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AT&T vs. CenturyLink

CenturyLink’s internet plans are straightforward, but AT&T wins thanks to its customer service and deeper internet options.

Most flexible

CenturyLink

Price: $50.00–$75.00/mo.

Download speeds: 100–940 Mbps

Upload speeds: Up to 10–940Mbps

Data cap: Unlimited

Contract: N/A

CenturyLink

Price: $50.00–$75.00/mo.

Download speeds: 100–940 Mbps

Upload speeds: Up to 10–940Mbps

Data cap: Unlimited

Contract: N/A

Best overall

AT&T

Price: $55.00–$250.00/mo.

Download speeds: 75–5,000 Mbps

Upload speeds: Up to 20–5,000Mbps

Data cap: 1,024GB–unlimited

Contract: N/A

AT&T

Price: $55.00–$250.00/mo.

Download speeds: 75–5,000 Mbps

Upload speeds: Up to 20–5,000Mbps

Data cap: 1,024GB–unlimited

Contract: N/A

Is AT&T or CenturyLink better?

AT&T narrowly beats CenturyLink thanks to the internet service provider’s (ISP) deeper bench of internet plans and superior customer service. But if you’re deciding between AT&T DSL or CenturyLink fiber internet, we recommend CenturyLink.

AT&T vs. CenturyLink pros and cons

AT&T

More fiber internet plans
Better sign-up deals
Old DSL network

CenturyLink

Flat-rate and no-contract pricing
Free equipment
Aging DSL plans

Shopping for internet service?

CenturyLink and AT&T offer excellent fiber internet service for new customers. Enter your zip code below to see internet and TV options in your area.

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AT&T vs. CenturyLink deals

CenturyLink occasionally offers promotions including free hardware, Sling TV subscriptions, and a $100 gift card. AT&T’s best deals include cash cards worth up to $250 and waived cancellation fees. Check out our AT&T deals guide for more information.

AT&T vs. CenturyLink head-to-head

Service Internet price Download speed Upload speed Data cap Details
AT&T $55.00–$250.00/mo. 75–5,000 Mbps Up to 20–5,000Mbps 1,024 GB–unlimited
CenturyLink $50.00–$75.00/mo. 100–940 Mbps Up to 10–940Mbps Unlimited View plan

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

When it comes to their plans, AT&T and CenturyLink are two peas in a pod. Both ISPs are internet-only and offer great fiber internet packages alongside aging DSL plans.

CenturyLink’s three fiber internet plans offer straightforward pricing along with a good variety of price points and download speeds. AT&T’s plans are slightly pricier than CenturyLink, but you also get more speed options if you’re interested in multi-gig internet service.

AT&T vs. CenturyLink internet plans and prices

CenturyLink plans and prices

Package Price Download speeds up to Upload speeds up to Internet type Details
CenturyLink Fiber Internet 500 Mbps $50.00/mo.* 500Mbps 500Mbps Fiber View plan
CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit $75.00/mo. 940Mbps 940Mbps Fiber View plan
Simply Unlimited Internet Up to 40-80 Mbps $55.00/mo.* 80 Mbps 10 Mbps DSL View plan
Simply Unlimited Internet 100 Mbps $55.00/mo. 100Mbps 10Mbps DSL View plan

Data effective as of publish date. Pricing and speeds are subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.
* Service is not available everywhere. Offer is available to qualifying customers only. Limited time offer. Paperless billing required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply.
† Speed may not be available in your area. Maximum download/upload speed of up to 940 Mbps via a wired connection. Paperless billing required. Taxes and fees apply. Offer details. Offer includes professional installation at customer’s eligible location.
‡ Speed may not be available in your area. Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Get the fastest internet speed available at your location (max speed is up to 100 Mbps).

If you’re lucky enough to have CenturyLink fiber coverage, you can access some of the most affordable fiber internet plans around. We recommend fiber internet if it’s available in your area because you get the fastest upload and download speeds compared to DSL and cable internet.

We like that CenturyLink fiber internet is not exclusively a boutique product, as CenturyLink’s 500 Mbps plan is an affordable fiber internet option. With 500Mbps upload and download speeds, this plan is affordable for such fast speeds and will be a great fit for most households. By comparison, AT&T’s fiber internet plans start at $55 per month for 300 Mbps.

CenturyLink’s fiber internet plans feature great benefits like flat-rate pricing, no contracts, and unlimited data. These features are increasingly standard among fiber ISPs (including AT&T), but we appreciate when ISPs don’t try to spring surprise price increases on customers.

If you’re outside CenturyLink’s fiber area, you have to settle for the provider’s Simply Unlimited Internet DSL plans. DSL internet’s download speeds vary widely by address, and we only recommend it if your house can’t get regular internet service.

