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EarthLink page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 3096 reviews (1431 good) (1005 bad)
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Review by vomviersen See Profile

  • Location: Chicago,Cook,IL
  • Cost: $39 per month (6 month contract)
  • Install: about 21 days
  • Telco party Ameritech
Good "Service has been reliable; very few outages, download and upload speeds at or near advertised"
Bad "Pre-installation coordination was THE ABSOLUTE WORST I've seen for ANY product of any kind I've ever bought."
Overall "Earthlink ultimately lost a TWELVE-YEAR customer thanks to their horrible outsourced tech support people."
Pre Sales information:
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Connection reliability:
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Value for money:

I am on the northwest side of Chicago (Norwood Park/Newcastle area) and I have had Earthlink DSL, actually originally ordered as Mindspring MAX, since April 2000. The reliable service (only a couple of outages worth mentioning, and speeds at or near the advertised rates) and the fact that as a longtime Mindspring customer I got to keep my existing e-mail addresses are almost worth putting up with the horrendous job that Earthlink/Mindspring, Ameritech and Covad did at coordinating things up through the install.

Ameritech, per their usual shoddy practices, first gave a date that was earlier than requested (and in my case I could NOT take advantage of it) and then failed to show up on the first of the rescheduled dates. To add insult to injury, somewhere in their bumbling, they also managed to leave me without my regular phone service for a day and half. There were also several days when Earthlink/Mindspring was claiming that my line was not yet provisioned, but Ameritech was claiming it was... followed by another day of Ameritech claiming to be ready but Earthlink/Mindspring saying that my line was not ready. It turns out it had probably actually been ready throughout all of the days of discussion.

The installation itself was very quick and smooth. The technician from Covad was competent and courteous and did not assume I was just some "dumb girl". He was done within an hour or so and everything was fine.

The only real aggravations since then have been few. One is the way which some of the tech support phone people handle questions from a non-novice person. They appear to assume that everyone is stupid and that no one tries the "usual solutions" BEFORE calling... even when you TELL them in detail what you have done before calling.

The other annoyance was how the price drop from $49.95/mo to $39.95/mo was handled. It occurred during my original contract term and I would not expect to pay less during the term of my contract. But I did not expect I would have to call to have it changed, nor did I expect to hear about the bad experiences of others who not only had to call to have it changed, but were charged or attempted to be charged another "installation" fee. What a sad way to treat your existing customer base.

UPDATE 7/20/02: It's been quite a while since my original report. In that time there was a price increase back up to $49.95/mo and a period where speeds in the Chicago area were HORRIBLE. I am still mostly satisfied with the service. I don't feel I have enough other good options, cable or DSL, available to me to go through the agonizing process of changing providers. Phone support seems to have improved somewhat... or maybe it was just the luck of the draw that my last two calls were answered by longtime former Mindspringers.

UPDATE 1/26/03: Price still at $49.95/mo, speeds have fluctuated over the past month quite a bit. There are a few more cable and DSL options available to consider now; maybe it is time to investigate them.

UPDATE 1/13/07: As a pre-lineshare installation, I cannot upgrade to the new 3 and 6 meg options without cancelling and re-establishing my service. I did get a price drop back to $34.95/mo due to this. The service itself has been stable; just lacking in comparison to the services available now from Earthlink and competitors. I am just not willing at this time to be inconvenienced without broadband for 2 weeks or more in order to get higher speeds from Earthlink or any other service, nor am I willing to pay for two services concurrently to fill the gap.

UPDATE 3/28/09: There were minor issues with brief outages and dealing with outsourced tech support during the past two years. However, a day-long outage in late February 2009 led to an extremely poor experience with tech support, including a delay in escalating my issue to the next level, and very bad communication in follow-up. The tech support person called my business phone and asked a male co-worker if he was me (my name is identifiably female, and my co-worker has a definitely male voice). When I got on the line, the tech asked me to check my DSL. I pointed out that he had called me at work, and the DSL was at home. He simply repeated his request verbatim. I repeated my clarification, he repeated his request again. I requested a supervisor and my request was not granted. I am now a former Earthlink customer as of 3/3/09. I was an Earthlink customer for TWELVE years and am only too sorry to be confirming their sad deterioration from a preferred source of mine to a freaking joke.

member for 14.7 years, 1694 visits, last login: 1.9 years ago
updated 5.8 years ago

Comments:

Review by torchstar See Profile

  • Location: San Rafael,Marin,CA
  • Cost: $49 per month (84 month contract)
  • Install: about 21 days
  • Telco party SBC
Good "Customer Service is prompt, knowledgeable, and very friendly any time day or night."
Bad "I don't have any to report."
Overall "Whenever someone mentions shopping for an ISP I always recommend earthlink."
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We have been satisfied Earthlink clients for 7 years. I have found them to be so responsive from the start. And boy did we need help in the beginning!

