January 21, 2019

Frontier Internet Review

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Frontier offers fiber-optic (FiOS), DSL, cable, and satellite internet. Their FiOS speeds go up to 500 Mbps (in select areas) and they offer plans which have a 2-year price lock guarantee. There are no data caps or usage limits either.

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Is Frontier's internet service for you? Read on to find out.

PROSCONS
  • No data or usage limits
  • 2-year price lock
  • No-contract plans available
  • Available in 29 states across the country
  • Greater access in rural areas
  • Variety of packages and bundles
  • Has a mobile app
  • Hidden Fees
  • Limited FiOS availability
  • Poor customer satisfaction

HOW FRONTIER INTERNET WORKS

Frontier Communications is a provider of internet, TV, and home phone service. They have FiOS, DLS, cable, and satellite internet too. You can bundle your internet with TV and phone.

However, what they offer depends on where you're located. For FiOS, for example, you'll have to call to see if they have it in your area. But even if that's missing, they'll most likely have DSL internet service instead.

Once you sign up with them, you may be able to self-install. Check with them if you can (it'll save you money). For self-installation, they'll send you a kit with instructions. Otherwise, a technician will come to install the service for you.

Frontier is available in a lot of places, but there's still a few things you should know before signing up. We discuss these below.

REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TO FRONTIER

You don't want a data or usage cap: One of the things we like about Frontier is that it has no data or usage cap. Frontier lets you use all the data you want without extra fees or throttling your speed. This is great for gamers and streamers who use a lot of data.

This doesn't apply to their satellite internet service. Satellite internet users have a "Data Allowance" that is renewed monthly. Once over the limit, Frontier throttles your speed. You can buy "Restore Token" for additional data.

For other users, feel free to stream movies and play online games - you'll never run out of bandwidth.

2-year price lock: Some internet providers increase prices after the first year (like Comcast). This can be a nasty surprise, especially after you've settled in with your internet provider.

It's the same with Frontier, but their promotional period is longer. They offer plans with a price lock for 24 months. Prices jump after the period, but at least you won't have to worry about it for two years.

Still, be on the lookout for extra fees like installation fees, equipment fees, and taxes that might pop up on your final bill.

They offer no-contract plans: If the 2-year price lock isn't appealing enough, don't worry - Frontier also has a no-contract option. They don't reveal the details on their site, so you'll have to contact their customer service to find out more.

So what's better, contract or no contract?

There are pros and cons to each. A contract usually includes some sort of savings. For Frontier, they lock the prices for 24 months, and waive the router fee for the first 12. The downside is that you'll have to pay an early termination fee if you want to cancel.

On the other hand, no contract means you can cancel the service anytime. This is better if you only want the service for a while. However, over time, you might end up paying more than a contract deal.

Available almost anywhere: Frontier has great coverage. They're available in 29 states across the US. They're also the fourth largest provider of DSL in the country.

Just enter your zip code on their site or give their customer service a call. You'll probably find an offer in your area.

Still, what's available might vary. They don't advertise their FiOS availability online. That might be limited, so check with them first if you're looking for fiber optic.

Variety of packages: What we like about Frontier is that they have many packages. If you want TV and phone, they have bundled plans to choose from. If you just want internet, there's FiOS, DSL, cable, and satellite internet.

Whether you want contract or month-to-month, there's something for everyone.

Of course, you're still limited to what's available in your area. But generally, you'll be able to find a plan or a package that suits you.

They have a mobile app for Android and Apple smartphones: It's a minor thing, but we still think this goes on the pros list. Frontier has a mobile app that allows you to manage your account. Here's what you can do with the app:

  • Reset your password
  • Pay your bill and schedule a payment
  • View your bill history
  • Check your order or trouble ticket status
  • Reboot your modem or set-top box

It's minor, but it might make a difference for those who are always on the go.

You want fiber optic internet (FiOS): Frontier bought Verizon's landlines in 2009, which included their fiber optic network. Frontier kept the name FiOS, and still use the same technology as Verizon.

Fiber optic internet is better than cable or DSL. It's faster since it transmits data in pulses of light. Frontier's FiOS connections can go up to 500 Mbps in some areas. It also has the same download and upload speeds, which is useful if you need to upload large files online.

If Frontier's FiOS is available in your area, you can expect faster, more reliable connections.

How is fiber optic internet better?

Fiber optic technology is made up of strands of glass cables, capable of transmitting pulses of light. These light signals don't lose strength when transmitted over long distances. They're also not prone to interference from other signals (unlike copper cables). That's why fiber optic networks are much faster than DSL or cable. They also have the same download and upload speeds.

REASONS TO CONSIDER OTHER PROVIDERS

You want good customer service: Unfortunately, Frontier lags in the customer service department. The 2018 American Customer Service Index (ACSI) report shows that Frontier is in second to last place. It's worse than Cox, Xfinity, and Charter Spectrum.

A quick search on Google shows users having problems with canceling the service, technicians not showing up, and various billing issues.

You want transparent pricing: When it comes to pricing, Frontier isn't transparent. It's difficult to navigate their site and get a clear pricing scheme.

Beware of these possible "surprise" fees:

  • Equipment fee
  • Installation fee
  • Internet infrastructure surcharge
  • Taxes
  • Early termination fee

They do mention these fees in their Terms and Conditions, but it's easy to miss. We recommend you contact their customer service to clarify your fees before subscribing.

OTHER INTERNET PROVIDERS TO CONSIDER

Comcast Xfinity: If you can't get Frontier in your area, try Xfinity. It's a popular choice, available in 40 states nationwide.
Xfinity rates well in terms of performance. The FCC reports that the majority of Xfinity customers get the speeds they paid for. Over 90% of their panelists had download speeds of at least 80% of their advertised speeds.

One downside is that Xfinity doesn't have symmetrical speeds. Upload speeds are less than 10 Mbps, so if you upload a lot of data, it's not the best provider.

They also have a 1TB data limit. While that is a big data cap, you could still go over if you've got a household of heavy data users.

Xfinity's customer service does score higher than Frontier, though. Xfinity scored 60 while Frontier is 54. This is important if you care about customer service.

Charter Spectrum: With services in over 40 states, Charter Spectrum is another popular provider. Their plans have no contract too, which is great for those who don't want to commit.

In terms of internet speed and performance, Charter Spectrum delivers. The FCC reports that Charter Spectrum delivered more than 90% of its advertised speeds to its users.

What we don't like about Charter Spectrum is that their pricing is also not transparent. Pricing and services available change according to your location. It's the same for most other providers, so we can't really fault them on this one.

If you're thinking of signing up with Charter, talk with their customer service first. Find out exactly what the price structure is like. Know what your prices are in the first year and the second. It may vary by location, so take the advertised price with a grain of salt.

In terms of customer satisfaction, Charter Spectrum is on par with Xfinity - both scored 60. But it's still higher than Frontier, so pick Charter if customer service is important to you instead.

In short, Charter Spectrum is not a bad choice. The only problem is that it's hard to get a clear idea of the costs. For that, you'd have to talk to them directly.

BOTTOM LINE

Frontier's biggest problem is their poor customer service. A lot of people aren't happy with them, although it's hard to say what the problem is exactly. You could take a chance and hope things turn out alright - but we suggest you try another provider instead.
On the other hand, if you live in a rural area, you may not have a choice. In that case, at least you have a no-contract option with Frontier. If their services aren't good, you can always cancel.

Still, if you have access to their FiOS service, it may be a good deal. FiOS is known for being fast and reliable, so you might be able to skip their customer service altogether. Just make sure to have a long talk with them and find out what your costs are before signing up.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

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