Whether you’re streaming your favorite movies, playing Fortnite, or doing some online shopping, you want your internet to be fast and affordable.
With many Americans either working or attending classes from home, the internet has become an essential service. With this in mind, DMAD.com is researching which is the best buy for your internet dollar, EarthLink Internet, or Frontier FiOS.
Both companies are well-known among U.S. internet providers, and both offer high-speed fiber internet with varying speeds.
EarthLink, one of the first ISPs to offer unlimited internet access for a flat monthly fee, is now focusing on its HyperLink DSL and fiber internet service. EarthLink service is available in more than 37 states. Its flat rate, marketed as a plus for budgeting, can result in higher prices for its selection of speeds, depending on your location.
Frontier bought a large chunk of FiOS territory in April 2016, along with landline phone service in Florida, Texas, and California from Verizon. Problems in the integration of FiOS lost them large numbers of subscribers, according to business reports in the Dallas Morning News, but they’ve had the time to smooth the wrinkles. Verizon’s fiber network should offer high speed and high reliability.
Let’s look at several key components of internet service to see which would be the best choice for you.
Pros and Cons of EarthLink and Frontier FiOS Internet
When deciding which service is best for you, it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of both.
- Variety of download speeds
- Available in a majority of the U.S.
- Higher prices
- Prices differ by location
- Affordable prices, flat rates, and high speeds
- DSL plans available in some rural areas
- Not available nationwide
- Available in fewer states
All EarthLink deals come in the form of a 12-month contract, which has early termination fees.
Frontier has the option of a two-year contract, but it is not required. The two-year contract has the benefit of giving customers a locked-in price. Break that contract, though, and you could face early termination fees.
Plans and Pricing
Frontier offers three major flat-rate plans, with faster service carrying a higher price. The base plan starts at $39.95 per month, including a Wi-Fi router service fee. This would be fine for web surfing, listening to your favorite music and podcasts, and online shopping.
If you have multiple internet users in your home or will be video conferencing for work or school, for about $10 more, you can get the faster-speed plan, which is Frontier’s most popular option.Frontier’s fastest plan, the 1 Gbps needed for top performance in video games as well as in streaming and video conferencing, starts at $74.99 per month.
EarthLink offers several plans, with its fastest at up to 1 Gbps at $99.95 per month.
The most popular, its medium speed plan, goes at up to 100 Mbps for $79.95 a month, and the least expensive of the three sends data at up to 30 Mbps for $59.95 per month, according to Reviews.org. Because pricing varies by where you live, the EarthLink website prompts visitors to call for pricing.
Independent websites recommend that families with multiple users but without high-speed needs could make do with a speed of up to 50 Mbps, which is in the $50 range from Earthlink and the $40 range for the Frontier FiOS.
Few things are as bothersome as running out of data. Fortunately, neither EarthLink nor Frontier FiOS has data caps, meaning with either choice, you can download, stream, and play games with no data restrictions.
Modems and Routers
EarthLink customers can rent a modem for $6.95 a month, which is lower than most rental fees in the industry, or they can use their own.
Frontier makes it less convenient to use your own modems and routers. Their customers can use their own equipment, but by doing that, they would lose out on technical support. They are also charged the fee whether they rent from Frontier or not.
Frontier gets mixed reviews when it comes to customer service. Most reviewers DMAD.com found online love Frontier’s prices and say it is the fastest internet they’ve ever had, but customer service there seems to be hit or miss.
Some say their customer service representatives are helpful on the phone or in online chats, but others complained that it took as much as a week for a technician to come to their home to fix their problems.
These seem like rave reviews, though, compared to those for EarthLink. It was a challenge to find any positive reviews, and there were quite a few complaints about delays in set-up.
Based on the American Customer Satisfaction Index, or ACSI, the companies are comparable, but both EarthLink and Frontier have improvements to make in customer service. Frontier scored 62 out of 100, and EarthLink was right behind at 57 out of 100.
In a perfect world, your internet would be inexpensive enough to barely be noticed and working well enough that all you notice is being able to binge-watch for hours uninterrupted while your teenager plays video games and your spouse is video chatting with friends.
In the choice of EarthLink vs. Frontier FiOS, you can enjoy those high speeds. Both offer unlimited data, speeds of up to 1 Gbps, and contracts that will lock in prices for up to two years, in the case of Frontier.
The major difference between EarthLink and Frontier FiOS comes to price and service. EarthLink’s prices are more than 33 percent higher than Frontier’s at the 1Gbps speed. Neither EarthLink nor Frontier has gotten great reviews for their customer service, but the number of negative reviews for EarthLink was significant.
If prices are significantly higher, there should be a justification for the additional charges. That doesn’t seem to be the case in the question of EarthLink vs. Frontier FiOS. Both provide comparable speeds, but Frontier offers the same high speed at a lower price point. Our advice is to go with the ISP that provides the most internet speed for the dollar.