AT&T Internet vs. CenturyLink

A Side-by-Side Comparison of AT&T Internet and CenturyLink Internet Service in 2022

AT&T Internet and CenturyLink Service in 2022:

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Both AT&T Internet and CenturyLink offer fiber broadband coverage along with phone and/or TV services in their bundles. AT&T also offers IPBB – a hybrid of DSL and fiber connection – and fixed wireless plans while CenturyLink has copper, DSL, and fixed wireless on top of their fiber plans. For those who fall out of range for both providers’ fiber internet services, they can opt for the alternative options, which have more widespread availability. While AT&T and CenturyLink share a few similarities, we’ve noted some key differences below.

AT&T Internet vs CenturyLink Overall Comparison

AT&T Internet vs CenturyLink Overall Comparison

  • Speed

    25 Mbps -5 Gbps

  • Pricing

    $55-180/mo.

  • Service Type

    IPBB, Fiber, Fixed Wireless

  • Installation Fee

    $99

  • Equipment Fee

    $0 a month

  • Data Cap

    Unlimited Data

  • Speed

    100 Mbps -940 Mbps

  • Pricing

    $50-65/mo.

  • Service Type

    DSL, Fiber, Copper, Fixed Wireless

  • Equipment Fee

    $15 a month

  • Data Cap

    Unlimited Data

AT&T Internet and CenturyLink offer some of the lowest-priced fiber plans available in the U.S. That said, both have limited coverage when it comes to their fiber service. AT&T Fiber is mainly available in southeastern states, the Midwest, and California while CenturyLink fiber plans are available in select cities across 37 states. Plans vary by location, along with pricing and speeds.

Both AT&T and CenturyLink are on par with competitive market pricing. AT&T Fiber plans start at $55 per month for up to 300 Mbps download speeds and CenturyLink fiber plans are as low as $50 per month for download speeds up to 100 Mbps. The fastest AT&T Fiber plan has download speeds up to 5 Gbps for $180 per month. You must sign up for AutoPay if you want to take advantage of AT&T’s promotional rates. For CenturyLink, paperless billing or prepay is required.

Both providers offer unlimited data with their fiber internet plans, but AT&T has a 350 GB data cap per month for its fixed wireless plans.

AT&T Internet vs CenturyLink: Best Deals

Internet Deals

Pros and Cons By Provider

Pros and Cons By Provider

AT&T Internet Pros

  • Extremely fast gigabit speeds
  • Affordable plans and bundles
  • Widespread availability
  • Ongoing internet promotions

AT&T Internet Cons

  • Data caps on non-fiber plans
  • Expensive installation fees

CenturyLink Pros

  • No contracts
  • No data caps
  • Nationwide coverage
  • New subscriber-friendly promotions

CenturyLink Cons

  • Limited plan options
  • Speeds vary by location

AT&T Internet offers a wide variety of plans at different prices and speeds as well as promotions mostly every month for both new and current subscribers. If you choose any of its fiber plans, you’re sure to experience fast gigabit speeds – faster than other providers offering fiber internet.

CenturyLink offers fewer plans but its price range is a shorter gap than AT&T’s. Plans range between $50-$65 per month with no data caps attached to any of them. AT&T, however, implements data caps for its non-fiber plans like fixed wireless. That said, CenturyLink promotions tend to favor new subscribers.

Both providers have nationwide coverage and boast gigabit speeds on their fiber plans. Depending on what you’re looking for and availability, you might find that one provider is either more accessible or affordable, or offers faster and reliable speeds than the other. Use our AT&T Internet speed test and CenturyLink speed test to check your exact internet speeds.

CenturyLink Bundles Are Cheaper Than AT&T Internet Bundles

AT&T Internet and CenturyLink differ in what they offer for their bundles: AT&T includes TV service with its internet plans while CenturyLink includes home phone service. CenturyLink does offer TV packages from DIRECTV, DIRECTV STREAM, and DISH, but it doesn’t advertise them as “bundles.”

