Best DSL Internet 2021: No fiber optic? No problem

DSL is a good option for businesses and consumers looking for an internet service. It may not be as fast as fiber optic internet, but it is reliable, cheaper and available nationwide. We’ve reviewed DSL service providers by comparing the plans each company offers, internet speeds, and customer service ratings. The criteria have been drawn up so that you can make an informed choice when choosing your company’s Internet service.

Best clearest price plan



Provider Score: 4/5

✓ Best for:

  • Companies that need a standard subscription
  • Consumers who need custom features

Not for:

  • Companies looking for high speeds
  • Companies not ready for a longer contract

AT&T makes shopping and comparing DSL Internet plans easy. The website offers clearly listed plans, including all the information you need at a glance, including internet speeds, prices, contract duration and equipment costs.

AT&T’s Business DSL service can support an entire company’s Internet needs with fast download speeds for large file sharing.

Availability: 3/5

AT&T’s services are available in: 21 states. The coverage area is primarily focused on the Southeast and Midwest regions, although business coverage is also available in select areas of Nevada and California.

bandwidth: 4/5

AT&T offers up to 75Mbps speeds for business DSL customers, one of the fastest business DSL service speeds you will find on the market.

Customer service: 5/5

AT&T ranked second in the 2019 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) with a 69 out of 100 and five out of five stars in the JD Power Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Survey.

Best compensation for downtime


CenturyLink Internet

Provider Score: 3/5

✓ Best for:

  • Companies that can’t afford internet outages
  • People who need excellent customer support

Not for:

  • Flexible contractual obligations
  • Companies that would suffer from a monthly data cap of 1 TB

No one wants to deal with constant internet outages. Just an hour of internet interruption can lead to lost productivity and hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost credit card sales or missed customer orders. Most ISPs have very low downtimes, but CenturyLink provides an extra layer of reliability by granting you one day of DSL service for every thirty minutes of downtime your business experiences.

For smaller businesses, this extra incentive can be critical when internet outages prevent revenue streams from growing.

Availability: 3/5

CenturyLink is available in: 36 states, provide a large national network. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) cannot be found in some larger states, including California and New York.

bandwidth: 3/5

As with most ISPs, speeds vary by area and depend on infrastructure. CenturyLink’s DSL bandwidth goes up to 140Mbps, which allows employees to simultaneously perform online tasks.

Customer service: 3/5

CenturyLink’s customer service rating of the 2019 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) was below average at 59 out of 100. JD Power were average with three out of five stars.

No contract needed


Border communication

Provider Score: 2/5

✓ Best for:

  • Consumers who want to avoid long contracts
  • Businesses in need of excellent customer support

Not for:

  • Users who need unlimited data

New businesses or consumers on a monthly budget may not be ready to commit to a long-term contract. Or you or your company can move within a year, which makes Frontier’s no-contract plans a great incentive because you don’t have to pay a cancellation fee if you need to change shifts.

Availability: 3/5

Frontier offers internet service in 29 states, and while the Internet may be available in your state, it is common for service to vary from city to city within a state. It’s always best to check online for availability by entering your zip code.

bandwidth: 3/5

Customers get speeds of up to 115 Mbps, which should be enough for basic business tasks like sending and receiving emails, creating cloud backups, running online accounting software, and occasionally joining a video conference.

Customer service: 1/5

Frontier still has a long way to go to improve its customer service. The DSL Internet Service Provider was near the bottom of the 2019 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) with a score of 55 out of 100. Frontier came in last or penultimate in all regions of the United States. JD Power research with only two stars out of five for customer service.

Top Rated Customer Service



Provider Score: 3/5

✓ Best for:

  • New businesses that need more technical support than average
  • Users outside the Northeast

Not for:

  • Consumers who need fast and reliable DSL connectivity

A new customer or small business may not yet be able to afford their own IT department and may need to call on customer service and technical support for assistance. For customers with fewer resources to resolve technical issues, Verizon ranks high in customer service, so quality help is available when your business needs it.

Availability: 1/5

Verizon Internet is only available in eight US states and the District of Columbia or now. Even in the few covered states, DSL service may not be as widespread.

bandwidth: 3/5

Verizon provides high-speed Internet for businesses and customers of all sizes. DSL business plans come with bandwidth up to 15Mbps.

Customer service: 5/5

Verizon is ranked #1 in customer service with a score of 70 out of 100 in the 2019 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The ISP also wins JD Power’s Internet Service Satisfaction Study with four out of five stars.

How to choose your provider

Evaluate Speed ​​Options

DSL speeds may vary by ISP. It is best to compare more than one business DSL provider in your area (if there are more than one) to determine the best bandwidth offering. Choose a faster speed than you think you need — as your business grows, you may need more bandwidth.

Prepare your home for DSL

If your home or business is not already wired for DSL service, your service provider will send a technician to install the product. Make sure the area where the cables run is clear and clear so that the technician can reach them quickly. Choose a central location so that a connected router can send WiFi throughout the property.

Test your speeds

Once you know the speed your ISP is claiming to receive, test your internet speed regularly to ensure that your service does not lose bandwidth. If you notice that your company’s DSL speeds are decreasing, contact your service provider immediately so that you can get guided troubleshooting to locate and resolve the issue.

Consider fiber or cable

Some DSL Internet providers offer more than one type of Internet service. Fiber optic is the fastest form of internet service today. Cable is similar in speed to DSL, but it can be affected if others nearby are online, with everyone in a neighborhood sharing the same bandwidth.

If you have the option to subscribe to fiber, it’s worth it. Fiber speeds are as high as 1,000 Mbps, compared to just 100 Mbps for some of the faster DSL Internet packages.

How we found the best DSL internet

We compared customer service ratings from top researchers, including JD Power and the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), compared bandwidth and speeds, examined plans and prices, and considered contract lengths to determine which DSL Internet providers are best for businesses.

Which type of internet is best?

Fiber optic internet is currently the fastest internet to date, although availability is often limited to major cities. If fiber internet is not available, DSL is a good and reliable option.

How much bandwidth do I need?

Verizon lists the typical bandwidth according to internet usage per device:

  • Standard emails: 1 Mbps each
  • Cloud backups: 2 Mbps
  • Web browsing: 0.33 Mbps
  • Online bookkeeping: 2Mbps
  • Stream webinars: 5 Mbps
  • Video conferencing: 4 Mbps

Why is business internet more expensive than private internet?

ISPs charge companies higher fees for services because companies typically use more bandwidth. A retail customer typically spends most of the day less time at home and online than a business that is connected online.

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