CenturyLink is another multi-service provider for phone, Internet, fiber, and TV. They cater to residential, small business, and enterprise-level clients. In this article, we’ll be focusing on the residential side of things.
There are so many packages on offer that it can be time-consuming to sort through them all. Since we figure you’d rather be streaming your favorite show instead of spending hours sorting through service packages, we’ve done the tedious work for you. We’ll show you which deals rose to the top and which you’re better off without.
At the end, you’ll be able to go straight to the deal that works best for you. So, you’ll save a lot of time digging and get back to enjoying the services you need.
Below, we break down this year’s Top 3 offers from CenturyLink for new customers.
1. Best Internet + TV Bundle Deal » CenturyLink Internet + DIRECTV Ultimate ($100 Reward Card)
There are all kinds of bundles you can get to combine your TV, phone, and Internet into one bill. We looked over CenturyLink’s bundles to see which one made the most sense for the price.
The CenturyLink bundle we like the best is the DirectTV Ultimate All-Included + CenturyLink Internet. As of now, this bundle costs $128.00/mo. It includes the DirectTV Ultimate package ($84.99/mo) and CenturyLink Internet ($49.00/mo).
This deal lasts for one year. After that, the DirectTV price goes up to $151.00/mo. When you sign up, you must commit to a two-year plan.
For that $128 monthly price, you get access to 250+ channels, Internet service, a Genie HD DVR, and professional installation in up to four rooms. You can also access the DirectTV app and mobile DVR for watching on the go.
You have the option of adding on a regional sports package for $9.99/mo. If you want to share the service with friends or family that live in a separate home, there are different packages to cover it.
We like this bundle because it’s a good balance of cost and service. There are less expensive bundles from CenturyLink, but they don’t include TV. There’s also a DirectTV Premier All-Included + CenturyLink Internet package for $178.99/mo.
The main difference between the two is that you get 330+ channels instead of 250+. It just doesn’t seem worth it to pay an extra $50/mo for 80 more channels. Unless you spend a lot of time in front of the TV, you might as well save yourself $50.
2. Best Deal for Gigabit Internet » CenturyLink Gigabit Internet for $65/mo ($100 Reward Card)
It can be hard to get away from the bundle game when you’re looking for Internet-only pricing. Most companies will try to get you to bundle with a phone landline. If you don’t have a home security system that requires one, the landline seems relatively useless.
If you don’t want any other services, CenturyLink offers two Internet-only plans. Your choices here are CenturyLink Internet up to 100 Mbps or CenturyLink Fiber Internet. The fiber plan uses fiber optic cables to send signals. These signals travel faster than copper cable signals.
The difference between the two plans comes out to $16/mo. Fiber is the more expensive option at $65/mo. Even though it’s a little more expensive, what you get for the negligible increase in price is a huge increase in Mbps speed. That’s why the CenturyLink Fiber Internet service is our pick.
Since fiber optics use light to transmit information, that information can move at… Well, the speed of light—literally! That means fewer service interruptions and a phenomenal speed of 940 Mbps. At this speed, a two-hour Netflix movie takes just 18.4 seconds to download.
You’re not locked into a contract with the CenturyLink Fiber service; you can switch plans after a month if you’re not satisfied. You can also run multiple devices off of the same service with no hiccups or interruptions.
The only drawback here is that fiber is only available in a limited service area. It’s currently limited to 21 cities. Some big cities are covered, like Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Phoenix. But you can’t get fiber in New York or San Francisco.
3. Best Deal on a Budget » CenturyLink 100/100 Mbps Internet for $49/mo ($100 Reward Card)
The most budget-friendly plan from CenturyLink is definitely their basic DSL Internet service. It comes in at $49/mo with paperless billing. These days, who doesn’t get their invoices by email anyway? If you do need a paper version, you can always print a copy from your online account.
The basic DSL service comes with CenturyLink’s “Price for Life” guarantee. That means you pay $49/mo no matter how long you have the account open. Keep in mind that you have to keep the account at the same residence for this deal.
A wired connection obviously means faster download speeds through DSL than a wireless one. The basic service shows wired download speeds at 100 Mbps max. How fast your Internet is depends on your devices and location.
It’s important here to pay attention to the fine print. If you need a CenturyLink provided modem to connect, the cost is $15/mo or a one-time fee of $200. You can install the service yourself, but if you require tech service, you may have to pay as much as $125.
The good news is that you can stop the service at any time, as it’s billed monthly. So, if you try it for two months and decide it’s not for you, there’s no charge to cancel. That makes it a relatively low-risk plan.
The budget plan is good for a couple or someone who lives alone. What it lacks in speed, it makes up for in reliability. If you have a large family of Internet users, having everyone on their devices at the same time could be a problem.
Top 3 CenturyLink Offers for New Customers
|CenturyLink Gigabit Internet + DIRECTV Ultimate||TV + Internet||940 Mbps download / 940 Mbps upload||$128|
|CenturyLink Gigabit Internet||Best Value||940 Mbps download / 940 Mbps upload||$65|
|CenturyLink 100/100 Internet||Lowest Price||100 Mbps download / 100 Mbps upload||$49|
The prices shown above are the monthly prices as seen on CenturyLink website. Visit the official website to verify current pricing and promotional details. Chart updated April 3rd, 2021.
