CenturyLink vs Mediacom: Side by Side Comparison

Enter your zip code below to see if CenturyLink or Mediacom offers service in your area.

CenturyLink vs Mediacom

There’s plenty to think about when comparing Centurylink and Mediacom. They have a lot in common on the surface, but differ significantly in the details. Centurylink’s predominantly DSL offerings and Mediacom’s cable network use different technology to deliver data to your doorstep, but the pricing and speeds offered are frequently interchangeable.

CenturyLink AT A GLANCE

  • Sales: (855) 893-1284
  • Support: (866) 963-6665

(855) 893-1284

$29.95 to $79.95 / mo.

10 mbps to 1,000 mbps

Up to 5.0 mbps

63%63%

DSL

Current: 45th (0)

Mediacom Cable AT A GLANCE

  • Sales: (855) 370-0309
  • Support: (800) 479-2082

(855) 370-0309

$34.95 to $34.95 / mo.

10 mbps to 1,000 mbps

1.0 mbps to 20 mbps

57%57%

Cable

Current: 16th (0)

CenturyLink OVERVIEW

CenturyLink is a communications company that provides DSL and fiber Internet, phone, and TV service. Their TV offerings are marketed under the name “PRISMTV.”

Mediacom OVERVIEW

Mediacom is a cable TV, broadband Internet, and phone service provider for business and residential subscribers, offering gigabit download speeds in some areas.

CenturyLink INTERNET DEALS †

  • $29.95 for 40 mbps Fiber
    • 40 mbps ↓ and -- mbps
    • 1-year promo rate.
    • Contract Term: 1 year
    • Requires AutoPay enrollment and paperless billing.
    • Setup: $59.99 (Includes standard technician installation and free internet activation.)
    • Modem w/ WiFi: $9.99/mo or one-time $99.99
    • Call (855) 893-1284 to setup service.
  • $44.95 for 100 mbps Fiber
    • 100 mbps ↓ and -- mbps
    • 1-year promo rate.
    • Contract Term: 1 year
    • Requires AutoPay enrollment and paperless billing.
    • Setup: $59.99 (Includes standard technician installation and free internet activation.)
    • Modem w/ WiFi: $9.99/mo or one-time $99.99
    • Call (855) 893-1284 to setup service.
  • $45 for 10 mbps DSL
    • 10 mbps ↓ and -- mbps
    • Setup: $0 (Free standard tech installation and internet activation.)
    • Modem w/ WiFi: $10/mo or one-time $100
    • Call (855) 893-1284 to setup service.
  • $45 for 25 mbps DSL
    • 25 mbps ↓ and -- mbps
    • Setup: $0 (Free standard tech installation and internet activation.)
    • Modem w/ WiFi: $10/mo or one-time $100
    • Call (855) 893-1284 to setup service.
  • $79.95 for 1,000 mbps Fiber
    • 1,000 mbps ↓ and -- mbps
    • 1-year promo rate.
    • Contract Term: 1 year
    • Requires AutoPay enrollment and paperless billing.
    • Setup: $59.99 (Includes standard technician installation and free internet activation.)
    • Modem w/ WiFi: $9.99/mo or one-time $99.99
    • Call (855) 893-1284 to setup service.
Last updated on 6/28/2017

†All plans not available in all areas or to all customers. Verify details with CenturyLink.

Mediacom INTERNET DEALS †

  • $34.95 for 15 mbps Cable
    • 15 mbps ↓ and 5.0 mbps
    • 1-year promo rate. Regular rate is $49.95.
    • Contract Term: 2 years
    • Setup: $49.99 (Includes installation.)
    • Modem: $7.5/mo
    • Call (855) 370-0309 to setup service.
Last updated on 5/11/2017

†All plans not available in all areas or to all customers. Verify details with Mediacom.

CenturyLink: NO DATACAP FOUND

We have not found plans that include data caps. This doesn't mean CenturyLink doesn't have data caps, just that we haven't found them when collecting their plans. Always verify plan details before purchasing.

Mediacom: NO DATACAP FOUND

We have not found plans that include data caps. This doesn't mean Mediacom doesn't have data caps, just that we haven't found them when collecting their plans. Always verify plan details before purchasing.

CenturyLink's TECHNOLOGY

Centurylink offers internet, TV, and phone service to consumers using two primary technologies: DSL and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH).

