EarthLink vs. Windstream

A Side-by-Side Comparison of EarthLink and Windstream Internet Service in 2021

EarthLink and Windstream are some of the most popular providers for high speed internet service. Both companies are known for their reliable DSL and fiber internet services. Depending on the location and coverage availability, internet speeds, pricing, and other services may be limited to specific regions of the U.S. While EarthLink and Windstream are both great providers, there are some key differences between the two companies outlined below.

EarthLink Info

Price Range


Windstream Info

Price Range


EarthLink vs. Windstream Comparison
Provider EarthLink Windstream
Speed 7-1,000 Mbps 50-1,000 Mbps
Pricing $49.95-99.95/mo. $37-75/mo.
Service Type DSL or Fiber DSL, Fiber, Copper, Cable or Fixed Wireless
EarthLink vs. Windstream FEATURE COMPARISON
Provider EarthLink Windstream
High-Speed Plans Yes Yes
Unlimited Data Yes Yes
Contract-Free Plans No Yes
TV Service No Yes
Phone Service No Yes

EarthLink Internet Deals †

Last updated on 8/23/2021

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

Windstream Internet Deals †

Last updated on 9/10/2021

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

EarthLink vs. Windstream Performance Overview

EarthLink is one of the oldest DSL internet providers in the U.S. They offer a variety of services from DSL to fiber optic internet across 42 states. However, higher speeds such as fiber optic may only be available in larger metropolitan areas. Currently, they do not offer phone or TV services and are mostly focused on internet service and internet security.

Along with broadband services including DSL, cable, and fixed wireless, Windstream has a fiber optic backed network available to approximately 1.7 million people. Their last mile service is listed as high speed internet. They also offer internet, TV, and phone services for residential, business, and enterprise customers.

EarthLink Installation

EarthLink offers self-installation but requires a mandatory professional installation with their HyperLink plans for $69.95.

The cost for self-installation for DSL-only customers is typically $19.95, which includes a self-installation kit and the shipment for modem. Additional modems are available for $6.95/month. Installation time ranges between 5-10 business days.

Windstream Installation

Windstream customers are offered professional installation for a one-time fee of $35 or a self-install option.

Select plans may waive the installation and activation fees when you order online. All installations come with a modem with wireless capability. For business and enterprise, this may vary as overall pricing is subjected to a custom quote. Installation time varies by location.

EarthLink Contracts, Equipment Fees & Fine Print

EarthLink requires a minimum 12-month contract for service.

If the contract is canceled, early termination fees up to $200 will apply. There are no pre-paid options and service is not prorated. Regarding equipment, EarthLink offers modem rentals for $6.95/month. Additional taxes and fees may apply for shipping and handling.

Windstream Contracts, Equipment Fees & Fine Print

Windstream offers both contracted and month-to-month options.

While Windstream’s contract-free options can be canceled at anytime without any penalties, this is not the same with their contracted or bundled plans. If a plan ends early, be prepared to face early termination fees up to $480. Upon termination, the modem must be returned or you may be charged a $100 fee. Windstream customers are required to lease a modem. Prices range from $9.99-11.99/month. Certain plans and bundles may have additional fees. Windstream also lists a one-time fee of $50 to activate your account across most of its services.

EarthLink Data Caps

Earthlink does not have any data caps, which means customers have access to unlimited data.

Windstream Data Caps

Like EarthLink, Windstream also does not employ any data caps.

Speed is so much better now!

on August 30, 2018

5 years ago, we struggled with connecting to the internet with Windstream. 3 years ago, Windstream ran fiber to Mount Vernon and upgraded to bonded DSL and we immediately jumped to 25Mbps. They are now running fiber closer to our home which will result in speeds jumping to 50Mbps.

Ok for email, and Streaming video, not any good for Steam server loses signal.

on March 11, 2021

Have had Windstream for years. Ok for email and works most of the time on video streaming. Only have dual DSL. Works for streaming sometimes then crashes steam server connection. Upload is very slow, like 1.4mbps. It will download at 20mbps max.

EarthLink vs. Windstream Coverage Availability

EarthLink Coverage & Availability

Windstream Coverage & Availability

Frequently Asked Questions about EarthLink & Windstream Internet Services

  • Is EarthLink cheaper than Windstream?

    EarthLink and Windstream offer a variety of internet plans with competitive rates. EarthLink’s lowest-priced standalone internet plan is cheaper than Windstream’s, but EarthLink’s highest-priced plan is more expensive than Windstream’s. Currently, EarthLink’s internet plans range from $14.95-99.95/month and Windstream’s range from $26-75/month.

  • Who has faster speeds? EarthLink or Windstream?

    EarthLink and Windstream both offer speeds up to 1000 Mbps. However, speeds and coverage are not available in all locations.

  • Do EarthLink and Windstream have unlimited data?

    Both internet providers offer unlimited data across all of their different services.

  • Do EarthLink and Windstream require a contract?

    EarthLink requires a minimum contract of 12 months whereas Windstream offers month-to-month options.