EarthLink Internet Definitive Buyers Guide






Reliability & Performance

Equipment, Installation & Features

Customer Experience & Support

Overall Rating

Staff Overall Review

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Earthlink is known for great customer service but higher prices and varying internet connection quality

Earthlink’s chief difference from most other national ISPs is that Earthlink is a third-party seller. In other words, Earthlink is partnering with other major internet companies who actually provide the technology for your internet service. Your service through Earthlink might come from AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier, Verizon, or Viasat. That means your type of connection through Earthlink can vary from super-fast fiber internet all the way to slow DSL internet.

You will know which type of internet connection you are purchasing when you sign up for service. Just as with any other provider, you will have an idea of your approximate speed and performance when you buy. The catch is, you will pay more because Earthlink doesn’t own the networks it uses.

Why would you choose a service that costs more? Well, Earthlink is known for very solid customer service in an industry that has historically struggled in that area. And Earthlink offers service in less-populated areas without many other providers. That means there may be some places where Earthlink is one of your top options for internet speed or reliability

Widespread coverage across the nation High ratings for customer service No data caps on fiber or DSL plans
As a 3rd party seller, tech outcomes will vary Prices are higher than most Plans vary significantly by region
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Earthlink will charge you more initially, but prices may be similar to other ISPs by the second or third year

Many internet service providers will offer you a great promotional price for a year or two, but then raise prices much higher.

Earthlink will not offer you initial promotional prices, so their plans may initially give you sticker shock. For initial prices, Earthlink will charge you more for every type of internet service: fiber, fixed wireless, satellite, or DSL. But in some cases, over the course of a few years, you may even end up saving a little money with Earthlink. Only a head-to-head comparison of specific providers in your area will tell you, so check out our price plan comparisonsusing your zip code.

It's inevitable that Earthlink’s prices will be different from region to region and service to service. They are selling a variety of internet offerings from other ISPs. As the “middle man,” they must change their prices for consumers based on whatever they’re paying their many partners.

Here’s an example of the kind of price difference you may encounter. Many fiber internet providers will offer you an initial first-tier promo price of about $50/month. With Earthlink, you may pay $60-70/month for the same fiber internet speed. You will also have a one-year contract and an early termination fee if you cancel your contract early. But you won’t have a big increase in fee after the first year, whereas most other ISPs will raise their prices after a year or two.

Pricing will also vary significantly based on your internet connection type

The biggest difference between Earthlink plans is whether your chosen plan has a data cap.

Earthlink Fiber internet and DSL won’t have data caps. Earthlink satellite internet and fixed wireless (4G LTE or 5G) will have data caps.

If you have a plan with data caps, you may end up having to buy extra data at the end of the month. Because of these unpredictable charges, satellite pricing and fixed wireless pricing for Earthlink are less stable than for their other plans.

This pricing is standard for the industry, as satellite and fixed wireless plans typically have data caps.

But here’s an unusual benefit of Earthlink Wireless Home Internet. Most Earthlink plans require a one-year contract at minimum, but Earthlink’s Wireless Home Internet plans do not require a contract [3].

Call today & find the best EarthLink internet deals

Reliability and Performance


Earthlink’s performance depends completely on the networks of major partners

One of Earthlink’s claims to fame is having “the largest network,” because Earthlink serves 90% of the United States [1]. The reality is that Earthlink does have a very large coverage area, but Earthlink does not own the networks in those areas.

Differences between Earthlink’s partner networks will mean that your internet speed and performance will vary if you sign up with Earthlink. Just like Earthlink’s pricing, the quality of the service they can deliver depends on other providers.

Most of the time, this works out fine because Earthlink partners with reputable ISPs. But Earthlink does not have control over your service, and that can be a disadvantage if something goes wrong.

Earthlink Wireless Home Internet (WHI) and satellite internet service will have data caps ranging from 100 to 300 GB/month depending on your plan selection. Earthlink’s site describes this cap fairly accurately as follows: 300 GB/month is good for a household of two people who are occasional gamers. 300 GB will also allow regular movie nights, but not Ultra HD streaming. Standard definition would work better. Binge gamers or daily binge TV streamers will not be happy with the data caps, nor will large families [2].

If you get Earthlink Fiber, you are probably going to be happy with your speed and reliability. Fiber is known for these advantages. Earthlink DSL will be unaffected by weather but will often be too slow for data-intensive activities such as real-time gaming or videoconferencing.

Reliability issues are going to be more likely with Earthlink’s satellite internet or Wireless Home Internet. Both satellite and wireless internet can be affected by weather. Fixed wireless can also slow down at peak times when thenetwork is congested with more traffic. Satellite internet tends to have high latency, which means a slight lag in the transmission of a signal. Latency is not noticeable for many internet activities but may affect real-time data transfer for gaming and videoconferencing.

