Does Optimum or Centurylink offer a more competitive price, better service, and quality? This article should help you decide which company’s packages can best suit your needs.

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Two men sword fighting with paper symbolizing Optimum and Centurylink.

Optimum vs. Centurylink: Which should you choose?

Researching different telecommunications and the various services that they provide can be stressful. To assist you with in this process, we will be sharing some specific details pertaining to two well-known service providers and evaluating which one is the better deal.

What should I know?

Optimum and Centurylink both offer Internet service with speeds ranging from 20-940 Mbps. Packages for both range between $35-$80 per month depending on which one you choose. Both companies also offer Internet and home phone services. Optimum doesn’t offer contracts and will even pay $500 to buy you out of your current contract. Centurylink has contracts ranging from 12-36 months, as well as early termination fees.

How does the set-up process work?

Optimum has free installation if you opt for one of the deals on their website. Otherwise they charge a one-time fee of $99 for a scheduled professional installation. This includes Wi-Fi configuration for up to six devices, the hardwiring of one device, and assistance with setting up your Optimum account. If you are interested in setting up more devices with Optimum, you can upgrade to the premium installation which costs $129 or $59 through the website. Centurylink offers both self-installation as well as professional installation. Self-installation is only available in some areas and you will be charged $300 if your installation needs copper buried and $150 if you need aerial deliver. If you choose to do the professional installation, the technician will set up your modem as well as up to five of your devices for a one-time fee ranging from $99-$125.

How is the Internet service?

Optimum offers both cable and fiber to an estimated 12.9 million people spanning four U.S. states. Centurylink offers Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and fiber to approximately 48.3 million people in all 50 states, predominantly in Arizona, Colorado and Washington. DSL is one of the oldest Internet technologies, utilizing the phone line to transfer data and connect to the Internet. Fiber is made up of plastic and used mainly for Internet service. Fiber is considered better because it allows for higher bandwidth connections and quick uploads. It is also less affected by slowdowns caused by high traffic. Unfortunately, it is not always an option in some areas due to high operating costs.

What are the Internet options?

Optimum costs $40/month for 300 Mbps, $60/month for 500 Mbps, and $80/month for 1 GB (940 Mbps). Centurylink’s offers 20 Mbps via DSL for $49 in select areas. They offer either 100 Mbps for $49/month or 940 Mbps for $65/month, if you are in their fiber areas.

What are the television options?

Optimum has several packages including Core TV with 220+ channels for $74.99/month, Value TV with 255+ channels for $79.99/month, Select TV with 340+ channels for $89.99/month and Premier TV with 420+ channels, Showtime, HBO Max, and Starz for $124.99/month.

Centurylink does not offer television but they have partnerships with DIRECTV, AT&T TV and DISH which allow you to bundle Centurylink’s Internet with their TV packages, which typically include 150+ channels. These packages include equipment fees, contracts, and a monthly cost of about $100/month. If you instead opt for their streaming package, it includes 60+ channels for $50/month without any equipment fees or contracts.

What home telephone services do they offer?

Optimum offers home telephone service when combined with an Internet and/or television package. If you’re only interested in telephone and Internet, you can choose Internet that is 300 Mbps ($45/month), 500 Mbps ($50/month) or 1 Gig ($55/month). We will go into more detail about the available bundles with television further down.

Centurylink offers both basic and unlimited phone plans. The basic plan allows just local calls, whereas the unlimited phone plan includes local calls, long-distance calls to over a hundred countries, as well as discounted calls to Mexico and Latin American countries. Extra features are also available such as call waiting, caller ID, 3-way calling, call rejection, call forwarding, call return, speed dial etc.  The basic plan is typically $24.25/month and the unlimited phone plan is usually $60/month.

What are the different types of bundles?

Optimum has several Internet, television, and home phone services packages. If you are interested in all of the above, you can choose any of the following:  Optimum 300 (300 Mbps), Core TV and phone for $70/month, Optimum 500 (500Mbps), Core TV, and phone for $75/month, or Optimum 1 Gig (940 Mbps), Core TV and phone for $80/month. These packages all include over 220 channels. If you do not need a home phone, there are also few bundles offering Internet and TV only. These television and Internet packages typically range from 50-220+ channels, with Internet speeds varying between 300-940 Mbps. These Internet and TV bundles can cost anywhere between $50-$70/month. If you’re interested in getting a bundle through Centurylink, you will need to utilize the television services offered through their partners. For just Internet and phone, you will only need service through Centurylink. The Internet and phone plan includes 100 Mbps Internet and unlimited nationwide calling for $85/month. If you would like television, you can bundle DIRECTV Choice All-Included and Centurylink Internet. This includes 185+ channels and 100 Mbps Internet. For this bundle, you will need to combine opt for paperless billing and a 24-month agreement. This plan is $118/month and goes up in price after the first year. If you would like Direct TV Choice All-Included combined with Centurylink Internet and phone, with all the same specifications as above, it is $154.99/month and includes a 24-month agreement and an increase in price the second year.

Do they offer mobile phone plans?

Optimum offers mobile phone service through Optimum Mobile, they charge $14/month per line for 1 GB of data, $22/month for 3 GB, and $45/month for unlimited data. They offer a nationwide network with 5G access and no multi-line commitments. Centurylink does not offer any mobile plans at this time.

So which is the best deal?

Optimum and Centurylink offer a variety of both Internet and home phone options. As far as television is concerned, Optimum has several options whereas Centurylink is affiliated with various partners who can provide TV service. Lastly, you can get phone service through Optimum Mobile, a product of Optimum but you cannot get mobile phone service through Centurylink now. To help you decide on which service provider can best suit your needs, we’ve broken down some of the best deals! Internet: Optimum charges $40/month for 300 Mbps. Centurylink offers only either 20 Mbps (DSL) or 100 Mbps (Fiber) for $49/month. <Television: Optimum has several packages including Core TV with 220+ channels for $74.99/month whereas Centurylink does not offer television unless you combine their Internet and/or phone services with DIRECTV, AT&T TV, or DISH. Mobile: Optimum Mobile offers phone lines starting at $14/month. Centurylink does not offer mobile phone service. Home Telephone: Optimum has several bundles with Internet and/or television which include a home telephone ranging from $45-$80/month. Centurylink charges $24.25/month for local calls only with no Internet or television included. Bundle: Optimum offers 300 Mbps, Core TV and a home phone for $70/month whereas a bundle through Centurylink with no television, just Internet (100 Mbps) and nationwide calling is $85/month. We hope this information was helpful to you! We hope you find the deal that is best suitable for you and your family!


*Data as of 05/13/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

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