skip to main content

EarthLink Review 2023: Plans, Pricing, And More

A helpful back-up internet provider if your previous service has let you down.

Best for customer service

Price: $49.95–$99.95/mo.

Internet speed: 3–1,000 Mbps

Data cap: None

Top plans Price Download speeds up to Upload speeds up to
Best for speed
1,000 Mbps
$89.95/mo. 1,000 Mbps 1,000 Mbps View plan
Best for most folks
80 Mbps
$69.95/mo. 80 Mbps 10 Mbps View plan

Data effective as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Is EarthLink internet any good?

EarthLink internet speeds vary wildly by location, and its plans are pricey, but it has a top-notch customer service reputation. If you can find an EarthLink internet plan that fits your needs and you’re comfortable paying for it, you can count on an internet service that really pulls for you.

Except don’t count on that legendary customer service during the installation process—you should count on that to be a real pain in the patootie.

Pros

  • Excellent customer service
  • Unlimited data
  • Cheap equipment rentals

Cons

  • 1-year contracts
  • Widely varying internet plans
  • Unreliable installation

Where is EarthLink available?

EarthLink is available in 47 states, making it one of the most widely available internet services in the US. To see if EarthLink is available near you, put your zip code in the box below.

We’ll compare your zip code to our ISP database, but we never keep or share your info. You’re safe with us.

Please enter a valid zip code.

EarthLink deals and promotions

Nope, sorry, EarthLink isn’t the sort of internet service to butter you up with sweet deals and promotional pricing. It prescribes to the mindset of moms with picky eaters everywhere—you get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.

To lighten this blow, maybe you can imagine Gene Wilder here snapping, “you get nothing!” We’d include that gif, but we don’t think our Compliance Department would let us get away with it.

Earthlink internet plans and pricing

Package Price Download speeds up to Upload speeds up to Type
15 Mbps $49.95/mo. 15 Mbps 0.75 Mbps DSL View plan
30 Mbps $59.95/mo. 30 Mbps 1.5 Mbps DSL View plan
80 Mbps $69.95/mo. 80 Mbps 10 Mbps DSL View plan
100 Mbps $59.95/mo. 100 Mbps 100 Mbps Fiber View plan
300 Mbps $69.95/mo. 300 Mbps 300 Mbps Fiber View plan
1,000 Mbps $89.95/mo. 1,000 Mbps 1,000 Mbps Fiber View plan

Data effective as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Compared to other internet service providers’ introductory rates, EarthLink’s internet plans are overpriced. If you look on the sunny side, that means your price won’t jump once your one-year contract expires.

But if you look past the silver lining, this storm cloud is made of a whole year of missed savings.

Other providers raise their prices once your first year is up, sure, but you can compel most to cut you some dollar-sign slack if you sign up for another contract. That means you can’t leave your internet service whenever you want, but you’re still getting a discount.

Still, if all that bureaucracy makes your head hurt, EarthLink is just what the doctor ordered (with hefty co-pay, lol).

If you’re a real speedster and live somewhere with Earthlink’s fiber internet service available, choose the 1,000 Mbps plan. But most folks should be just fine with the download speeds offered by the 80 Mbps plan. If that plan isn’t in your area, any plan faster than 50 Mbps should do the trick.

View Plans

EarthLink vs. the competition

Package Price Download speed up to Data cap Details
EarthLink 100 Mbps $59.95/mo. 100 Mbps None View EarthLink plans
AT&T Internet 100 $55.00/mo. 100 Mbps 1 TB View AT&T plans
Read AT&T review
CenturyLink Simply Unlimited Internet $50.00/mo. 100 Mbps None View CenturyLink plans
Read CenturyLink review

Data effective as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Despite recent price drops, EarthLink’s DSL plans are still a step behind the competition. Its 100 Mbps internet plan is a little more expensive than comparable 100 Mbps plans from AT&T and CenturyLink, which offer internet service in many of the same areas.

Although EarthLink has unlimited data, you’ll still have to deal with a one-year service contract that comes with a hefty $200 early termination fee along with mandatory equipment and installation fees.

But EarthLink could be worth considering if you’re in an area with EarthLink fiber coverage and only DSL plans from competitors like Frontier. Although Earthlink’s 1,000 Mbps isn’t the cheapest fiber internet plan on the market, we still recommend fiber internet over DSL or cable internet if it’s in your neighborhood. Fiber internet offers the fastest upload and download speeds.

View Plans

EarthLink specs and features

EarthLink’s internet plans partially rely on networks from providers like AT&T and this setup gives EarthLink some unique features. Let’s break down what you’ll need to know about EarthLink’s fine print.

EarthLink installation problems

“What’s with the enigmatic warning about EarthLink installation in this article’s intro?” you ask. Excellent question.

