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Last updated on Mar 24, 2020

Spectrum Cable Internet Review

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Charter Spectrum

  • $500 contract buyout
  • No contracts or termination fees
  • Free install and DVR service with the Triple Play bundle
  • No data caps
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9 hours of research

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4 providers compared

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3 plans evaluated

With high speeds, no data caps, and several perks to bundling, Spectrum is a promising cable internet provider. In most cities, you’ll have the choice of speeds ranging from 60 Mbps to 940 Mbps, which are quick enough for a family of heavy internet users. That initial pricing is on par with other providers, but be on the lookout for rate hikes after year one.

If you’re looking to leave your current provider, Spectrum will help cover any early termination fees up to $500 without the obligation of a new contract — so the slightly increased prices after year one may be worth it in the end. 

After spending a few weeks researching the service, comparing it to four other providers, and evaluating its three plans, we’re confident it’s worth your consideration.

Best for fast, reliable base speeds
Charter Spectrum

Charter Spectrum

 Pros 

  • ✔ $500 contract buyout
  • ✔ Fast speeds 
  • ✔ No data caps 

Cons 

  • ✘ Short-term promotions
  • ✘ Few plans to choose from
Don’t want to read more? Check out our Spectrum Internet video review!

Spectrum Internet Plans and Prices

Spectrum offers three high-speed internet plans at a great price. 

Plan PackagePriceDownload/Upload SpeedConnection TypeBest for
Spectrum Standard Internet$45-50/mo100 Mbps or 200 MbpsCableBinge-watchers
Spectrum Internet Ultra$70/mo400 MbpsCableHouse of multitaskers
Spectrum Internet GIG$110/mo940 MbpsCableMega users

Data effective 2/17.

* Package availability depends on location, prices may vary

For more details on these plans click here to learn more from our partner site, Allconnect.

Cable Plans, Speed, and Data

Fast base-speeds and options for heavy internet users
When researching plans, we found Spectrum’s starting package, the Spectrum Standard Internet plan, varied in cost by area. In Charlotte, it’s $45 per month for 200 Mbps. In Anaheim, Dallas, and Milwaukee, it costs $50 per month for 200 Mbps, and in Northern California and Columbus, it was $50 for 100 Mbps. Whichever way it shakes out for your address, it’s a good deal. 

For most people, 100 Mbps is a really fast starting speed. You can upgrade that to the Internet Ultra plan ($70 per month for 400 Mbps) or the Internet GIG plan ($110 per month for 940 Mbps). 

The larger plans are likely excessive for the standard internet user. If you are powering a whole home of streamers, gamers, or hackers the 400 Mbps or 940 Mbps plan might appeal. 

Spectrum is one of the few providers that doesn’t cap data usage. Measured in GB, data is the amount of information you can upload, download, and stream. Most households can work with 250 to 500 GB, but internet junkies will rejoice in Spectrum’s unlimited supply. And as entertainment trends continue to advance and technology like 4K streaming normalizes, data demands will increase. Spectrum’s lack of data cap will ensure that your plan can keep up.

Who is each Spectrum plan best for?

  • Spectrum Standard Internet — Best for binge-watchers, because 100-200 Mbps will let you stream in HD without constant buffering
  • Spectrum Internet Ultra — Best for a house of multi-taskers, because 400 Mbps is enough bandwidth to suit multiple people working on multiple devices
  • Spectrum Internet GIG — Best for mega users, because only frequent data-heavy uploads and downloads require a gigabit connection

How Fast Is Spectrum Internet?

Spectrum delivers the most reliable cable internet connections. The FCC found that more than 90% of Charter Spectrum customers received 95% or more of their advertised speed. This means you’ll pretty much always be experiencing the speeds you pay for.

Internet Availability

Spectrum is the second-largest cable internet provider, with service in 41 states.

After Charter Spectrum’s merger with Time Warner Cable in 2016, its combined availability expanded Spectrum’s internet coverage. With presence in 41 states, there’s a good chance Spectrum will be one of your options. 

It’s top service cities include Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Saint Louis, New York, Los Angeles, and Orlando. 

Other Factors to Consider

Simple equipment

Industry-standard modem and router

When purchasing Spectrum internet, you have the option of using an internet modem and router from Spectrum. It’s pretty industry-standard equipment and nothing particularly stands out from competitors. You won’t have to interact with it much after setup either — except the occasional “turn it off and back on again” reset. 

Most Spectrum internet packages will need self-installation, and you’ll be walked through a simple set up. Or you can choose to have a professional installation for $50. You can use your own equipment too, you’ll just need to confirm that it’s compatible and the set up will be more complex. 

Contracts and Fees
Contract buyout assistance with no contract required for Spectrum

If you’re stuck in a contract with another internet provider, Spectrum will buy it out up to $500 when you sign up for some of its bundles. Even better, you won’t be going from one contract to another — Spectrum doesn’t require a contract for service. That means you won’t have to worry about early termination fees again.

Like most internet providers, Spectrum internet prices and promotions aren’t guaranteed for the duration of your service. As with most providers, prices increase in the second year of service (about a $20 jump for Spectrum). Spectrum’s free DVR promotion (included with Triple Play bundles) also ends after the first year. 

Notable Fees

  • $5/mo WiFi Fee
  • $10 WiFi Activation Fee
  • $10 Self-Installation Fee
  • $50 Professional Installation Fee

*Sometimes waived for certain packages or online orders.

TV Bundles
TV bundles with Spectrum internet allow you to save on both services

If you’re looking for TV service too, you can bundle both services with Spectrum and save money on each. Spectrum’s cable TV service doesn’t offer anything innovative but will get the job done if you’re just looking for access to cable channels. 

Bundles start at $90 per month for 125+ channels or $114 per month for 175+ channels. The package will come with whichever internet speed is standard in your area, usually either 100 Mbps or 200 Mbps. You can upgrade the speed portion for an extra $20-$60 per month.

Compared to other providers, there aren’t as many extra perks or discounts when bundling service but it will still streamline billing. 

Average to low customer service

Spectrum doesn’t have the best reputation for customer service, as shown by its third-party customer satisfaction scores:

Rated byScore
ACSI59/100
J.D. Power3/5*

It’s worth noting that customer satisfaction measures more than just customer service, but the two are closely related. These scores indicated that Spectrum may struggle to deliver prompt and friendly customer service. Subscribers are more likely to experience communication issues, billing discrepancies, or technical failure. 

Spectrum vs. Other Providers 

A head-to-head look at other providers

 Spectrum InternetXfinityAT&TCox Communications
Starting Price $45*$30*$50*$30*
Speeds100 – 940 Mbps15 – 2,000 MbpsDSL: 0.2-100 Mbps

Fiber: 100 -1,000 Mbps
10 – 940 Mbps
ConnectionCableCableDSL, FiberCable
ContractNo contractMonth-to-month, 1 year*1 year*1 year*
DetailsRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review

*Prices for stand-alone internet service, current at time of publication. Prices may vary by location. Contract length may vary and it’s subject to the starting price presented above. 

Who is each internet provider best for?

  • Spectrum – No Contracts
  • Xfinity – Fastest Top Speed
  • AT&T – Best Customer Service
  • Cox Communications – Most Plan Options

About the Authors

Danika Miller

Danika Miller Internet & Entertainment Writer

Danika Miller has been writing for Reviews.com for three years, where she specializes in streaming, internet, and TV topics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in creative and technical writing from Western Washington University.