CenturyLink is a major Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and fiber internet provider that mostly leverages “fiber to the loop” landline networks to deliver digital data, allowing for high-speed yet affordable internet. CenturyLink offers fiber internet to 12.2 million people in select cities across 17 states, including Colorado, Oregon, and Washington.
CenturyLink’s core strength is its rural availability, made possible by leveraging existing telephone infrastructure. This feature is what makes DSL one of the most widely available broadband technologies — nearly any house wired for phone service can get DSL service. Known for consistent pricing compared to the cable alternatives chosen by many suburban residents, CenturyLink is a strong alternative to satellite for rural customers providing comparably stable service with higher data caps.
CenturyLink Internet Services
|Best features||Things to consider|
CenturyLink is one of the cheapest internet providers nationwide for fiber internet. So, if it’s available in your area, it’s a great value for the money. CenturyLink’s DSL plans are on par with other nationwide DSL providers.
|Plan name||Download speeds||Starting Price||Data cap|
|CenturyLink Fiber Internet||Up to 940 Mbps||$50 per month||Unlimited data|
|Simply Unlimited Internet||Up to 100 Mbps||$50 per month||Unlimited data|
For almost everyone, CenturyLink’s starter fiber plans should be more than enough to keep them connected. For streamers and gamers, CenturyLink’s gigabit fiber offerings are more suitable. In some areas, however, neither of those plans are available.
CenturyLink’s DSL plans offer more availability, but even those speeds vary by location. Some may have access to up to 100 Mbps, while others could be stuck with much less speed. The best way to tell which CenturyLink plan is being offered is to compare the plans available near you.
CenturyLink Internet Speeds
CenturyLink offers two forms of wired internet: DSL and fiber. Most CenturyLink connections are what’s known as “Fiber in the loop” or FITL connections, which means that subscriber data is transmitted over copper phone lines from the residence to a digital subscriber line access multiplexer (DSLAM) device nearby. The device switches over the connection for all subscribers in the local area into a fiber line. CenturyLink Fiber offers download and upload speeds up to 940 Mbps.
DSL from CenturyLink can be thought of as a “phone line” connection. DSL is a major improvement over dial-up internet (which also used phone lines) because it shares the line with phone service while delivering much higher bandwidth and speeds. While DSL typically ranges from 3 to 35 Mbps, CenturyLink DSL internet reaches download speeds up to 100 Mbps and upload speeds up to 20 Mbps. While the overall speeds are lower than cable, DSL connections are known for higher levels of stability when it comes to speed since they are “direct” connections to the provider, versus the “shared” connection you have with cable internet.