CenturyLink Internet is one of the top DSL Internet providers in United States market. DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is a high-speed Internet service that competes with cable Internet to provide online access to local customers.
It operates on standard copper phone lines, such as dial-up service, but is much faster than dial-up. Also, unlike dial-up, DSL does not lock the phone line. Coexistence with phone service allows users to browse the Internet and use the phone at the same time.
CenturyLink services mostly leverage “fiber to the loop” landline networks to deliver digital data, which allows for speeds much higher than dial-up but still a bit slower than cable or fiber.
The service requires a DSL modem, which connects to the telephone wall jack and computer. The device acts as a modulator, translating the computer's digital signals into voltage sent over the telephone lines to a central hub known as a Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplier (DSLAM, or dee-slam). In layman's terms, DSLAM acts as a control panel for local DSL customers, routing requests and responses between each customer's computer address and the Internet.
Voice and DSL calls can coexist on copper lines because each service uses its own frequency band. Bands can be seen as the lanes of a highway. Voice signals are sent in a relatively low band, while Internet signals occupy a much higher band. To keep the voiceband free from bleeding signal noise, a small filter is commonly installed on all phone lines in the house, blocking out the higher frequencies.
Standard DSL has download speeds that are considerably faster than upload speeds.
Most types of service are asymmetric – also known as ADSL. ADSL offers higher download speeds than upload speeds, a trade-off that most residential providers make to better meet the needs of typical families who typically download a lot more. Symmetric DSL maintains equal data rates for uploads and downloads.
Basic DSL supports maximum data download rates ranging between 1.544 Mbps and 8.448 Mbps. Actual speeds vary in practice depending on the quality of installation of the copper telephone line involved and the length of telephone line required to reach local service provider equipment (sometimes generically referred to as the central office).
Among the various DSL packages, plans are speed-based, with slower speeds costing less than plans that offer higher speeds. The distance to the nearest DSLAM will largely determine the actual speeds the service will reach. The closer to the DSLAM, the better, as the signal degrades over distance, causing latency issues. If a user is on the periphery of the service area, he or she may not see the full speed of the subscribed plan.
Known DSL providers in the United States include CenturyLink Internet, AT& T, Verizon and Frontier Communications.
Customers who subscribe to a DSL service plan pay a monthly or annual subscription and must agree to the provider's terms of service. Most providers supply compatible DSL modem hardware to their customers if needed, although the hardware is generally available at retailers.
In addition to its popularity in homes, many businesses also rely on DSL for their Internet services. Business DSL differs from residential in several important ways:
Symmetric DSL is typically used because businesses tend to generate higher volumes of outbound traffic than a typical home.
Providers often sell higher levels of service to their customers, including higher data rate plans, premium customer support options, or bundled other products.
Business class DSL can be selected by owners. Typically, home-class DSL limits access to simultaneous devices. For example, U-Verse technically does not allow more than four connections, and the more people or devices that use a residential service, the slower the service will be for all users.
Whether DSL, cable or optical fiber, you can see that all these technologies have great applicability. However, it is essential to analyze the purpose of the connection – domestic or commercial – in order to have the best technology that meets the need. In addition, it is necessary to pay attention to cost-effectiveness and make future projections, in order to verify and choose which one is the most suitable.
In September 2020, CenturyLink company changed its brand to Lumen Technologies. The CenturyLink brand still exists as the name of its Internet service offering, however. If you live in the Northwest or any of the 37 states where CenturyLink is available, it may be one of your best home internet options.
With great coverage in United States territory, CenturyLink Internet is best known for its Price for Life business.
CenturyLink saw a significant 7% increase in its 2020 US Customer Satisfaction Index score, earning 63 out of a possible 100 points. This is the highest score the company has had with ACSI since 2016.
CenturyLink is also ranked above other providers operating in similar suburban and rural areas, including Frontier, Mediacom, Suddenlink and Windstream.
The company currently offers customers digital subscriber line or fiber optic Internet service.
Grounded fiber optic cable is much faster than phone-line-based DSL connections, so its speeds vary significantly depending on what is available at your address.
CenturyLink Internet Price for Life: set your rate as long as you stay on the plan.
Unlimited Data: There are no data limits on any of CenturyLink's internet plans.
No contracts: You don't have to worry about impending cancellation fees or price increases after the promotion period.
Lastly, according to the FCC's most recent January 2021 report on fixed broadband performance, more than 40% of CenturyLink's customers have experienced download speeds greater than 95% of advertised speed.