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CenturyLink Review 2021: Plans, Pricing, and More

From equipment fees to internet plans, we break down what you need to know about CenturyLink services.

Price: $49–$85/mo.
Download speeds: 15–940 Mbps

Price Standout features
$65/mo.
  • Best for speed
  • Up to 940 Mbps download and upload speeds
  • View plan

    Data is as of time of post. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

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    Is CenturyLink good?

    When we size up an internet service provider (ISP), customer satisfaction is an important factor. In our 2020 internet customer survey, which evaluates areas including cost and reliability, CenturyLink tied for ninth place out of 10 ISPs.

    Thanks to CenturyLink’s no-contract setup, you’ll get excellent billing flexibility on the ISP’s internet and phone plans. But CenturyLink’s unpredictable DSL network and lack of TV service means that your customer experience will vary widely depending on where you’re shopping from.

    Pros

    • No contracts
    • Affordable fiber internet plan

    Cons

    • So-so customer service
    • Unpredictable internet availability
    • No TV service

    Best CenturyLink packages

    Top plans
    Best for speed
    CenturyLink Fiber Internet
    Best fiber bundle
    Double Play Fiber Gigabit
    Price Standout features
    $65/mo.
  • Up to 940 Mbps download and upload speeds
  • View plan
    $85/mo.
  • No contract
  • No activation fee
  • Unlimited nationwide calling, incl. Canada and U.S. territories
  • View plan

    Data effective as of publish date. Pricing and speeds are subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.

    Thankfully, CenturyLink keeps the shopping process brief—depending on your address, you’ll have one DSL internet plan, two fiber internet plans, and one phone plan to choose from. CenturyLink also has no contracts, so you won’t be locked into a lengthy service agreement loaded with early termination fees.

    CenturyLink internet packages

    Price‡ Download/upload speeds Internet type
    $49–$65/mo. Up to 100 or 940 Mbps both ways Fiber View plans
    $50/mo.* Download: up to 100 Mbps
    Upload: up to 30 Mbps
    DSL View plans

    Data effective as of publish date. Pricing and speeds are subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.
    *Paperless billing or prepaid required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Get the fastest Internet speed available at your location (max speed is up to 100 Mbps.)

    Do you want only internet service? With CenturyLink Fiber Internet, you get download and upload speeds of up to 940 Mbps. That’s a big deal, because fiber optic internet is the fastest internet connection you can currently get (until we’re all hard-wired into the hive mind).

    We’d recommend CenturyLink Fiber Internet’s 940 Mbps plan if it’s available in your area. You’ll get excellent internet performance, and at $65.00 a month, that’s cheaper than other fiber internet providers like Verizon ($79.99/mo.) and Optimum ($69.99/mo.) CenturyLink also offers a cheaper 100 Mbps fiber internet plan, but the plan’s $15.00 monthly modem fee makes it much less of a deal compared to the 940 Mbps plan.

    Unfortunately, area availability limits the CenturyLink plans you can purchase. If you can’t get CenturyLink Fiber Internet at your address, your only other CenturyLink internet option will be the ISP’s Simply Unlimited Internet DSL plan.

    Drastically different speeds within the same area are sort of a DSL internet trademark, and CenturyLink’s Simply Unlimited Internet is no exception. On the DSL internet plan, you’ll have one $50.00 per month option that comes with the fastest download speed (up to 100 Mbps) available at your address.

    A couple or a small family that occasionally watches Netflix and Hulu shows can make 80–100 Mbps work pretty well. But if your address gets a download speed of less than 40 Mbps, you’ll be overpaying for slow internet and you’ll be better off looking at competing cable internet providers.

    Check out our full CenturyLink internet review to learn more about the ISP’s internet plans.

    CenturyLink Fiber: Nice speed, if you can get it

    I’ve had CenturyLink Fiber for almost two years now—apparently, I live in a special neighborhood. My bill has remained $55 a month, which is $10 cheaper than my previous CenturyLink DSL hookup.

    The fiber speeds are as advertised, and I’ve experienced no slowdowns or outages so far (mine is a fiber-to-premises connection, the best-case scenario for fiber internet). It handles simultaneous web surfing and livestreaming TV much more smoothly than my old DSL and cable connections ever did, but the best part of fiber internet service for me is the equal download and upload speed.

    Like everyone else you know, I host and record a podcast—it’s about TV, not unsolved murders, so don’t get too excited. With my previous DSL and cable internet services, it would take 45 minutes or more to upload an hour of audio (around 300 Mbps). With fiber, it uploads in 5 minutes or less. I used to make a snack during the upload period; now, I barely have time to type the podcast synopsis before it’s done. First-world problems, I know.

