The Bottom Line: Windstream has two DLA options and their limited fiber-optic can hinder the choices a customer has. Also, Windstream's prices aren't competitive when comparing them to other providers. But, the company is committed to the improvement of its equipment. It is also one of the few service providers that doesn't have a data cap.
Windstream is an ideal option for families who live in rural areas who want to upgrade their internet service from dial-up but don't want to use satellite internet.
Windstream's Standard and Enhanced DSL plans are viable everywhere that Windstream operates. Unfortunately, the Premium Speed plan is the company's newest fiber-optic service. It's limited to about 26% of Windstream customers.
Windstream doesn't make their customers sign a contract, at least with their internet-only plans. The no-contract plan is consistent with what is offered by other providers. However, Windstream's advertised prices are higher than the regular prices offered by other providers.
Windstream has television, phone service, and internet bundles. The exact services customers are able to use depends on the customer's location. Customers who want to bundle their internet and tv service can access the DISH network. Customers located in Sugar Land, TX; Lincoln, NE; and Lexington, KY, may be able to the few households that can access Windstream's fiber-optic cable service, Kinetic TV. The company is making plans to expand Kinetic tv. To find out more about the service plans and pricing, consumers should contact Windstream directly.
What's the Price of Windstream Internet?
Windstream is very honest and upfront about the cost of the basic internet services. The price advertised for their internet-only plans are exactly what's listed on the website. Also, customers with internet-only services do not need to commit to a contract. The lack of a contract may be the reason for the internet-only plan's high costs. Standard Speed plans don't have any rate increases. In fact, this plan comes with a Lifetime Price Guarantee. However, anyone how moves or disconnects their service void the guarantee.
All of Windstream's first-year bundle prices start at introductory promotional rates. These bundles also require customers to agree to a one-year contract. Terminating the contract before its end date will subject customers to a penalty for each month that remains on the contract. Once the 12-year promotional period ends, the cost is now the standard rate. The location of the customer will have an effect on the contract length and promotional rate. Again, consumers should contact a Windstream customer service representative to see what plans are available in their area.
Unreturned Equipment Fee: Customers who do not return any rented equipment once the service is terminated will have to pay for the cost of the equipment.
Customers may also have the pay attorney's fees and costs.
Modern Fee: Windstream charges a rental fee for its Wireless Gateway combined router and modem. Customers who have the Standard or Enhanced Speed plans will pay $9.99 a month to rent a router. The cost to rent the Premium Speed plan router is $11.99 a month.
Activation Fee: Every new account must pay a $50 one-time activation fee. Most promotional offers waive the activation fee.
Internet Installation: It costs $35 to have the DSL service professionally installed. The fee includes the installation of the home network and wireless modem, and the connection of up to four devices. The installation cost includes the installation of a new jack, if necessary. Customers can install their own services free of charge. Self-installation comes with installation instructions, the equipment shipment, and 24/7 technical assistance. Customers with the Premium Speed plan will need to have the service installed by a professional. However, there is no charge for the installation of the Premium Speed plan.
Additional Fees: Each plan is own set of additional fees. Some of the bundles include a protection plan. The protection plan is free for the first six months. After the six-month period, there is an $8 a month, unless its canceled. Some of the television bundles will include three months of free premium channels. If the premium channels are not canceled, there is a $60 monthly fee.
Windstream's customers are required to have a router for the wireless network and a modem. Windstream does rent its Wireless Gateway combined router and modem to customers. However, Windstream does not make these modems are available for sale. Customers receive a 3-channel, single-band router when they subscribe to Standard or Enhanced Speed Internet plans. The rental fee for this router is $9.99 a month. Customers who have the Premium Speed plan need to have a 23-channel, dual-band router. It costs $11.99 a month to rent the router. What the difference between the routers? A single-band router uses the 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) band. The dual router uses 23-channel dual-band router that uses a 2.4 (GHz) band and a 5 (GHz) band. The use of the two bands allows users to enjoy faster speeds.
