When hunting for a new Internet Service Provider (ISP) it’s easy to get confused. As a matter of fact, all the ISPs in your area will, at first Glance’’ look nearly identical. This calls for detailed research about the available ISPs in your area and make up your mind to choose the one that matches your budget and internet needs.
Another thing that complicates the process of hunting for the most affordable and yet reliable ISP is the lack of information on the specific Internet service provider’s official websites. This is very common, and in most cases, ISPs will not disclose some of their fees, which are likely to impact your monthly bills.
To make it easy for you, I’ll today review one of the most popular and largely available Internet service providers in the US market-Spectrum.
What is Spectrum Internet?
Spectrum is a trading name for Charter Communications, which is a provider of Internet, Cable TV, telephone and wireless services in the US market. The Spectrum Internet is one of the newest in the market because it was introduced back in 2014. This shows that the brand is only six years old but still competes with some of the oldest providers, such as AT&T.
Spectrum Internet Availability
Before we proceed with the review, I want to make sure Spectrum Internet is available to you. Charter Spectrum is available to people in more than 44 states, but the largest coverage is in California, New York, and Texas. The charter Cable Internet is available to more than 102.7 million people in the US. This is what makes this company the second largest provider of cable internet.
On the other hand, Spectrum offers Fiber Internet to businesses in more than 5,899 zip codes. If you’re lucky to reside in places where the fiber internet is accessible, then you can get Internet speeds of up to 1Gbps.
Spectrum Offers Cable Internet to US residents. Besides this, they also have fiber internet services. This means you can get two major Internet services from Charter Spectrum. Their Fiber Internet is limited to some major cities and states, but cable internet can be found in almost all US states.
Charter Spectrum Summary Table
|Cheapest Spectrum Internet plan||60Mbps|
|Fastest Spectrum Internet plan||940Mbps|
|Best Internet Plan Pick||Spectrum Internet 100Mbps|
|Installation||$49.99 pro installation|
|Prices||Up to $109|
|Free Modem x||Yes|
|Early termination fees||N/A|
Pros and Cons
- High Internet speeds
- No data caps
- No contracts
- Comparatively better customer service
- Free Installation and DVR service
- $500 Contract Buyout
Charter Spectrum Cons
- The speeds can be lower than the advertised
Spectrum Prices and Plans
Spectrum internet has a list of some good deals when it comes to Internet plans and prices. But I can testify their Gig Fiber Internet plan is relatively expensive. If, in any case, you’re looking for an Internet that will keep your family connected and super speed connections for gaming and streaming, Spectrum has your back. The company has three different Internet plans with varying download and Upload speeds. The speeds range from 100Mbps to 940Mbps.
I would love to see more than just three internet plans on their website. This is definitely because I love choices and always have a couple of options for Internet speeds and prices. Who wouldn’t like a 200Mbps or an 800Mbps Internet plan to set the limits between costly high-speed Internet and low-cost Internet?
Additionally, these internet plans’ price is reasonable, but I would like to see cheaper alternatives. The prices on the portal are introductory prices that start from $49.99 for 100Mbps to $109.99 for the Gig fiber Internet plan. Here is a table with all the summaries of Spectrum Internet plans and Internet costs.
How much does Spectrum Internet Cost?
|Spectrum Internet plan||Features||Price per month|
|Spectrum Internet 100||100Mbps||$49.99 For 12 months|
|Spectrum Internet Ultra||400Mbps||$69.99 for 12 months|
|Spectrum Internet Gig||940Mbps||$109.99 for 12 months|
These prices and deals are available by location. This indicates that Spectrum Internet plans and prices can change with time because of external and internal factors.
Comparing Spectrum to Competitors
You may see people comparing Spectrum to Comcast Xfinity because these two Internet Service Providers offer almost similar Internet plans and prices. Though, when it comes to planning choices, Xfinity will definitely beat Spectrum pants down. Xfinity offers more than double of the plans offered on Spectrum. This means you’re more likely to have a wider choice of download speeds and prices.
I’ve also found Xfinity prices to start lower than those of Spectrum. But, it’s imperative to note that the two service providers offer Introductory prices to their customers. These prices may change with time and, most probably, after the first year. The prices will continue rising until all the users are paying a standard price.
The only dimension where Spectrum beats Xfinity is the fact that Xfinity has a yearly contract and a data cap, which is not the case with Spectrum. Xfinity offers Internet speeds up to 2,000Mbps, and the prices range from $49.95 to $299.95. The prices on the Xfinity side start lower than those of Spectrum, but you should be prepared to pay up to $299.95 per month on some of their plans.
Another major spectrum competitor is AT&T fiber. This internet service provider has Internet plans ranging in speed from 100Mbps to 940Mbps, similar to what Spectrum offers. The only challenge is that AT&T internet comes with a 1TB data cap for some of their Internet plans. Fortunately, people have a chance to choose their unlimited internet plans. Another thing, the AT&T internet prices are pretty steady. They start from $49.99 to $50+, depending on the plans you pick.
Given this information, it’s easy to realize that Spectrum Internet is expensive, especially because of their high-speed Internet. In case you want light speed connections at an affordable price, then AT&T is a better option.