The first ISP was a nightmare (Long and gory story). After bailing from them I signed up with Earthlink. The previous ISP had to release our lines, and the process was what made our "Days from order to success" take longer. The support people at Earthlink were more than eager to help iron out the challenging strange kinks in our service. Every service person I spoke with knew the details of my case- I didn't have to repeat the story over and over! After several attempts to hook up failed, I was passed to a Level 3 tron tech- his miraculous rubber mallet wallop brought our line to life. If I run across the notes I kept then I'll add the details here, but the crux of the biscuit is EARTHLINK DSL is #1. Their customer service is stellar.

member for 11 years, 25 visits, last login: 118 days ago
lodged 5.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by jamez818 See Profile

  • Location: Sunland,Los Angeles,CA
  • Cost: $75 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 21 days
  • Telco party Covad
Good "Fastest DSL connection available in my area"
Bad "Going thru Covad for dsl and phone"
Overall "We will see if it works out, so far it has been good."
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Been on Earthlink for about one year and six months now and the connection reliability in the past two months has been really bad. Before that it was great, very steady connection with an ocasional outage that usually got resolved within a few hours. When my connection is stable the speed is great. I'm getting 8mb down and 1mb up! The other competitors in my area are Timewarner and Verizon which i already tried. For the price and the speed I feel i am getting the best.

Bad points:

Earthlink tech support seemed like they just wanted me to get off the phone. Everyday i need to reset my connection at least twice.

member for 14.3 years, 1818 visits, last login: 3.7 years ago
updated 6 years ago

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Review by Hall See Profile

  • Location: Dayton,Montgomery,OH
  • Cost: $39 per month (6 month contract)
  • Install: about 28 days
  • Telco party Ameritech
Good "Rock-solid reliable and fast (enough)"
Bad "None"
Overall "I like it"
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Placed my order on 10/18/2000; got the $39.95/month deal, $299 rebate (Covad installation and equipment, etc), free setup, 6-month contract after mentioning that Ameritech charges $39.95/month locally (forgot to tell 'em the speed is only 768/128 ... whoops). Salesperson "Lewis" was very friendly, knowledgeable, and polite ! Confirmation e-mail was waiting for me as soon as we hung up the phone and I checked my mail.

Since the confirmation e-mail from Mindspring and Covad, I've rec'd absolutely no information or status from either company !! I've had to call and e-mail them both myself to get any news. Luckily, so far I've been getting pretty good news: Ameritech checked and qualifed my line withing 3 days of order; since then it's been awfully quiet -- just found out yesterday, Nov 3rd, that Ameritech is scheduled to do the "cross-connect" on the 8th. I suppose I'll have to call and find out if it happened or not. You can be sure that I will ! After that, I should get an install date from Covad. Hopefully, by that time all of the bandwidth problems for Dayton users will be resolved !!

=====================

Update (three days after install):

Covad tech arrived about 8:05-8:10am and was gone shortly after 8:30. I'd already installed a phone jack and ran wire *to* my demarc point, but let him hook it up. I asked about an "NID Splitter" but he acted like he didn't know what I was talking about. Don't think I need it anyway. I get plenty good speeds, normally above 1100k download and 300k upload.

=====================

After almost 3 years to the day (placed order on 10/18... back then, it took *weeks*, not days, to get installed... as I recall, it was 29 days) I'm switching to Earthlink Cable (via TW RR). I have ZERO complaints about my DSL and couldn't have asked for anything better. In three years, I only know of 1-1/2 days of downtime and this was a major nationwide outage. It made the national news, I think. Bottom line is, after three years, other than a 6-month special deal, the price hasn't changed. I signed up for a promotional $40/month deal for 6-9 months (it could go up after six months but didn't right away). Then it went up to $50/month (Ouch !). Back in April or May of 2003 I got them to "price-match" Ameritech's rate for ~$30/month for 6 months. When the six months was about up, I missed the boat on getting it extended. Well, they'd happily allow me to "start over" just like a new customer. Downside of that: A new 12-month contract.

EL Cable has a few pluses over EL DSL, but I also have the unknowns, so we'll see how it goes.

