Verizon Review | DSL Internet

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Anne Dennon

By Anne Dennon Home Technology Writer

Anne has covered home security and home automation for Reviews.com for two years. She’s interested in human-computer interaction and tech ethics. She previously worked in education and information literacy.

Verizon DSL Review

If you’ve ever experienced the headache of a telecom company with poor service and lousy communication, Verizon is the tonic you’ve been hoping for. Third-party rankings and customer reviews show Verizon excels at all the customer experience elements that its competitors fall short providing, 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 options — 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.

Features

Price $69 per month
Standout features
  • No contract
  • High data limit
  • Standard bundle with phone
  • Multiple bundling packages
  • Exceptional customer service ratings
Availability 10 states (including D.C.)
Ratings #1 in the Overall Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking in the East Region^
Download speeds 1.1 Mbps – 15 Mbps (speeds vary by location)
Upload speeds 384 Kbps – 3 Mbps
Fees
  • Early termination fee: None
  • Equipment fee: $30 for router (modem built in)
  • Installation fee: $99 (waived if eligible for self installation*)
  • Standard activation fee: $30 (waived if you sign-up online)
  • One time new HSI customers charge: $60

^ According to J.D. Power’s 2018 U.S. Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study, ratings vary based on region.

*You’ll get the self installation option only if your home is wired for the DSL service.

The Claim

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 113% of stated speeds. Verizon has three tiers of speed (1.1-3 Mbps, 3.1-7 Mbps, 7.1-15 Mbps), however, speeds are provided based on location, so a customer cannot choose which tier they prefer, instead, your location will dictate which speeds are available.

Verizon DSL Internet Pros

✓ Best for one or two average internet users who don’t do a ton of downloading. ✓ Great customer service ✓ No contract required ✓ No credit check required

Verizon DSL Internet Cons

✗ Not for heavy internet users who require a ton of upload and download speed. ✗ Compulsory phone service enrollment ✗ Pricier than most due to phone bundle

Excellent download rates

As far as DSL speeds go, Verizon Wireless performs well on the downloading side of the speed equation with its best plan offering up to 15 Mbps in some locations. 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 in keeping all the screens around your house lit up, connected, and free from buffering.

Free modem

Verizon charges a one-time fee of $30 for a router. The good news is, not only do you get to keep the router you purchase, but it also includes a built-in modem, which means you’ll be ready to connect to the internet right away without requiring any more equipment. 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.

Great customer service

Internet companies are infamous for their subpar, inconsistent, and oftentimes, downright frustrating customer service. Verizon strives to fix that reputation. Surveys from J.D. Power support their efforts: Verizon was ranked No. 1 in the 2018 Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study and in the 2018 U.S. Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study.

Verizon was awarded 750/1,000 points in the Residential Internet Survey when the industry standard is 711 (in the East Region). Verizon’s 750 is the highest score across all regions. We compared each internet provider against the rest of the industry and zoned-in on the providers who scored better than the average rating as determined by J.D. Power.

Possible Drawbacks

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 3 Mbps 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.

The Competition

Verizon
CenturyLink
Frontier
AT&T Internet
Availability
10 states (and
Washington D.C.)
38 states (and
Washington D.C.)
31 states
(not Washington D.C.)
21 states
(not Washington D.C.)
Download speeds
0.5 – 15 Mbps
12 – 200 Mbps
0.5 – 115 Mbps
768K – 100 Mbps
Upload speeds
256KB – 3 Mbps
0.512KB – 25 Mbps
0.384 – 3 Mbps
.128k – 20 Mbps
Actual speeds
113% of advertised
94% of advertised
90% of advertised
108% of advertised
Contract length
None
1 month
2 years
1 year
Data cap
1.5 TB
1 TB
None
1 TB
J.D. Power overall customer satisfaction rating*
5/5
2/5
2/5
4/5
Requires phone plan

* According to J.D. Power’s 2018 U.S. Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study, ratings vary based on region.

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. Not to mention, Centurylink does not require you to order phone services, like Verizon does. 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 depending on your location. 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 FAQ

The Bottom Line

Verizon is the perfect DSL internet solution if you’re looking to bundle internet with phone service, have average upload speed needs, and don’t want to be tied down with a contract. Its downloading speeds are more impressive than upload speeds across the board, but together provide enough bandwidth for the internet habits of the majority. More impressive than any of Verizon’s hard offerings is its customer experience track record. In an industry where opaque and even unfair customer treatment is all too common, Verizon makes time for communication and clarity.