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 for both residential consumers and businesses. EarthLink offers HughesNet's satellite Internet service to those that are interested in using satellite Internet. 

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The Good

  • Download speeds up to 15 Mbps
  • 70 GB data allowance/cap
  • SmartTechnologies
  • Purchase or rent equipment
  • Live chat customer service

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 their plans. Another top feature that EarthLink offers is their monthly data allowance. Their lowest plans feature around 50 GB of data for the month and their highest 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 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%, 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. If you need to continue browsing the internet and emailing but you've run out of data for the money, SmartBrowsing allows you to do those things even though you've run out of data for the month. 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. Also, if you need help checking out, EarthLink offers live chat to those on their site to help out with all parts of acquiring satellite internet for your home.

The Bad

  • Installation/equipment fees
  • Crawling upload speeds
  • Careful with canceling
  • Bonus bytes
  • Lacking info for token prices

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 $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 their 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.

EarthLink offers some of the slowest upload speeds in the industry. You will only find upload speeds 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.

If you decide that your EarthLink is not a good fit, you are charged $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.

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.

Information that we felt was missing was how much it costs to buy additional data. 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 speeds in the satellite internet industry then EarthLink is the satellite Internet provider you want to go with. They also offer a higher data allowance/cap compared to some of their 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 their 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 looking at other options for satellite internet so that you don't have to go through any third parties and whatnot.

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