DSL is an older internet technology that uses Centurylink’s existing telephone infrastructure to deliver internet service. While DSL networks don’t offer the fastest speeds or lowest latencies, they are widely available and generally less expensive than other alternatives since they travel over the same cheap, readily available cables that carry telephone data.[3]

If you are considering DSL, make sure to check the speeds available in your area as they can vary dramatically depending on your local infrastructure and distance between your house and the provider’s local office.

Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), on the other hand, is widely considered the next generation of consumer internet access. In an FTTH implementation, Centurylink delivers a fiber optic connection directly to your residence, resulting in higher bandwidth and lower latency. The only problem with FTTH is that installing fiber optic cables are expensive, so this type of service is not widely available and usually comes with a higher monthly cost than DSL, cable, or fixed wireless.

Mediacom's TECHNOLOGY

Home Internet, phone, and TV services from Mediacom are made available via their cable infrastructure, which uses existing cable TV coaxial cable to bridge the final distance between the Internet “backbone” and local subscribers.

In most setups, optical fiber cable is laid as far as a subscriber’s neighborhood, at which point data is switched from optical signal to electrical signal for transmission via coaxial cable. This makes the final bandwidth, speed, and latency offerings less ideal than a true fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) connection, but offsets the high cost of installing FTTH cables, allowing the company to offer reasonably fast service at a lower up-front cost.[4]

CenturyLink INSTALLATION

CenturyLink customers have two options for installation: self-installation or professional installation.

Self-installation is generally very simple, particularly for DSL broadband. Everything needed to perform the installation, including step-by-step instructions, should come with the modem or welcome kit. The whole process generally takes no more than 40 minutes.

Professional installation is necessary if your house has never been connected to CenturyLink before, or if the customer simply doesn’t care to fiddle with the cables and settings. An appointment with a professional technician can be made directly through CenturyLink.

There is usually a fee associated with bringing in a professional, so customers with pre-wired homes who are comfortable plugging in a few cables and following simple instructions can easily save money by doing it themselves.

Mediacom INSTALLATION

Mediacom offers two options to broadband subscribers: self-installation or professional installation by a technician. Self-installation is free, while a technician usually comes with a fee.

Self-installation guidelines vary based on plan and connection type, and should be provided when you sign up. Self-installation usually takes no more than an hour.

Professional installation comes with a fee, but can be well worth it for less technically-inclined customers as well as those who need further assistance in making sure the wiring in their building is sufficient for the plan in question.

CenturyLink RATINGS AND REVIEWS

36%36% Customer Rating

36.1% recommendation rating according to 40,003 verified users.

Mediacom RATINGS AND REVIEWS

42%42% Customer Rating

42.0% recommendation rating according to 5,348 verified Mediacom users.

CenturyLink COVERAGE & AVAILABILITY

CenturyLink Interactive SVG Map showing broadband coverage.

Mediacom COVERAGE & AVAILABILITY

Mediacom Cable Interactive SVG Map showing broadband coverage.

Bundling is often a money saver

Consider TV and phone service, if you’ll actually use them

A marketing tactic many providers use is “bundling” together different services and offering a discount — usually Internet/TV/phone, which is often called “triple play,” or just two services, which as you might expect is marketed as “double play.” While many consumers are cutting the cord from traditional cable in recent years to use streaming services like Netflix, a dedicated TV subscription can still offer a lot of value to customers who will consume a lot of content.

Data caps can also cause problems for families or heavy TV watchers, who can quickly download enough data to go over their allowance and trigger high fees.[1] The good news is, since so many people are cutting out cable TV and home phones, companies will often offer incredible deals for those interested.

Keep an eye on extra fees

Early termination fees and other hidden costs

It’s common for providers to offer compelling discounts for new customers. These sign-up deals can be a great incentive to pick one provider over another for cost-conscious shoppers, but there are a few “gotchas” to keep in mind.

First, always factor in the final monthly cost you’ll be paying when the promotional period ends. If you average out the price, will it still be lower than the competition? Second, ETFs (early termination fees) can cost a lot out-of-pocket if you have to leave and cut off service before your contract states. Be wary of signing multi-year contracts, even with an amazing promotion on the table, if you anticipate the possibility of relocating, or if the provider in question has poor customer reviews.[2]

Last updated on 6/28/2017.

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