I recently reviewed Xfinity Internet and a lot of my readers loved it. Some of them also wanted me to review Spectrum (which was already in my pipeline) after spending a huge time using different service packs in different locations. So, here’s my review.
To set realistic expectations from Charter Spectrum, I tested and used their internet/tv bundle for over 6 months, gradually upgrading their plans. Today, I walk you through all the aspects of Spectrum Internet plans and performance, which include availability, speed performance, customer support, etc.
- All Spectrum Internet Plans Reviewed
- Spectrum Internet Availability
- Installation & Additional Fees
- Bundle Packages
- Customer Support & User Reviews
- Nathan D Avirel
- Emily T Lockhart
- Hazel A Scott
- Carter J Taylor
- Frequently Asked Questions
All Spectrum Internet Plans Reviewed
Whether you are a business owner who has more than 100 users connected to the internet or a business that offers Free WiFi to their customers. You could be a gaming enthusiast who wants lag-free network latency, or maybe just someone who wants a service provider for basic internet usage at your home. Spectrum offers different packages catered to different users.
As you can see below, it doesn’t overcomplicate with so many plans:
|Packages||Download Speed||Upload Speed||Price||Data Cap|
|Internet Gig||Up to 1 Gbps||35 Mbps||$89.99||No Data Cap|
|Internet Ultra||Up to 500 Mbps||20 Mbps||$69.99||No Data Cap|
|Internet||Up to 300 Mbps||10 Mbps||$49.99||No Data Cap|
We’ll dive into the details of the three Internet plans of Spectrum Cable Internet on offer.
Plan 1: Spectrum Internet Gig Review
Who is it suitable for?
Speeds & Data Cap
The top-speed tier internet package rakes speed up to 1 Gbps. I’ve been using it for the last half year and download speeds have averaged above 900 Mbps in the WiFi mode. When I wire my desktop to the router, the device clocks over 940 Mbps consistently. The Upload speeds clocked around 35 Mbps, as spectrum promises.
The best thing about Spectrum is there are no data caps. Users can stream, download and call without being conscious of the bandwidth. This applies to all their packages.
You need a powerful device to get the most out of this internet plan. A strong 32×8 bonded modem and the latest Wi-Fi 6 router will power your home with adequate bandwidth for some intense gaming sessions and 4K TV streaming on weekends.
It can power a multitude of mobile gadgets along with home automation devices, including CCTV cameras and voice assistants.
I used my own Spectrum-compatible modem (although Spectrum doesn’t charge modem rental, the device they give can mess up the performance). Also, not to mention that they charge $5/month if you want it to be a wireless setup.
At $89.99, the Gigabit package looks costlier compared to competitors, including Fiber internet providers. Only the Cox 1 Gig package is priced above the Spectrum Gig package. But it offers more value and flexibility in the long run.
The best part about the Spectrum internet deals is there are no contracts, while the other major cable and fiber internet providers, Xfinity, Cox, AT&T, and Verizon FiOS, are contract-based. After a year, the price changes to $110, but Spectrum offers their modem with no costs, unlike other competitors.
With Cox & Xfinity, there are monthly rentals for your modem or you’ll have to invest a good chunk of money to buy your modem and avoid the recurring rentals. You can learn more in the detailed comparison between Spectrum and Xfinity.
- Stable high-speed downloads
- No contracts
- No modem rental
- Not suitable for twitch live streamers
Plan 2: Spectrum Internet Ultra (Up to 500Mbps) Review
Who is it suitable for?
Speeds & Data Cap
With the internet ultra plan, the WiFi performance and download speeds were also consistent. I’d have stuck with this 500 Mbps plan if I hadn’t added a gaming console and 4K TV to my home setup. The download speeds remained above 450 Mbps, and sometimes upload speeds will clock above 20 Mbps.
With an excellent tri-band router and DOCSIS 3.0 modem, you’ll be able to get the most value from this router. Sometimes a couple of TVs were streaming video while I was immersed in gaming over the weekends. And there was hardly anything to complain about the speeds or performance.
Limited by the upload speeds, I could observe a slight delay during the group HD video calls only if the internet was loaded with other data-heavy activities like gaming. Standalone, I could play games, make video calls, and attend online sessions with no hassles.
At $69.99, the spectrum ultra internet seems pricey on average compared to other cable and Fiber internet providers. But in a long run, spectrum deals appear attractive to their customers because of the flexibility and straightforward pricing strategy.
