We compare Spectrum and Centurylink to see whos the best provider, and regardless of the reasons why you want internet, you will probably go for an internet Service provider (ISP) that will give you adequate speeds, large enough data limits and dependable Internet service-all at a reasonable price.
Many ISPs in the US market prove to offer all those features but there are chances that an Internet Service provider that works for my home or my business may not work as good for your business.
Furthermore, the decision as to which Internet service provider to choose comes down to how that specific ISP compares to competitors. One surprising thing is that every American has at least two ISPs available in their area. This gives everyone an opportunity to compare them in terms of pries, internet speeds, reliability and a few other categories.
Today, I want to give you a detailed comparison between Spectrum and CenturyLink Internet and eventually determine who our overall winner is in terms of speed, prices and reliability.
Spectrum Internet Overview
Spectrum is also known as Charter Spectrum which is a brand name used to market consumer Internet, cable TV and Telephone among a few other services. These services were primarily marketed under the c=Charter name until 2014 when spectrum name come into the market.
The spectrum Brand today serves more than 29 million people in the US. They mainly offer TV, Home phone services and broadband network. These services and many others and its availability in more than 44 states in the US make spectrum one of the biggest Internet Service providers in the market.
Spectrum boasts of providing unlimited Internet to the customers with no data caps and ultra-speed data. Though, there are challenges on their Fiber Internet in terms of availability and Coverage.
CenturyLink Internet Overview
CenturyLink is a global company but has a main headquarter in Monroe, Louisiana. The company offers network services, security, Cloud solutions, voice and Internet services to people in the US market and several other jurisdictions.
CenturyLink is known for its fast speed internet of speeds of up to 100Mbps with its DSL service. The speeds can range somewhere between 10Mbps to 100Mbps depending on your current Internet needs. A surprising thing with CenturyLink is that you’ll pay the same speeds regardless of whether you hit a speed jackpot or not.
What’s The Availability and Coverage
Before we even proceed with this comparison, someone would want to know whether CenturyLink and Spectrum Internet services are available in their areas. Thus, let’s check the company with the largest internet coverage in the United States.
Spectrum Internet is available in 44 states which gives it wide coverage. Though, its main coverage area is New York with 2.2 Million Customers. Other areas where Spectrum Internet is available includes South Dakota, Washington DC, North Dakota, Lowe, Delaware and Alaska.
CenturyLink offers Internet services to people in 36 states in the United States. It has the largest Internet coverage in Oregon, Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina, Washington, Colorado and Texas. CenturyLink fiber optic internet is also available in select cities for business and Household sage.
CenturyLink and Spectrum Packages and Prices – Is It Worth It?
A thing you would easily notice is that CenturyLink internet plans don’t go beyond 100Mbps but the Spectrum Internet services start at 100Mbps. Besides the fact that these two companies have completely different download speeds, their prices start around $45-$50. They also have a 940Mbps plan that is known as Gigabit internet plan.
To choose between the two, someone has to consider the internet speeds they need and most importantly the prices they’re willing and able to pay for extra speed.
What is the cheapest Internet plan on CenturyLink?
CenturyLink has a couple of cheap and affordable Internet plans for Businesses and Households. Their cheapest Internet plan is CenturyLink price for Life up to 80Mbps at a price of $49.00 per month. Though, someone can also go for the CenturyLink price for Life up to 100Mbps. Surprisingly, you’ll pay the same for all download speeds from 20Mbps to 100Mbps except for the fiber Internet where you will pay $65.00 per month for the fiber internet 940Mbps.
What is the best value package from Centurylink?
The best value package on CenturyLink is the CenturyLink fiber Internet. The reason being its upper-speed downloads and reasonable price. You pay $65.00 per month for 940Mbps. At that cheap prices, someone would opt for CenturyLink Fiber internet even for household uses.
CenturyLink offers Digital Subscribers Line and Fiber. One noticeable drawback is that their fiber internet is not widely available for Businesses and residents. For someone looking for an inexpensive connection, going for CenturyLink DSL plans is a good idea. The speeds of 100Mbps are perfect for most Business and Household Internet needs.
CenturyLink’s price for life is a thing to observe closely. This protects someone from price hikes towards the end of the contract. Another worth noting thing is that all the slower plans on CenturyLink costs less than the introductory prices for Spectrum Internet.
The best plan on their provision is CenturyLink Fiber. With downloads of 940Mbps, it’s an overkill for most households and businesses. Though, this plan is a great thing for the large families and medium-sized businesses. Unfortunately, the prices for this plan can go up any time. This is because CenturyLink Fiber internet is not eligible for Price for life guarantee.
I bet you would easily notice that the Fiber Internet plan from CenturyLink costs more than all the other DSL internet plans but lower than the Spectrum’s Internet Ultra after the introductory discount. The only problem with this plan is it’s not available everywhere.
What is the cheapest Spectrum Internet plan?
