Spectrum and WOW! Internet is two network providers that offer both hybrid cable and fiber internet connections. They also have both cable TV and home phone bundles, so their services are generally similar and can be easily compared.
If you’re left with the option of choosing from either of these two internet providers, it’s best to educate yourself on what each company offers to gauge which is best suited to your household needs.
Comparing Spectrum vs WOW! Internet Services
Here’s a brief description of how WOW! and Spectrum fare against each other on streaming, gaming, and web browsing.
WOW! Internet Overview
WOW! Internet is a network provider that focuses on delivering service to the Southern and Midwestern portions of the country. The company delivers stable internet speeds through the use of cable and fiber networks.
For mega users who are into 4K streaming and heavy online gaming, the 1Gbps is the highly recommended option. It can also connect at least 10 devices with ease without any drastic decrease in performance.
According to the latest Netflix ISP Speed Index, WOW! Internet ranks 14th out of 67 ISP contenders in terms of streaming performance. This means WOW! delivers above-average download speeds perfect for HD or even 4K streaming activities.
- Fast internet speeds
- Choice of fiber or cable connection, depending on your location
- No data cap
- Limited coverage area
- Contract-free plans are priced higher
- Expensive modem fee
Spectrum Internet Overview
Spectrum uses a hybrid coaxial network to provide internet service across several states in the US. The company can deliver speeds ranging from 100Mbps to 940Mbps, and these plans are enough to cover your streaming or gaming activities.
For casual gaming and streaming, the 100Mbps plan would be sufficient for those purposes. However, you may want to upgrade to a 400Mbps plan at the least if you need to connect multiple devices like phones, smart TVs, and home security systems simultaneously.
For large families that need day-round access to high-speed internet and for heavy online gamers, the 940Mbps plan is the best plan to consider.
- Fairly priced internet plans
- No data caps
- No need to worry about contracts
- Wide network availability
- Speeds may be slower than advertised
- Bad customer service
- Additional charges that don’t make sense
Major Points to Consider Before Yout Decide
In choosing an internet service provider, it’s best to look at the following factors to determine which is best suited to your needs.
Speed – Whos Got Faster Connection
Spectrum offers internet speeds typically ranging from 30Mbps to 400Mbps through their hybrid cable network.
Spectrum subscribers often get the 100Mbps plan because it’s well-balanced in terms of speed and pricing. However, this is not the top speed that Spectrum can deliver since the company offers gigabit internet that can transmit data at a rate of 940Mbps.
WOW! Internet offers 100Mbps, 200Mbps, 500Mbps, and 1Gbps speeds to subscribers. The first three are offered through a cable connection, while the latter is delivered through a fiber-optic network.
Even the lowest plan that WOW! Internet offers is enough to support most online activities. It’s also more economical compared to more expensive plans, so it’s no surprise that it’s the most popular plan among subscribers.
Monthly Cost – Is It Worth It?
Spectrum’s lowest internet-only offer is priced at $49.99 per month. This applies to all plans ranging from 30Mbps to 400Mbps. Prices of plans increase up to around $145 per month, depending on the bundled package you want to avail of.
All Spectrum plans have an upfront cost ranging from $34.99 to $49.99. This is a one-time payment though and won’t be a part of your monthly expenses for keeping the internet connection.
The cost of WOW!’s internet plans ranges from $34.99 to $64.99 for internet-only plans. Costs can reach as high as $129.99 if you want to include a variety of bundled options consisting of home phone and cable TV functions. All their plans also have an upfront cost of $50.
The advertised internet plans from both Spectrum and WOW! are introductory rates, which means you’ll be paying for the said price for a specified period. Spectrum’s lock-in introductory price runs for 12 months, while WOW!’s rates are retained for 24 months.
Installation & Equipment Costs
Unlike other internet providers, Spectrum gives its modem for free during installation. Other companies charge around $10 a month for renting their modem, so this is a huge plus point for Spectrum.
For the installation of Spectrum 100Mbps and 400Mbps plans, you’ll have to shell out $49.99 for the professional service. However, the installation fee for their 940Mbps plan is an outrageous $199.99.
If you prefer to do self-installation, you’ll only pay $9.99 for the shipment of the kit and an additional $9.99 for the Wi-Fi activation fee.
WOW! Internet’s installation fee costs $50, but this can be waived if you apply for a subscription online.
The rental fee for the whole-home Wi-Fi device is $9.99 per month which you’ll pay on top of your monthly internet fee.
Both WOW! and Spectrum offer deals that waive installation fees when you decide to switch to their respective networks from another internet provider.
WOW! and Spectrum Internet don’t have data caps on any of their plans, so you’re free to surf, game, or stream as much as you want without worrying about data limits.
How Do The Bundle Deals Compare
Spectrum offers TV and internet bundles starting from $89.98. This includes access to free HD channels and on-demand titles, as well as a subscription to the company’s fastest internet speed of 940Mbps.
