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EarthLink

*Est. $22 per month for dial-up; $30 per month for DSL
Reviewed
April 2013
by ConsumerSearch
earthlink ISP

Best ISP for DSL and dial-up

Pros
  • Eight email accounts
  • Internet security features
  • Accelerator for faster-loading web pages
  • 24/7 customer service
Cons
  • Poor technical support

Bottom Line

EarthLink's dial-up and DSL Internet services are fairly well reviewed. Their basic dial-up service features an accelerator tool for downloading graphics and text. DSL packages start at 768 Kbps download speeds. Customers find EarthLink's Internet services to be reliable, but complain about its customer and technical support.

Plans and Speed

DSL speed is competitive. EarthLink's basic dial-up package comes with unlimited 56 Kbps download and uploads, plus a free accelerator. The standard DSL package offers download speeds from 768 Kbps up to 7 Mbps, and free dial-up to use when you're away from your phone line. The top-tier DSL service of 5 Mbps costs up to $50 per month. EarthLink's DSL plans get respectable ratings among DSL providers at PCmag.com, although its scores are much lower than Verizon FiOS and Wow! Cable.

Features

Eight email addresses and web space. You need an active home phone line to access EarthLink's DSL service, and a free high-speed modem is provided to DSL customers. TopTenReviews.com calls EarthLink DSL "an ISP that has seen better days," giving it a score of 7.2 out of 10 because its customer and technical support is sometimes outsourced. However, site editors say EarthLink has more access numbers than other dial-up providers.

If you subscribe to any of EarthLink's services, you receive eight email addresses, each with 100 MB of storage space. You also have access to anonymous email addresses to hide your real address, and 10 MB of web space lets you create your own website. All EarthLink Internet subscribers, whatever their service package, receive the Protection Control Center security suite. This includes all the usual security tools including antivirus, anti-spyware and rootkit protection features. In addition, all users have access to 24/7 phone, chat and web support.

Customer Satisfaction

Pleased with reliability. More than 400 customers give EarthLink DSL an average rating of about 75 percent at BroadbandReports.com. They praise the reliability of the service but complain about its speed and customer service.

Our Sources

1. ConsumerReports.org

Review Credibility: Excellent ConsumerReports.org surveys more than 62,000 subscribers in 2012 and uses the results to rate ISPs on value, reliability, connection speed and customer support. EarthLink DSL is among the Internet services covered.

Review: Internet Service Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, May 2013

2. PCMag.com

Review Credibility: Very Good This article reports the results of PCMag.com's 2012 survey of ISP customers. EarthLink's DSL plans get respectable ratings among DSL providers, even though its scores are much lower than Verizon FiOS and Wow! Cable.

Review: Readers' Choice Awards 2012: ISPs, Routers, and Network Attached Storage (NAS) for the Home, Ben Gottesman, April 30, 2012

3. TopTenReviews.com

Review Credibility: Good Calling EarthLink "an ISP that has seen better days," the editors of TopTenReviews.com give it a score of 7.2 out of 10 points. If there isn't a fast cable or fiber optic service in your area, they say EarthLink is a good choice that provides dial-up, cable and DSL connections. However, the security software doesn't include parental controls, and customer and technical support is often outsourced.

Review: EarthLink, Editors of TopTenReviews.com, Not dated

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