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CenturyLink Internet Review: Plans, Prices, Deals, and More

We break down the value and costs of CenturyLink’s fiber internet and DSL internet plans.

Price: $50–$85/mo.
Download speeds: 15–940 Mbps
Price* Download/upload speeds Details
$65/mo. Up to 940 Mbps both ways View plan
$85/mo. Up to 940 Mbps both ways 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 internet good?

Is CenturyLink a good internet provider? Well, in our 2020 internet customer satisfaction survey, CenturyLink consistently landed in the bottom-third of our rankings for subjects like service reliability and installation.

That said, we still think CenturyLink fiber internet (if you can get it) is a really good deal. At $65 per month, CenturyLink Fiber Internet is among the cheaper fiber options on the market. But if you’re stuck with CenturyLink DSL, you’ll have to deal with inconsistent internet options.

CenturyLink internet plans and pricing

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.)

CenturyLink Fiber Internet

If it’s available in your area, we recommend CenturyLink’s fiber internet plan. With download and upload speeds up to 940 Mbps, this plan will let you gobble (or reverse-gobble) a gigabyte of content in eight seconds. Also, there are no contracts for as long as you’re with CenturyLink.

We always recommend getting fiber internet if you can (your doctor recommends fiber and so do we), because you’ll get best-in-class upload and download speeds compared to cable or DSL internet.

At $65 per month, CenturyLink Fiber Internet is also cheaper than most fiber internet plans that cost around $80 per month. CenturyLink also offers a cheaper 100 Mbps fiber internet plan for $49 per month, but there’s little reason to downgrade. Once you add the 100 Mbps plan’s $15 monthly modem fee (which is waived on the 940 Mbps plan), you’ll be saving only $1 each month while getting slower internet performance.

But CenturyLink still has the same problem as a lot of fiber internet providers—the internet service provider’s (ISP) fiber network is still being rolled out.

If you’re in or near a major city with CenturyLink coverage, there’s a decent chance you can get fiber internet. But if you’re not? Then your only CenturyLink option will be the ISP’s Simply Unlimited Internet DSL plan.

Pro tip: You’ll need a modem and Wi-Fi router for CenturyLink internet. CenturyLink offers a combo modem/Wi-Fi router for $15 per month or you can buy it outright for $200. The combo device (usually called a gateway) is free if you get CenturyLink Fiber Internet.

You can also purchase your own modem to save on rental fees. Check out our CenturyLink combo modem-router guide to learn more about your hardware options.

Simply Unlimited Internet

To the fiber internet-deprived: DSL can still be workable. With maximum download speeds of 100 Mbps, Simply Unlimited Internet is 10x slower than fiber and its download/upload speeds aren’t equal.

But at $50 per month, the DSL plan still offers value if your house just needs the internet for occasional Netflix sessions, and you’re not doing things like daily video calls. We’re also fans of Simply Unlimited Internet’s unlimited data and no-contract pricing. You won’t have to worry about expensive data overage fees or a surprise price hike after your promotional rate ends.

Like with most DSL plans, your CenturyLink DSL options are going to depend on the area-availability goblin. For example, with Simply Unlimited Internet, you’ll get only one internet option that has the fastest speed available at your address. That means you might get a 100 Mbps plan, but you also might live in an area where CenturyLink can guarantee only “up to 1.5 Mbps.” (I do.) And that’s unfortunate.

We’d recommend Simply Unlimited Internet only if your address gets a download speed of at least 40 Mbps. At between 40 Mbps to 80 Mbps, your internet won’t be blazing fast, but you’ll be able to check your email or watch videos.

Simply Unlimited Internet can even be a deal if you’re lucky enough to have 100 Mbps download speeds at your address. At $50 per month for 100 Mbps, the DSL plan beats comparable flat-rate internet plans from Xfinity ($45/mo. for 50 Mbps) and Cox ($50/mo. for 25 Mbps). But if your address gets less than 40 Mbps from CenturyLink, you’ll be better off with a competing cable ISP.

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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.)

    Everybody loves a bundle, especially when it means a discount. CenturyLink doesn’t offer TV service, so your only bundle option will be CenturyLink phone service.

