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EarthLink was founded in 1994 by Sky Dayton. EarthLink introduced "the world's first open and direct Internet access software," EarthLink Software. They have progressed over the years offering different internet solutions, including DSL service, fiber optic internet, cable internet, as well as hyperlink internet for both residential consumers and businesses. Although EarthLink does not include satellite internet itself, the company offers HughesNet's satellite Internet service to those who may not have access to a stable internet connection via traditional means.


The Good

  • Download Speeds up to 15 Mbps
  • 70 GB Data Cap
  • SmartTechnologies
  • Purchase or Rent Equipment
  • Live Chat Customer Service

Download Speeds up to 15 Mbps

Please keep in mind that all prices and data plans will change depending on where you live. EarthLink offers a variety of different plans, and we will explain the prices and data we saw for one area. EarthLink has plans that feature download speeds as low as 5 Mbps and download speeds as high as 15 Mbps which is one of the higher download speeds known in the industry (without having to pay a speed boost). You will also see upload speeds between 1 to 2 Mbps with almost any Earthlink internet plan.

70 GB Data Cap

Another top feature that EarthLink offers is its monthly data allowance. The ISP's lowest plans feature around 50 GB of data for the month and the highest internet plan will give you a whole 70 GB of data to use for the month. If you are accustomed to going to bed late or getting up very early in the morning then you will benefit from the 50 GB of bonus bytes that you'll receive from any of the plans.


Since EarthLink is a reseller of internet service provider HughesNet, you will be able to take advantage of the SmartTechnologies that HughesNet has including SmartFetch, SmartCompression, SmartResources, SmartBrowsing:

  • SmartFetch helps you to have a smoother, faster online experience by loading web pages faster.
  • SmartCompression compresses the data you see online by up to 30 percent, helping you to use less of your data.
  • SmartResources allows you to monitor your data usage to make sure you have enough for what you want to do online. If you run out, you can easily replenish your data by purchasing tokens.
  • SmartBrowsing allows you to continue browsing the internet and emailing even if you've run out of data for the month.

Purchase or Rent Equipment

You will need to purchase or lease your satellite internet equipment with EarthLink. We appreciate that they give customers two different options for doing so.

Live Chat Customer Service

Also, if you need help checking out, EarthLink offers live customer chat to help out with all parts of acquiring satellite internet for your home.


The Bad

  • Installation/Equipment Fees
  • Crawling Upload Speed
  • Careful with Canceling
  • Bonus Bytes
  • Lacking Info for Token Prices

Installation/Equipment Fees

When trying to find a way to pay for your satellite internet, EarthLink gives you two options, buy or lease. If you decide to buy your satellite internet equipment then you will need to plan on forking out an early termination fee of $399.98. That is a lot of money to get started with this kind of service and proves to be quite the barrier of entry. If you decide to get a lease for your equipment then it will cost you $9.99 per month plus a one-time payment of $99. Competing companies usually charge $9.99 per month for renting the company's equipment but not the additional $99. And not only is there a $99 one-time payment for the equipment but you should expect another $99 payment for the installation. Beware of all the costs in order to get started with satellite internet.

Crawling Upload Speed

EarthLink demonstrates some of the slowest upload speeds in the industry. You will only find an upload speed between 1 and 2 Mbps depending on what plan you get. This is unfortunate if you are going to be wanting to upload pictures and videos. Competing companies in the industry offer upload speed up to 3 Mbps. Customers should note that slow internet speed is not uncommon with a developing technology like satellite internet.

Careful with Canceling

If you are an existing Earthlink customer and decide that EarthLink is not a good fit, you could be charged up to $400 within the first 90 days. If you return your leased equipment or have paid for your equipment, this fee is less. After 90 days, there is a $15 reduction on the cancellation fee, a type of prorated credit for canceling before your contract is up.

Bonus Bytes

While EarthLink offers 50 GB of bonus bytes that can be used between the hours of 2 am and 8 am, you could potentially run out of that data too. Competing satellite internet providers usually offer some kind of unmetered time where the data you use will not be counted and where you don't have to pay more to access it. Also, it is important to know that your download and upload speed will be slower than normal during your bonus byte time.

Lacking Info for Token Prices

Information that we felt was missing was how much it costs to buy additional data for high speed internet. If you run out of your data allowance and bonus bytes, it would be nice to know how much an additional GB of data costs so that you can possibly start off with or upgrade to a higher data plan instead buying a bunch of additional data in case you run out.


The Bottom Line

Overall if you are interested in fast download speed in the satellite internet industry then EarthLink is the satellite Internet provider you want to go with. Earthlink internet provides higher data allowance/caps compared to some competitors. You will also get access to some great features known as SmartTechnologies which can take your satellite internet to another level.

Also, EarthLink provides live chat on its site if you are needing help so be sure to take advantage of that. EarthLink offers a late night, early morning bonus bytes period, but even that has a data limit and slower upload and download speeds.

We would like to see a totally unmetered time during the day or night that gives great speeds. This means that you will have to make sure that you don't go over your data allotment within the month. It would help if EarthLink provided pricing on additional data so that you could plan accordingly with getting a plan.

Since EarthLink is just a reseller of HughesNet, we recommend reading verified Earthlink satellite internet reviews before signing up, or looking at other options for satellite internet if you'd rather not go through a third-party intermediary.

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Oh, we can connect you to high speed fiber at great rates. That’s the easy part. EarthLink is so much more than that, however, and it starts by valuing your privacy and security above everything else. EarthLink has partnered with Norton 360 and LifeLock to offer residential and business security solutions to meet demands of the modern internet.

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