TDS vs. CenturyLink

While both ISPs offer customers DSL and fiber internet, TDS requires a longer 24-month contract. With this you are bound to using the service provider until your term ends. CenturyLink has a shorter 12 and 24-month contract. However, CenturyLink also offers their customers contract free DSL and fiber plans. With these, you can exist at any time without being charged early termination fees.

When to use TDS Internet Service Provider

TDS is ideal for those people searching for fast and efficient fiber internet with speeds of up to 1,000Mbps. The company has its greatest presence in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Tennessee. You will need to login to their website with your zip code to see whether your region is covered by the service provider.

When to use CenturyLink Internet Service Provider

CenturyLink is ideal if you have an existing landline and want to use it for internet access. Their DSL plans are affordable with speeds of up to 100Mbps. The company enjoys extensive coverage all over the country and in some regions you get to enjoy fiber internet which is faster with speeds of up to 940Mbps.

How we evaluate TDS and CenturyLink

Before choosing a service provider over the other it is important to check out how their internet packages compare to each other. We rate the two ISPs by these metrics:

  • Modem rental: ISPs offer their modems for rental and purchase at a fee. It is wise to find the most affordable option
  • Pricing and plans: This will show you the cheapest and fastest internet package.
  • Contract: ISPs can have no contracts or one or two year contracts with early termination fees being charged when you walk out of the contract
  • Coverage: This shows you the states the ISP covers

TDS vs. CenturyLink – A Comparison Overview

TDS – Overview

TDS is available in 31 states with the greatest presence in Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Colorado, Utah, Mexico, Minnesota, among others. The company offers its internet via 12 plans with speeds ranging from 1Mbps to 1 Gbps. By coverage, TDS has grown to become the 18th largest fiber provider and ranks 25th when it comes to cable. During subscription you get the option of renting a modem for $7 to $10 per month.


  • Multiple internet plans
  • Extensive coverage
  • Fast I Gig internet


Punitive contracts with heavy penalties for early termination

Download speeds
Telecom Turbo Internet
Telecom Mach Internet
Extreme50 fiber Internet
1 Gig Fiber Internet

CenturyLink – Overview

CenturyLink is one of the largest ISP in the US by coverage. The ISP covers over 34 states and serves over 50 million people. In select places you have access to fiber internet which gives you access to over 940Mbps. You also have a wide variety of internet bundles to choose from. The company traces its roots back to the 1930s. Today, the company offers DSL, cable and fiber. CenturyLink is known for its affordable internet prices and bundled packages.


  • Extensive coverage in over 40 states
  • Fast internet speeds with 940Mbps
  • No contracts packages


Poor customer service

Monthly cost
Connection Type
Download speed
Upload speed
From $49
Fiber Gigabit
From $65

How does TDS and CenturyLink Compare

Modem rental

TDS offers its modem for rental at a price of $7 to $10 which is cheaper than CenturyLink $15. You can purchase a modem from CenturyLink at $200 hence eliminate any rental fees. The decision to rent or purchase a modem largely boils down to how long you intend to be with the service provider. For shorter periods it makes more sense to rent but for periods more than 12 months it is more economical to purchase on.

Pricing and plans

TDS has 6 internet plans with the cheapest being the Telecom Turbo Internet which goes for $29.95/mo. and comes with 15Mbps, you also have packages of 25Mbps, 50Mbps, 100Mbps, and 300Mbp.  TDS offers the fastest speeds when compared to CenturyLink with its I Gig Fiber Internet that goes for $109.95/mo. CenturyLink offers its fiber unlimited data at $50/mo. You also have data plans from 10Mbps, 20Mbps, 40Mbps, 100Mbps, and 940Mbps.


TDS comes with 24-month contracts which are longer than 12 to 24 months offered by CenturyLink. This makes the latter more flexible as you can easily switch providers should you encounter challenges with one. TDS contracts are more punitive as you need to buy yourself back when you are opting out of the service by paying out the remaining fees. CenturyLink offers contract free DSL which are quite flexible as you can opt out without being charged termination fees.


CenturyLink is available in more states than TDS. You will find TDS in over 31 states with the greatest coverage in Tennessee, Michigan, and Wisconsin. CenturyLink has coverage in over 40 States where the main connection is DSL. Their fiber is available in less states.


Both TDS and CenturyLink provide their customers with affordable and fast internet service. This is delivered via DSL, cable and fiber. While the pricing and plans is almost similar, CenturyLink is our winner due it’s extensive coverage across the country and it has a presence in over 40 states compared to 31 for TDS.  

How TDS compares against CenturyLink

Number of data packages
Price range
Download speeds
24 months
1yr, 2yr and no contract plans


What Wi-Fi is better than CenturyLink?

Xfinity has established itself as a cheaper internet option than CenturyLink. The company is 30-33% cheaper and offers Wi-Fi hotspots across the country. The company also has their 2Gbps Wi-Fi which is very fast

Is CenturyLink a good internet Provider?

Yes, It is affordable with great bundled offers which combine internet, voice and TV. Their DSL is widely available across the country and their fiber is one of the fastest

Is TDS cable or DSL?

It offers both

Is TDS TV good?

The company offers HD and premium programming to its customers. This is delivered via advanced fiber optic and digital cable TV programming


Leave a Comment