Is TDS Internet worth the switch in 2021? We answer all your questions and more with our review of TDS internet then if you are looking for a second opinion then stay tuned for this in-depth review. We don’t leave a single stone unturned and see if this is the right ISP for you.
TDS Telecom service is a company that provides internet, TV and telephone services to all kinds of people including home-based business owners. If you need all these services combined, you can opt for the bundle packages to meet every demand.
TDA Telecom provides fiber, cable and DSL internet access to a couple of states in the US. They do provide a nice and varied selection of internet packages. The only things you will have to keep an eye out for are the quite high prices for the cable and DSL internet deals that don’t match the speeds you get.
Like any other internet provider, they offer bundled services to help customers enjoy lower prices. But the main concerns arising from the customers is the spotty customer service, steep pricing for some of the plans and hidden fees. Well, we will take an in-depth look at the TDS Telecom services, packages, pricing, equipment, service fees and so on to ensure you are properly informed before making a purchase. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what TDS has to offer its customers.
The very first thing you would want to know is if TDS is near you. TDS Telecom offers its services in about 27 states in the US with the largest coverage being in Tennessee, Michigan and Wisconsin. The DSL internet from TDS Telecom is basically available to approximately 2.2 million people and this makes it the 10th largest residential provider in the US by coverage.
Aside from DSL, TDS offers fiber and cable internet services to its US-based customers. The fiber service is accessible to an estimated 559,000 people and this puts it on the map as the 20th largest provider of fiber internet service in the US by coverage area. On the other hand, the cable service is available to an estimated 509,000 people. If coverage area is anything to go by, TDS Telecom seems to be doing quite well for itself.
Packages and Pricing
The type of internet service you receive from TDS will depend on your current location and address. The best internet packages you can get are obviously the fiber internet, but the only issue is that this service has limited coverage. It’s definitely not available in many of the locations and mostly limited to towns or cities. On the other hand, the cable and DSL services are left to cover the rural and suburban areas.
Essentially, there are a variety of customers with different internet needs. TDS ensures it caters to the varied needs of its customers through the twelve different internet package options. The basic package costs about $29.95 per month while the 1 Gig fiber internet packages come at a cost of $109.95 per month.
Their internet packages cover everyone starting from the most subtle broadband users to the heavy users. To give you a clear picture of exactly what we are talking about, here is an outline of the internet packages and their pricing;
|Telecom Turbo internet||15 Mbps||$29.95 per month|
|Telecom Match Internet||25 Mbps||$39.95 per month|
|Extreme50 Fiber internet||50 Mbps||$44.95 per month|
|Extreme100 Fiber internet||100 Mbps||$45.00 per month|
|Extreme300 Fiber internet||300 Mbps||$85.00 per month|
|1 Gig Fiber internet||1,000 Mbps||$109.95 per month|
The Turbo internet package
For the light internet users who only want broadband for occasional browsing, checking emails and shopping online, the Turbo internet package is the best fit. It’s more than enough internet to support a few connected devices and speeds of up to 15 Mbps. The upload speeds range between 768 kbps to 2 Mbps which will also do a good job at streaming music and chatting on social media platforms.
15 Mbps internet speeds for $29.99 a month don’t seem that bad. It’s actually affordable for most but remember this is only a promotional rate bound to last for the first year of your 2-year contract. After the first year is over, the price will automatically go up to a regular rate of $59.95 for the entire second year. Therefore, while purchasing this package, keep that at the back of your mind.
The 1 Gig fiber package
The 1 Gig fiber internet package is for the advanced users and the home-based business owners looking for a reliable internet connection. It consists of 1Gbps download speed and 400Mbps upload speeds. Aside from the incredibly fast speeds, there are more reasons why people opt for this package. It can support unlimited users and multiple devices connected to the network. It’s also the best for UltraHD or 4k streaming and endless gaming.
The regular rate for this package is $109.95 but it’s offered at a lower price of $89.95 for the promotional period of two years. This is a juicy perk and if you can get a hold of it, you will be saving immensely.
Note that TDS makes it mandatory for its customers to get a phone line together with their internet packages. This is not good news for the people who already have a phone line provider and did not wish to get another one. However, that is their policy and you can either take the deal as it’s offered or not.
Each of the packages has its maximum speeds which are mentioned on the official website. Though, in some areas, people are likely to experience slower speeds than what’s advertised. That said, the speeds you receive will depend on several factors such as the number of users per network node, distance from the switching location and the technology in which the services are delivered. You have a chance to try out the TDS telecom services for 30 days without any commitments and that should give you time to decide if it’s what you want.
