CenturyLink is an oddball of an Internet Service Provider (ISP). The company offers fiber-based connections in 17 U.S. states, but only in select cities or areas. North Carolina and Arizona are the most widely supported states, while the rest are only limited to one or two cities, towns. Because CenturyLink hosts connections from Washington to Florida, there is great cultural diversity to pay attention to, even within the U.S. Thus, the company has some restrictions present that intend to provide an appealing internet experience to the lowest common denominator. Some of these are understandable, but some might cause harm for people with extensive interest in the internet.
The bad news is that CenturyLink has a history of throttling video-on-demand, streaming and video sharing websites. Examples include Netflix and YouTube; numerous people have expressed worries about these two sites in particular. Oddly enough, CenturyLink even reserves a section for the duo in their FAQ, claiming that they are not engaged in throttling them. Among other areas of service, this issue is linked to IP addresses. The good news is that VPN providers work with IP swapping as well, thus allowing you to bypass throttling based on this method. In the context of these two sites, you might run into trouble. Otherwise, CenturyLink is VPN-friendly, as there are next to no reports on throttling any other site.
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CenturyLink Blocking Websites and Streaming Services
In terms of blocking, there is one type of more popular internet activity that is closely linked to a policy of CenturyLink: file sharing. Specifically, it is not supported at all. The laws of the USA are not exactly keen on the concept of responsible use, and label it, along with most similar activities as copyright infringement. To quote the official AUP of CenturyLink “…Infringement may result from the unauthorized copying, distribution and/or posting of pictures, logos, software, articles, musical works, and videos.” This means that even if a given content is free, or is downloaded for personal use only, it will be understood as infringement by the ISP. Furthermore, CenturyLink also identifies certain “Objectionable content” that bear scrutiny if accessed via their services. “Mature and Adult Entertainment”, “Violent Content, Games and Video”, Gambling and more harmful types of content are not wanted. These are understandable to some degree, but it must be noted that as with file sharing, these policies are present because CenturyLink intends to strictly (perhaps more strictly than other ISPs) conform to U.S. law.
Using a VPN with CenturyLink
A VPN service is the safest and most efficient tool for you to gain access to internet with fewer restrictions. There are two main aspects of the service that get the job done. The first is the aforementioned changing of the IP address. This is done automatically, with the help of client software the given VPN company provides you. While this could be detected by CenturyLink, the second aspect of a VPN ensures that this does not happen: VPN connections are protected by encryptions. Its responsibility is to hide your presence online, making it next to impossible for third parties to crack open the protective shell that encryption provides. We recommend utilizing the OpenVPN and L2TP types. Because of the way VPN works, you should not run into problems with CenturyLink by using it.
We would also like to briefly present another type of solution for the same problem: smart DNS. As opposed to VPN, this is a specialized service, utilizing temporary DNS address swapping instead of IP. The advantage of a smart DNS is that it retains the original speed of your internet connection, while a VPN encryption slows it down. However, the former only lets you access select websites, which are almost always online streaming and entertainment ones. Nevertheless, both are capable of unblocking the internet, depending on your intentions.