    —Bill Frost, Staff Writer

    CenturyLink internet and phone bundles

    Price Download/upload speeds Phone plan features
    $85/mo. Up to 940 Mbps both ways
  • Unlimited nationwide calling, incl. Canada and U.S. territories
  • Features like Caller ID, Call Waiting, and 3-Way Calling
  • No contract
  • View plans
    $85/mo.* Download: up to 100 Mbps
    Upload: up to 30 Mbps
  • Unlimited nationwide calling, incl. Canada and U.S. territories
  • Features like Caller ID, Call Waiting, and 3-Way Calling
  • No contract
  • View plans

    Data effective as of publish date. Pricing and speeds are subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.
    *Paperless billing or prepaid required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Get the fastest Internet speed available at your location (max speed is up to 100 Mbps.)

    CenturyLink’s internet-and-phone double-play bundles give you unlimited nationwide calling with any of its internet plans.

    Double Play Fiber Gigabit is the best value at $85 a month. With this double-play bundle, you’re paying the regular fiber price ($65 a month) and only $20 a month for the phone line. Since phone service is normally $60, you’re saving $40 monthly.

    If you bundle phone service with a DSL plan, you’ll pay the regular price for internet ($50 a month) plus $36 for phone service. That works out to a total savings of $23 per month.

    CenturyLink doesn’t offer cable TV, which is a minor inconvenience if you’re looking to get all your services from one provider. ISPs typically offer the best cable TV deals when you bundle internet and TV services. But if you’re worried about keeping track of multiple bills, you can pay your TV bill through CenturyLink if you sign up with DIRECTV.

    Visit our Centurylink bundles breakdown to learn more about combining CenturyLink services.

    Want to get TV service with CenturyLink?

    Well, you can’t—CenturyLink doesn’t have cable TV. Enter your zip code below to find TV providers in your area or check out our Streaming TV Guide to learn more about online services like YouTube TV and fuboTV.

    Please enter a valid zip code.

    Final take

    The biggest thing CenturyLink has going for it is price and value. And honestly, those are most people’s bigger concerns when shopping for internet and phone service.

    But don’t get us wrong—customer support, install and setup, modem satisfaction, and reliability are equally important. We find CenturyLink’s lackluster scores in those categories somewhat discouraging.

    But CenturyLink’s relatively low prices and no-contract setup covers up a lot of warts. So go ahead and give CenturyLink a try if you can get a fast DSL plan or fiber internet. Since there’s no contract, there’s no risk. You’re free to leave if you’re not happy.

    CenturyLink FAQ

    Can I get CenturyLink at my house?

    CenturyLink is more than likely available at your home. See if your home is eligible for CenturyLink internet, or phone service.

    Is CenturyLink any good? 

    CenturyLink is okay. In CableTV.com’s 2020 customer satisfaction survey, CenturyLink finished in ninth out of tenth place. When we broke it down by category, however, we saw that CenturyLink’s strengths are in pricing and value.

    What kind of support does CenturyLink provide?

    CenturyLink provides customer support by chat and phone. You can chat with CenturyLink customer support or call CenturyLink customer support at +1-877-837-5738.

    Check out our CenturyLink customer service guide to learn more about the ISP’s support options.

    Where can I find CenturyLink speeds in my area?

    You can use our zip code lookup tool (below) to see what speeds CenturyLink offers in your area. Expect DSL speeds from 15–100 Mbps and fiber speeds up to 940 Mbps.

    Please enter a valid zip code.

    Do I get a discount for bundling services with CenturyLink?

    CenturyLink internet-and-phone double-play bundles will save you money. If you qualify for fiber internet, you can bundle it with CenturyLink’s Home Phone Unlimited plan and save $40 a month. That’s a significant discount (32%) over the regular prices.

    If you don’t qualify for fiber internet through CenturyLink, you can save $24 monthly by bundling any of the provider’s DSL internet plans with Home Phone Unlimited.

    Does CenturyLink require a contract?

    CenturyLink does not require a contract.

    Does CenturyLink offer cable TV?

    CenturyLink does not offer cable TV services, but you can pay your TV bill through CenturyLink if you sign up with DIRECTV.

    Enter your zip code below to find TV providers in your area or visit our Streaming TV Guide to learn more about streaming live TV services.

    Please enter a valid zip code.