Windstream Internet Reviews 2020
Windstream Internet offers residential and business internet options across 18 US states, with their greatest coverage in Michigan, Nebraska, Maryland, and Kentucky. Windstream focuses on bringing high-speed internet to rural areas, and over the last few years, they have invested heavily in their fiber infrastructure to increase the area of its availability.
Here’s everything you need to know about Windstream internet.
- Fiber availability
- No data caps
- No contracts
- Limited availability of fiber optics
- No guaranteed speeds
- Additional fees
Windstream Packages and Pricing
Windstream Internet is actively expanding its fiber network availability in rural areas where there are few options available. This is made even better with their “no data cap” and “no contract” offerings.
The packages currently available include:
Kinetic Internet 25
The most affordable option, with enough download, upload speed, and data included to support up to two HD streams at the same time.
Their entry level fiber plan is ideal for average use, browsing, and some light streaming with the expected speeds falling between 21Mbps and 33Mbps. It’s currently available at a promotional price of $33 per month guaranteed for the first 12 months and after that, the regular rate of $50 per month starts.
Kinetic Internet 100
With expected speeds of between 73Mbps to 125Mbps, this plan is great for households with many devices connected at the same time, and it also supports HD streaming and gaming. Currently, it’s available for $33 per month for the first 12 months, with the regular price after that being $60 per month.
Kinetic Internet 200
The next fiber option tier in their roster, has speeds ranging from 126Mbps to 232Mbps and is great for multiple HD streams and heavy data usage. All entertainment needs are covered by this plan which starts from $48 per month on a special promotion, and after 12 months, the price goes back to its regular $65 per month.
Kinetic Internet 500
For larger households, this is the plan perfect for multiple streams and data-intense activities. With expected speeds between 451Mbps and 799Mbps, you’ll expect to pay $53 per month for the first 12 months and then $70 per month from month 13 onwards.
Kinetic Internet 1000
This is Windstream Internet’s highest tier fiber option, with advertised speeds ranging from 800Mbps to 1000Mbps. It’s also one of their best values at $63 per month for the first 12 months and $80 per year thereafter.
Each of their packages comes with a limited-time promotion where new customers get the first month for free, and on top of that, a $100 bill credit. Each of the above packages (except entry level) also includes free professional installation as standard.
Customers can also test their services for a whole month before deciding whether they want to stick with Windstream or not, thanks to their 30-day money back guarantee.
Windstream also offers TV and home phone services.
Their unlimited home phone service is available for $44.99 per month and includes a lifetime price guarantee. With it, users get unlimited nationwide calls, as well as features like Caller ID, call waiting and forwarding, and SPAM call alerts to avoid pesky robocalls.
TV entertainment options include DirecTV for Windstream, with TV services only available with an internet or phone line.
There are 4 DirecTV packages available with Windstream:
- Select Package includes over 155 channels and costs $35 per month.
- Choice Package includes over 188 channels and costs $45 per month.
- Xtra Package comes with over 235 channels and costs $50 per month.
- Ultimate Package comes with over 250 channels and costs $55 per month.
Each package includes streaming on the go with the DirecTV App, as well as 1 Terabyte of HD DVR storage on Genie and a 72-hour rewind option for all shows.
All packages come with HBO, Starz, Cinemax, and Showtime channels free of charge for the first three months. After the 3-month period is over, the channels will be charged unless customers call and cancel or change their subscription.
Network Management and Performance
Windstream states that the advertised speeds cannot be guaranteed, so customers should check whether they will be able to get close to advertised speeds before they order any services.
Windstream also states that customers have to expect possible interruptions or errors with services from time to time, but doesn’t specify whether this is often or not. They state that “speed availability, capabilities and provisioning vary depending on network and terrain conditions, internet, website, or network congestion, and customer geographical location.”
They also assume that they have “no responsibility or liability for interruption of services or service performance differences actual and advertised performance,” which basically means that if you don’t get the advertised speeds, it’s not their fault.
While many ISPs state that they cannot guarantee advertised speeds at all times, many of them have guarantees on minimum speed for each package. This doesn’t seem to be the case with Windstream, as they state that they will provide the fastest speed available (20Mbps to 100Mbps), but there are no guarantees on speed or uninterrupted, error-free service!
Those who choose Windstream as their ISP should know that there are additional fees to take into account aside from recurring monthly internet, phone, or TV prices. These include the following:
- Activation fee – This is a one-time charge of $50 that will be billed in the first month.
- Professional installation fee – This is a one-time charge of $35 that is waived if you order their services online.
- Jack install fee – This is a $65 fee if you need a new phone jack installed in the home.
- Advance payment charge – Some customers need to pay $20 in advance for services, this amount will be paid back as a credit on the first bill.
The monthly cost of selected services is paid a month in advance, and those living in Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania can expect to see prorated charges too.
