Is CenturyLink DSL or Cable?

Most CenturyLink internet connections are through DSL, with a few customers getting cable connections through their now-expanding fiber connections. The availability and pricing of both largely depends on the location you are based in.

CenturyLink happens to be among the most prominent and oldest internet service providers in the country, and offers a wide variety of services around the world. While they are mainly known for their DSL (digital subscriber lines) method of providing internet broadband access to their customers, they are also expanding their fiber optic networks currently.


What is broadband internet and how does it work?

Broadband internet connections use an exclusive line that is dedicated to transmitting data, unlike dial-up connections. DSL internet falls under broadband connections, as it uses copper phone wires. On the other hand, the cable internet system uses fiber optic cables or coaxial cables in the case of cable internet.


Plans to expect on CenturyLink

When considering what to join, it is a question of choosing between two options. As we mentioned earlier, most CenturyLink options are DSL internet, with their speeds varying between 3 Mbps and 100 Mbps. In select areas, you can also get fiber internet with maximum speeds of 1 Gbps.

Type of connection
Data limits
Internet 3 Mbps
3 Mbps
300 GB
Internet 10 Mbps
10 Mbps
1,000 GB
Internet 20 Mbps
20 Mbps
1,000 GB
Internet 25 Mbps
25 Mbps
1,000 GB
Internet 40 Mbps
40 Mbps
1,000 GB
Internet 100 Mbps
100 Mbps
1,000 GB
Internet 1 Gbps
1 Gbps

It is worth noting that most internet connections on CenturyLink are DSL, as the table shows. Therefore, do not expect too much from the ISP in terms of highest internet speeds, although they do punch above their weight compared to most ISPs on the market.


Pricing on CenturyLink

Fiber is king when it comes to internet connections, but it can be quite expensive from most internet providers, but CenturyLink is surprisingly quite affordable. The pricing depends largely on the area you live in, with some areas having a pricing of $65 monthly, for instance, and others getting a $50 monthly pricing.

The good news is that the prices you get are for life, and you will not get the usual introductory rates for 12 or 24 months then steep price hikes afterwards. CenturyLink will always guarantee you that the prices you pay when signing up will remain the same throughout your subscription.

However, the low data limits even on the higher speed plans is what is disappointing, especially when you are using high bandwidth devices or doing tasks that require plenty of data like gaming.


Equipment and contracts

What makes CenturyLink unique from most ISPs in the country is that they do not offer contracts when you sign up to their service, which helps their pricing remain constant. Since this is the case, you will also not need to pay early termination fees – the only charges you get are for the installation, and the modem itself.

At times, you may want to compare the costs of renting the ISPs equipment compared to buying your own modem and only paying the ISP to get internet access.

When signing up to CenturyLink, you will pay a $9.99 monthly fee to rent their modem, and you can also opt to purchase the modem outright at a $99.99 one-time fee – a price that is much cheaper compared to most internet service providers. The company will provide you with their latest modems when you are a new customer, so you do not need to feel like you must bring your own device unless you want.

If you still see the need of bringing your own equipment, there is a range of compatible modems that CenturyLink advises you to check out and see if yours is suitable for use.

In terms of installation fees, CenturyLink will charge a $59.99 fee to cater for service and installing the devices. With that in mind, the company still operates free installation as a promotional offer, so you can wait until the offer runs and install the service then if the installation fee is too high for you.


When you should and should not consider CenturyLink

When you should consider it

  • If you want to avoid contracts from internet service providers
  • Households that use plenty of data
  • If you want to pay constant monthly prices

When you should not consider it

  • If you want to bundle your internet with another service, like TV
  • If you live in an area that experiences slower DSL speeds
  • If you prefer an ISP that delivers excellent customer service



CenturyLink wins in many areas compared to most ISPs – they are available in a wide range of areas, as well as providing relatively affordable internet access. However, you will notice the enthusiasm of signing up to their service dulls when you reside in a DSL-only area, which is the majority of their customers. With that said, they do offer both DSL and fiber cable internet access in select areas, so you can stand to benefit if this is the case for you.



Is CenturyLink cable or DSL?

It offers both fiber optic cable and DSL internet options in affordable packages, and their availability depends on where you live.

Is CenturyLink fiber better compared to DSL?

Similar to other ISPs, CenturyLink’s fiber internet service is faster compared to DSL due to the use of newer, faster connectivity technology in use.

Does CenturyLink have cable internet?

Yes, they do, through their fiber optic connections.

How fast is CenturyLink DSL?

The maximum advertised speed on their DSL internet is 100 Mbps, although this can go down to 90 Mbps in real-world conditions due to other factors.

How fast is CenturyLink fiber optic internet?

The maximum speed on their fiber optic plan is 940 Mbps, although they advertise a maximum of 1 Gbps. This speed is more than most ISPs can provide, which is impressive.

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