CenturyLink has wide availability in 36 states across the nation. CenturyLink primarily offers DSL internet in its service areas, but it is beginning to expand its fiber network.
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DSL, or Digital Subscriber Line, uses pre-existing phone lines to transmit internet signals between your home and the phone company. Besides satellite internet, DSL is the most common and accessible type of internet in the United States. It is usually cheaper than other services and available in rural communities. Have a look at the top providers below to find out if DSL internet is right for you.
DSL is one of the most widely available internet services because it runs over telephone lines, which have a significant coast-to-coast footprint. Most DSL providers offer internet speeds up to 100 Mbps, which is ideal for smaller households. However, if you live in an urban or suburban area, you will likely have faster options to choose from. Because of its widespread availability, DSL is often a good solution in rural areas where options are limited. Depending on your provider and plan, DSL can support browsing, online gaming, and non-HD video streaming in homes with 1-2 users.
|Provider||Starting Price||Max Download||Max Upload||Data Caps||Find Plan|
|CenturyLink||$30/mo. – $70/mo.||20 Mbps – 940 Mbps||100 Mbps – 940 Mbps||No||Check Availability|
|Windstream||$19.99/mo. – $39.99/mo.||100Mbps – 1000Mbps||200Mbps – 50 Mbps||No||Check Availability|
|TDS||$39.95/mo.*||1000 Mbps||1000 Mbps||Yes||Check Availability|
|Verizon||$39.99/mo. – $89.99/mo.||500Mbps – 940 Mbps||500 Mbps – 880 Mbps||No||Check Availability|
|Starting Price||$30/mo. – $70/mo.|
|Max Download||20 Mbps – 940 Mbps|
|Max Upload||100 Mbps – 940 Mbps|
|Starting Price||$19.99/mo. – $39.99/mo.|
|Max Download||100Mbps – 1000Mbps|
|Max Upload||200Mbps – 50 Mbps|
|Max Download||1000 Mbps|
|Max Upload||1000 Mbps|
|Starting Price||$39.99/mo. – $89.99/mo.|
|Max Download||500Mbps – 940 Mbps|
|Max Upload||500 Mbps – 880 Mbps|
Pricing, speeds, offers, and availability vary by service address and are subject to change at any time. Additional fees, taxes, and terms may apply. As of 6/10/2022.
Best affordable plans
$19.99/mo. – $39.99/mo.
100Mbps – 1000Mbps
200Mbps – 50 Mbps
Kinetic by Windstream has service areas available in 18 states. In addition to DSL internet, Kinetic also offers fiber internet in limited areas and home phone services.
Best speed variety
TDS has wide availability in 24 states. Several DSL plans with speeds up to 100 Mbps are available, as well as fiber internet, home phone, and TV services.
$39.99/mo. – $89.99/mo.
500Mbps – 940 Mbps
500 Mbps – 880 Mbps
Verizon offers DSL internet in 8 states and Washington D.C. Verizon also offers home phone, 5G wireless internet, and Fios fiber internet services.
DSL is a very accessible and affordable internet service. Although it is capable of broadband speeds and supports many online activities, its capabilities are limited. A cable or fiber internet plan will be faster and better equipped to handle increasing demands.
While it is one of the earliest forms of broadband internet, DSL has become one of the slowest types of internet. For wireline internet, fiber and cable internet can deliver significantly faster speeds than DSL. Satellite internet and fixed wireless provide similar speeds, but they can sometimes exceed the speed of DSL. Because it has lower bandwidth capabilities than fiber or cable, DSL has high latency, which can cause buffering while streaming or video conferencing, and lag during online games.
Between hidden fees and price hikes, finding the right internet plan can feel overwhelming. To help with your search, our team of internet experts evaluates ISPs on categories including performance, affordability, and customer satisfaction to provide you with the best options near you.
The highest DSL speed is about 100 Mbps. However, speeds vary based on the provider your choose and your location. The further you are from the phone company’s hub, the slower your speed will be.
DSL and cable internet both utilize copper wiring to transmit data–DSL uses phone lines and cable uses coaxial cable. They both use a modem to translate the data signals so that computers and other devices can connect to the internet. A DSL plan is often less per month than a cable internet plan, but the cost per Mbps might be higher due to the overall faster speed of cable internet. DSL is typically more available than cable since its telephone networks have a massive footprint.
Most providers include or offer modems for a monthly fee, but you certainly can use your own modem. Most providers offer devices that have the modem and router in one unit, called a gateway. Using a gateway eliminates the need for a router to distribute the internet signal in your home.
That depends on your provider, your plan, and what each user in your house is doing on the internet. DSL can support about 2 simultaneous video streams but could support more users if all their activities are light use. A good rule of thumb is to figure about 25 Mbps per person on one connection.
DSL is not obsolete. It is a viable internet service in many situations. It is widely available in many rural and suburban areas, and in some cases is the only choice other than satellite internet. But, broadband internet is changing and much of what people do online requires faster speeds than DSL can provide. As demand increases, DSL simply will not be able to keep up and provide the speeds needed to satisfy people’s internet lifestyles.
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