Since its 2011 acquisition of Qwest Communications, CenturyLink has become the fourth-largest telecommunications company in the United States and one of the largest ISPs. In fact, former Qwest Field, the home of the Seattle Seahawks, is now CenturyLink Field. The merger has helped the companies combine forces to provide 190,000 route miles of fiber network, and now CenturyLink is available in new areas, including Utah, New Mexico and Montana.

Depending on your location, you may experience download speeds of up to 40 Mbps. However, the more common speed range detected by third party testing is 20 Mbps. If you are a casual internet user, CenturyLink, utilizing its acquired infrastructure, should be able to satisfy your needs.

However, if you are a heavy internet user who enjoys playing online games and streaming movies, or if you just don't like waiting for websites to load, we recommend you consider one of CenturyLink's upper-end subscriptions or one of the higher-ranked internet service providers if available. CenturyLink has been busy updating its infrastructure. We found that in 42 markets, users could experience break-neck speeds up to 1 Gbps.

CenturyLink provides internet services to nearly 3 million people across the United States. It covers two of our eight test markets and offers services outside of the continental U.S. The company has over 1 million telecommunication access lines in Minnesota, Arizona, Colorado, Florida and Washington, and 73,000 in its home state of Louisiana. CenturyLink continues to add new infrastructure, including proposed gigabit-speed internet connections in Omaha, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. It is certainly a company to watch as it continues to grow and expand.

CenturyLink provides helpful information online for your customer support needs, including tutorials, speed tests, forums and store locators. You can contact customer support by email, telephone and chat. Your internet subscription come with 11 email accounts that have about 5GB of online storage each. Norton Antivirus is also included with your subscription. Should you need the service, CenturyLink also offers a low-income plan, but you have to qualify for it.

CenturyLink Summary:
8.4/10

CenturyLink's lower-tiered and slower speed options are not impressive. However, if you can obtain one of the faster connection options, such as 20 Mbps or more with a dedicated line, you can enjoy most of the media that the internet has to offer like video and music streaming.

 
 
 

CenturyLink

Pros
CenturyLink provides a variety of connection speeds and includes Norton internet security.

Cons
If you're looking for an inexpensive option, CenturyLink does not provide cable internet, only DSL and fiber.

The Verdict:
 8.4/10

If you're lucky enough to live in one of the 42 markets with CenturyLink service, serious internet users may experience speeds up to 1 Gbps.