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It can be daunting for older adults, who aren’t digital natives, to choose an Internet service. With so many Internet providers on the market, many of them varying in price and features, you should do the proper research before committing to a provider.
When I look for Internet providers for older adults, I look for ones that provide the best bang for their buck. Most older adults don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with the more expensive packages. Instead, they need a reliable provider, high-quality customer service, and a secure platform.
Headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana, CenturyLink is a decades-old telecommunications company, the third-largest in the country. Founded in 1930 and renamed CenturyLink in 2008, the company offers customers high-speed Internet, fiber, voice, phone, and TV services.
On this page, I will focus on the Internet offering specifically, so keep reading to find out if CenturyLink’s services are right for you.
What CenturyLink Internet Can Offer Me?
Most people use the Internet regularly, and older adults are no different. More than 65 percent of adults 65 and older say they use the Internet daily. A few reasons older adults turn to the Internet is to easily communicate with family and friends, do some online shopping, or get medical information.
To successfully use the Internet while avoiding pesky load times, the Internet speeds must be up to snuff. It’s also important to note not all speeds are available to everyone, so older adults must look to see what coverage is offered in their area. Below are the available speeds from CenturyLink:
- Up to 10 Mbps: This is CenturyLink’s slowest speed option. Up to 10 Mbps is best for older adults who don’t do much online. With this speed, older adults can stream television or movies as well as listen to music with short wait times. However, looking at pictures or playing games will move at a slower pace and could take up to several minutes to load.
- Up to 20 Mbps: Like the 10 Mbps, this speed is quick for streaming and music purposes, but slower when it comes to looking at photos or playing games like solitaire or mahjong. You could wait up to three minutes before your game is ready to play.
- Up to 40 Mbps: 40 Mbps allows you to get fast Internet on multiple devices—two to three to be exact. You can stream television or movies, listen to music, look at pictures, communicate with family members, or play games with a lower risk of a frozen screen.
- Up to 100 Mbps: This is best for older adults who have a lot of devices and is great for video chatting with family and friends, on zoom, for example. It’s also a good option for those who like to play games with others online, as it takes less than a minute for games to load with this speed.
CenturyLink also offers a fiber gigabit Internet option, which provides speeds up to 940 Mbps. This is unnecessary for most older adults because they don’t use the Internet enough to warrant this warp speed. However, if you’re an older adult who has a lot of family members come to visit, this is something you may want to consider. These speeds will allow for all your kids, grandkids, and friends to get fast Internet speeds when they are with you—like less than five seconds to download games and virtually no wait time for video watching.
You Should Know: The higher the number of Mbps, the faster the broadband speed. That being said, with CenturyLink, all speeds up to 100 Mbps are the same price, so the deciding factor will come down to what’s available where you live.
Unlike providers like AT&T that have a variety of cost choices, CenturyLink only has two pricing options, one for Internet up to 100 Mbps and one for Internet up to 940 Mbps. Let’s take a glance at what CenturyLink costs.
|10, 20, 40, 100 Mbps
||$49.00 per month
- Easily work from home and shop online
- Connect multiple devices
- Stream HD movies
- No contract
- No rate increases
||$65.00 per month
- 100 percent Fiber Network
- Unlimited data
- No overage fees
- Download and upload at the same fast speeds
- Stream HD content on up to eight devices
One of the best features I found with CenturyLink is the company’s price for life deal. With the price for life, customers don’t have to worry about price hikes, long-term contracts, or cancellation fees. For older adults, this is a great benefit because they don’t have to remember to cancel a service in advance. With all the unpredictability that comes with aging, CenturyLink makes the cost of your Internet predictable.
The price for life program is also something to consider when looking at the actual cost of the service, as CenturyLink is slightly more expensive than other providers like Xfinity or Cox, which have Internet options starting at $29.99 per month. That being said, with the price for life option, customers won’t get a price hike as they could get with other companies.
FYI: The Price For Life program gives you a fixed rate for the Internet for the duration of your time with CenturyLink. This means there are no unexpected price hikes.
Can CenturyLink Cover Me?
