. You can choose from several plans.

pros

  • No data caps
  • Wide range of service
  • Great customer service ratings and satisfaction rate

cons

  • Plans are more expensive than some competitors
  • EarthLink outsources installation

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EarthLink at a Glance

Best for: Families, students, gig workers, gamers

Starting Price: $49.95

Connection Type: DSL and fiber

Download Speeds: 50-1000 Mbps

Coverage: 36 states 

Money-back Guarantee: No 

What Services and Features Does EarthLink Offer

EarthLink has both DSL and fiber-optic internet options and provides service to roughly 200 million customers across the country. The DSL services are available in 36 states, and most prominently distributed within California, NY, and Texas. The fiber internet is more selective. (In case you’re curious, the breakdown is: DSL internet for over 165.4 million customers and fiber internet for 24.9 million customers.)

EarthLink also has internet tools for businesses. There is also a mobile app that lets you email, manage contacts, control your account settings, and check the weather. The app doesn’t have anything glorious to write about. But it’s clean, efficient, and if you prefer working on your phone, it’s a good one.

Prices, Plans, and Value for Money

Not going to sugarcoat it. EarthLink’s pricing plans are on the pricier side. But the company does have millions of customers across the country, and that’s worth noting. EarthLink has been around a long time and does internet really well. So you are paying more than you would with other services, but you’re also getting a better-quality service according to its customer ratings.

EarthLink has lots of plans, which makes it easy to get the internet you want for the price you want. Here’s a look at the prices you might pay:


25+ Mbps
100+ Mbps
500+ Mbps
1 Gbps
Price
$59.95
$69.95
$79.95
$99.95
Best for
Casual streaming or gaming, downloading music, photo sharing
Faster downloads, playing online, sharing photos and music
Multiplayer gaming, video conferencing, downloading large files, rapid streaming, working or earning from home
Rapid downloads and streaming, multiplayer gaming, photo and music sharing, smart home devices
Number of devices
1-2
Up to 5
Up to 12
Unlimited devices
Connection type
DSL
Fiber
Fiber
Fiber

EarthLink also has a few lower-level plans running as little as 3 Mbps for $49.95. But most people aren’t interested in such a small threshold, especially when you can get almost nine times that amount for just $10 more. Plans and pricing availability will vary depending on where you live, since EarthLink partners with other ISPs to get a wider range of serviceability. 

Also worth noting is that EarthLink pricing is pretty much static. It won’t go up after the first year as is the case with other ISPs. You can be confident that what you’re paying now is what you’ll pay for the foreseeable future. 

EarthLink has a sticky cancellation policy, though. You’ll need to pay a hefty fee that MAY be refunded upon equipment return. Ahem. 

Ease of Use, Hardware, and Setup

EarthLink doesn’t have its own equipment. You can rent modems from the company itself, or get your own, whichever you prefer. Rental fees are cheaper than most ISPs, though, so that’s nice. You can rent a modem for $6.95 a month. Supposedly EarthLink is working on building its own equipment in the coming years.

We don’t like that installation is outsourced to the EarthLink partners. However, professional installation costs $79.95, lower than the industry average which is $99. Depending on your location, you can get a self-installation kit, but not with fiber HyperLink services. One thing we do like about EarthLink is that it also has an easy moving service. So you can take your internet with you when you move. 

EarthLink Security

EarthLink uses Norton LifeLock to secure all connected devices simultaneously. You can pay for Protect or Protect+ to get more security features. Security features include:

  • Real-time protection against threats like ransomware, viruses, and malware
  • Device protection (even when you’re out)
  • Dark web monitoring and notifications 
  • Insurance protection plan
  • Secure VPN
  • Identity alert system

There is also a parental control called EarthLink Guardian with activity monitoring, cyberbullying alerts, sexual content red flags, screen time management, and more. 

EarthLink Performance

EarthLink offers a wide range of internet plans with varying speeds. This is convenient because it means any type of user, whether they be a casual Netflix fan who just needs a basic Mbps provider or a serious business that requires heavy bandwidth usage each day, they’re covered.

EarthLink speeds are consistent and true to its advertising. There is one catch, though. The service depends on availability in your area. So depending on where you live, you may or may not be able to get the amount of speed you are looking for. 

One great thing about EarthLink is that it doesn’t have any service caps. You’ll get unlimited data according to your plan. Most services throttle you after a certain amount of data. So this is a really big deal.

EarthLink Customer Service

EarthLink is known for having excellent customer service. Reps are informed and able to make decisions so they can more easily assist the customers. EarthLink has live chat or phone support, or you can send in a support ticket. 

Residential Internet Sales
866-383-3080
8:00 AM to 12:00 AM EST, 7 days a week.

Residential Internet Customer Support
888-327-8454 or SMS Texting at 833-458-4360

Technical Support
9:00 AM to 10:00 PM EST, 7 days a week.

Customer Service
9:00 AM to 10:00 PM EST, 7 days a week

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EarthLink FAQ’s

Is EarthLink better than AT&T?

Each service provides different benefits. But EarthLink is definitely more transparent and has great customer service on its side. 

Is EarthLink secure?

EarthLink has a full suite of security tools built in to protect customers’ personal information using Norton LifeLock.

What is EarthLink premium mail?

It is an extensive email service that gives you premium mailbox usage, including additional storage, anonymous sending, and spam protection.

Bottom Line

EarthLink is a prominent company that has been around for decades. Its millions of customers affirm that this is a solid, reliable, and customer-friendly service. EarthLink offers DSL and fiber plans, and while more expensive than some competition, EarthLink makes up for the pricing in quality service. You can get internet in almost every state in the country, and EarthLink has plenty of plans to suit all types of usage needs. 

Top10.com's editorial staff is a professional team of editors and writers with dozens of years of experience covering consumer, financial and business products and services.

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