In a Nutshell
- No data caps
- No contracts
- Fast speeds even in rural locations
- Prices highly inconsistent across regions
- No security features included
Windstream at a Glance
Best for (families, students, businesses, etc.): Families, businesses
Starting Price: $27/month (location-dependent)
Connection Type (Cable, DSL, etc.): DSL, Fiber
Download Speeds: 15-1000Mbps
Coverage (# of states available): 18
Money-Back Guarantee?: 30 days
What Services and Features Does Windstream Offer?
In 2021, Windstream split into three divisions—Kinetic by Windstream (residential solutions), Kinetic Business by Windstream (small business solutions), and Windstream Enterprise (large business solutions).
All these divisions offer forms of internet connectivity, with business solutions offering faster speeds and SLAs (service level agreements).
Kinetic by Windstream also includes the option of streaming TV and voice services for the home.
Prices, Plans, and Value for Money
Windstream is coy about the plans and pricing available in each of its covered areas. Having confirmed that residential internet from Windstream is available in your area, you’ll need to call a phone number to get more details on pricing and speed availability.
This secrecy is perhaps because the pricing is very inconsistent across regions. For example, you can get a 400Mbps fiber connection in one state for a better price than you’ll pay for a 50Mbps DSL connection in another. DSL pricing is particularly volatile, with some locations only getting a 15Mbps connection for $45/month.
Windstream’s value for money, therefore, depends highly on location.
Ease of Use, Hardware and Setup
Installation of Kinetic by Windstream usually means self-installation. A modem is shipped to you within 3-4 days of ordering the service, accompanied by installation instructions. The instructions are relatively simple to follow, but Windstream technical assistance is available 24/7 over the phone to assist you in setting up your service if you need it.
Windstream also offers professional installation for around $35.
Windstream comes with no security features as standard, but you can choose from three security packages that cost between $9.99 and $13.99 per month.
The most affordable security plan adds parental controls, antivirus and malware protection, and premium technical support. Pay more, and you can add identity theft protection and credit monitoring services.
Windstream performance in your area depends on what type of service is available. If DSL is the only choice, Windstream is generally better priced than the competitors.
In general, Windstream does well in speed tests. User speed test results routinely have Windstream as one of the top five fastest ISPs in the states it’s available in, and it often makes the top three. As always, your mileage may vary.
If you’re faced with choosing between Windstream and satellite internet, which is often the case, Windstream is usually faster than satellite and has no data cap, a significant advantage. However, some satellite providers, like Viasat, can offer faster speeds if they’ve available.
If fiber is ubiquitous, Windstream usually still comes in a little cheaper than most providers. If your choice is between Windstream fiber and cable, Windstream is typically slightly more expensive, but arguably worth it for the faster upload speeds and lack of data caps.
Windstream Customer Service
Support is available through live chat, email, and phone. Live chat hours run from Monday to Sunday, 7am-12am ET. Email support has a turnaround time of 24 hours.
Phone support is available 24/7. Windstream also has around 50 stores spread across the states where it supplies internet. So, you have many ways to get support for your Windstream internet service.
What type of internet connection is Windstream?
Windstream’s internet service is delivered via DSL and fiber, depending on location. Windstream is aggressively increasing its fiber provisioning in rural areas, which is to be commended.
Did Windstream go out of business?
In February 2020, Windstream filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after losing a legal battle with hedge fund Aurelius Capital Management. It continued to operate under Chapter 11 until September 2021, where a reorganization plan allowed Windstream to emerge from bankruptcy.
Who owns Windstream now?
Windstream is now a private company with multiple owners. The largest ownership stake of 40% belongs to Elliott Marketing Corp., a New York private equity company.
Windstream offers TV and phone services, but the DSL and fiber internet products it offers are the most interesting. Internet from Windstream usually comes in a little cheaper than the competition for the same speeds, and it has no data caps or long contracts to worry about. Technical support services are satisfactory, and security software is available at an extra monthly fee.
It’s difficult to wholeheartedly recommend to everyone because, in some areas, Windstream’s pricing is very high. But if it’s available in your area, it’s worth checking out the speeds and pricing that Windstream could offer you.