There will also be additional taxes and fees on the bill, and users will be able to see those during the quote. Windstream adds that these could differ from the actual first bill because of the taxes, as these often change.
Note: Windstream’s unreturned equipment fee is lower than with other providers: if the modem isn’t returned within 30 days of service termination, customers will have to pay $100 for it.
Your Modem and Router
Windstream provides their customers with a modem with Wi-Fi options. The wireless gateway fee is $11.99 a month according to sources, as there is no mention of this fee anywhere on their site!
Note: By choosing any package above 50Mbps customers are eligible for a free installation of their equipment.
Features and Benefits
Windstream offers several additional services to their internet plan users:
Free Speed Upgrades
Regular free speed upgrades are definitely one of the best benefits of switching to Windstream. As soon as their services are upgraded in an area, eligible customers will get free speed upgrades while the price of their bill stays the same.
Customers who choose the autopay option will get a $5 discount on their bills. To make sure they get the discount, customers must enroll in the AutoPay program within 60 days from the date their services were installed. If not, or they cancel AutoPay within the promotional period of 12 months, the discount will be cancelled.
Shield Security Packages
Windstream provides four Shield security packages.
The Shield Lite includes the security suite, identity theft protection, and online data backup.
- The Security Suite includes malware protection around the clock, and customers don’t have to do anything other than install the software. The software solution is based on McAfee and updates automatically. The user interface is intuitive and easy to navigate, making it easy for users to check the security status of their devices.
- Identity Theft Protection covers not just Social Security number monitoring, but credit reports and credit score overview too. If there are any changes to the SSN, customers will be alerted right away. The CyberGuard feature keeps tabs on sketchy websites and alerts users in case their personal information is found on them. The feature will also keep tabs on any address changes, loans, and restoration services.
- Online Data Backup gives users 100GB files and media storage and allows easy sharing and organization.
Shield Standard comes with all the features in Shield Lite, but also includes:
- Windstream Shield Tech Help – 24 hours year-round tech support option that covers any PC tech issues customers might experience.
- Protection Plus covers the maintenance of inside wiring and provides protection for these too. The service covers all wires, jacks, and other equipment.
Shield Premium has two additional features when compared to Standard:
- PC Protect is a premium hardware service that covers hardware protection and replacement. It’s basically their very own computer insurance policy. Both desktops and laptops are covered, as well as any accidental damage to personal computers. Even though it’s called PC protect, the insurance covers tablets, e-readers, and Mac computers.
- Whole Home Tech Support is the remote premium tech support from Windstream that covers up to 10 internet connected devices. This specific support covers all things software and networking, so if there’s an issue, they will solve it.
Shield Connect is their premium Wi-Fi tech support for networking issues.
- Device Connectivity Support offers customers tech support if you get issues with the Wi-Fi network. Support is available around the clock and can solve installation, activation, and any ongoing problems to ensure customers can connect.
- The service also has Protection Plus, where wire, jack, and other equipment inside the home are covered.
Windstream Customer Service
Windshield has an extensive support center right on their website, with how-to and tutorial articles provided to help users solve simple issues on their own.
The online support center of the site is divided into sections for each service – internet, phone, TV, as well as additional sections for account and payments, security packages, installation, and email settings.
Customers can also contact Windstream via email, live chat, or by calling them.
- The Windstream Customer Service is available by calling (800) 347-1991 and works round the clock.
- The Windstream Sales Team is available on (866) 445-8084 from 7:30 AM to 7:00PM ET.
- To check the Online Order Status, customers can call (800) 481-5441 between 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM ET.
- The live chat service is available from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM from Monday to Friday, and 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday. It’s unavailable on Sunday.
- To send an email, customers are prompted to fill out the contact form. Usually, all email inquiries are answered within 24 hours.
Customer reviews are mixed, as with any other provider in the industry with the most common negative comments mentioning poor speeds, disconnects, or connections not reaching the maximum speed. On the positive side, it seems Windstream actually care and seem to be actively following review sites and contacting customers with negative experiences with an aim to fix their issues.
Ways to Save on Windstream
Windstream offers phone and TV services too, and customers who bundle up get additional discounts for their bundles. For example, customers can save $5 off DirecTV bills each month (up to 24 months) when they are bundled with the XTRA Package or above.
By ordering service online and signing up for AutoPay, customers can save $5 each month and get free professional installation.
Where available, fiber is the way to go. While Windstream offers DSL too, their speeds are much lower and prices are way too steep to be considered a valid option.
Windstream offers great deals where fiber internet is available. During the promotional period, the pricing is as good as you can get, but the prices still remain competitive after the 12-month price lock is over.
Coupled with the fact that there are no data caps, Windstream Communications is a great choice for rural area residents looking for high-speed options. Just be careful of additional fees.