CenturyLink vs. Windstream

A Side-by-Side Comparison of CenturyLink and Windstream Internet Service in 2023

Windstream has 9 plans:

CenturyLink and Windstream Service in 2022:

Windstream has 9 plans:

View CenturyLink and Windstream Service in 2022:

CenturyLink and Windstream are top internet providers that offer internet plans with different connection types. Both offer DSL and fiber-optic internet, but Windstream is more accessible for rural residents. While the two providers share some similarities, we’ve outlined a few key differences below to help you decide which one’s right for you.

CenturyLink vs Windstream Overall Comparison

CenturyLink vs Windstream Overall Comparison

  • Speed

    100 Mbps -940 Mbps

  • Pricing

    $30 - $70/mo.

  • Service Type

    DSL, Fiber, Copper, Fixed Wireless

  • Equipment Fee

    $15 a month

  • Data Cap

    Unlimited Data

  • Speed

    50 Mbps -1 Gbps

  • Pricing

    $19.99 - $69.99/mo.

  • Service Type

    DSL, Fiber, Copper, Cable, Fixed Wireless

  • Equipment Fee

    $9 a month

  • Data Cap

    Unlimited Data

CenturyLink offers DSL and fiber plans with download speeds ranging between 100-940 Mbps. It’s one of the leading DSL providers in the U.S. and ranks among the top five fiber internet providers.

Windstream’s selection of internet plans includes DSL, fixed wireless, cable, and fiber. Download speeds range between 50 Mbps to 1 Gbps, with the cheapest plan costing $39.99 per month for either fixed wireless or cable internet at download speeds of up to 400 Mbps.

Both providers have partnerships with DIRECTV, but CenturyLink advertises the TV service as a package rather than a “bundle.” When it comes to a diverse range of internet plans, Windstream takes the lead.

CenturyLink vs Windstream: Best Deals

Internet Deals

When it comes to cost, Windstream offers cheaper internet-only options. However, if speed is your primary concern, CenturyLink has been known to offer reliable and fast gigabit speeds.

Pros and Cons By Provider

Pros and Cons By Provider

CenturyLink Pros

  • No contracts
  • Nationwide coverage
  • No data caps
  • Fast gigabit speeds

CenturyLink Cons

  • Limited internet plans
  • Speeds vary by location

Windstream Pros

  • Extensive rural availability
  • Multiple connection types
  • No contracts
  • No data caps

Windstream Cons

  • Fluctuating speeds
  • Unreliable customer service

CenturyLink might not have the most plans to choose from but they do offer competitive pricing and reliable fiber internet speeds. The price for fiber internet is also cheaper than Windstream’s fiber plan: $65 per month versus $89.99 per month, respectively.

Windstream stands out for offering multiple plans with different price and speed tiers. That said, pricing can get steep, especially for DSL internet. One of their DSL plans costs $59.99 per month for download speeds of up to 50 Mbps, while CenturyLink’s DSL plan costs $50 per month for download speeds of up to 100 Mbps.

Both providers don’t impose data caps or contracts on their plans. Keep in mind that speeds and plans vary by location. This means that what might appear available, based on what’s advertised, may likely be different once you search with your address.

CenturyLink vs. Windstream: Bundles Compared

CenturyLink bundles its internet service with home phone service. TV packages are available via DIRECTV, DIRECTV STREAM, and DISH.

Windstream bundles the internet, TV, and phone services, with its own digital TV service called Kinetic TV (available in certain locations). It also offers DISH, DIRECTV, and YouTube TV as part of Double or Triple Play packages.

If you’re looking for a wide range of bundles with TV service, Windstream is your best bet.

CenturyLink vs Windstream: Extra Fees and Contracts

CenturyLink and Windstream don’t require contracts, which means internet plans are on a month-to-month basis and you can cancel at any time. Be mindful of service agreements with Windstream, which outline ahead of time what you’re responsible for paying.


CenturyLink offers professional installation for a fee of $149 and standard installation for $15. Windstream’s professional installation is cheaper at $35 but does charge a one-time activation fee of $50. Depending on current promotions, you might be able to waive the installation fee from either provider.

Data Caps

Both CenturyLink and Windstream offer unlimited data on their DSL and fiber internet plans. This means you won’t have to worry about data overage fees.

CenturyLink vs. Windstream: Customer Satisfaction

Neither CenturyLink nor Windstream have a good reputation in the customer service department. Both have received numerous complaints about billing issues and spotty connections.

CenturyLink vs. Windstream Internet Review

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.

As of February 2023, BroadBandNow’s editorial team has not been able to survey enough Windstream customers to provide a comprehensive understanding of how this service is meeting customers’ needs or expectations.

Frequently Asked Questions About CenturyLink and Windstream

  • Is CenturyLink cheaper than Windstream?

    Windstream’s cheapest internet plan is $39.99 per month while CenturyLink’s cheapest plan is $50 per month. However, depending on the connection type, you might pay more with Windstream’s DSL internet plan than CenturyLink’s DSL plan.

  • Who has faster speeds – CenturyLink or Windstream?

    Both CenturyLink and Windstream offer gigabit internet speeds. CenturyLink’s download speeds reach up to 940 Mbps while Windstream’s download speeds go up to 1 Gbps on either fixed wireless or fiber internet

  • Do CenturyLink and Windstream have unlimited data?

    Yes, CenturyLink and Windstream offer unlimited data on most of their internet plans.

  • Do CenturyLink and Windstream require a contract?

    No, CenturyLink and Windstream don’t require contracts on their internet plans.