Moving on to spectrum, the cheapest Internet plan here is the Spectrum Internet Assist with 30Mbps and a price of $14.99 per month. Spectrum Internet with 100Mbps download speed costs the same price as those cheap DSL CenturyLink Internet plans. The only major benefit with Spectrum Internet is that Business and Households have another choice of Spectrum Internet Ultra which costs $69.99 and Internet speeds of 400Mbps. If you check this closely, you will realize that the 400Mbps from Spectrum costs more than the CenturyLink’s Fiber Internet plan.
What is the fastest Spectrum Internet plan?
The fastest Internet plan on the spectrum umbrella is the Spectrum Internet Gigs which doubles as the most expensive Internet plan. The plan costs $104.99 per month for 940Mbps.
Unlike CenturyLink, spectrum doesn’t offer Price for Life Guarantees. That indicates that their prices can go up by another $25 after the first year. So, when making the decision, note that the standard rates for Spectrum Internet are higher than that of most Internet providers in the market. Fortunately, the Internet Assist keeps the same prices for qualified customers for good. I said qualified customers because not all people are eligible for the price for life guarantee with Spectrum Internet Assist.
Spectrum vs. CenturyLink Internet: Internet speeds
I cannot proceed before I show you a ma\jor difference in speeds between Spectrum internet and CenturyLink Internet plans. Spectrum Internet goes lower than 100Mbps for only one Internet which is for qualified Individuals only. Besides that, their Normal Internet plans start at 100Mbps with the same price as many DSL internet plans from CenturyLink.
A thing that is worth noting is that Spectrum Offers another Internet plan at the middle which comes with download speeds of 400Mbps. For that reason, customers have a chance to pick a middle Internet plan that matches their Internet needs.
Compared to the CenturyLink Internet speeds, the prices for these two companies are the same for the start. Though, Spectrum will bypass CenturyLink Internet immediately after one year. The only big difference here is that CenturyLink may fail to offer 100Mbps everywhere it’s available. That’s why their Internet speeds vary but the price is the same.
But both Spectrum and CenturyLink have Internet plans with speeds of up to 940Mbps. If someone can get CenturyLink Fiber Internet, then it’s a good match. Its less expensive compared to the Spectrum Introductory Price for the same plan.
Furthermore, fiber internet is more reliable because of its low latency. Though, spectrum’s Fastest speeds are much more available that that of Spectrum. These speeds sound very cool for households but they may not be a good match for the businesses with more than 10 workers. I specifically believe that a company that relies so much on the internet to download and upload huge files may fail to admire CenturyLink Internet Plans.
But spectrum Internet Ultra with download speeds of 400Mbps is perfect for major internet uses in a company.
Bundle packages with Phone, Internet and TV
These two companies give users a chance to Bundle reliable Internet with TV and Phone services. Unfortunately, Centurylink doesn’t offer TV Bundles but with Spectrum someone can Bundle Internet with TV and Phone services.
Both offer Double and Tripleplay packages. They also offer discounted prices with the Bundle packages. Though, everyone can agree that Spectrum pulls far ahead of CenturyLink when it comes to Bundle Internet.
After Bundling this internet, you are very likely to pay less for the services that someone would pay for a single plan. It’s a great deal for people that wants to save on their Monthly utility bills.
Overall Internet Performance & Speeds
Performance, in this case, is rated through internet speeds and internet reliability. The two companies have proven to offer the exact speeds they advertise. Theyr internet is also reliable but there are some claims that CenturyLink Internet is a hit or miss.
Internet Data caps – Is There Enough Usage
There are no internet data caps on Spectrum but there’s the likelihood that their acceptable police can restrict the excessive use of bandwidth. This means that if you excessively use the internet, they’re likely to get back to you with low speeds or additional bills. \
CenturyLink has a 1TB data cap in most of its residential plans. I personally think 1TB is a lot of data that cannot be exhausted in a family setup. Most families won’t even come close to that ceiling. But for Businesses, 1TB is not a lot of data especially if the business has more than 10 employees heavily using internet to download and upload huge files. For this reason, I would recommend spectrum Internet plans.
Though, even going past the cap won’t attract some serious penalties or money. CenturyLink will only put a restriction on the speed of the internet. They also notify you with an online notification or a letter telling you that you have gone beyond the monthly limit. They offer you a couple of alternatives and ways of dealing with that.
Fees and Contracts – Read The Fine Print First!
You also want to know how much you will pay for the rental equipment, the contracts and a couple of other things. Fortunately, these two companies don’t force you into contract signing. This is an indication that you can switch to another provider any time of the year without any worries.
Furthermore, CenturyLink charge a fee for things like installation, late payment and equipment rental. The installation fees for the two companies can go up to $125. The rental equipment is up to $15. In case you pay late, you will be required to pay a flat rate from $5 or even a percentage of the money owed.
With such information, you would expect that CenturyLink has all the prices and fees you would unhappily expect from an ISP. Most of the fees are very high. It’s easy to notice that Spectrum charges five times the cost of spectrum in self-Installation. You also have to pay bills in equipment shipping and handling. On top of that, you will additionally have to pay another $5 for a gateway modem and router rental.
