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Windstream vs AT&T

Windstream vs AT&T – Whos The Best Internet Services?

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Windstream and AT&T have so much in common and this often makes it hard to choose. For instance, both companies provide high-speed internet with gigabit speeds as well as the DSL internet for those who need an affordable option.

They also have a variety of internet-only plans that you can choose from. However, these internet providers may seem almost similar in the service they offer but there are key differences that set them apart. The best way to find out is by comparing the Windstream and AT&T internet side by side. Read on for more details on this.

Windstream Internet overview

Windstream has always been known as the internet company that chose to take on a different footing. While many of the internet providers prefer to focus their services in the metropolitans, Windstream keeps the folks in the countryside connected. The company offers both DSL and fiber internet to people in various parts across the US. However, its main focus is providing DSL coverage to the rural parts of the country.

AT&T Internet overview

AT&T is one of the largest internet service providers in the US. It takes second place as the largest provider of the fiber optic internet service in the country. Considering the speeds and reliability that come with the fiber network, it’s easy to deduce this is not a small company. It’s an internet provider that is well established and has served the US residents for years. Over the past few years, this company has grown both its DSL and fiber network. This in turn has increased its customer portfolio.

Availability & Coverage

AT&T Internet is accessible to about 21 states in the US and this includes large metros such as California. It’s essentially the second largest provider of the DSL internet and among the top providers of high-speed fiber internet service. While its fiber-optic service has quite a limited coverage area, AT&T continues striving to increase its connections.

Windstream, on the other hand, is available in about 18 states across the US. It’s the 6th largest provider of the DSL internet. There is a good chance you will find the Windstream internet service in many of the rural regions. Approximately 13.7 million people have access to the Windstream DSL service. You will agree with me that this is relatively a huge number of people. Another estimated 1.7 million people are lucky enough to have access to its fiber internet. This in turn makes it the 7th largest provider of the service.

Compare Internet speeds

Windstream offers various plans and this means there are different speeds to meet each user’s internet requirements. The starting speed for the kinetic internet is 15 Mbps. This is enough for a small household with less than average internet usage. Activities such as checking emails and browsing the web can be done with ease.

For the people who require higher speeds, there are 100 Mbps, 200 Mbps, 400 Mbps, and 500 Mbps. Any of these speeds are suitable for things like HD video streaming, online gaming, and large file downloads.

With AT&T, you are not likely to find a wide range of speed options. There are only two solid plans with speeds of 100 Mbps and 1000 Mbps respectively. What you get mainly depends on the location. If you stay in the metropolitans or big cities, there is a great possibility you will get the gigabit speeds or something close to it. But the folks in the countryside and rural areas have to deal with the 100 Mbps DSL internets.

Keep in mind, there is no guarantee you will get the full 100 Mbps to download speeds. Depending on the area, you might be connected to only 18 Mbps or a lucky 50 Mbps. What happens is the company connects users to the fastest speeds that can be found in a particular area.

Fastest internet plans

Both Windstream and AT&T provide gigabit internet plans in a few select areas. They use the fiber optic network to offer high-speed internet to their customers, which is a good thing for the tech-savvy people. This type of internet is mainly accessible in big cities and metros. Rural areas are always left out in the dark and have to bear with rather a slow DSL or satellite internet.

While both companies offer plans with gigabit speeds, some people may want to know the best between the two. On its website, Windstream advertises that its Kinetic Gig plans comes with speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps and allows a simultaneous connection of more than ten devices. On the other hand, the AT&T internet 1,000 fiber plans come with download speeds of up to 940 Mbps and 880 Mbps upload speeds. Similar to Windstream, this plan is limited to only a few areas.

I believe both companies compare favorably in this category. For instance, they both have high-speed fiber plans with speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps. Remember, there’s a possibility you might not hit the gigabit mark.

However, AT&T and Windstream scored quite highly in a recent report released by the Federal Communications Commission. Windstream had a score of 95.6% in the actual to advertised speeds category. This indicates you most likely get the speeds you pay for. AT&T had a score of 108.9% according to the FCC report. Imagine paying for 940 Mbps download speeds only to receive higher than that. That’s what AT&T is giving its customers.

From this data, it’s easy to say both companies offer reliable high-speed internet plans.

Cheapest internet plans

Whether its high-speed fiber internet or simply DSL, many of us look at the cost we will incur with each internet plan. Take for instance a household with just two people who will be using about two connections simultaneously. In such a scenario, there is no need to go for the Gig plan. The Windstream basic internet plan has a starting price of $25 per month with download speeds of about 15 Mbps. This is typically enough for a small household or people who only want to check their emails.

On the other side, AT&T has only two plans with the most basic one having download speeds of up to 100 Mbps. The cost of this plan is roughly $50 per month but the speeds are not guaranteed. AT&T will try its best to get you connected on the maximum speeds in the area but this can be 25 Mbps or lower. Those in luck hit the 100 Mbps mark.

When it comes to the Gig plans, you get to pay about $75 for Windstream’s Kinetic gig and $50 for the AT&T’s Internet 1000. When compared to Windstream and other ISPs in the market, AT&T offers one of the cheapest 1,000 Mbps plans. You will barely find this price anywhere else. Also, its 100 Mbps plan is in line with many of the competing internet providers including Windstream. Though, I will give Windstream credit for the most affordable basic plans.