More expensive TV bundles include unlimited calls and access to a wider range of TV channels.
WOW! Internet offers similar combo packages that may include cable TV and home phone features. The variety available is limited though, so be careful in choosing which one will be most suited to your needs.
Spectrum’s Support page displays the most frequently encountered problems of customers and the most common solutions to them. These quick fixes are categorized under accounts and billing, TV, internet, voice, and mobile for easier navigation.
If none of the self-help solutions helped, you can chat with Spectrum’s customer representatives. You can also call them using the toll-free number provided on their website.
WOW! Internet’s Contact page has a form where you can send your questions or concerns and wait for customer representatives to answer your queries. If you need immediate action regarding your internet connection, you can talk to their tech support team by calling their service number.
Service Availability By State
Spectrum is one of the largest internet providers in the US and their service is available in the following states:
- North Carolina
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
On the other hand, WOW! Internet serves a more limited area that includes:
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
Customer Reviews – Here’s The Truth!
Spectrum Customer Say
Spectrum has a below-average reputation when it comes to the customer service department. Things even got worse last year when they scored only 59 out of 100 – ten points lower than the industry average of 69 out of 100.
But this year, Spectrum seems to be improving as tech specialists have become more helpful and friendlier, according to customers. Appointment for service repairs has also become better compared to the past years when schedules were cancelled without notifying customers.
In terms of speed, customers are generally happy with the company’s service. Coupled with unlimited data and no-contract plans, Spectrum gives ample of reasons for casual and heavy users to stay with the company.
WOW! Customers Say
WOW! Internet offers plans that can be considered a great value for money. Although they’re slightly more expensive compared to what competitors offer, the speed and stability of the connection are worth the higher rates.
But WOW! Internet isn’t exempted from slowdowns during peak hours. If your internet is delivered through a cable connection, it’s possible to experience slow speeds when everyone in the neighborhood is using the network.
Despite the generally favorable feedback regarding the speeds of WOW! Internet, the cable TV service that comes with the bundle isn’t that great. The cable boxes are old and slow without any new features to offer to customers. WOW! Internet also doesn’t provide apps for mobile streaming. Customers highly discourage applicants from signing up for the TV service.
Alternative Service Providers To Choose From
Aside from WOW! and Spectrum, here are other notable service providers to consider:
Cox Internet is a telecom company that provides internet-only plans and customizable bundles where you can mix and match TV and internet packages. They serve both residential and commercial customers, with the latter given additional options for integrating security systems and cloud services.
AT&T is one of the oldest telecom companies in the US. They offer 3 internet plans only with speeds of 100Mbps, 300Mbps, and 1Gbps. Their cheapest plan starts at around $50 for the first 12 months of subscription. But due to public demand, the AT&T now also offers a 5Mbps internet speed plan for those who are on a budget.
The company also offers cable TV and AT&T mobile bundle plans for those who want a more convenient communications and entertainment package.
Verizon Fios is a global telecom company that focuses on providing a fiber-optic internet network in the US. Currently, they have a limited coverage area because of the difficulty in installing fiber-optic cables.
Verizon Fios is known for providing reliable, stable, and high-speed internet connection to residential and business clients. It’s one of the best service providers for professional gamers and streamers.
How much will Spectrum plans increase after 12 months?
On average, the cost of plans will increase by around $21 per month for internet-only services. For bundled packages, the average increase will be $25 per month. These rates are still subject to change, so make sure to keep yourself updated with company announcements.
Why is my WOW! Internet slowing down at certain times?
Other than the 1Gbps internet plan that’s delivered through a fiber network, the rest of the service offered by WOW! Internet is connected through a cable network. This is the same line used in delivering TV channels to residential subscribers, and its bandwidth has a limit that’s not as big as other types of connection.
So, when everyone in the neighborhood starts using the internet service simultaneously, the network encounters a bottleneck that results in speed slowdowns.
Should I get a fiber connection?
If your budget allows it, it’s highly recommended to get fiber connection instead of a cable or DSL line. Fiber networks deliver the fastest speeds and can handle simultaneous usage without any noticeable decrease in performance.
It’s more expensive to subscribe to a fiber internet plan though, so make sure you have the money to pay for its monthly service.
When it comes to price, availability, and average speed, Spectrum is a good internet service provider that can cater to both casual and heavy users. Spectrum’s customer service department still needs a lot of improvement, although customers are seeing progress in this area this year.
Fast speeds and unlimited data plans are the main weapons of WOW! Internet against competitors. They have a reliable and more stable connection compared to other internet providers. However, their high monthly fees can be a deterrent for you to choose them over the competition.
The choice between Spectrum and WOW! Internet will all boil down on your budget and location. Interview people within the neighborhood to determine which is the current provider best for them and consider choosing the same option.