What I Like About CenturyLink
Not having a contract is a freedom we can appreciate. Both the CenturyLink DSL Internet and the Fiber Gigabit plans give you the chance to cancel any time without a cancellation fee. The DSL plan is affordable and good for low to moderate Internet use.
If you can get fiber in your area, this is the way to go if you’re a gamer, and it’s preferable if you work from home. You could experience some lag with DSL and speeds depending on how close you live to a CenturyLink hub. With fiber, there’s virtually no lag at all if you’re in the service area.
As far as DSL goes, CenturyLink does have a large network. It uses landline infrastructure, meaning it can connect DSL anywhere equipped with a phone line. So, CenturyLink doesn’t have to lay in new lines and equipment, making it simple to have a wide service area. That’s especially good in rural areas that might not get cell service or fixed wireless.
What Could Be Better
CenturyLink makes a big deal out of their “Price for Life” Internet service. The selling point for this is that your cost won’t go up as long as you keep service at the same address. Your bill will be the same amount every month. That’s great as long as all you want is the most basic package.
You can’t get “Price for Life” with their fiber service, for cable + Internet bundles, or any of the three-service packages they offer. There’s also no guarantee that their max 100 Mbps will be available in your area. Most users only get around 77% of their max, well under the 100 Mbps advertised.
CenturyLink has a reputation for average customer service. The only way to connect with them is via phone. There’s no online chat or email option. That’s going to be a problem if your phone service is out. Wait times to talk to a real person can be painfully long. This could be why their approval rating is lower than the 48.4% national average.
It would also be nice if CenturyLink added in some extra incentives, like gift cards, headphones, or trial subscriptions. The lack of anything like this makes them a bit less competitive in the ISP market.
CenturyLink Versus Verizon Fios – Which Is Better?
There are tradeoffs with each service, and the better one will be whichever fits best with your needs. That being said, there are significant differences between the two services that are worth noting.
CenturyLink has a much broader service area. You can get their Internet services in most states. Verizon Fios, however, is only available if you live on the east coast. Mid-atlantic states and the northeast regions are the only places without Verizon Fios services.
Verizon Fios’s network is 100% fiber optic cable, meaning it’s blazing fast. Both Verizon Fios and CenturyLink Fiber are lightning-fast compared to DSL. So, it’s perhaps fairer to compare CenturyLink Fiber with Verizon’s Fios than with their service overall.
As far as equipment is concerned, the two are priced about the same. The nice thing about CenturyLink is that you can choose to use your own equipment if it’s compatible with their network. That can save you hundreds over the life of your ISP contract.
Verizon Fios doesn’t force its customers into a contract to use the network. With CenturyLink, it depends on which package you decide to go with. If you want Internet Only plans, you can take them a month at a time. If you want the DirectTV and Internet bundles, you’re locked into at least two years of services.
A side-by-side price comparison with the two fiber networks reveals that you get more speed for less with CenturyLink. Their $69 monthly price covers over 900 Mbps, while the $39 monthly price from Verizon Fios maxes out at 200 Mbps. If you wanted to match speed with CenturyLink, you’d pay more than four times the current Fios price.
Verizon Fios does offer special deals frequently. If you’re in the service area and keep your eyes open, you can get some pretty good perks and incentives to join. This doesn’t seem to be the case with CenturyLink.
CenturyLink Availability in 2021
CenturyLink gives you four ways to get your Internet service, but not all of them are available in each state. The most widespread is their DSL service. DSL uses the existing phone landlines, which are just about everywhere. Think dial-up but much faster. DSL lets you connect your Internet and use the phone line for calls at the same time.
Fiber service uses light transmitted through fiber optic cables. Since light pulses are much faster than electrical signals, fiber lets you download content faster than DSL or cable. It’s also more reliable than the other choices.
Copper service is basically the coaxial cable you screw into your cable service box. The cables are made of copper because copper conducts electrical signals really well. It also doesn’t rust. The green color you see on copper statues is called a patina and doesn’t mess with copper’s ability to conduct electricity.
The fourth service is fixed wireless. Instead of sending signals along a cable or fiber, it sends signals through the air. CenturyLink installs a receiver that connects with a base station. This works in areas where setting up cables is too expensive. The downside is that weather can change the strength of your signal. About 2000 people have access to fixed wireless right now.
Out of the four types of Internet services offered by CenturyLink, DSL has the broadest coverage area. CSL isn’t available in all states. Strong service areas are mostly concentrated around the cities of Denver, Portland, St. Paul, Kansas City, and Raleigh.
CenturyLink’s DSL service is essentially absent in California and New England. In total, about 48 million people have access to DSL through CenturyLink. The company is the nation’s fourth-largest residential DSL provider, behind EarthLink, AT&T, and Verizon.
Service by fiber is sporadic at best. It’s concentrated in Florida, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Denver, New York, and St. Paul. Fiber reaches over 18 million people in the United States, excluding Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
If you’re in a region that can profit from CenturyLink deals, and this sounds like the service for you, we say go for it.