Review by JWNelson
Good "Very fast connection, stable speeds, easy to reach support"
- Location: Omaha,Douglas,NE
- Cost: $65 per month
- Install: about 5 days
Bad "Billing and account mistakes"
Overall "Give it a try if you are in a VDSL2 area"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)
Original review - Dec. 2011
I signed up for CenturyLink 40/5 service the week it became available in my neighborhood - first week of September 2011. Installation was smooth; I had already run a high-quality RJ11 cable outside to the box in order to do a homerun setup as my existing interior wiring was old and in bad shape.
I provided my own modem, which led to some issues that took a few months to resolve. Already having an Apple wireless access point, and having had trouble with Actiontec products in the past, I bought a ZyXel Q100 on eBay and then ordered the Internet service by phone so as to avoid getting the provided Actiontec modem. However, I was still shipped one (which I returned) and billed for it, and CenturyLink apparently didn't enter the returned modem in the system as I still hadn't been refunded money by December. As of the last call to account support, it sounds like it has been located and the $114.95 credit (plus tax) will be placed on my next statement. We'll see.
At first, the connection was a little unreliable -- fast, but the modem would frequently retrain. It eventually stabilized at 25 Mbps, down from the 40 Mbps I signed up for. CenturyLink called me to say they had noticed some problems on the line and offered to replace the line from the pole to my house, which they did. This helped but the connection remained a little unstable for a few weeks, but by mid-October was consistently training at 40 Mbps (actual download speed 35-38 Mbps) and it has been stable since. Since the service was brand-new in the neighborhood, there may have been other issues in the area that had to be resolved. This is an older neighborhood that was previously too far from the CO to even qualify for DSL.
The 5 Mbps upload speed (actually about 4.25 - 4.5 Mbps) is twice what I was getting with Cox.
If I were not technologically proficient there might have been other issues. Overall, DSL equipment requires more tech skill to properly set up, tweak, etc. compared to cable modems that essentially "just work". With DSL modems, if you want to use multiple computers and have things work smoothly, it helps to be familiar with terms like "bridge mode" and the advanced settings page of both the modem and router interfaces. However, I enjoy tweaking settings so have no complaints.
I am currently paying about $30/mo. but still on the initial six month promotional rate. After that runs out it will be $70/mo. Since 5 Mbps uploads are important to me, the cheaper options would be 20 Mbps for $65 or 12 Mbps for $55. It's more expensive than Cox but I do feel I'm getting better service for the money, as the $51 Cox plan I was previously on advertised 15/2 but often was less than that during peak hours, and their premium plan of 18/3 for $65 is slower than CenturyLink's $65 offering.
The social media integration such as the TalkToUs team on Facebook, Twitter, etc. is a nice addition; I've contacted them that way before. However, it seems they may get overloaded with comments or questions as I have not always received a response.
The CenturyLink/Qwest website integration still has some issues. To this day my account info doesn't load properly in the "My Account" portion of the CL website.
The provided CenturyLink q.com email is the most powerful ISP-provided email I've ever used (compared to Windstream, Cox, and local ISPs), running on the Zimbra platform (hosted by Synacor) and with unlimited storage space. Actually switched to it from Gmail due to Zimbra's feature set. I have noticed that CenturyLink hasn't updated the SPF records for q.com, though, as the SPF record for q.com still lists Hotmail. This doesn't seem to be causing any issues but is worth mentioning.
Received refund of $114.95+tax for the modem I didn't use. Service has been great the last few weeks- no drops, and seems consistent around 35 Mbps down (modem says 40127) even in the evening. No complaints.
Service is still good, but I've been having some retraining problems this spring and SNR numbers aren't great -- in the 8-12 range. I'm about 7 blocks from the DSLAM which I guess matters at this level of speed. For the last couple weeks the connection has been solid but only training at about 24 Mbps. Since fast uploads matter more to me than having the fastest downloads available, I'm going to try the 20/5 tier instead of 40/5 and save a few dollars. Should solve the retraining issues.
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updated 2.8 years ago