Almost every modern household requires a quality internet connection.
Not only to connect computers, smartphones, and tablets, but also for the proper function of an increasing assortment of other tools and devices such as smart light bulbs, smart appliances, security cameras, and so much more.
Although the number of options is certainly welcome, the sheer variety of internet service providers can make it challenging to select the right one. What better way to narrow down the options than with a head-to-head comparison of the best ISPs?
Today, we pit EarthLink and Verizon Fios against each other to help you decide which of these two best meets your home Internet needs.
About EarthLink Internet
EarthLink has been a stalwart on the scene since 1994.
Shortly after their creation, the company gained the respect and interest of many by becoming one of the first ISPs to offer unlimited Internet access for a flat rate.
Unfortunately, their offerings stagnated since then, quickly outstripped by the competition. Get this – unlimited dial-up access was still one of their key selling points as recently as 2016.
Luckily for all of us that appreciate fast, reliable Internet, EarthLink has since come back with a vengeance in the form of their HyperLink Internet.
Over 165 million people across the United States use fiber Internet service, which is still backed by an unlimited data policy.
On top of that, everything about this ISP is straightforward with no frills, including their intuitive website, no-gimmicks pricing, easy setup, and accessible customer support team.
What Makes EarthLink Unique?
Unlike many other ISPs that offer Internet in addition to other services, you’ll never deal with bundling pitches with EarthLink.
Earthlink is all about the Internet. The company doesn’t offer any home phone or cable television plans.
EarthLink Internet is fast and reliable with plenty of plan options available. Plans are based on download speeds. All come with unlimited data, making overage fees a thing of the past.
The full list of plans lets you select service with speeds tailored to how you use the Internet at home – whether you simply browse the web after work, have a large family full of streamers, or are a serious gamer.
Unfortunately, though the pricing is honest with no gimmicks or teaser rates, EarthLink HyperLink internet is somewhat expensive for the speeds it provides (although the sticker shock is somewhat damped by the lack of data caps) compared to other providers. You must also sign a one-year contract.
Furthermore, the service is not yet available in every state. It’s currently offered in over 35 states and growing with the best coverage in California, Texas, and New York.
Despite these flaws, the fact that EarthLink is upfront with their pricing is huge. Especially in a day and age where most ISPs offer low-cost 12- and 24-month promos that skyrocket in price once they expire.
Additional add-on services like EarthLink Guardian (for child filters) and EarthLink Protect (for overall Internet safety and security) allow you to further fine-tune your plan to your needs.
EarthLink Internet Pricing
EarthLink HyperLink Internet starts at $49.95 per month for 15mbps download speeds with unlimited data.
Five additional plans are available, each roughly $10 more expensive than the last. The top plan runs for $99.95 per month and nets you 1,000mbps download speeds with unlimited data.
You must also rent EarthLink equipment for $6.95 per month and pay a one-time installation fee of $69.95 as well.
About Verizon Fios Internet
Although the early stages of development date back to 1995, Verizon Fios first hit the market in 2005 and greatly expanded its coverage area through 2010.
Today, Verizon Fios Internet is regarded as one of the top options for home fiber-optic Internet (Fios is actually an acronym for Fiber Optic Service) in the United States.
Although the coverage area for Fios isn’t huge, more than 18 million homes are now connected to this blazing fast and incredibly reliable service.
Fiber optic Internet has a huge array of benefits on top of its notably superior speed and reliability. For example, it’s connected only to your home, unlike cable-based Internet, so your Internet connection remains fast and strong even if everyone else in your neighborhood were to be downloading and streaming all at the same time.
Verizon offers three Fios plans, so you’re sure to find one that works for you. Because it’s fiber Internet, Fios is ideal for those that demand equally fast download and upload speeds.
Verizon Fios is also notable for its fantastic customer service (seriously, it puts other ISPs to shame), ability to bundle with TV and home phone, and frequent Verizon Fios offers and deals that snag you an even better price on this quality service.
What Makes Verizon Fios Unique?
Verizon Fios is a fiber-optic network notable for its speed and reliability.
As fiber Internet, it boasts equal (or roughly equal) upload and download speeds as well as a connection that never wavers.
For those that require the most robust connection, Fios Gigabit Connection, the top-tier plan, boasts up to 940mbps download speeds and up to 880mbps upload speeds. This plan is perfect for large families or groups of roommates, serious gamers, and others that demand the best speeds and connections available.
Verizon Fios doesn’t require an annual contract. Pricing is competitive and transparent. You can often score killer deals. Order online, and you won’t have to pay an installation fee.
Verizon (the company as a whole) has long been respected for its fantastic customer support. This is no different with their Fios fiber Internet.
The only real drawback is the limited availability. Fios is currently available in only ten states: Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia.
That said, if you do live in one of these coverage areas, Verizon Fios Internet is tough to beat.
Verizon Fios Internet Pricing
Verizon Fios Internet starts at $39.99 per month for 200mbps upload/download speeds.
The middle-tier plan starts at $59.99 per month for 400mbps upload/download speeds, while the top-tier plan starts at $79.99 per month for up to 940mbps download speeds and 880mbps upload speeds.
There are no installation fees for buying online, although a $99 one-time installation fee is required for other means of purchase. Equipment rental fees are included in the monthly price.
Another huge benefit of Verizon Fios pricing is the lack of a contract. You’re not locked in for any set length of time. Early termination is easy, with no added fees.
What’s the Verdict?
Fios is the clear-cut winner in our battle between EarthLink Internet and Verizon Fios Internet.
In a head-to-head comparison, Fios comes out ahead of HyperLink for almost every metric, including speed, reliability, pricing, and customer support.
That said, EarthLink is far from lackluster. It’s still a fast, reliable ISP that’s most notable for its pricing transparency.
It’s worth noting that EarthLink HyperLink is better for those that solely want Internet service, while Verizon Fios is the better choice for those that want an Internet, home phone, cable television bundle.
Of course, availability is a factor as well. Earthlink is currently available across much more of the country than Verizon Fios.