=====================

1/04/2009 update

I cancelled this service quite some time ago... Shouldn't this review system have a way to mark a service as no longer in use ? Or does it ?

member for 14.7 years, 8150 visits, last login: 1 days ago
updated 6 years ago

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Review by antoinefinch See Profile

  • Location: Fayetteville,Cumberland,NC
  • Cost: $45 per month (12 month contract)
  • Telco party Sprint
Good "good web browser"
Bad "lower speeds than on cable"
Overall "works with cable or DSL"
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EARTHLINK OFFERS EMAIL PREMIUN ALSO EARTHLINK WEBMAIL SETUp A BREEZE.Phone company offers instead of AOL.fast access installs with ease.


member for 9.3 years, 139 visits, last login: 1.6 years ago
updated 6.1 years ago

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Review by kiddigital See Profile

  • Location: Deltona,Volusia,FL
  • Cost: $41 per month
Good "Wicked speed, insane uptime."
Bad "Nothing major. Could use a bit more upload speed."
Overall "Blessed to have such a reliable affordable high speed option in my area."
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I've had EarthLink Cable Internet (and previously Roadrunner on the same wire from Brighthouse) since it became available in my area in the summer of 2000. since then it's increased in speed from 1.5 Mbps to 7 Mbps and dropped in price from $49.99 to $41.95. I've had a grand total of maybe 5 outages in those 8 years. The only thing they could do to be perfect in my eyes is bump up the upload speed a bit. I honestly can't complain too much about the service I've had from Brighthouse over the last 8 years.

member for 14.6 years, 2692 visits, last login: 11 days ago
updated 6.1 years ago

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Review by arothman See Profile

  • Location: Fort Lauderdale,Broward,FL
  • Cost: $39 per month
  • Telco party BellSouth
Good "No surcharges on DSL only"
Bad "Occasional short connectivity drop- just long enough to disconnect from online games, etc."
Overall "Decent service if you're not gaming."
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My first foray into DSL was smooth and easy with Earthlink's help. Their deals are decent and I haven't been charged any surcharges. The customer support (the rare times I needed it) were polite and helpful. They don't specify what speeds I have, but as it was at least a couple of years ago, I'm sure that they were minimal since I currently don't have blazing speeds.

I've also experienced brief connectivity drops- usually not for longer than a minute. Ordinarily this would be nearly unnoticable if the service is used for web browsing and collecting email messages. When one plays online games however, this quickly becomes annoying when one has to run the diagnostics 1 - 3 times to confirm the connection is back up, reconnect to the game, and then hunt down the other players one was previously teaming with in order to rejoin... sometimes repeatedly one night, sometimes once every month or two.

I only wish they could package their services with other companies so that I could have my phone bill, cellphone and DSL on one bill, especially now that I need to upgrade my services.

member for 6.2 years, 6 visits, last login: 2.1 years ago
lodged 6.2 years ago

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Review by rothenmr See Profile

  • Location: Palmdale,Los Angeles,CA
  • Cost: $40 per month
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Very reliable. Almost never down; twice in 8 years"
Bad "tech support sucks."
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I can't complain, although DSL speed is slow at times. I have called tech support twice in 8 years. Service is very reliable. All the neighbors complain about how often their cable service or AT&T service is down. Also, they complain email is missing or takes days to deliver. Never an issue with EarthLink. Most reliable service. However, when you have to call tech support the morons don't know where you live, even after you explain to them 6 times, and they don't have a clue what is happening with your service. AND they want to walk through each step one by one no matter your technical skill level. I felt like I was training the tech support rep how to help me. So when your service may be down for less than an hour just reboot modem, routers, etc. and hope all is well. Overall good experience.

member for 7.2 years, 18 visits, last login: 156 days ago
updated 6.2 years ago

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Review by DrModem See Profile

  • Location: USA
  • Cost: $79 per month
  • Install: about 2 days
  • Telco party Sprint
Good "Super Reliable, Really Fast,"
Bad "None"
Overall "If you can get this service, It's a good option."
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I had Earthlink DSL through Sprint in Kingsport, TN. Ordered speed was 1.5 down/768 up. The service was pretty much flawless, it never went out, slowed down etc. We had to call tech support once about a problem with our computer not connecting, but they weren't able to resolve our problem (it turned out our ethernet card was bad) All in all, excellent service and speed.

member for 8.2 years, 3346 visits, last login: 12 days ago
updated 6.3 years ago

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Review by cliffburger See Profile

  • Location: Seattle,King,WA
  • Cost: $50 per month
  • Install: about 30 days
  • Telco party Qwest
Good "Cost is good"
Bad "Service & installation slow - local phone company was not cooperative"
Overall "Acceptable."
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I had periodic trouble with connections, always short lived. Their core offering is fine. They attempt to add value with web mail, software bundles, which are all very poor. Earthlinks continuous "special offers" (spam) into earthlink mail accounts probably simply bother most customers.

As usual, pre-sale information attempts to hide the ongoing rate. (E.g. listing 20$ for first three months ... it takes some digging to find the real rate).

Earthlink does not publish upstream bandwidth for residential plans - important if, like me, you occasionally work from home and need the bandwidth back to the office.

member for 6.4 years, 10 visits, last login: 4.6 years ago
lodged 6.4 years ago

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