Overview Of CenturyLink As An ISP
CenturyLinks new “Price for Life” seems to offer users a lot of value and bang for their buck, so we will review in more detail.
Here is a quick outline of this review:
- What to look for in an ISP (checklist)
- Intro to Price For Life
- What You Must Know
- CenturyLink competitors
Call 855-917-9633 to set up service.
So, the time has come to pick a new internet service provider. Now, this may sound simple at first, but it can be quite complicated with all the options out there. Is it as simple as picking the cheapest one? Not really. Maybe just pick the one offering highest speed? Also not so much.
It all comes down to the value proposition the ISP offers. In other words, what value does the ISP offer for the price being paid? Because of this, it’s necessary to look at each option in depth. And here, reviews of ISPs come in very handy because they show the pros and cons of the specific ISP objectively.
Things To Look Out For
Before looking at what CenturyLink offers, it’s helpful to outline exactly what to look for when choosing an ISP. By knowing exactly what to look for, you will be able to see past all of the marketing lingo, that often makes products look better than they actually are.
So, when choosing an ISP, look at:
This is often the first thing to look at. It serves no purpose if a specific ISP has an excellent offering, but it doesn’t offer coverage in a particular state. So, when doing research on ISPs, make sure that their services are available in your area before looking at any other features.
This is a tricky one. First, many consumers don’t know what the different speeds mean for them. So it becomes difficult to judge which pricing plan will work best. Secondly, if you choose a package that’s too slow, then streaming and downloads will be a hassle. Choose a package that’s too fast, and it’s possible to pay too much. The key takeaway here is to choose a speed that suits the purpose the connection will be used for.
Price often goes up proportionally with the speed of the connection. Generally the slower the connection, the less the user will pay and vice versa. But the question on price doesn’t stop there. It’s about finding a balance between speed and price. For example, paying $200 per month for a dedicated fiber connection may not make much sense to a home user, while it could be perfectly acceptable for business use. Also, things like reliability also play a role in deciding whether a specific price offers good value or not.
- Connection type
Here things get a little more complicated. Believe it or not, two different connection types with the same speed can feel different. For example, a satellite connection and cable connection may have the same stated speed, but the satellite connection will feel slower, simply because the data has to travel into space and back. In contrast, a fiber connection with a latency of 20ms will feel much faster, even if it has the same stated bandwidth.
It’s of little use to have the fastest internet connection if it’s down 60% of the time. This scenario makes reliability one of the most important factors to consider when choosing an ISP. It’s always a good idea to look at ISPs that offer service agreements which state specifically how reliable the connection will be.
Benefits of CenturyLink
Now, what makes CenturyLink a good option and what does it offer?
Price For Life
Any CenturyLink review would be amiss if it didn’t mention one of its best features – Price for Life.
So, what exactly is Price for Life? It simply means that, once a customer signs up for one of CenturyLink’s internet plans, that price is guaranteed or “locked-in” for the entire time the customer keeps their CenturyLink service.
For example, should a customer sign up for the Price for Life 100 Mbps plan at $49 per month, he will pay that amount for the entire time he keeps his internet subscription with CenturyLink. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Especially considering that, as with most things, prices increase over time.
Conditions of Price for Life
There are some conditions to keep in mind, though. The Price for Life guarantee ends if:
- the customer changes his internet plan
- moves to a new address
- suspends the service through the Vacation Program
- cancels the plan, and decides to sign up again
Despite these conditions, Price for Life can still save customers a substantial amount of money in the long run.
And this is something that hardly any other ISPs offer.
Now, what packages does CenturyLink offer?
First up is the Price for Life 10 Mbps.
With speeds up to 10 Mbps, this package is ideal for casual internet users. Its good for things like:
- check email
- browse the web
- stream music on one device.
With this speed, it’s also possible to stream video on one device, video call on Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom, and indulge in a bit of single player online gaming.
The next tier includes Price for Life 15 Mbps, Price for Life 20 Mbps, and Price for Life 40 Mbps packages.
Similar to the first package, with these speeds users can do many of the same things, only a bit faster and better. This means less buffering, higher video resolution, and faster downloads.
A notch up is the Price for Life 40 Mbps, Price for Life 80 Mbps, and Price for Life 100 Mbps packages.
With these speeds users will be able to stream HD video on a few devices, play multiplayer online games, and download large files with ease.
With the 100 Mbps package, users may also be able to stream UHD video, download larger files faster, and improve multiplayer online gaming.
Important to Understand
Interestingly enough, all of these packages are priced the same: $49 per month. Why is this?
Because CenturyLink connects users to the fastest speed they can get in their area: the speeds users can get are not limited by price, but rather by geographical location (and the speeds that are available in that area).
So, users should know that they’re paying for the maximum speed they can get.