While it is possible for customers to connect to the internet using their own router and modem, Windstream does not give any guarantees that the connection would work. The company also does not give technical support for equipment purchased from other vendors. Anyone who wants to use their own equipment should contact a customer service representative to check its compatibility.
Windstream Internet Speed
Windstream is known for having internet speeds that are slower than advertised.
What Internet Speed Do Customers Really Get?
Windstream's internet speeds are comparable to the internet speeds customers can get from other providers offer for DLS services. However, customers who live in some rural areas will only be able to access the Standard Speed plan. The maximum internet speed for the Enhanced plan depends on the location. The Enhanced plan ranges from 10 Mbps to 25 Mbps for downloads.
The upload speeds for the Standard and Enhanced plans range from 0.5 to 0.76 Mbps. Anyone who enjoys playing online games or uploads a lot of content will see the effect of using a slower speed internet. Now, Windstream customers who live in certain can take advantage of the 1 Mbps upload option. However, the option is available for an addition $3 a month.
Windstream is known for promising faster internet speeds than the company can deliver.
Windstream was fined by the state of Georgia for false advertising regarding the company's broadband claims. After the company was fined, Windstream announced that the company is committed to giving customers optimal service. To give customers ideal service, the company upgraded its infrastructure and equipment. Windstream is following through on their commitment and has expanded its fiber-optic service and upgraded its DSL lines. If current customer services levels are any indication, Windstream hasn't corrected all of its issues.
What Speed is the Right Speed?
There's no way to guarantee internet speeds. However, there are factors that customers should consider when getting internet service. These factors include:
Computer software and hardware
Number of users
Customers aren't stressed out over data limits.
How much data do customers get?
Windstream does not impose a data cap on any of its plans. This is great as far as the being able to use as much data as a customer needs over the internet.
So, customers won't reach a data limit?
Exactly. Windstream doesn't throttle the data. However, it doesn't mean that having a lot of equipment or high traffic won't cause subscribers to experience internet speeds that are slower than advertised.
While customer support is local, it's not good.
Windstream's customer support is not outsourced. Meaning, all customers calls are handled by representatives in the United States. Having representatives in the United States hasn't done much for the quality of customer service and customer satisfaction.
In 2016, Windstream was ranked in the bottom third in the ranking of internet service providers by the ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index). On a 100-point scale, Windstream scored a 59. Only three national providers had a score worse than Windstream.
In 2014, JD Power's Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study gave Windstream a customer satisfaction rating of 2 out of 5. Using a 1,000-point rating scale, Windstream got a score of 683. The company was last in the ranking of service providers in the southern U.S. region.
Windstream's rating is consistent with other rating and consumer report websites. The complaints about Windstream's customer services includes waiting a long time to receive customer support, representatives who can't resolve issues, and unclear service fees. These problems, when combined with high costs and slower-than-promised internet speeds, have caused Windstream to have some of the industry's worse customer satisfaction ratings.
While Windstream may be a viable option for consumers who live in a rural area, most customers are better served using an alternative service.
Windstream does have its perks. There are no contracts for their basic services, the customer service is based in the U.S., and there's no data cap. However, the benefits don't outweigh the negatives. The internet speed is inconsistent, high prices, poor customer service, and limited options. Most customers would probably prefer using a different service.
If the Windstream is available in the area, customers may want to consider the Enhanced Plan and Phone deal. The promotional deal is $40 for 12-months. This is the fastest DSL speed the company has. With the deal, the Enhanced Plan and Phone is the same price as the slower speed Standard Plan and Phone. Customers may want to try it out for the 12-month period before switching to the Standard Plan that is $10 less. Anyone who lives in an area with Windstream's fiber-optic Premium speed service may want to consider using it. With Premium speed service, the internet speeds range from 50 to 100 Mbps.
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