Best DSL Internet Providers of 2022

What is DSL Internet?

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.

Top DSL Internet Providers

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Best Availability

Best Availability

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Best affordable plans

Best affordable plans

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Best speed variety

Best speed variety

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Best reliability

Best reliability

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Is DSL internet right for me?

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, like fiber or cable internet, 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. Anything more than these activities or the number of users will require a faster connection.

Pros

  • It is widely available in suburban and rural areas
  • Lower cost than fiber & cable internet
  • Ideal for households with less than two people

Cons

  • Slower speeds than cable & fiber internet
  • Speed can be affected by distance from the phone company hub

Find the Best Provider Near You

ProviderStarting PriceMax DownloadMax UploadData CapsFind Plan
CenturyLink$50/mo. – $65/mo.20 Mbps – 940 Mbps100 Mbps – 940 MbpsNoCheck Availability
Windstream$19.99/mo. – $39.99/mo.100Mbps – 1000Mbps200Mbps – 50 MbpsNoCheck Availability
TDS$39.95/mo.*1000 Mbps1000 MbpsYesCheck Availability
Verizon$39.99/mo. – $89.99/mo.500Mbps – 940 Mbps500 Mbps – 880 MbpsNoCheck Availability
ProviderCenturyLink
Starting Price$50/mo. – $65/mo.
Max Download20 Mbps – 940 Mbps
Max Upload100 Mbps – 940 Mbps
Data CapsNo
Check Availability
ProviderWindstream
Starting Price$19.99/mo. – $39.99/mo.
Max Download100Mbps – 1000Mbps
Max Upload200Mbps – 50 Mbps
Data CapsNo
Check Availability
ProviderTDS
Starting Price$39.95/mo.*
Max Download1000 Mbps
Max Upload1000 Mbps
Data CapsYes
Check Availability
ProviderVerizon
Starting Price$39.99/mo. – $89.99/mo.
Max Download500Mbps – 940 Mbps
Max Upload500 Mbps – 880 Mbps
Data CapsNo
Check Availability

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.

Windstream

top-providers

Best affordable plans

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  • Unlimited data
  • Rural availability
  • Free installations

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.

Things we like:
  • Unlimited monthly data
  • Fiber internet available in limited areas
  • Kinetic service is available in rural areas
Things to consider:
  • No contract buy-outs available
  • Price increases after your first 12 months

TDS

top-providers

Best speed variety

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  • Low prices
  • Available in rural areas
  • DSL & fiber options

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.

Things we like:
  • Large selection of speeds to suit any need
  • Significant rural availability
  • Variety of other services that can be bundled
Things to consider:
  • TDS does impose a monthly upload and download data cap
  • Speeds can be affected by distance from the provider

Verizon

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Best reliability

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  • Fast symmetrical speeds
  • Fiber-optics network
  • No annual contracts

Verizon offers DSL internet in 8 states and Washington D.C. Verizon also offers home phone, 5G wireless internet, and Fios fiber internet services.

Things we like:
  • Solid network reliability
  • Dedicated connection that isn’t affected by network congestion
  • Unlimited data
Things to consider:
  • Limited availability
  • Rates may increase after the first year
Glasses Looking

Our Thoughts on DSL Internet

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.

DSL Internet Compared to Other Connection Types

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.

Comparison of internet connection types

How We Evaluate

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.

FAQ

DSL Internet FAQs

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. More providers are developing and expanding the availability of fiber internet, which is capable of multi-Gbps speeds. As demand increases, DSL simply will not be able to keep up and provide the speeds needed to satisfy people’s internet lifestyles. But it will be years before DSL is obsolete.

In ideal conditions, DSL can reach speeds up to 100 Mbps. However, this depends on the provider, its network capabilities, and how far the customer’s home is from the phone company’s internet hub.