Verizon DSL Internet Review
How We Reviewed Verizon
1 top-ranking company
3 weeks of research
11 states covered
Verizon DSL Review
If you’ve ever experienced the headache of a telecom service with poor service and poor communication, Verizon is the tonic you’ve been hoping for. Third-party rankings and customer reviews show Verizon to excel at all the customer experience elements that its competitors fall short, with top-notch resources, multiple communication channels, and clear billing. Even better: Verizon fulfills all these promises without requiring you to make any promises of your own: No contract required. You can cancel Verizon service at any time without penalty, whether you’re moving or just shopping around.
Verizon’s customer service, no-contract structure, and sky-high data limit (a generous 1.5TB that you’d have a hard time reaching) make it an attractive DSL internet provider. The company shares its one area for improvement with all of DSL — speeds could improve. Average users or a small household should have all the speeds they need, but gamers or a click-happy clan might feel constrained, especially if they are looking to download lots of music or video. If that sounds like you, look into whether fiber internet is available in your area. Verizon FiOS’ speeds leave the capabilities of DSL in the dust.
Verizon DSL delivers consistently fast speeds and a wide variety of speed tiers.
Is it True?
A qualified yes.
While Verizon isn’t the fastest DSL internet you can find (actually offering some of the slowest speeds out of the big DSL players), its speeds have a track record both for consistency and for outpacing the advertising. Every other company overstates the speeds customers experience by 10-20%. Verizon flips the script, running at 121% of stated speeds.
One or two average internet users who don’t do a ton of downloading, and anyone whose priority is receiving good customer experience.
Gamers or power internet users who need lots of speed in both directions.
|Price||$20 – $30 per month|
|Ratings||#1 in customer service according to J.D. Power|
|Download speeds||0.5 Mbps – 5 Mbps|
|Upload speeds||384 Kbps – 768 Kbps|
Excellent download rates
As far as DSL speeds go, Verizon Wireless performs well on the downloading side of the speed equation with their best plan offering up to 15 Mbps. This is considerable for DSL, and more than enough if you only go online occasionally. If you stream a lot of entertainment in your household, those big download speeds will go a long way to keeping all the screens in your house lit up.
Free modem with certain packages
Verizon gives all customers who sign up for one of its Enhanced plans a free modem with their purchase. (Enhanced plans are essentially any DSL Internet package that offers download speeds in excess of 1 Mbps.) Offers like this one are rare among internet service providers, who tend to find more opportunities for fees rather than freebies.
No credit check necessary
You do not have to go through a credit check to sign up for Verizon’s DSL service, which is actually unusual. Many companies require this of their customers prior to receiving service. While avoiding a credit check may or may not be a priority for you, it’s notable that Verizon puts one less hurdle between prospective customers and high-quality DSL service.
Phone service required for DSL
There is no way to sign up for Verizon’s DSL internet without also signing up for phone service. This limitation, one that most other DSL providers don’t have, also means that Verizon’s service may be a little more costly than you’d expect. However, if you’re interested in bundling Verizon’s Internet, landline phone, and TV services, or some combination of the above, you’ll benefit from having just one highly rated, customer-oriented company for all your home services.
Upload speeds needs improvement
Verizon’s download speeds are quite good for DSL internet, but its upload speeds are among the slowest in the industry. Its best plan only has a 768 Kbps limit. If you’re like most people, you’ll be downloading much more often than uploading, and this gap between speeds won’t have much of an impact on your internet experience. But if you contribute a lot of content to the internet, you’ll be twiddling your thumbs.
|J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating|
|Requires phone plan|
Verizon vs. CenturyLink
CenturyLink covers over three times the number of states as Verizon, but there’s very little overlap in their coverage areas. While CenturyLink’s impressive 39-state jurisdiction concentrates in the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, and Midwest, Verizon clusters in New England and Mid-Atlantic states. If you happen to have your choice between the two providers, it’s essentially a choice between data, speeds, and rates. CenturyLink’s data limit is puny in comparison to Verizon’s, but its speeds are better suited for households with a lot of streaming and uploading needs. And while neither ask for a long-term commitment, CenturyLink offers to lock in a price for as long as you continue service, while Verizon’s no-contract model may leave you vulnerable to price hikes.
Verizon vs. Frontier
You would have to stage a data marathon to hit Verizon’s 1.5TB data limit. But if you’d rather have no ceiling than a really high one, Frontier offers unlimited data. Frontier’s DSL service is hamstrung by the same speed limits as Verizon, meaning you might not be able to consume much of that all-you-can-eat data. That said, Verizon and Frontier both generate speeds fast enough for most.
An average household of average users won’t have any trouble navigating multiple devices, even if two are streaming video simultaneously. Uploading is another story, and neither Frontier nor Verizon will be able to meet the demands of gamers or vloggers. Where Frontier and Verizon really diverge is on customer service. Verizon is the best in the biz; Frontier consistently gets its wrist slapped from ranking services like J.D. Power.
Verizon vs. AT&T
Only AT&T can hold a candle to Verizon’s customer service track record. In addition to high scores for communicativeness and billing clarity, it’s also making customers happy through its constantly improving speeds. Regular infrastructure improvements over the past several years means that its over 100 million customers (it’s the biggest DSL provider hands down) aren’t kept waiting on old technology.
That said, the speeds still aren’t stellar. But the handicap belongs to DSL and not AT&T per se. Its biggest plans can easily meet the speed needs of a mid-sized family. A high data allowance (a full TB) and lots of bundling options make AT&T a solid choice and a good equivalent to Verizon, but it’s not particularly worth comparing them head to head: the two coverage areas don’t overlap.
Verizon Internet FAQs
What is DSL internet?
DSL stands for digital subscriber line, it’s a type of internet technology that makes use of existing copper telephone wires. Like dial-up, it sends data back and forth between your computer and the internet by piggybacking on phone lines. But unlike old-fashioned dial-up, DSL transmits its data at a frequency separate from the one used for voice calls. It’s analogous to different wavelengths. The wavelength that brings your radio to life won’t interfere with the wavelength that microwaves your lunch. Using DSL internet won’t interfere with your landline, which is one improvement over dial-up. Another improvement is that it’s much faster.
There are several formats of DSL, but the one residential customers use is ADSL, Asymmetric DSL. It’s asymmetric because the speed of transferring data is typically a lot faster moving in one direction than the other. Upload speeds are slower across the board that download speeds: 3Mbps as compared to 24 Mbps, respectively.
What are Mbps?
It’s a long acronym for a tiny thing. Mbps, or megabits per second, refers to the speed your internet transfers megabits of data. Like it is with metric system, you have to pay attention to capitalization of acronyms to know how big of a bit you’re talking about. Mbps (little b) = Megabits per second. MBps (big B) = Megabytes per second — a megabit to the power of 8.
Is Verizon available where I live?
Verizon offers internet across 11 Mid Atlantic states: stretching from New York to Virginia, from Pennsylvania to the farthest peninsula of Massachusetts. Despite its relatively constrained geographic reach, Verizon is the 3rd largest residential DSL provider in the U.S. according to BroadbandNow.