Call today & find the best EarthLink internet deals

Equipment, Installation and Bonus Features


Earthlink’s installation fees and equipment fees vary with internet connection type

As usual with Earthlink, it’s hard to discuss any kind of consistent pricing or equipment fees because of their 3rd party seller business model.

Earthlink’s lower rating from us in this category results from the lack of simple, freely available information on pricing and fees on their website, as well as their higher prices for equipment and installation. 

You will find that it is almost impossible to uncover where Earthlink provides satellite internet service and how much they charge for equipment unless you enter exactly the right address and zip code. Trying to find general info about coverage is looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. And Earthlink phone operators will not give you any information without a specific residential address.

This lack of transparency is one of the weaknesses of the telecom industry. We recommend that Earthlink, along with other internet providers, begin to be much more straightforward about which services are available across the United States and how much they cost in each area.

Earthlink installation will usually cost you $40-80.

Modem/router monthly rental fees tend to run around $10-13/month.

Satellite equipment will cost you considerably more if you buy it upfront, which is typical of satellite. Earthlink will offer you the option to rent the equipment if that is more feasible. Satellite equipment will come from Viasat, Earthlink’s satellite internet partner.

Because Viasat’s equipment fees are $12.99/month or $299.99 prepaid, consumers should estimate that Earthlink’s fees for Viasat equipment will be similar or slightly higher [4].

Earthlink’s bonus services include Easy Tech for unlimited tech support at $9.95 a month. Earthlink Guardian provides parental monitoring, Earthlink Protect gives security protection, and Earthlink Online Backup will protect you from data loss.

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Customer Experience & Support


Earthlink is known above all for superior customer service

When you research Earthlink online, you will see that Earthlink survives on its customer service. The company gets good, solid ratings for customer service, where many ISPs fall far short. That means that if you call Earthlink, odds are that you will be satisfied with what they do for you.

We give Earthlink a 4.75 rating for customer service for two reasons. First, some customers report that their customer service has been routed to Earthlink’s partner providers, which removes the whole point of having Earthlink service if you’re seeking their brand of better customer service.

Second, Earthlink acknowledged beginning to “reshore” its service in September 2021, which implicitly reveals that the company had offshored its customer service [5]. Offshoring customer service to foreign countries is not only potentially frustrating for the customer, but worse for U.S. workers. Many internet providers now base their customer service in the United States, and we hope Earthlink will be sure to provide its own customer support from within the country.

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Where can I order Earthlink service?

To order or learn more, call the number on this page or visit

What types of internet technology does Earthlink offer?

Earthlink provides a variety of internet technologies in different regions. Earthlink’s offerings include fiber and DSL connections, with fiber providing much higher speeds than DSL. Earthlink is a third-party provider, which means they are using infrastructure owned by other companies to manage your internet service. The infrastructure they use varies from location to location.

How good is Earthlink customer service?

If you have any inquiries or need assistance, you can easily contact Earthlink's customer service. They offer multiple channels of support, including phone, email, and online chat on their website. Their dedicated team is ready to help you with any concerns you may have. Earthlink is known for having one of the best customer support systems in the industry.

Are there any data caps on Earthlink's fiber and DSL internet plans?

No, Earthlink does not impose data caps on their fiber and DSL internet plans. You can enjoy unlimited data usage without worrying about additional charges or restrictions on your internet usage.

Does Earthlink have an installation fee?

Earthlink’s installation fee will vary based on your internet type. The fee is often between $40 and $80, which is lower than some competitors’ fees.

Is Earthlink available in my area?

To check the availability of Earthlink internet in your area, simply enter your zip code here at You can find out if Earthlink services are accessible in your location and determine the best internet plan for your needs. Because Earthlink uses the infrastructure of other ISPs, they have wide availability in 48 states.

Does Earthlink internet work with home Wi-Fi?

Yes, Earthlink will support your home Wi-Fi. Earthlink supplies a Wi-Fi modem combo that will ensure compatibility.

Call today & find the best EarthLink internet deals
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EarthLink Customers Reviews


Reliability & Performance

Equipment, Installation & Features

Customer Experience & Support

Overall Rating

This company sucks
Steve B from Bishopville, SC
August 2023
Love it!
Regina C from Memphis, TN
July 2023
Love it!
Regina C from Memphis, TN
July 2023
Mallory R from Rocky Mount, NC
July 2023
Samuel Clark from Atkins, AR
March 2022
The service is reliable and there is reasonable internet speed for what I need. I’ve used this provider for years and it has always offered good customer service.
Melina Orozco from Nashville, TN
May 2020