EarthLink DSL receives high marks in some consumer tests, although some user reviews complain about a lack of customer service and slow speeds compared to other types of broadband connections. Most say they like the reliability of the service, but customer service may be an issue. Like many DSL providers, EarthLink requires that you have an active phone line in order to use DSL. (In areas where Verizon provides local service, you can buy EarthLink DSL as a standalone product without needing a phone line.)
EarthLink DSL is included in the latest surveys by J.D. Power and Associates, PCMag.com and ConsumerReports.org. User reviews can be found at BroadbandReports.com.
ConsumerReports.org ranks high-speed ISPs based on responses to its annual telecom survey conducted in 2010. About 70,000 subscribers participated, rating their ISPs on value, reliability, connection speed and customer support. The ratings chart provides feedback on ISPs -- including cable, fiber, DSL and satellite -- but is available only to subscribers.
Review: Internet Service Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, May 2011
2. J.D. Power & Associates
In J.D. Power's 2010 customer satisfaction survey, ISPs are rated on overall satisfaction, performance and reliability, cost of service, customer service, billing, and offerings and promotions. The survey divides the U.S. into four geographical regions: East, South, North Central and West. EarthLink ranks third in both the East and West. Services from all EarthLink Internet types (cable, DSL, etc.) are lumped together in this study, so the rating is actually for the company itself.
Review: High Speed Internet Service Provider Ratings, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, Oct. 28, 2010
Customers give EarthLink DSL a rating of 64 percent over the past six months. They praise the reliability of the service but complain about its speed and customer service.
Review: All Reviews of Wow Internet and Cable, Contributors to BroadbandReports.com, As of Oct. 2011
This article reports the results of PCMag.com's 2011 survey of ISP customers. Among DSL providers, EarthLink and CenturyLink DSL plans get the best ratings, even though their scores are much lower than Verizon FiOS (fiber optic) and Wow! (cable).
Review: Readers' Choice Awards 2011: Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Network Routers, Ben Gottesman, June 22, 2011