Moving on to spectrum Internet fees, rental equipment and hidden fees. The modem rental is already included in the spectrum monthly plans. But you will have to pay $5 per month for Wi-Fi fee and another $49.99 for equipment shipping and handling. Internet Gig installation fee is also paid as a one time fee of $199.99.
The Wi-Fi activation fee is paid $9.99 and the self-installation fee is $9.99. In case you pay for your plan late, you will definitely be supposed to pay $8.95 or even a percentage of the amount owed.
Looking from far, someone would definitely assume that spectrum has more fees than CenturyLink but that is not the case. That’s true, the company has more fees and hidden costs on the list but the totals are lower than that of CenturyLink.
Another important thing is that Spectrum makes it very easy for someone to find information about all the fees. The information is available on their site which is not the case with CenturyLink. additionally, Spectrum gives all their customers a 30-day grace period before they charge anything.
Early termination fees and renting equipment
Both companies don’t have a contract policy for their internet plans. This is an indication that someone can only choose to stay with them if the plans, speeds and monthly prices is what you need. In case everything doesn’t work for you or your business, it’s always easy to opt for another Internet Service provider since there are no early termination fees.
Unfortunately, you have to get into a contract if you bundle some of these plans. They also come with some price-lock offers to make your stay for a while on their plans. Spectrum, for example, gives its customers $20-$25 discount off every year. CenturyLink, on the other hand, has its Price for Life Guarantee.
We liked the price for life Guarantees because you will not have to pay any additional money even after one year is over. This also gives you peace of mind knowing that your bills will not go up any time soon.
These two companies allow you to rent a modem and a router or just buy yours. To rent the router and the modem from CenturyLink, you will pay $15 every month while Spectrum Modem letting costs $5 every month.
These rental fees and other hidden fees add significantly on your monthly bills. It’s usually wise to consider buying your own equipment. But this is only viable in case someone wants to stay with any of the plans for a long time.
Customer service – What Are People Saying?
ISPs in the US are known for their poor customer service. As a matter of fact, these two Internet service providers are not an exception. They’ve received a couple of bad reviews from their prior and current customers. Most of the people complain about the Spectrum prices saying that they’re likely to go up and significantly impact their monthly bills.
On the other side, there’s a group of people that say Spectrum Internet speeds are not consistent and hence may not be a good match for people that don’t have access to their Fiber Internet. This is the same case with CenturyLink. Most of the CenturyLink customers agree that this company doesn’t respond to issues on time.
Besides those negative reviews, Spectrum has more positive reviews than its counterpart. A significant number of people agree that Spectrum customer service is not as worse as that of CenturyLink. One person gave the company a 5-star review claiming that she called their customer service with an issue and they swiftly intervened to get the issue resolved.
One person on CenturyLink also claims that he’s a satisfied customer because he has used CenturyLink services for long and the internet speeds advertised are delivered. The customer care is also very active and can help you resolve an issue instantly. However, he still complains about the lack of more choices when it comes to Internet speeds.
CenturyLink VS. Spectrum: Pros and cons
- No surprise price hikes
- No contracts
- Reliable Internet
- Varying internet options
- Reasonably prices Internet plans
- Gig Fiber internet plans
- Difficult customer care
- Their download speeds are hit and miss
- No data contracts
- Gig internet option available
- Reasonably priced Internet
- Wide availability
- Cheap rental fees
- Flat rate DVR service
Spectrum Internet cons
- Fewer TV options on the Bundle packages
- Fewer Premium channels
- Higher standard rates
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Spectrum Internet cheaper than CenturyLink?
CenturyLink is not cheaper than Spectrum overall but they offer some simple and reasonably priced Internet plans when compared hand in hand with Spectrum. The only issue is that CenturyLink has a lot of hidden costs that can significantly raise your monthly internet bills.
Spectrum vs. CenturyLink: Who has fast speeds?
Spectrum and CenturyLink both offer Gigabit internet at an affordable price. They both offer super speed internet with speeds of 940Mbps. But spectrum has varying plans with different speeds that you can choose. They actually offer 100Mbps and 400Mbps ultra internet that someone can choose for business or residential internet need.
Are there any Internet data caps for spectrum and CenturyLink?
Spectrum doesn’t offer any data caps but CenturyLink limits their monthly data use at 1TB. But this is not the case with all the Internet plans from CenturyLink. Their 1 Gigabit Internet plan doesn’t come with a data cap.
Do you require a contract to get spectrum or CenturyLink Internet?
No, you don’t have to get tied in any form of contract for both CenturyLink and Spectrum Internet. They give you a chance to stay with them if the services offered are good and perfect for your Internet needs. Though, they have some offers that can lock you in their services for a while,. Centurylink, for example, comes with Price for Life Guarantee and spectrum waves about $20 every year for the customers that stay for a year.
With such a detailed comparison, there are no chances of mistakes when it comes to making up your mind in these two cases. Spectrum proves to be the best Internet service provider for reliability because of their reliable Internet and contract buyout while CenturyLink proves to be the best for fiber internet and cheap DSL internet because of their inexpensive fiber plan and price for Life Guarantee. Though, they both have issues when it comes to price hikes and TV Bundles.