Like how EarthLink contracts with other internet providers to use their networks, EarthLink also contracts to use those providers’ technicians. EarthLink doesn’t have direct control of your technician’s schedule, branding, or training.

That means on installation day, your installation technician may show up late in an AT&T van (or CenturyLink, Verizon, etc.). They may not know much about EarthLink as a company, and they might even claim their company owns EarthLink (it doesn’t).

These contracted technicians will probably install your internet just fine, but EarthLink customers aren’t their priority. You may end up scheduled last for your technician’s appointments that day or get rescheduled if an emergency pops up.

All this hassle is a bummer, especially since EarthLink charges you $79.95 for installation.

But your installation day could always go off without a hitch. And if you can get through a potentially turbulent installation day, you’ll be cradled back in the capable arms of EarthLink’s customer service team. They’ll look after you.

EarthLink equipment

EarthLink modem/router rental costs $8.95 per month, and it’s not optional. But even though many internet services let you bring your own gateway, they usually charge $10 if you’re renting equipment, so EarthLink isn’t giving you too bad a deal.

Unlike cable internet, DSL and fiber internet don’t have standardized modem tech. DSL networks, in particular, are a mix of different technologies (we discuss this in our CenturyLink modem article), and it’s hard to find the right modem for the job without a lot of tech know-how.

Keep this cost in mind, but don’t let it weigh too heavily on you. As far as hidden internet fees go, it’s not all that bad.

EarthLink data cap

Let’s see . . . we highlighted EarthLink’s customer service reputation and dragged its pricing, so what’s left? It looks like it’s time to bring up the joys of unlimited data and the trouble with internet plans that vary by location.

EarthLink joins the elite ranks of internet providers that don’t arbitrarily limit your internet use with crummy data caps. You won’t have to worry about EarthLink throttling your speeds or slapping you with fines because you overindulged in a Netflix marathon. What a chum!

While unlimited data is a perk you’ll find in nearly every EarthLink plan (except its LTE home internet plans), consistent prices, speeds, and availability are not.

See, EarthLink doesn’t own its own internet network. It basically rents bandwidth from better-connected internet providers (like AT&T or CenturyLink) and sells it to you, so it can’t control your internet connection quality.

Earthlink may try to offer the best speeds it can for the DSL or fiber network it’s borrowing, but there’s only so much it can do.

At least EarthLink tries to even out prices across the US. Your area probably has download speeds in the ballpark of at least one plan spelled out below, and your package will fall in line with that price point. But you can’t know what you’re working with until you contact EarthLink.

View Plans

Final take: Is EarthLink internet worth it?

EarthLink internet is worth the switch if you’re sick of your current internet provider’s lousy customer service and data caps.

But if you’re currently with a major internet provider, your internet connection likely won’t magically become better when you make the switch—EarthLink uses major internet provider’s networks. And EarthLink’s plans are kind of pricey, so be aware this isn’t the best switch for saving money.

View Plans

EarthLink internet FAQ

Can I get EarthLink internet?

EarthLink internet is one of the farthest-reaching internet service providers (ISPs) in the US—there’s a pretty good chance EarthLink offers internet service near you. To find out for sure, enter your zip code below.

Please enter a valid zip code.

What kind of internet is EarthLink?

EarthLink provides both DSL and fiber internet service, but your service type will depend on your location and internet plan.

EarthLink’s 100 and 1,000 Mbps plans are fiber internet. In some areas where fiber internet is available, 50 Mbps is also a fiber plan—and it drops in price from its usual $69.95 per month to $49.95 per month.

The 50 Mbps price drop is likely because 50 Mbps is tons of bandwidth for DSL, but hardly any for fiber. It doesn’t cost Earthlink much to offer 50 Mbps of fiber, but it’s still nice that it passes those savings on to its customers.

Aside from the plans mentioned above, EarthLink’s other plans are all DSL internet.

Is EarthLink secure?

EarthLink internet comes with virus and spam protection, but you’ll have to pay more for its advanced security option, Earthlink Secure.

EarthLink Secure offers five different levels of protection, starting from $7.95 to $24.95 per month. You can compare them all on EarthLink Secure’s webpage, under Pricing and Features.

Heads up if you use EarthLink’s email service: Its email encryption is only an option, not a rule. You should make sure you’ve selected secure email settings before you send out any more emails.

And never use EarthLink email for HIPAA-protected information—it’s not secure enough for that.

Methodology

To determine how EarthLink stacked up against the DSL and fiber internet competition, we evaluated factors including EarthLink’s pricing, online reputation, and internet speeds against leading DSL internet-focused providers such as CenturyLink and AT&T.

For more information on our methodology, check out our How We Rank page.

Don't miss an update

Stay updated on the latest products and services anytime anywhere.