CenturyLink vs. Frontier

Compared Frontier and CenturyLink internet plans and packages to find a winner in categories including speeds, availability, price, and customer service. Get the breakdown here.

Best for affordable DSL

affordable connectivity program centurylink CenturyLink internet plans Get internet, TV and home phone lines from CenturyLink. Bundle packages and save! CenturyLink Plans and Packages | HighSpeedteck.com
  • Plans start at $50.00/mo.
    • No data caps
    • Gigabit fiber speeds
    • Variable speed availability

Best for speed

Get Frontier Internet Plans which are fast and reliable and Deals, and Prices customer satisfaction scores, and reviews for ISPs near you.
  • Plans start at $49.99/mo.
    • Low-cost plans
    • Three available fiber plans
    • Limited fiber availability
affordable connectivity program centurylink CenturyLink internet plans Get internet, TV and home phone lines from CenturyLink. Bundle packages and save! CenturyLink Plans and Packages | HighSpeedteck.com
Type of serviceDSL and fiber
Download speedsUp to 100–940 Mbps
Equipment fees$9.00/mo.
Installation fees$15.00–$99.00 (free with fiber gigabit plan)
Customer satisfaction
Get Frontier Internet Plans which are fast and reliable and Deals, and Prices customer satisfaction scores, and reviews for ISPs near you.
Type of serviceDSL and fiber
Contract1-year with fiber
Fiber Download speeds
Up to 500–2,000 Mbps
Equipment feesNo fees
Activation fees$85.00 for DSL

CenturyLink vs. Frontier packages and pricing

CenturyLink and Frontier provide competitive packages, and no matter how you use the internet, you’ll find one that works for your needs and budget. Overall, CenturyLink has better DSL prices than Frontier, but Frontier’s base fiber plan gives you more speed for your buck than CenturyLink’s similarly-priced fiber plan. Frontier trumps CenturyLink in fiber speed with up to 2,000 Mbps.

Don’t know how much speed you need? Head over to our handy How Much Speed Do You Need? Tool to determine what speed range your household needs.

CenturyLink packages

PackagePriceSpeedInternet typeView plans
Simply Unlimited Internet 100 Mbps$50.00/mo.*Up to 100 MbpsDSLView Plans
Simply Unlimited Internet 140 Mbps$50.00/mo.Up to 140 MbpsDSLView Plans
CenturyLink Fiber Internet 200$50.00/mo.Up to 200 MbpsFiberView Plans
CenturyLink Fiber Internet$65.00/mo.§940 MbpsFiberView Plans

You don’t need a lot of speed to stream music and video, but all that bandwidth can add up if you have multiple users accessing your DSL connection simultaneously. We suggest going with CenturyLink’s DSL internet even if you don’t need a lot of speed. Its two DSL plans have more speed for the same price as Frontier. Why pay for less?

CenturyLink’s fiber pricing is a different story. Its 200 Mbps plan costs the same as Frontier’s 500 Mbps plan, making Frontier your better megabits-per-dollar deal. But CenturyLink’s 940 Mbps fiber plan is $10 cheaper per month than Frontier’s similar plan. Of the two, Frontier is the only fiber provider with multigig speeds.

Like Frontier, CenturyLink has unlimited data on all of its plans—a big plus for heavy internet users.

CenturyLink vs. Frontier: Who has the fastest internet speed?

Internet speeds

How do CenturyLink and Frontier speeds stack up? CenturyLink has the fastest DSL plan of the two at 140 Mbps, but you may see speeds topping out at 100 Mbps, depending on where you live.

CenturyLink and Frontier offer matching gigabit fiber plans, although Frontier costs $10 more each month. However, Frontier is the better deal for a $50 fiber connection, as its base plan reaches up to 500 Mbps, while CenturyLink’s plan stops at 200 Mbps.

Frontier has the fastest fiber plan of the two with speeds up to 2,000 Mbps (2 Gbps) for around $150 per month. Similar plans from AT&T and Google are cheaper if available in your area.


How does your speed compare with CenturyLink and Frontier?

Are you getting the short end of the stick and losing out on some of those megabits? Run our speed test to see if you need to switch providers.

Frontier fees

Activation$85 for DSL; free for fiber
EquipmentNo fees

Frontier currently doesn’t charge an installation fee for DSL or fiber internet, but you must pay $85 to activate DSL service. Frontier also doesn’t charge a monthly fee for its DSL modem or wireless gateway, giving it an edge over CenturyLink.

Internet contracts

Frontier requires a one-year contract for its fiber plans—there’s no annual contract for its DSL service. Discounted pricing for its Fiber Internet 500 plan ends after 12 months, while the discount extends out to 36 months with its Fiber Gig plan. There is no discount with its Fiber 2 Gig plan.

CenturyLink doesn’t require contracts at all, regardless of whether you opt for fiber or DSL, allowing you to cancel at any time. It also locks in its prices for life, just as long as you remain on that specific contract.

CenturyLink vs. Frontier equipment


Renting DSL equipment from CenturyLink and Frontier tends to be as simple as going to their brick-and-mortar stores and picking up the equipment you need. They can also mail it to you or bring it along when they come for a professional installation. When you get the equipment, just plug it in and set it up using your computer. Fiber usually requires a technician to set up.


If you’re the type who wants to squeeze every megabit out of your internet service and you aim to keep your DSL plan for a while, you might want to invest in your own DSL modem and router (or gateway combo unit). Choosing your own equipment may or may not give you significant speed and performance advantages, but you’ll have more control over internet connection.

However, compatibility may be an issue. Be sure to check with CenturyLink or Frontier to see which equipment is compatible with their DSL services before you purchase.

Fiber, on the other hand, is a tricky thing. There’s no modem involved unless you have cable TV or phone service too. Generally, the only device you can safely swap out in a fiber setup is a standalone router, which may or may not improve your wireless speed over the provider’s equipment.

CenturyLink vs. Frontier customer service

Your experiences working with and getting assistance from your ISP can be just as important as their basic services. When picking a provider, find out how its installation and customer service experiences compare.

Our verdict

CenturyLink is the clear winner when it comes to DSL internet. You can get speeds up to 140 Mbps for $50 per month, which isn’t too shabby in our book when you compare other DSL plans.

But Frontier is the winner when it comes to fiber speed. Its fastest plan reaches up to 2,000 Mbps, and its base plan offers up to 300 Mbps more download speed than CenturyLink’s similarly-priced plan. There’s only a $10 difference between their gigabit plans.

Go with fiber if it’s in your area—preferably Frontier if you want more speed at the $50 price point. If you can’t get fiber, go with CenturyLink’s DSL internet, as you get more bang for your buck.

CenturyLink vs. Frontier FAQ

What’s the difference between fiber and DSL?

DSL travels on existing phone lines, making it widely available but not as fast as fiber. DSL speeds top out at 100 Mbps. Fiber is a newer technology built on fiber-optic glass lines that are capable of delivering much faster speeds (up to 1,000 Mbps) and equally fast upload speeds. Still interested? Check out our full DSL vs. Fiber comparison.

Do CenturyLink and Frontier have data caps?

Frontier and CenturyLink no not have data caps. You’re free to use as much data all month as you please.

Is it cheaper to buy or rent equipment?

Whether or not it’s cheaper to buy or rent equipment depends on how long you plan to keep your internet plan. If you plan on sticking with one provider for two or more years, it’s cheaper to buy your equipment outright rather than paying a monthly rental fee. But if you might move in a year or less, it’s probably better to just rent. If you buy your router and change plans later, your equipment might not be compatible with your new plan.