Earthlink vs. AT&T: Which ISP Is Better?

High-speed internet access is one of the necessities in this modern era, and you need to compare several providers, like Earthlink vs. AT&T, before deciding which contract to sign. 

Ideally, you should pick a premium internet service provider with packages well-suited for general browsing, online gaming, and streaming. 

Since Earthlink and AT&T are some of the best ISPs in the US, we will compare them to determine which internet provider gives you a better deal. Read on to learn more!

Table of Contents

Founded in 1994, Earthlink is one of the pioneer internet companies. It is currently available in close to 80 million households in the US, making it one of the most available internet providers in the market.

The company’s DSL internet is available in all 50 states, while its fiber internet covers 30 states.

A DSL modem

Earthlink uses the infrastructure of other internet providers to avail its internet service network, making it present in more US states than other ISPs who rely on their infrastructure.

Unlike most ISPs, Earthlink only deals with internet services. Some customers prefer this business model because it offers reliable, high-speed internet without bundling it with cable TV or home phone plans.

A cable TV box

A cable TV box

Without these extra services, customers also get more transparent pricing, plus zero price increments (no introductory rates) along the way.

Earthlink’s fiber internet plans are expensive, plus the fiber and wireless plans differ depending on the location.

So you might only get wireless coverage in some areas (usually urban) and fiber plans in other developed areas, but with different costs.

The only way to find out is to input your address on their website first to check your area rates. Besides these two, there are high-speed cable, satellite, and telecom internet options.


One advantage of Earthlink internet is it has unlimited data plans for fiber internet. So you don’t have to worry about costly overage fees if you stream or download content daily.

You also get free spam & virus protection, secure & private email, and world-class customer support.

A router with a fiber optic cable connected

A router with a fiber optic cable connected

Prices start from $54.95 monthly for 25Mbps and go up to $189.95 for 5Gbps for the fiber plans.

Wireless Home Internet

You can pick from either of these four data plan options if your area has wireless Earthlink internet coverage.

  • 100GB for $69.95
  • 150GB for $89.95
  • 200GB for $119.95
  • 300GB for $169.95

Satellite Internet

Earthlink satellite internet is ideal for rural or sparsely populated areas in the US, and it has several packages split into limited and unlimited data plans. The former satellite internet plans range from 15GB to 300GB monthly, and the download speeds can go up to 100Mbps. However, the long signal distance to and from the satellite increases the ping. So this option is not the best for online gaming and other latency-sensitive applications.

A dish for satellite internet

A dish for satellite internet

Extra Fees and Contracts

Earthlink fiber and satellite internet plans require a 1-year contract. Only the wireless home internet option lacks this 12-month contract, which means no early termination fees. As for fiber and satellite internet, early termination fees can cost up to $200.

You can use your modem with this ISP or rent it out with the other required equipment for $6.95.

An ISP’s wireless ADSL router

An ISP’s wireless ADSL router

Other expenses include a one-time installation fee of $79.95, which covers the complete installation of cables and hardware.


After signing up for the service provider, you’ll get a $100 Mastercard gift card.

AT&T Internet

Founded in 1996, AT&T rose to the top by partnering with companies like Synacor to expand its internet service business.

Currently, the company ranks among the top for residential DSL and fiber internet coverage in the US (it covers over 120 million people), with fiber available in 21 states.

AT&T is also known for its phone service and recently started offering cable.

So customers usually get several internet service plan bundles with home phone, mobile phone, and TV services.

But it is still possible to buy either of the three services independently.

A telecommunication tower used to provide cellular network

A telecommunication tower used to provide cellular network

However, bundling the services in a single plan creates good discounts on the package price compared to buying the services a la carte.

Additionally, it gives customers an easier time paying the bills because you only need to pay once, not for each service independently.

So most people prefer bundles when subscribing to AT&T internet.

AT&T Internet Plans


Like Earthlink, AT&T has a fiber internet service. But it has slightly cheaper rates because 300Mbps only costs $55 monthly (plus taxes), while 500Mbps goes for $65. And these two come with a $100 reward card.

A technician checking code numbers on fiber optic cable lines

A technician checking code numbers on fiber optic cable lines

The other options are up to 1Gbps, 2Gbps, and 5Gbps for $80, $110, and $180, respectively. And they come with a $150 reward card.

However, not all addresses can access high-speed fiber internet. Depending on your location, you might only get the internet 25, 50, or 100 packages with speeds of 25Mbps, 50Mbps, and 100Mbps, respectively.

All these packages cost $55 monthly for a 12-month contract. And these three packages have a 1.5TB internet data cap monthly.

Fixed Wireless Internet

If you prefer wireless internet plans, you can subscribe to the Standalone or Bundled wireless service for $69.99 (plus taxes) or $59.99 monthly, respectively.

Both have download speeds of 10Mbps and can connect to 2-3 devices.

Telecommunication antennas used for wireless internet

Telecommunication antennas used for wireless internet

These two plans have a 350GB internet data cap with overage charges of $10 per 50GB up to $200 maximum monthly.

Extra Fees and Contracts

AT&T’s variety of internet plans come with a 12-month contract minimum. Their agreements can go up to 24 months for those who don’t mind long-term contracts.

Terminating these contracts can attract ETFs of $325 minus $10 for each fully paid month for a smartphone with data service.

But the fee is lower for tablets, basic phones, wireless internet, mobile hotspot, or any other connected device. It adds to $150 minus $4 for each fully paid month during the contract period.

And keep in mind installation is not free unless you do it yourself. A professional installation costs $99, which is higher than what you’d pay for Earthlink.

A technician installing fiber internet in a home

A technician installing fiber internet in a home


Earthlink might seem like the most expensive option, but it might give you a better deal if you factor in all costs, including early termination fees.

Additionally, the internet provider offers more straightforward pricing with no data caps on their fiber internet.

But AT&T data plans might give you more value for money if you prefer internet bundles with phone and TV services.

Both ISPs offer high-quality internet service but they sort of target specific customers. So determine what you need first, then pick the ISP with the right package at an affordable price. 

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