Windstream is among the largest rural internet providers in the US serving residential and business customers in 18 states. It primarily provides broadband internet over telephone lines using DSL technologies but is also overbuilding its networks with fiber in many areas.
The speeds and reliability of Windstream Internet vary by location. However, the offers, policies, and promotions are the same across its markets.
In this review, we provide an overview of Windstream Internet and WiFi, list the prominent features, and discuss the options you have. Let’s dive in!
Windstream Internet uses two different technologies depending on the service area. The quality of the service depends on which technology is used where you live.
Windstream DSL Internet
DSL or Digital Subscriber Line uses telephone cables to provide broadband internet service. Its capabilities are limited compared to fiber and cable internet, but it’s still faster and more reliable than other internet options typically available in rural areas.
Windstream DSL internet comes with a maximum download speed of 100 Mbps. However, the maximum speed depends on where you live, and DSL connections get slower the farther you’re located from the head office.
This internet option works well for basic tasks such as web browsing, social media, video streaming, file sharing, etc. However, downloads may be slower and you may not be able to stream in ultra HD during peak usage times.
Windstream Fiber Internet
Windstream is in the process of building fiber networks on top of its DSL lines. Currently, Windstream Fiber Internet is only available in select markets. Windstream customer service can tell you more about what type of connections are used in your area.
Where it is available, Windstream Fiber is as fast as fiber internet gets. They just launched a new 8 Gbps plan that’s available to around 400,00 homes, which is more coverage than any other 8-gig ISP has been able to achieve. Plans start at the same monthly rate as the DSk option with speeds starting from 500 Mbps, which makes it considerably cheaper than other comparable ISPs such as CenturyLink and TDS. It’s also symmetrical, which means the same upload and download speeds.
Affordable Fiber Internet
Windstream Fiber Internet starts at just $39.99 for 12 months. By comparison, CenturyLink’s fiber product (Quantum Fiber) costs $75 per month while TDS charges $55 per month for its 600 Mbps fiber plan. Windstream Kinetic Internet Basic (100 Mbps) also costs $39.99 per month for 12 months.
Windstream internet, whether delivered via telephone lines or fiber-optic cables, includes unlimited data. There’s no data cap and no extra fees if you use too much data.
Windstream fiber internet is based on XGS-PON, an advanced fiber-optic internet technology capable of symmetrical speeds up to 10 Gbps. All Windstream fiber internet plans are symmetrical, even the colossal 8 Gbps tier.
Windstream’s high-bandwidth network ensures that there’s sufficient bandwidth in the network even when everyone is watching their favorite shows in 4K. Speeds stay consistent and sufficient round the clock.
Kinetic Internet Basic (DSL)
At $39.99 per month for the first year, Windstream’s Kinetic Internet Basic plan offers a decent entry-level option. With a maximum speed of 100 Mbps, it should be sufficient for light internet users or small households with basic online needs. However, keep in mind that DSL speeds can be influenced by your distance from the provider’s central office.
Kinetic Fiber Internet
Priced at $39.99 per month for the first year, the Kinetic Fiber Internet plan provides a significant speed boost with a maximum of 500 Mbps. This plan is suitable for households with moderate to heavy internet usage, such as streaming, online gaming, or multiple connected devices.
Kinetic Fiber Internet GIG
For users craving high-speed internet, the Kinetic Fiber Internet GIG plan at $69.99 per month for the first year offers a blazing-fast 1000 Mbps. This plan is well-suited for power users, gamers, and households with a multitude of devices that demand high bandwidth.
Kinetic Fiber Internet 2 GIG
With a staggering maximum speed of 2000 Mbps, the Kinetic Fiber Internet 2 GIG plan is designed for those who require top-tier performance. However, the price varies by location, so it’s essential to check the specific cost for your area. This plan is a powerhouse, ideal for intensive activities like 4K streaming and large file downloads.
Kinetic Fiber Internet 8 GIG
For the ultimate in speed and performance, the Kinetic Fiber Internet 8 GIG plan boasts a maximum speed of 8000 Mbps. Like the 2 GIG plan, the price varies by location. This plan is best suited for users with extremely demanding internet needs, such as multiple 4K streams, virtual reality applications, or large-scale data transfers.
Windstream WiFi is powered by Kinetic Gateways that work as both a modem and a WiFi router. The latest T3270 model uses WiFi 6 and supports both fiber and DSL internet and allows for wireless speeds up to 2.3 Gbps. You can control, personalize, and monitor internet connections from anywhere via the Go Kinetic app.
WiFi 6 Technology
Wireless 802.11ax aka WiFi 6 is the latest set of standards for WiFi networks that can support multiple wireless speeds at greater ranges. WiFi 6 also has lower latency and can handle a larger number of devices at once compared to WiFi 5. The latest Windstream Kinetic Gateway is built with WiFi 6, allowing it to support wireless speeds up to 2.3 Gbps. You can stream in HD on multiple devices and at the same time without overburdening the router.
The Go Kinetic App
The Go Kinetic App for iOS and Android allows you to monitor all the WiFi devices, set up parental controls, pause/unpause access for devices, and manage your internet in other ways. It’s available for the App Store and Google Play with a 4.5 and 4.8 rating respectively. The convenience provided by the app alone is reason enough to get Windstream WiFi.
Mesh WiFi Option
Mesh WiFi is a technology for WiFi extenders that allows multiple routers to create a single wireless network throughout the premises. It eliminates WiFi blind sports without the inconvenience of switching between routers manually. Windstream provides Mesh WiFi extenders that work seamlessly with the Kinetic Gateway.
Kinetic WiFi Gateway
Kinetic WiFi Gateway is a modem and a router combined into one device which can be leased at $5.99 per month from Windstream. You can also purchase a compatible Kinetic Gateway at a one-time cost. Models T3200 and above work with Kinetic Internet Security (available separately at 14.99 per month) and can be managed through the Go Kinetic app.
Kinetic WiFi Mesh Extenders
If you have blind WiFi blind spots in your home, you can upgrade the wireless network with Kinetic WiFi Mesh Extenders. These small WiFi routers connect to the Kinetic WiFi Gateway and provide WiFi coverage from additional points in your home using mesh WiFi technology.
With unlimited data, no tern contract requirements, and up-to-date equipment, Windstream Internet and WiFi are a solid choice for most homes. Its fiber product beats some of the largest ISPs in terms of speeds, reliability, and cost, but the DSL service only supports speeds up to 100 Mbps.