How does CenturyLink compare to Frontier internet?

If you are looking for an internet provider for individual users, remote workers, or small families, you may evaluate ISPs like CenturyLink and Frontier. You must think about the online tasks you perform and the speeds you need, along with where you live to pick an internet provider that meets your needs. Both CenturyLink and Frontier offer fiber and digital subscriber line (DSL) internet that may be a perfect fit for you.

There’s more to know about these ISPs, so we’ve compiled key facts to help you find the right internet service for your home.

Who CenturyLink and Frontier internet are for

If you are a gamer, streamer, YouTuber, or entrepreneur that works from home, CenturyLink or Frontier’s high-speed fiber plans may be a great fit. Frontier’s top-tier fiber plan has the same speed of 940Mbps as CenturyLink’s fiber plan, but CenturyLink costs less at $65/month compared to Frontier’s $84.99/month.

Of course, not everyone needs the fastest speeds available, especially people who typically use the internet for browsing the web, checking email, and occasional video streaming. In those cases, packages with less speed at a lower cost may be an ideal fit. If CenturyLink is in your area, you can get up to 100Mbps with the Simply Unlimited Internet plan for $50/month. Frontier gives your a bigger range of options for a lower-tier plan, with prices ranging from $37.99 for 25Mbps to $49.99 for 500Mbps.*

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Key considerations

What else do you need to know about these two ISPs? Understanding potential price increases and additional fees can help you keep your budget in check while getting the internet service you need.

Price increases

For most Frontier plans, after 12 months you can expect your bill to increase by $10/month. However, Frontier’s 1000Mbps plan includes a price-lock deal for 36 months. CenturyLink offers a price for life for its DSL plans, but there’s no lock-in rate for fiber, so rates may go up over time.

Early termination fees

As no-contract providers, Frontier and CenturyLink don’t have an early termination fee.

Installation fees

Frontier has an installation fee of $75, but you can sign a two-year agreement to get installation for free. You can also opt for free self-installation. CenturyLink charges a $99 installation fee, but you can save money by opting for a $15 self-installation. However, CenturyLink does not charge self-installation fees to customers in select states — Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

Modem fees

At $10 to $12/month, Frontier has one of the lowest modem fees and doesn’t charge extra if you choose to bring your own modem. CenturyLink charges you up to $15/month to lease equipment but lets you buy a compatible modem for $150 to $200 to avoid the monthly fee.

Non-return equipment fees

Frontier offers a low non-return equipment fee of $100. CenturyLink charges you up to $200 for not returning your equipment.

Data overage fees

Both ISPs offer unlimited data, so you won’t see any data overage fees.

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What others say about CenturyLink and Frontier internet

According to U.S. News & World Report, the two ISPs tied for top honors with a #1 ranking on the Best DSL Internet Providers list and tied in the #2 spot in the publication’s Best Rural Internet Providers rankings. What else are the experts saying?

CenturyLink reviews

CenturyLink earned a score of 65 out of 100 for customer satisfaction and 69 out of 100 for WiFi quality, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI). What’s more, CNET gave high marks to CenturyLink’s affordable fiber offering, which is available in 50% of the company’s service area.

Frontier reviews

Frontier’s FiberOptic Gig Plan placed #1 in the U.S. News & World Report Best Internet for Gaming ranking due to its high upload speeds and low latency. The publication praised Frontier for its transparent pricing and availability in rural areas.

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How do CenturyLink and Frontier internet packages compare?

The following chart compares some of CenturyLink and Frontier’s current plans, speeds, and costs:*

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*Pricing varies by location and availability. Speeds may vary. All prices subject to change; for current pricing and availability visit our internet service page. Prices as of 2/7/22.

Disclosure | Updater articles are based on our own data and research, independent from partner relationships. We are not compensated by partners for information and opinions presented here. Our Editorial Terms of Service can be found here.