CenturyLink vs. Frontier

A Side-by-Side Comparison of CenturyLink and Frontier Internet Service in 2021

CenturyLink and Frontier Communications are two of the biggest internet providers in the U.S. today, and with their introduction into the world of fiber-optic internet, more and more people are choosing these companies over their competitors to fulfill their high-speed internet, phone and TV needs. Though these two broadband powerhouses share many similarities, when it comes to pricing, service, and plan options, each provider sets itself apart from the other in its own unique way. Below is an in-depth comparison of CenturyLink and Frontier.

CenturyLink Info

Price Range

$49-65/mo.

Frontier Info

Price Range

$37.99-79.99/mo.

CenturyLink vs. Frontier Comparison
Provider CenturyLink Frontier
Speed 20-940 Mbps 9-940 Mbps
Pricing $49-65/mo. $37.99-79.99/mo.
Service Type DSL, Fiber, Copper or Fixed Wireless DSL, Fiber or Copper
CenturyLink vs. Frontier FEATURE COMPARISON
Provider CenturyLink Frontier
High-Speed Plans Yes Yes
Unlimited Data Select Plans Yes
Contract-Free Plans Yes No
TV Service No Yes
Phone Service Yes Yes

CenturyLink Internet Deals †

Last updated on 4/14/2021

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

Frontier Internet Deals †

Last updated on 4/10/2021

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

CenturyLink vs. Frontier Performance Overview

CenturyLink services 39 states, making it one of the largest DSL providers in the country. However, the company has recently been devoted to expanding its fiber-optic network range within the U.S., bringing lightning-fast speeds of up to 1000 Mbps to select areas. In addition to internet service, CenturyLink also offers a wide variety of bundle options with its Prism TV and phone services.

Frontier Communications is also a major player in the internet provider game. Just like CenturyLink, they have also ventured into the market of fiber-optic connection. Frontier is the fourth-largest fiber-optic internet provider in the U.S. in terms of population serviced. This, along with their affordable pricing and the ability to bundle internet with TV and phone service, make Frontier an overall great provider option.

CenturyLink Installation

If you sign up for CenturyLink’s DSL internet and want to save a little extra cash, you have the option to self-install your own router free of charge.

However, if you opt for fiber-optic internet service, CenturyLink requires a professional installation setup which can cost up to $125. This fee varies in price depending on where you live and the type of service you sign up for.

Frontier Installation

Frontier gives you the option to call or view online to check if you qualify for the self-installation option.

If you do qualify, a step-by-step self-install guide will be provided for you. If you don’t qualify for self-installation, Frontier requires professional installation for the setup of your service. You will need to schedule a time for a Frontier technician to install any needed equipment in your home. This process can last up to eight hours and usually comes along with a $75 fee.

CenturyLink Contracts, Equipment Fees & Fine Print

While some CenturyLink plans do require a contract, they also offer “no-contract” plans as well.

One of their most popular internet plans is Price for Life, which ensures that you pay the same monthly price, without ever signing a contract, as long as you keep your plan active. In order to connect to CenturyLink internet, you need to setup the proper equipment—a modem and router. You have the option to rent equipment from them for $10/month, or you can purchase the equipment for a one-time fee of $150.

Frontier Contracts, Equipment Fees & Fine Print

Whether it’s for FiberOptic, high-speed DSL, or bundles, Frontier Communications doesn’t require any annual contracts, which means you won’t face early termination fees if you decide to opt out.

Depending on which Frontier plan you sign up for, you have the option to either self-install for free, rent a modem and router for $10/month, or purchase the equipment for a one-time fee of $200. If you choose to terminate your Frontier service, be sure to return your rental equipment immediately after. Failure to do so within 30 days will result in an additional charge of $100 or more.

CenturyLink Data Caps

For most of its plans, CenturyLink enforces a 1 Terabyte (TB) data cap, which is a huge amount of data. If you happen to exceed the 1 TB data cap, CenturyLink will start charging a fee of $10 for every additional 50 GB you use. However, if you are a customer on a business, Prism TV, or 1 Gig plan, you are exempt from these data cap restrictions.

Frontier Data Caps

There are no data caps included with Frontier’s internet plans, so you are free to binge watch all your favorite shows without the fear of going over a data limit and having to pay overage charges.

100 Mbps CenturyLink Internet

on September 19, 2019

We switched to CenturyLink and could not be happier. It is so much faster, has never cut out and had the best installation customer service. The price is also great.

Reliability - 4

on February 16, 2021

Great speed and reliability.

FiberOptic is top notch

on July 28, 2019

Installer was very knowledgeable about how networks work and quickly patched in my line where I needed it. 6 months in and I saw an ad for 500/500 for the same price I had been paying for 200/200. A quick chat with sales and I upgraded for free. Highly recommend Frontier FiberOptic service.

Going the extra mile

on March 07, 2021

During the winter storm in Texas that caused the entire state to lose power, I also found that the constant cycling of power caused the ONT (fiber optics converter) for my house to break. At least this is what the technician said. Anyway, I did the troubleshooting over the phone and they identified the problem. But then a ticket had to be opened and I was in the queue with lots of others. Unfortunately, my original ticket was closed by their system because it was associated with the widespread outage. I called when my ticket was closed and they opened a new one a week later. Although somewhat frustrated because I work from home I have to say the Frontier tried to get a technician out to fix my problem almost every day but I was then away from the house. I just want to say that they didn't forget me and really tried to solve my problem. They called me daily but I was away for a wedding. Great job Frontier. Your internet service is great too and it's why I've been a customer for a very long time.

CenturyLink vs. Frontier Coverage Availability

CenturyLink Coverage & Availability

Frontier Coverage & Availability

Frequently Asked Questions about CenturyLink & Frontier Internet Services

  • Is CenturyLink cheaper than Frontier?

    As with any internet provider, prices vary depending on which plan you choose. Frontier’s lowest-priced internet-only plan starts at $27.99, which is cheaper than CenturyLink’s lowest-priced internet-only plan. However, Frontier’s most-expensive internet plan is significantly higher than CenturyLink’s highest-priced plan. Frontier internet plans range from $27.99-225/month while CenturyLink plans range from $45-85/month.

  • Who has faster speeds? CenturyLink or Frontier?

    Both CenturyLink and Frontier’s fiber internet offer a max speed of 1000 Mbps. However, speeds vary by location, plans, and type of internet for both providers, so make sure you do your research to find the fastest speeds available for your area.

  • Do CenturyLink and Frontier have unlimited data?

    While Frontier offers unlimited data to its customers, CenturyLink has a 1 TB limit per month. Fortunately for you, this is a huge amount of data and is pretty hard to exceed. CenturyLink allows you to go over the data cap three times before they begin to charge you a fee of $10 for every 50 Gb used over the limit.

  • Do CenturyLink and Frontier require a contract?

    Both providers offer a wide range of contract-free plans and bundles.