You can cut down on the router’s monthly rental if you get your own router for Spectrum. Even if you don’t have one, the $5 is lower compared to what the competitors charge for the packages with the device.
- Ideal for medium households
- Support 4K streaming and gaming
- No binding contracts
- Limited upload speeds
Plan 3: Spectrum Internet (Up to 300Mbps) Review
Who is it suitable for?
Speeds & Data Cap
I started with a 300 Mbps package when I moved to my current neighborhood. The consistency of the performance is one reason I stuck to Spectrum and upgraded to their faster packages. My locality has limited reach to Fiber internet, this was one of the reliable options with flexibility and good TV bundles.
The download speeds remained above 260 Mbps consistently. I was running a couple of web portals using the connection, and I could rely on their connection with minimal downtime.
To my surprise, the upload speeds were above 20 Mbps, a bit more than what Spectrum promises for this tier. Thanks to the lawsuit a few years ago, that turned out to be favorable.
Even with a gaming laptop, desktop, and a bunch of tablets and smartphones connected to the network, I could stream videos on my TV, noticing no buffers. The VOIP calls were seamless, even with browsing, music streaming, and file download activities running parallel.
The price of $49.99 felt costlier and it feels expensive even now, with a lot of other service providers going as low as $25 for their starter packs. But over the long run, I observed there were minimal downtimes in my area. I’ve also enjoyed keeping my options open and not being bound to a service provider for years.
I’d suggest you try out this spectrum plan initially if you don’t have fiber availability in your neighborhood and then make your decision to switch to higher speeds or a different service provider. You don’t have to pay for the modem, irrespective of the internet tier you’re on.
- Ideal for smaller households, commercial halls, and lodging facilities
- No long-term contracts
- Perfect to bundle with voice and TV
- Activation fee
Spectrum Internet Availability
Although the other areas Spectrum provides coverage is something you’d be least interested in, many of us move to a different locality, and when we move there, finding an ISP again could be time-consuming, so if you’re planning to move to a different place later, then Spectrum coverage map should help you.
If you’re familiar with the US map, then the above map shall be helpful. For others who are like me and don’t know some states, below is a tabular representation of the states where Spectrum is currently available.
|Florida||Massachusetts||New York||West Virginia|
If you look at some of the highly populated cities in the USA, Spectrum offers services to some of the major ones. This is not an exhaustive list. Spectrum’s coverage runs deep into several towns, villages, and counties, leaving a heavy footprint and huge patronage.
Here are the towns and cities with Spectrum availability.
|Albuquerque||Columbus||Hollywood||Moreno Valley||Round Rock|
|Anchorage||Davenport||Huntsville||New Bedford||San Antonio|
|Arlington||Dayton||Independence||New Haven||San Bernardino|
|Athens||Denton||Indianapolis||New Orleans||San Diego|
|Atlanta||Denver||Inglewood||New York||San Francisco|
|Aurora||Downey||Jackson||Newport News||Santa Clara|
|Bakersfield||Edinburg||Jurupa Valley||North Charleston||Savannah|
|Baton Rouge||El Paso||Kent||Oakland||Simi Valley|
|Buffalo||Fishers||Lee's Summit||Palm Bay||Tacoma|
|Colorado Springs||High Point||Minneapolis||Rockford||Worcester|
Only Xfinity has come close to matching the coverage of the Spectrum and took over in recent years. Even the major Fiber internet providers like AT&T and Verizon FiOS cover close to 20 odd states.
Spectrum has a few competitors from other service providers like Optimum, Mediacom, WOW, and Vyve in different regions of the USA, but none of them can compete in their global presence apart from Xfinity.
Installation & Additional Fees
|$49.99||One-time installation fees|
|$5||Router Monthly rental
(Not Applicable for Gig. Plan)
|$8.95||Late fee after a month
of grace period
I didn’t like it when Spectrum charged me 20 dollars for the self-installation kit. But then, the professional installation costs $50, and it is wise to opt for Spectrum self-installation.
Besides, most ISPs charge their customers for couriers up to $25. This varied across states and regions, depending on the device availability. Their one-time installation fees are one of the lowest, if not the lowest, among the internet service providers.
Their close competitors Cox and Xfinity charge above $75 for installation. Their late payment fee of $8.95 had a grace period of 30 days which was higher than the average of 23/24 days offered by other providers.
Its reconnection fees are the lowest amongst its competitors. AT&T, Cox, and Verizon charged north of $20, while Xfinity charges a dollar more than Spectrum.