    For the best savings—not to mention internet speeds, you’ll want CenturyLink’s Double Play Fiber Gigabit bundle. At $85 a month, you’ll save $40 (32%) a month. If your address only gets CenturyLink DSL coverage, you’ll still pay the same price for a home phone and internet bundle. Check out our CenturyLink bundle guide to learn more about the ISP’s offerings.

    CenturyLink internet deals

    If you’re looking for low-income internet service, check out the Lifeline program. This government-sponsored program is for people who participate in federal assistance programs, and it can get you $9.25 a month off CenturyLink internet or phone service.

    Check out our free and low-income internet guide to learn more about Lifeline.

    Final take

    We love CenturyLink’s shockingly straightforward pricing on its fiber internet and Simply Unlimited Internet plans.

    But your CenturyLink experience will heavily depend on where you live. CenturyLink Fiber Internet is a great fiber internet option, but if your neighborhood only gets Simply Unlimited Internet, it’ll be a coin toss whether you’ll get 1 Mbps or 100 Mbps internet speeds.

    Fortunately, no contracts means you can give CenturyLink a shot without getting trapped by a lengthy contract and early termination fees.

    View CenturyLink internet plans

    CenturyLink internet FAQ

    How do I change my CenturyLink Wi-Fi password? 

    Here’s how to change your Wi-Fi password if you have a newer CenturyLink modem and it’s already connected to a device:

    1. Open a browser window and go to http://192.168.0.1.
    2. Log in with the Admin username and password. You can find the default information on the modem sticker. If you used a custom username and passphrase, log in with those.
    3. Under “Wireless Setup,” choose “2.4 GHz” (see upper left-hand corner).
    4. Under “Wireless Security,” choose the SSID you want to edit from the drop-down menu.
    5. In the second drop-down menu (“Security Type”), select desired security type (it’ll more than likely involve WPA2).
    6. In the third drop-down menu (“Encryption Type”), select “both.”
    7. Under “Enter security key/passphrase,” choose the default passphrase or enter your own. Custom passphrases must have 8–63 characters. You may use any letter from A–Z, any number from 0–9, and blank spaces.
    8. Hit “Apply.”

    If these steps don’t work, check instructions for older CenturyLink modems.

    How do I cancel CenturyLink internet? 

    To cancel your CenturyLink internet or home phone service, call 1-800-244-1111 between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday–Friday.

    Expect a CenturyLink representative to try to keep your business by offering alternatives to cancellation. Sometimes those customer-retention deals are pretty decent, so there’s no harm in listening. But if you’re sure you want to cancel, stay strong. No means no.

    What modems are compatible with CenturyLink?

    At the moment, CenturyLink supports 31 different modems from manufacturers like Actiontec, Adtran, Calix, Cisco, D-Link, Technicolor, Westrell, and ZyXEL. We’ve narrowed down the list with our guide to the best CenturyLink-compatible modems.

    If you’d like modem help from a real human, call CenturyLink at 1-877-837-5738 or chat with tech support.

    Can I use my own router with CenturyLink? 

    Yes, you may use your own router with CenturyLink service. If you don’t already have one, and you also need a DSL modem, we recommend some great modem-router combos in our guide to the best CenturyLink-compatible modems.

    Does CenturyLink have a data cap? 

    CenturyLink fiber and DSL internet plans have no data cap.

    How do I set up my CenturyLink voicemail? 

    To set up your CenturyLink voicemail, use the following steps:

    1. If you have your welcome letter, dial the retrieval number.
    2. If you don’t have your welcome letter, you can find it by dialing 1-800-669-7676. Alternatively, press *98 from your home phone to continue setup.
    3. Follow voice prompts.
    4. Create a 4–15 digit password.
    5. Record your name so that callers know they’ve reached the right person.
    6. Choose from two pre-recorded voicemail greetings or record a personalized message.
    7. You’re done. Now sit by your phone and wait to see if anyone loves you.

    How much does it cost to install CenturyLink internet?

    Installation costs vary depending on your address. You may qualify for a free self-installation kit, but if a technician needs to do extensive work at your home, CenturyLink may charge a $49–$99 installation fee.

    How much is CenturyLink unlimited internet?

    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.)

    CenturyLink costs $50 per month for unlimited DSL internet and $65 per month for unlimited fiber internet. CenturyLink doesn’t have data caps, so every plan has unlimited data.