Spectrum Internet Upload speeds
One thing that we all forget is the fact that the Upload speeds also matter. Most people don’t care about upload speeds specifically because they don’t significantly impact their streaming, gaming, and download needs. Spectrum is a good Internet service provider that offers Upload speeds of up to 35Mbps. For instance, Spectrum Internet with 200Mbps download speeds comes with 10Mbps upload speeds. The Spectrum gig Internet comes with an upload speed of 35Mbps.
Spectrum Bundle Packages
Bundling TV, Internet and home phone with Spectrum is a good way to save money on your monthly bills. Simply set up all your home service needs under one roof. My favorite bundle package on Spectrum is the Spectrum Triple Play select that offers a phone.
Spectrum TV costs $44.99 per month while the Spectrum Internet starts at $40.99, and lastly, Spectrum Voice starts at $9.99 per month. That is a total of $104.99 when someone picks each of them separately. However, Bundling TV, Internet, and Spectrum Voice means paying less money. The Spectrum Triple Play Package saves you more than $25 dollars specifically because the prices start at $99.97 per month.
Spectrum Internet speeds
You probably want high-speed Internet, which includes consistent and steady connections to stream your 4K movies and play online games. As I stated earlier, Spectrum internet has only three options, which are all good enough for serious streamers and gamers. Users would be happier with additional Internet options. Spectrum Internet 100 with 100Mbps download speeds is enough to stream series on Netflix and play the Apex Legends and Leagues of Legends with your friends or family members.
That said, I’m convinced lower internet speeds for a cheaper price would still do the same. For instance, 50Mbps for $25 dollars would do the same work. But unluckily, you cannot get such a deal with Spectrum.
For people with more than three connected devices, it’s better to go with the Spectrum Internet Ultra. This is perfect for keeping the whole family connected and seamlessly streaming their favorite TV show and movies.
The 940Mbps Gig Internet plan from Spectrum is recommended for businesses and large families with a couple of serious gamers, streamers, and multiple connected devices. Well, more than 500Mbps is enough for most needs.
Have you come across some people complaining that Spectrum is offering slower than advertised speeds? If yes, then you’re not alone. Most new Internet customers are hesitant to choose Spectrum, believing they’re going to get slower than 100Mbps download speeds in the future. So let’s research and see whether this is true. On April 28th, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission released its 2020 Broadband Deployment report, which shows Spectrum delivers higher than advertised speeds. According to their report, the rate for Spectrum internet stood at 114% of the advertised speeds. This confirms that users get an additional 14% of the advertised Internet speeds.
That is excellent news but there are some complaints about the existing outages and slow Internet especially on peak times. For that reason, we will take the report from FCC with a grain of salt.
The main selling point for Spectrum is that they don’t have contracts. Hence if you’re not happy with their service, you can always choose Xfinity or AT&T. You won’t be slapped with huge early termination fees when you decide to leave.
Spectrum Data Caps
Spectrum stands tall in a pool of competitors because they will never throttle or charge you an extra coin for additional data used. This indicates that Spectrum doesn’t have any form of data caps and limits. While Xfinity and AT&T set their data limit at 1TB per month, Spectrum offers unlimited Internet access in all their Internet plans. This is a dream come true for avid gamers and streamers.
Spectrum fees, Contracts, and equipment
As indicated earlier, Spectrum doesn’t come with any form of contracts to tie down their customers. What they do is offer enticing deals that keep their customers on the lookout for spectrum Internet plans. I specifically like the fact that Spectrum doesn’t offer any contracts. Users can switch to another provider any time they want. This is a perfect option if you’re renting Spectrum internet equipment.
You will love the spectrum free modem that comes with your Internet. This is very nice of them considering most companies will never do this. ISPs will charge you up to $20 for rental equipment. Besides, you can also get your own router and modem.
The installation fees vary depending on the package and the plan you want. If you choose spectrum Internet 100Mbps, 200Mbps, and 400Mbps, the installation price is reasonable. However, the installation fees for their Gig Internet are quite high.
Have you ever heard of Wifi activation fees? If no, that makes the two of us. No one knows what this is all about. I have not seen wifi activation fees with some of Spectrum’s main competitors. In simple terms, the Wifi activation fees will cost you $9.99 and the self-installation fees will be another $9.99. For Pro installation, you can pay up to $49.99 for the internet plans or $199.99 for the Spectrum Gig Internet Plan.
Spectrum Internet Reliability
So, how reliable is Spectrum Internet? Are people experiencing significant downtimes with this provider? Is spectrum Internet the best for businesses and other users who rely on Internet stability, consistency, and speeds? Let’s find out what people are saying on the Internet.
The data available on FCC annual report shows that Spectrum strength lies in internet reliability and consistency. As a matter of fact, the data shows that more than 93% of Spectrum customers are happy with the download speeds they get and internet consistency.
Outages and Uptime
There have been recent outages and reports from customers in Narberth, Raleigh, Indian Trail, Orlando, Los Angeles, Reno, and many other places. Though, the cases with outages are not commonly experienced with the spectrum internet. Also, is not a big deal since the outages experienced translate to less than 5 hours in a year.
