If you’re looking to surf the web with the speeds of gale-force winds, Windstream Internet may be an option for you to consider. Our Windstream review looks at a company in business since 2006 with several high-quality internet options for just under half the states in America.
Some of the highlights include no data caps, bundling discounts, no long-term contracts, and easy-to-understand plan options. Pricing depends heavily on where you’re located within the service area, which makes the comparison to other companies a bit of a challenge. Speed-wise, even the slowest advertised plan carries 200 Mbps of download speed, which is more than enough for most casual internet users.Overall, Windstream is certainly a competitor that should make your shortlist of potential internet service providers (ISPs) if you fall within the service area.
Windstream Internet Overview
Currently, Windstream doesn’t have much for ratings from some of the major players in the oversight industry like J.D. Power and the Better Business Bureau. Part of this could be because the company went through bankruptcy and restructuring as a private company that started last year and was finally approved by a judge a few months back.
While this might sound like a red flag, the new plan significantly lowers the company’s debt and gives Windstream access to $2 billion to expand the Gig internet service to rural parts of the country. In other words, the company is using the bankruptcy as an opportunity to create a stronger product for its current customers and deliver better service to other parts of America. Specifically, it looks like the company is aiming to bring enhanced coverage to rural parts of America that are often overlooked by ISPs.
- No long-term contracts: month-to-month, cancel anytime
- Bundling deals available for customers also looking for TV and phone service
- Options available for residential, business, enterprise, or wholesale
- Variable pricing based on your location
- Service is limited to some communities across 21 different states
- North Carolina
- New Mexico
- New York
- South Carolina
Windstream Internet Plans and Prices
|Plan||Download Speed||Price||Number of Devices Supported|
|Kinetic 200||200 Mbps||Varies||N/A|
|Kinetic 500||500 Mbps||Varies||N/A|
|Kinetic GIG||1 Gig (1,000 Mbps)||Varies||N/A|
|*Data accurate as of 9/21/2020|
Windstream Speeds and Data Caps
|Plan||Upload Speed||Download Speed||Data Cap|
|Kinetic 200||Not listed||200 Mbps||No Cap|
|Kinetic 500||Not listed||500 Mbps||No Cap|
|Kinetic GIG||Not listed||1 Gig (1,000 Mbps)||No Cap|
|*Date effective as of 9/21/2020|
Windstream estimated speeds
With Windstream, you’ve got three different options when it comes to speed: 200 Mbps, 500 Mbps, or the 1 Gig plan. While this is fewer options than some other providers, it’s really all you need. You’ve got a slower and more affordable option, a middle of the road option, and for those looking to increase their internet speed to the max, an option for that. Some providers offer way more flexibility, which sounds good in theory, but may be overkill with too many options.
The company doesn’t list upload speeds, but we expect them to be on par with the rest of the ISP industry leaders.
A concern you need to consider when looking at internet providers is whether there is a cap on the amount of data you can use every month. When it comes to Windstream, all plans have no data caps and no overage charges.
Additionally, the company states it doesn’t manage network congestion by reducing the speed on higher-data-using customers (a practice known as throttling).
Our Pick for Windstream Internet Plan
- Kinetic Gig — Best for streaming, gaming, and video meetings
- Kinetic 200 — Best for everyday use like social media, research, email, and streaming
Windstream Internet Highlights
One of the great features uncovered during our Windstream internet reviews is that there are no long-term contracts. Each of the three available residential internet accounts operates on a month-to-month basis, which gives you the user a lot of flexibility. If you’re not happy with your service, you can contact the company and cancel it.
- Varies by contract — No additional details provided by website or customer service
Compared with other ISP companies, Windstream has a comparable number of complaints on some of the major sources like the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Unfortunately, the details for those complaints have been hidden from the BBB website and marked as resolved or answered. While it’s good to see that the company is taking an active approach to handling complaints, it would be nice to be able to see what people were struggling with.
If you choose to get your internet through Windstream and run into the need for support, you do have several avenues to get assistance. The company offers phone support, live chat, email, and FAQs to help. One thing that’s nice about the phone support is that all agents seem well-trained and fluent in English.
The agents do even take down a phone number at the beginning of your call to call you back in case you get disconnected. While this is great in theory, we were disconnected during the review process and didn’t receive a callback. One-off instance? Maybe, but it didn’t leave a good impression.
Starting at $9.99 per month, the company offers Kinetic Secure by Windstream. The service provides added security enhancements to help beef up the quality of your online experience. Tenets of the service include parental controls, enhanced browsing protection, identity theft protection, and an upgraded tech support experience. While these are things we think would be better off just included with the service, it’s still nice to know they’re available options.
Additionally, the company offers TV and phone services that can be bundled with any of the internet plans for additional service and savings.
For business and enterprise-level customers, Windstream offers several customizable and scalable plans to meet your internet needs. Fiber internet starts at $49.99 monthly with a two-year commitment.
Windstream vs. Competitors
|Starting Price||Availability||Download Speeds||Connection||Contract|
|Windstream||Varies by location||21 states||200-1,000 Mbps||DSL, Fiber||Month-to-month|
|AT&T||$50||21 states||768 – 940 mbps||DSL, Fiber||1 year|
|CenturyLink||$49||36 states||1.5 Mbps – 940 Mbps||DSL, Fiber||None|
|Xfinity||$20||40 states||25 Mbps – 940 Mbps||Cable, Fiber||1 year|
|Spectrum||$50||46 states||30 Mbps – 940 Mbps||Cable||None|
*Prices for stand-alone internet service, current as of 9/21/2020. Prices may vary by location. Contract length may vary, and it’s subject to the starting price presented above.
Is Windstream Internet Any Good?
From our Windstream Internet review, it looks like the company is certainly a contender when it comes to ISP options.
The company offers three great options that each meets a different service need. Windstream has a “slower” option for people that don’t have high-speed needs. Above that, there’s a middle-of-the-road option and a high-speed option that is on par with the fastest options on the market.
It’s also important to note that the “slowest” advertised option is still faster than the speeds you’ll get with other companies (200 Mbps). With these speeds, you can still download an entire HD movie in less than one minute.
So, overall, Windstream is certainly a good option. It would be nice to see more accessible pricing, and for the company to expand service beyond the 21 states it currently services.
Windstream’s best plan depends on your needs. Unless you’re a heavy gamer or have high streaming demands, the most basic Kinetic 200 Mbps plan should be more than enough speed. The price of this plan depends on where you’re located within the company’s 21-state coverage area.
Currently, you can get Windstream service in 21 different states across the U.S. Most of the states are located in the eastern half of the U.S., the midwest, and the southwest. While service is offered in these states, it’s not available in every community. You will need to check with the company to see if your address is included in the coverage area.
Windstream’s Kinetic Internet is the company’s high-speed home and business internet solution. For residential, service comes in three separate plans with download speeds ranging from 200 Mbps to 1 Gig.
Windstream offers DSL and fiber internet options.