Spectrum’s pricing is far more straightforward than its other competitors, when it comes to modem charges as Xfinity, COX, Mediacom, and Frontier charge rentals for their modem.
However, to make it wireless, you’ll need to pay $5/month for the router which seems like a fair price compared to competitors, but I feel that buying a modem or a router offers better ROI than renting it.
Not sure as to which device to get? Well, you can check out my recommended routers for Spectrum internet. And if you live in a fairly large house with 2-3 levels and a couple of rooms + garage/garden, you’re better off establishing a Spectrum mesh network.
If you are a customer of one of these service providers, you’d know about their early contract termination fee, which varies. Spectrum avoids all these pricing hassles. It even offers a contract buyout of $500 if you are switching to one of its internet and TV bundles.
Spectrum doesn’t charge data overage fees like the major cable internet competitors. You’d have to credit the simple fee structure of Charter Spectrum for its strong patronage, although the activation fee can feel a little excessive at times.
Their bundle packages make more sense than their standalone internet package. if you have voice calling requirements. Their Triple Play (bundle of internet, TV, and home phone) and Double Play (Combination of two services) offer great value when you pair them with a 300 Mbps plan.
Depending on the regional availability, you can combine them with the 500Mbps package as well. Depending on your internet package, you’ll be able to save anywhere, ranging from $5 to $10 a month.
If you opt for a TV bundle, you can follow my guide and hook up the Spectrum cable box and modem on your own.
Customer Support & User Reviews
While there is room for improvement in customer service and technical support, the latest customer satisfaction survey was surprising. While its major competitors struggled to maintain the points from the last year, there was a total industry drop of 1.5% in satisfaction, but Spectrum increased its performance and customer satisfaction from the previous year and kept it at 63/100.
We noted customers giving good feedback to support technicians for helping them make informed decisions about the requirements and usage. The reason that leads to the increase in customer satisfaction is the limited downtime. While there were temporary blips in services, Spectrum avoided prolonged outages that some of the major Fiber providers suffered in patches last year.
Here’s what existing users have to say about Spectrum internet services:
The Representative paid attention to our request and offered a detailed explanation of Spectrum Internet plans. She waited with patience and allowed sufficient time for us to reach our decision. Her knowledge and patience were admirable. She was calm and polite at all times.
Nathan D AvirelAs shared with ApprovedModems
Spectrum is one of the few internet service providers in my area that actually works. I’ve been using their bundle package in my home for over a year and have had no problems, which is amazing considering where I live, the weather, and so on.
Emily T LockhartAs shared with ApprovedModems
Pricing is reasonable but I felt a little high. I’ve been a member for over three years and the prices have only gone up once. They provide adequate equipment at best. I haven’t faced too much downtime, and when it occurs, the service gets restored within hours.
Hazel A ScottAs shared with ApprovedModems
I have no issues with the internet provider, they are the only and primary supplier of the internet in a small lake town in the back woods of Michigan. The connection is fast and consistent but they can work on their customer service.
Carter J TaylorAs shared with ApprovedModems
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are in a county or rural area that has limited Fiber Internet reach, that’s where the Spectrum internet comes good. It has an extensive reach in the US, offering high-speed internet with no contractual obligations.
No, Spectrum is not a satellite-based internet. It’s a majorly cable-based internet service. It uses a hybrid combination of fiber and a coaxial cable network to provide high-speed internet to customers.
Spectrum is one of the most highly rated internet providers in the USA. The unlimited bandwidth, straightforward pricing, and dominant presence make it one of the best choices for people who bundle TV services with the internet.
Spectrum Internet has a strong footprint in the USA. You can find them in 41 states and even in rural areas where it’s hard to find high-speed internet, otherwise. There is room for improvement in support and service, but the last couple of years have seen substantial changes in customer handling and transparency.
Their straightforward approach to pricing and contract-free patronage stands out as customers’ favorites apart from their reliable download speeds. Unless you’re a live streamer, there is no reason not to choose their top-tier package and enjoy the stable top speeds.
Spectrum Internet Review Starts at $49.99
Spectrum Internet Review Summary
Spectrum is a reputable internet service provider. Spectrum is ranked fifth in our list of the Best Internet Service Providers of 2022, and it does an excellent job of balancing cost and performance. Its plans are simple to understand and select from. Based on my experience, here are the overall ratings of Spectrum Internet services:
- Speeds & Throughput: 4.2/5
- Internet Plans: 4/5
- Up Time: 4.2/5
- Cost To Performance: 4.3/5
- Customer Support: 3.5
- Availability / Coverage: 4.5/5