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CenturyLink internet reviews

CenturyLink brand
Staff rating
Customer rating
Price: $30.00 - $110.00/moSpeed: 3Mb - 940Mb
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Rebecca Palmer smiles for the camera
Headshot of Dave Schafer
Researched by
Headshot of Bri Field
Reviewed by
Bri FieldAssigning Editor
Updated 2/7/23

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Great fiber service, if you can get it

CenturyLink offers excellent fiber internet, but it’s available only in limited markets. If you can't get fiber, you may be able to get a DSL connection but you'll pay nearly as much.

What we like

  • Unlimited data across all plans
  • Fast fiber connections in select markets
  • No contracts
What we dislike

  • Limited fiber availability
  • Much slower DSL internet speeds
  • Below-average customer service

Our expert assessment

Great fiber value meets high-cost, low-performance DSL plans

CenturyLink offers two types of plans, depending on your location. The more common option is DSL, which is relatively slow and offers inconsistent speeds. The other option is fiber, which is extremely fast and reliable.

Generally speaking, the DSL options are not a great value. The price is reasonable, but the speeds mean you’re likely to get more for your money elsewhere (this is true for many DSL providers). The fiber plans are a much better value—they offer much more speed for the money than CenturyLink’s DSL plans and are competitive with other providers’ fiber offerings. In fact, CenturyLink's 940 Mbps plan costs a little more than half of the national benchmark for similar plans (1). We highly recommend CenturyLink fiber if you have it available.

Performance is excellent for areas with fiber access

There’s a performance divide based on the type of service available. The CenturyLink DSL plans can range from 15 to 100 Mbps, which is a wide range. Additionally, 15 Mbps just isn’t great these days. It doesn’t even reach broadband speeds (25 Mbps or more). That said, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting the advertised speed—whatever plan you sign up for, you seem to get what you pay for with CenturyLink.

On the other hand, the fiber plans offer Gigabit speeds (up to 940 Mbps), which is excellent. Additionally, fiber internet offers synchronous download speeds and upload speeds, meaning you can game, video chat, or upload large files just as fast as you binge Netflix. Fiber also tends to be inherently reliable because of the way the technology works—the light signals in fiber optic cables can carry more information over longer distances than coaxial cables. We have no complaints about performance on these plans.

Equipment and installation
A fee for self-installation, but good equipment at a decent price

CenturyLink installation is more or less on par with other providers in terms of installation procedures and costs. If your neighborhood is wired for only DSL with CenturyLink, you can have your internet service set up by a pro for somewhere between $129 and $300 based on the installation requirements. You can alternatively choose to do a self-install for $15.

If you live in an area wired for CenturyLink fiber, your pro installation and equipment rental are free, and you may be able to self-install for free. You could also wrangle unlimited data and an included mesh wireless network if you sign a contract, so be sure to ask. This is about on par with other fiber internet providers.

Find out whether you need a professional to come by or if you can handle setup yourself.

As for equipment, the CenturyLink modem and router are also pretty standard stuff. The company charges around $15 per month for equipment rentals for DSL customers. The gear is nothing to write home about, but it works. You can also buy the modem outright from CenturyLink for up to $200—whether this is a good deal for you depends on how long you plan to have CenturyLink as a provider.

We don’t particularly recommend buying your own router. Both the DSL and fiber services require a modem certified by CenturyLink to function, so you may as well save some money and use the built-in wireless router.

Customer experience
Below-average customer service

CenturyLink consistently scores slightly below average in customer satisfaction (2), largely due to complaints about a lack of responsiveness regarding customer service. The service also gets a lot of complaints from new fiber internet customers, but complaints are very common industry-wide.

CenturyLink hires techs and contractors from around the country, so some inconsistency is expected. It redeems itself slightly, though, with an easy-to-use support page.

The company is expanding and we hear that many new cities will have fiber internet hookups from CenturyLink within the next few years. If you can get only DSL, though, you may have a connection as slow as 3 Mbps or one as fast as 100 Mbps, with huge variation in latency depending on how far you are from the nearest access point.

We like that CenturyLink provides DSL to customers who may have no other option, but we don't recommend the DSL offering if you have access to cable or fiber internet from another provider.

We stand by the validity of our reviews and are committed to transparency: Our team uses consumer sentiment software to source customer reviews, which are entirely unique to this website. Reviewers attest to being current customers of the providers they review and are not incentivized to speak positively or negatively about their experience. We do not alter the reviews in any way. Learn more about how we source reviews.

CenturyLink customer ratings overview

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Our reviews come from real customers who weren't incentivized to leave a review. The rating distribution typically shows a range of experiences and opinions that helps you get a sense for the average customer experience, not just extremes.

Top reviews from CenturyLink customers

Danfrom The Villages, FL
CenturyLink Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-11-23
works ok, costly though
Elifrom East Orange , NJ
CenturyLink Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-11-16
Pretty good for what it is. The value is there for me. Good performance, nice speeds and at a reasonable price.
Daneefrom Chillicothe, OH
CenturyLink Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 2022-11-02
Currently centry links value is great. The internet soured is amazing. The web pages never lag & you never have to wait more than seconds for the page to load
James from Okeechobee , FL
CenturyLink Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-10-30
They desperately need to improve their speed, since they are kind of slow.
Ashley from Orrville , OH
CenturyLink Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-10-27
My internet is always buffering and going out.
Tibikofrom Denver, CO
CenturyLink Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 2022-10-21
It is okay for century link but the customer service is so bad.
Sandra Dykesfrom Vancouver , Wa
CenturyLink Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-10-14
They are unstable in staying connected... they provide a clear picture on TV
Johnfrom Minneapolis , MN
CenturyLink Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-10-10
The service is good it's hasn't been any problems for me when I do my work online
Brenna from Humansville , MO
CenturyLink Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-10-09
My internet is 95% reliable in my home. I think it is good
Pamela from Midway , FL
CenturyLink Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-10-04
Quick and easy and simple it's ok so far no problem
Cassandra from Madison, OH
CenturyLink Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 2022-10-02
I have not been disappointed yet. Very sufficient.
John Owenfrom New Bloomgield, PA
CenturyLink Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-09-27
It is always slow or down completely. I don't have many options where I live though
Narciso from Alva, FL
CenturyLink Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-09-22
Speed a bit slow. Connection drops from time to time. Other than that it is ok
Maryfrom Roswell , NM
CenturyLink Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-09-20
I really don't know what to say. I really don't know what to say. I really don't know what to say. I really don't know what to say
Bonniefrom Crosby, MN
CenturyLink Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-09-15
The speed and cutting out on streaming could be better. In our rural area they were 1 of companies that come to us. I would like to see 5G and fiber Optics to us.
Is this provider in your area? Find out!
Endnotes and sources
1. "Broadband Insights Report (OVBI)," OpenVault. Accessed August 17, 2022.2. "Internet Service Providers," ACSI. Accessed Dec. 10, 2022.