Spectrum Internet application
With Internet download and upload speeds of up to 940Mbps and 35Mbps respectively, Spectrum is good Internet for some common applications such as download and Upload of Videos, documents and photos, streaming and gaming among many others.
You just need at least 5Mbps to stream your favorite show in HD quality. This means that Internet speeds of 100Mbps to 940Mbps are more than enough for streaming Netflix shows.
Download and Upload
Uploading and downloading files such as videos, photos, and documents cannot take more than 50Mbps. Therefore, Spectrum’s lowest Internet plan is more than enough for heavy files, upload, and download.
Speedy Web Browsing
For browsing, you need less than 1Mbps to get a seamless page open and link sharing. To access your email, follow the latest news on blogs or get advice from your online vet or doctor, Spectrum Internet 100Mbps is more than enough.
Gamers would need Internet with download speeds more than 5Mbps for uninterrupted gaming. Upload speeds of more than 35Mbps is not bad Internet for teaming to play your favorite game online. Though, I would recommend Spectrum Internet Ultra for serious gamers.
Spectrum TV starts at $44.99 per month. You can actually enjoy more HD channels than with any other TV provider in the market. The Spectrum Cable TV offers Free HD and more than 200 Channels for the customers. Furthermore, you can download the Spectrum TV APP and watch all the TV stations on your smart devices.
What do Customers think about Spectrum services?
Like Xfinity, AT&T, and CenturyLink, Spectrum has a bad reputation when it comes to their customer service. There are multiple claims that the customer service is unresponsive, and you are likely to suffer for days before your problem is solved.
But the praises are more than the complaints, which means Spectrum is way better than most ISPs. Most customers claim that Spectrum service is great in general, and the download and Upload speeds are more than enough.
But those users are complaining about Spectrum Standard rates claiming they’re more expensive than some of its competitors. One reviewer on HighspeedInternet.com claims that his bills went up by more than $20 a month, which he believes was unreasonable.
Another reviewer says the download and upload speeds are good, but the service is inconsistent. This shows there are a couple of outages and downtime, which can be a threat to business productivity. This should inform you in case you want to choose Spectrum Internet for a home-based business.
Lastly, another reviewer left a 3-star review on the same platform claiming that he has a bundle package with Spectrum. The download and upload speeds are great, but the phone is unreliable. He continues to say that sometimes it doesn’t work for outgoing calls, and people also get a busy signal or no ringtone when they call.
Spectrum Service Cancellation Information
In case you don’t want to continue with the Spectrum Internet service, it’s easy to opt-out and look for alternatives. Luckily, Spectrum doesn’t have any contracts, and hence you won’t incur early termination costs.
When canceling the spectrum service, the below steps are vital. Note that all the disconnect requests will run for 30 days before they’re initiated.
- Before canceling, take your time to be sure that is exactly what you want. List all the reasons why you want to cancel Spectrum. In case the information is not satisfying enough, why don’t you consider changing Spectrum Plans or negotiating your Spectrum Bills?
- Call Spectrum Customer care via Contact Us Page on the website
- Explain yourself as detailed as possible
- Return the equipment safely at a local Spectrum store. You can find out more about Spectrum Internet Equipment returning here.
Is Spectrum good Internet Service?
Spectrum is not the best Internet service provider but it’s on the list for offering the best internet plans at affordable prices. According to FCC’S annual reports, the Spectrum download speeds are better than those of Cox and several other ISPs. Also, you don’t need a contract for the spectrum Internet. In conclusion, Spectrum is a good Internet service provider.
Is spectrum Internet fast?
Spectrum offers download speeds of up to 940Mbps with their Fiber Internet. For this reason, there is no doubt their Internet is fast and consistent. The upload speeds are also better than those of some popular Spectrum alternatives.
Is Spectrum better than AT&T?
Spectrum and AT&T are two major ISPs in the US market. They’re close competitors in terms of prices and speeds. The lowest download speed on Spectrum is 60Mbps, and the fastest is the 940Mbps. The prices are comperatively lower than those offered by AT&T, and for that reason, Spectrum poses as a good enough alternative to AT&T internet.
How much is Spectrum after 12 Months?
Most ISPs offer introductory prices that are set to go up after the first year. Spectrum has no contracts, and you are likely to secure a free Internet modem. After the first year, the prices will be consistent.
Spectrum will not offer the most internet-only options but provides high-speed internet plans at reasonable prices. For budget users, Spectrum internet with download speeds of 100Mbps and upload speeds of 5Mbps is the best option. The price for this plan is not the best out there, but it’s comparatively reasonable.
The spectrum’s customer service is also better than that of most competitors. In case you run into a problem with their Internet, there is a high chance you will have an easy time getting it rectified. I would recommend Spectrum for budget users, heavy streamers, gamers, and businesses alike.
In terms of availability, Spectrum Internet is widely available in the country. As a matter of fact, it’s the second-largest cable internet provider. Well, the Internet is probably in your area.
With that said, keep an eye out for unexplainable service fees and hefty installation costs.