AT&T plans and prices

Package Price Download speeds up to Upload speeds up to Internet type Details
Internet 300* $55.00/mo. 300Mbps 300Mbps Fiber
Internet 500† $65.00/mo. 500Mbps 500Mbps Fiber
1 Gig Internet‡ $80.00/mo. 940Mbps 940Mbps Fiber
2 Gig Internet‡ $150.00/mo. 2,000Mbps 2,000Mbps Fiber
5 Gig Internet $250.00/mo. 5,000Mbps 5,000Mbps Fiber

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes & fees. Monthly State Cost Recovery Charge in TX, OH, NV applies. One time install chrg may apply. Ltd. avail/areas. Call or go to www.fiber.att.com to see if you qualify.
†Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes & fees. Monthly State Cost Recovery Charge in TX, OH, NV applies. One time install chrg may apply. Ltd. avail/areas. Call or go to www.fiber.att.com to see if you qualify.
‡Speeds based on wired connection. Actual speeds may vary. For more info, go to www.att.com/speed101..

AT&T has a wider breadth of fiber internet plans, but across the board, you pay slightly more for AT&T fiber internet compared to CenturyLink. For example, AT&T’s 500Mbps plan costs $65 monthly, while CenturyLink’s 500Mbps plan costs $50 per month, depending on your location. And both ISPs have benefits like flat-rate pricing and waived equipment fees, so AT&T’s still behind the eight ball when you include the fine print.

AT&T’s biggest advantage over CenturyLink is its deeper bench of fiber internet plans. Although availability for AT&T’s 2 Gig and 5 Gig plans widely, they’re strong options if your household has more than four heavy internet users.

AT&T vs. CenturyLink fees and extra charges

AT&T fees and extra charges

Fees Amount
Data overage fee $10.00 per 50GB (DSL only, up to $100.00/mo.)
Wi-Fi gateway fee Included
Late payment fee Up to $9.99
Payment convenience fee Up to $5.00 per payment

AT&T’s biggest fees are its penalty charges, but if you take care of your account balance every month, you’re in the clear. Check out our AT&T hidden costs guide for more on AT&T’s fine print and fees.

CenturyLink fees and extra charges

Fees Amount
Modem lease $15.00/mo.
Installation $99.00 (if required)

As an internet-only provider, CenturyLink doesn’t have much in the way of hidden fees. If you downgrade from a gigabit plan to a 500Mbps fiber internet plan, you have to pay a $15 modem lease fee—CenturyLink waives equipment fees on its Gigabit plan only. If your address needs additional work to become internet-ready, you may also have to pay a one-time installation fee.

Do you want fiber internet?

Fiber internet offers the best performance for an affordable price. Visit our guide to the best fiber internet providers to learn more about the top fiber ISPs.

AT&T vs. CenturyLink specs and features

AT&T vs. CenturyLink customer service

AT&T was one of the top ISPs in our annual internet customer satisfaction survey, earning top marks in overall satisfaction and customer service. CenturyLink performed decently in our polling and generally landed in the middle of surveyed ISPs

Bundling with TV

Neither ISP offers TV service, so you’re out of luck if you want to bundle a TV plan with your internet service. If you’re interested in live TV streaming services, check out our best live streaming service guide to learn more about services like YouTube TV and DIRECTV STREAM.

Bundling with cell phone service

CenturyLink doesn’t have a cell phone service, but you can bundle a home phone line with your internet for an additional $50 per month.

With AT&T, you save 25% on its unlimited cell phone plans when you bundle cell phone and internet service. AT&T’s cell phone plans are generally expensive, but you’ll get features like large mobile hotspot data caps and save when you add up to five lines to your plan. Check out our cell phone and internet bundles guide to learn more about combining cell phone and internet service.

Is AT&T or CenturyLink more worth it?

AT&T comes out ahead over CenturyLink in most cases thanks to its superior customer service, better sign-up deals, and its straightforward internet pricing. But we’d take CenturyLink if you’re in an area with the ISP’s $50 for 500Mbps deal.

AT&T vs. CenturyLink FAQ

Does AT&T own CenturyLink?

AT&T does not own CenturyLink. AT&T and CenturyLink are two different companies.

Did AT&T buy CenturyLink?

AT&T did not buy CenturyLink. CenturyLink’s parent company is Lumen Technologies.

Methodology

Our experts drew from our existing CenturyLink and AT&T databases, rating both ISPs on areas including internet speeds, pricing, and availability. We also used our annual customer satisfaction survey to see how real customers felt about each ISP.

For more on our process, see our How We Rank page.

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