As far as pricing goes, CenturyLink’s lowest-priced bundle is $90 per month while AT&T’s cheapest bundle is $129.99 per month. If you’re looking for home phone service, CenturyLink is the best route, but if you want to watch TV, then AT&T offers more options. If you’re looking at both providers’ bundles from a budget perspective, then CenturyLink is the cheaper option.

CenturyLink Has Fewer Fees Than AT&T Internet

Installation

AT&T Internet and CenturyLink offer self-installation (“standard” installation for CenturyLink) and professional installation. The professional installation fee costs up to $99 for AT&T and up to $149 for CenturyLink, but select AT&T bundles and promotions may waive the installation fee. CenturyLink charges $15 for standard installation where a technician completes work outside of your location while you install and connect your modem at home.

CenturyLink does charge a one-time $19.99 activation fee whereas AT&T waives this fee when you pay the professional installation fee.

Contracts, Equipment Fees & Fine Print

AT&T Fiber doesn’t require contracts, but its other internet plans do. These plans have a typical contract duration of one to two years, and if you cancel the service early, you will be charged up to $180 as an early termination fee (ETF). As for equipment fees, you’ll be charged up to $10 per month for an AT&T Wi-Fi Gateway rental with up to $150 in penalties if you fail to return it.

CenturyLink offers contract-free plans, which allows customers to pay month-to-month with no cancellation penalties. Like AT&T, it charges up to $150 in penalties if you fail to return leased equipment. The rental fee is $15 per month.

Data Caps

AT&T Internet doesn’t employ data caps on its fiber plans, but you’ll find data caps on non-fiber plans of 150-350 GB per month. If you go over your monthly data allowance, you’ll be subject to data overage fees of up to $200.

CenturyLink avoids data caps altogether on its plans, so you don’t have to worry about data overage fees.

AT&T Internet Outperforms CenturyLink in Customer Satisfaction

Whether you’re running into connectivity issues or want to negotiate your internet bill, customer service, for the most part, is your solution. AT&T Internet handles customer inquiries better than CenturyLink who has a history of failing to resolve issues and receiving numerous complaints about fees, speeds, and repairs.

AT&T Internet vs. CenturyLink Internet Review

As of February 2021, BroadBandNow’s editorial team has surveyed 324 AT&T Internet customers and asked them to rate AT&T Internet on 6 different criteria - Reliability, Speed, Equipment, Support, Interaction, and Value.

Overall AT&T Internet customers rated them a 3.8 out of 5, which is ranked 1st of the 10 internet provider customers we surveyed in our study.

Reliability
3.9
Speed
3.8
Equipment
3.9
Support
3.7
Interaction
3.6
Value
3.7

As of February 2021, BroadBandNow’s editorial team has surveyed 122 CenturyLink customers and asked them to rate CenturyLink on 6 different criteria - Reliability, Speed, Equipment, Support, Interaction, and Value.

Overall CenturyLink customers rated them a 3.6 out of 5, which is ranked 6th of the 10 internet provider customers we surveyed in our study.

Reliability
3.6
Speed
3.6
Equipment
3.8
Support
3.4
Interaction
3.5
Value
3.5

Frequently Asked Questions about AT&T Internet & CenturyLink Internet Services

  • Is AT&T Internet cheaper than CenturyLink?

    The cheapest AT&T Internet plan is $55 per month for its IPBB and fiber service. CenturyLink offers a slightly lower price on its DSL and fiber plans for $50 per month.

  • Who has faster speeds? AT&T or CenturyLink?

    AT&T Internet download speeds can go up to 5 Gbps whereas CenturyLink download speeds cap out at 940 Mbps.

  • Do AT&T and CenturyLink have unlimited data?

    AT&T offers unlimited data on its fiber plans but employs data caps on its fixed wireless plan, which has a data cap of 350 GB per month. CenturyLink has no data caps on any of its plans.

  • Do AT&T and CenturyLink require a contract?

    Most AT&T plans don’t require a contract. CenturyLink offers contract-free plans, though some of their bundles that include phone and/or TV services may have a contract.