With that in mind, it’s a bit difficult to pinpoint which of these two providers has the cheapest internet plans. This is because the prices largely vary with different locations.

which is best Windstream or AT&T

Data allowance and value for money

Data caps

Windstream has absolutely no data caps for all its internet plans. If you asked me, I would say this is good news. Customers can finally use their internet in peace without worrying about overage fees. Conversely, AT&T only provides unlimited data to the subscribers who opt for the fiber plans. You can also decide to bundle internet with TV service if you want to skip the data caps. Otherwise, there will be a 1TB data limit for the 100 Mbps plan.

If you don’t like data caps, you might as well sign up with Windstream and enjoy its unlimited data. But, it’s hard to surpass one terabyte of data in a single month. A normal household wouldn’t get past it unless you all like downloading HD movies and gaming online. Every additional 50GB of data is charged $10.

Contracts, equipment and service fees

AT&T requires you to sign a one year contract for either of its plans. Well, this isn’t exactly appealing since many other ISPs have contract-free options. The equipment rental fee is $10 per month for a modem and router combo. If you thought we’re done with the fees, you’re dead wrong. There is more to come. For starters, professional installation costs $99 which is quite a hefty amount or pay $35 as an activation fee when you do your installation. For the contract plans, the early termination fee is $15 for each one of the months that are left on the contract.

Moving on to Windstream; the first thing is you don’t have to worry about an early termination fee. The company charges anyone who wishes to rent equipment $10 a month. I wasn’t particularly impressed with the$50 activation fee. This is a huge amount compared to what AT&T charges. Professional installation may cost anything from $35 to $65.

The Windstream fees seem standard, but the advertised prices are usually promotional and set to go up after the first 12 months. AT&T appears to be more reliable with its prices but you can never be too sure with these internet service providers.

Customer service

Typically, no internet service company does not have its fair share of complaints from customers. Windstream and AT&T are no exception. Notwithstanding, AT&T appears to have put its best foot forward in the customer service category. The latest report from the American customer satisfaction index gave AT&T a score of 69/100. In case you didn’t know, this is a top score and few ISPs get to achieve this.

Windstream’s ACSI score was 57/100. This puts its customer service close to the bottom rank of the list compared to its counterparts. With that said, there are a couple of customers who are happy with the service. Equally, you won’t lack several complaints about its service on the internet. The main issue seems to be extremely slow speeds, unhelpful customer service reps, and sudden price hikes. One user claims the Windstream internet tends to constantly slow down and loses connection from time to time. Still, customer service does very little to rectify this problem.

Similar providers

Verizon FiOS

People with small to middle-sized businesses or large households can greatly benefit from the Verizon fiber optic internet service. It will offer you incredibly fast internet speeds and the reliability you will not find with other providers.


With CenturyLink, you no longer have to face frustrations associated with unexpected price hikes. All you have to do is get locked in the Price for Life Guarantee and enjoy constant internet prices for as long as you want.


Frontier brings to the table some pretty wonderful perks such as unlimited data and contracts free plans. Also, the company provides an array of speed options for users to choose what works for them. Great!

Windstream pros

  • No signing contracts for its internet plans
  • Unlimited data
  • Available in the rural regions
  • An array of speed options

Windstream cons

  • Price hikes after 12 months
  • Incompetent customer service
  • The prices tend to vary with different locations

AT&T Pros

  • Reasonably priced internet plans
  • Good bundle options
  • Provides high-speed fiber internet service
  • Unlimited data for the fiber plan

AT&T cons

  • The 100 Mbps plan might have super slow speeds
  • There is a data cap on the DSL plans

Windstream vs AT&T comparing ISPs

Frequently asked questions

Can I use my router with Windstream?

Yes, you are allowed to purchase your equipment. This might save you lots of money in the long run. However, ensure the router you buy is compatible with the kind of service you receive from Windstream.

Is AT&T internet fast?

In most cases, AT&T will deliver the advertised speeds. Nevertheless, the up to 100 Mbps plan will give you anything between 15 Mbps and 100 Mbps depending on the fastest download speeds that can be found in your area. You can also get the fiber plan with speeds of up to 940 Mbps.

Is AT&T better than Windstream Internet?

It’s hard to determine the winner in the case of AT&T and Windstream. The two of them offer super-fast Internet at a-1fordable prices. Though, you can use some factors like data caps and availability to make the decision.


Windstream is the perfect provider for the people who are on a strict budget or just need affordable internet. Though, since their prices chance with each location, quickly check their website to determine the price for your area. AT&T has the best Gig plan and it’s reasonably priced too. Whenever you want super-fast internet speeds, look its way.

What Internet Service is Available in My Area?


Jill Burns
Jill Burns
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My internet and cable provider that shall not be named was raising my monthly bill. I later found out that there were were better discounts with no contracts. Now I'm only paying a fixed $92 dollars a month for cable and internet
John Hollaway
John Hollaway
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Without warning from the provider, I get a bill thats $30 more expensive than the last month. I had a word with the customer service about the constant drop outs My friend told me about your website Theme Scene and now im getting wifi for $29 per month
Marie Williams
Marie Williams
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If I called you earlier I would have saved myself 10 months of grief with my previous provider. Thank you

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