* Sometimes this can lead to some confusion because users often won’t know beforehand what speeds they’ll get.
in addition to the offers above, CenturyLink offers fiber internet with speeds up to 940 Mbps for $65 per month.
With these speeds, users are not limited in what they can do on the internet and can, for example, stream HD content on more than 8 devices.
What do users need to do to get a CenturyLink internet package? For one, users don’t need to sign any contracts. Yes, that’s right, no contracts. This means that users can keep their service for as long as they want or need it, and just pay month to month without any extended obligations.
It also means that there are no early cancellation fees should the user want to cancel their internet. Apart from there being no log term commitment, having no contract also means that CenturyLink doesn’t do credit checks.
Equipment / Modems
When it comes to equipment, users can opt for a CenturyLink provided modem, which they can lease at up to $15 per month. Or purchase a modem for a one-time amount of up to $200 plus tax.
Can Use Your Own Modem?
It is, however, completely possible for users to use their own equipment if they don’t want to use any of the modems that CenturyLink can provide. Keep in mind, though, that the model the user wants to use should be on CenturyLink’s list of compatible modems.
- Actiontec C3000A
- Greenwave C4000
- Zyxel C3000Z
When you choose to lease or purchase a modem while ordering internet service, the right gateway will automatically be selected for you based on the internet technology and speed available at your address.
Installation Fees for Modems
As far as fees go, CenturyLink charges a fee of up to $125 for installation with extra charges if the install requires copper bury or aerial delivery. This amount can also vary depending on a property assessment, but the user will be informed upfront of any changes. If possible, users may also opt for a self installation.
Is CenturyLink a Good Value For the Money?
To properly consider whether CenturyLink offers good value for the cost, it’s necessary to compare them to some of their competitors in the market and see what they offer.
CenturyLink vs Xfinity
With 6 pricing plans that range from $19.99 for a 25 Mbps plan to $84.99 for a 1000 Mbps plan, Xfinity’s plans are similarly or lower priced compared to similar ISPs.
Keep in mind, though, that these prices are subject to signing a 12-month contract and only valid for the first 12 months of the contract.
CenturyLink vs Verizon
With only 3 fiber internet options, Verizon Fios offers plans from $39.99 per month for a 200 Mbps plan, to $79.99 for up to 940 Mbps. Although these prices are generally favorable, its service is limited mostly to the East Coast of the United states.
CenturyLink vs ATT
Focusing mostly on bundling its internet services with its own streaming services, AT&T internet bundles are generally higher than its competitors. Pricing comes in at anywhere from $89.99 per month to $159.99 per month depending on which streaming service is bundled with the package.
Should users choose to get only their internet from AT&T, its packages are priced at $45 per month for its 10 Mbps, 18 Mbps, 25 Mbps, and 50 Mbps. The 100 Mbps plan comes at $35 per month. It’s important to note that these prices are only valid for the first 12 months of use and that geographic availability is severely limited.
Suddenlink vs ATT
With four pricing plans ranging from $34.99 per month to $74.99 per month, Suddenlink offers a similar offering to CenturyLink, but its availability is limited to 14 states.
CenturyLinks competitors offer packages at similar rates. And, there are many good options to choose from. However, it’s clear that CenturyLink’s Price for Life packages can save users money over time, and its geographic availability make it a good option.
CenturyLink offers internet services across 36 states, with the best coverage in Arizona, Colorado, and Washington. This means its DSL internet is available to 48.4 million people, making it the 4th largest residential DSL provider in the United States.
As for fiber, CenturyLink offers services in these cities:
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Tucson, Arizona
- Boulder, Colorado
- Denver, Colorado
- Fort Myers/Cape Coral, Florida
- Ocala/The Villages, Florida
- Orlando, Florida
- Idaho Falls/Pocatello, Idaho
- Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
- Columbia/Jefferson City, Missouri
- Springfield, Missouri
- Omaha, Nebraska
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Portland, Oregon
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Seattle-Tacoma, Washington
- Spokane, Washington
- La Crosse, Wisconsin
- Platteville, Wisconsin
Unfortunately it’s not all good news. There are some cons too, like the fact that download speeds can be a bit confusing and users won’t know upfront what speed they’ll get. CL also suffers from slow speed performance and poor customer service from time to time (at least these are the issues typically encountered on review forums and sites).
But, is CenturyLink one of the best ISPs?
For one, the Price for Life guarantee is a unique offering that’s hard to find elsewhere. Not only does this guarantee the price a user will pay for as long as that user keeps the internet service, it also brings about significant savings over time, especially when other ISPs increase their prices after the first 12 months.
Another big plus is the fact that there are no contracts or cancellation fees. The user is not committed to the service for a specific time, and can cancel without being penalized. Added to that that, CenturyLink has a fair amount of offerings, including fiber in select cities.
Call 855-917-9633 to set up service.