As the third-largest Internet provider, CenturyLink provides service to those living in 36 states around the country; however, not all Internet speeds are available in all areas, so it’s necessary to make sure the speed you want is available before committing to the provider. Here is a list of states where CenturyLink is available:
- District of Columbia
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Virgin Islands
How To Purchase Centurylink Internet
Now that I’ve given you an idea of what CenturyLink provides, you’re probably wondering how to go about actually purchasing a CenturyLink Internet package.
The easiest way to buy CenturyLink is online. Once you decide on a service, all you have to do is click the button that says, “I want Internet,” enter your address to see the best deals for your home. There is also a live chat where you can ask questions to a representative concerning orders, customer service, repairs, and payment help.
For those older adults who aren’t comfortable with online shopping and prefer the phone, you can call a customer service hotline. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm eastern standard time.
CenturyLink Internet Bundles
While I wanted to focus on the Internet, I would be remiss not to share how you can save money if you’re looking for both Internet and phone services. Below is the bundle:
|Internet & Phone Bundle
||$85.00 per month
- Speeds up to 940 Mbps
- Unlimited home phone use
This is a great option for older adults who rely on a landline and also need Internet use. For an added $20.00 per month, you can get the highest speed Internet and unlimited phone use.
CenturyLink Installation Process
Most Internet providers offer a professional installation option, and CenturyLink is no different. When you check out, you can choose to have a CenturyLink technician professionally install your service. Professional installation includes:
- Setting up a modem to work with service
- Setting up a primary email account
- Making sure you can surf the web
- Hooking up phone filters
Keep in mind, professional installation does cost extra. For older adults who feel the lack of instruction or guidance is a barrier to using technology, having this professional installation option removes that hurdle.
For those who don’t want to pay the extra fee, CenturyLink also has a self-installation option that takes about 30 minutes and includes plugging in a few cables to your computer and modem.
CenturyLink Discounts for Seniors
CenturyLink doesn’t offer special discounts for older adults, but they do have a program called the CenturyLink Lifeline Plan, a support program for low-income customers. According to the U.S census, 40 percent of adults ages 60 and older are considered to be of low or moderate-income, meaning older adults may qualify for this support program.
There are two Lifeline programs, the Standard Lifeline and Tribal Lifeline. The Standard Lifeline support program provides up to $9.25 of federal monthly support for either voice services or broadband services. The Tribal Lifeline support program is for those who live on federally recognized tribal lands and includes a bigger discount as well as installation support.
Money-Saving Tip: While CenturyLink doesn’t offer discounts specifically geared towards older adults, the company does have a Lifeline Plan, a support program for low-income families. If an older adult falls into this category, he or she could save on the service.
CenturyLink Internet Accessories and Benefits
CenturyLink offers a variety of accessories compatible with the Internet, including Wi-Fi range extenders, security doorbells, security cameras, and streaming devices.
- Wi-Fi Extenders: For $30.99, customers can purchase a Wi-Fi extender. The extender routes higher-speed Internet to areas of the home that get slow Internet or are considered dead zones.
- Security Doorbells and Cameras: CenturyLink pairs nicely with Ring products, which we reviewed in our Ring Home Security Systems.
- Secure Wi-Fi: This is built into the CenturyLink modems. Secure Wi-Fi protects against online threats for all devices connected to the modem. Older adults are more likely to become victims of online scammers but can feel more at ease with the secure Wi-Fi built into the modem. That’s because Secure Wi-Fi protects the entire home network and gives you the ability to manage individual devices easily.
- CenturyLink App: The CenturyLink app brings your Internet service provider to your fingertips. Through the app, customers can pay their bills, shop for products, view outage, and manage secure Wi-Fi. The app is available for both android and apple users, so you’ve got all smartphones covered!
Final Thoughts on CenturyLink Internet
Overall, CenturyLink is a good option for older adults who are looking for flexibility. With Price for life guarantees, no contracts, and an easy cancellation policy, customers don’t need to budget for price increases or worry about forgetting to cancel a service.
However, CenturyLink is not the most affordable service out there and charges the same for any speed up to 100 Mbps. Other companies offer less expensive basic options; however, there is always the risk of increased rates with those packages. CenturyLink is one to consider for those looking for reliable Internet with easy installation and solid customer service without price hikes.