Equipment and service fees
For all the TDS internet plans, they provide a wifi modem that you can rent. With that in mind, the rental price for the modem will vary depending on the type of internet service.
- The modem price for the DSL plans is $6.95 per month
- The modem price for the fiber internet plans is $8 per month
- The modem price for the cable internet plans is $10 per month
Renting is a good option for users who don’t intend to stray with the company for long. On the other hand, buying your own modem will save you money in the long run compared to renting it. Remember, providers typically have particular brands that are compatible with their services and that’s why renting is for the people who move regularly, while stable households can buy their own equipment. It’s a matter of determining which category you fall.
There have been several reports of TDS having hidden fees that the customers are not aware of. Well, if you see anything on your bill that you are not sure where it’s coming from, it’s always a good idea to call customer service and inquire. There is no activation fee but you have to pay $14.95 one-time setup fee and this applies to all the internet packages.
Since you have to sign a two-year contract for the internet packages, expect cancellation fees. If you are planning on switching to another provider before the end of your contract, take the time to check the early termination fees. According to the TDS Terms of Service, you have to pay an amount that is equal to the applicable charge for service as initially ordered. In other words, you have to buy yourself out of the contract.
In addition, be aware of the promotional rate especially if you want to stick with this provider for years. The final monthly price or regular rate should be given more weight. The promotional rate may seem like a good deal but won’t save you much if you have to pay a high price for the following years.
- It’s available in the rural areas
- Fiber to the home option
- Flexible services that allow you to mix and match in bundles
- Lots of hidden fees
- Comparatively high prices
- Poor customer service
Features and benefits of TDS Telecom
Home internet security
The home internet is usually susceptible to all kinds of cybercriminals. The home internet security feature from TDS protects your sensitive information such as passwords, usernames and payment information. For every plan, this feature is free during the first 30 days and after that costs $5.95 per month.
TDS offers 200GB of online storage to its users. The app is more or less similar to the other backup solutions and once you install it, you can back up your data in its folder. In case you no longer need the service, cancel it and remove the backed up data from their cloud storage within 90 days. After that period is over, you can’t access the data.
Identity theft protection
Identity theft is rampant nowadays and people have to be more careful with their personal information. This service is focused on offering protection against credit card fraud. It also prevents the loss of personal information. Any time someone tries to use a credit card with your credentials, you get an instant phone call to alert you of this attempt. This means that the card can only be used after you authorize it. Furthermore, if it’s not you, there is room for a full investigation to be carried out and the culprits apprehended. The best part of it is that this service is available for both children and adults.
I believe we all want the best wifi for our homes. The premium wifi from TDS offers faster speeds and the best wifi optimization. They will have a technician visit your home and determine the best position for your gateway to ensure optimal coverage. Aside from that, you have unlimited access to their wifi experts who will proceed to help you with any issues on your network or when it’s not performing well.
Not everyone is tech-savvy and some might actually need help with their PCs. The TDS PC support plan allows technicians from your company to remotely connect to your devices and resolve the issues you are experiencing. The PC support plan includes virus removal, malware, spyware, PC optimization and setting up your devices like the PC, gaming console and phone. Keep in mind, its only remote access and home visits are not part of the plan.
In case you are experiencing any issues, you can reach the TDS customer service through email, chat and phone. In addition, there is a self-service section on their website that covers different topics like setting up emails, internet, your account, settings, phone and TV. If you set aside enough time to look at the sections, you will most likely find what you are looking for.
With that said, many of the customers are unpleased with the customer support service and would like TDS to improve on it. For instance, there are complaints about customer calls being put on hold for over 30 minutes or people having to make multiple calls before their issues are resolved. Other issues reported include constant internet outages, slower than advertised speeds and billing issues.
Why is TDS internet so slow?
If your internet seems too slow, there is a possibility you have connected too many devices on your TDS network. Disconnect some of the devices when they are not in use.
Is TDS cable or DSL?
TDS offers both cable and DSL internet services to its customers across the different states in the US.
What is TDS TV service?
It is advanced home entertainment powered by IPTV technology and offers super clear sound and picture.
If you live within the TDS fiber area, their fiber package is a great option. However, since they cater to so many rural areas, there are typically too many users on their network resulting in poor speeds. For the people who want other services apart from fiber, it will be way better to look for other alternatives. But if it’s your only option, bundling services will save you more money.