Spectrum has been keeping up with their competition by offering no contracts, fairly priced plans, and comparable Internet speeds to their competitors. Here is an overview of Spectrum’s Cable Internet and our review of this service.
Spectrum has become one of the largest Internet Service Providers in our country. With Charter Communications, Bright House Networks, and Time Warner Cable now all under the same company – Spectrum – this ISP is servicing a huge portion of the United States. This review will cover them all as one. Spectrum has been outdoing much of their competition by offering no contracts, fairly priced plans with comparable Internet speeds to their competitors, and a good ratio of actual-to-advertised download speeds. Here is an overview of Spectrum’s Cable Internet and our review of their Internet service.
Starting at $45 per month
|Data Cap||No hard cap|
|Speeds||Up to 100Mbps|
$49 installation fee
Does Spectrum Have Contracts?
One of the major ways Spectrum is getting a leg up on their competition is by getting rid of mandatory contracts in exchange for a fair Internet price. Spectrum does not require any contracts for their services, whether a new or a recurring customer. However, the price you will start with at Spectrum is only locked in for 12 months, and it will go up following your first year of service. An annual price hike is a big bummer for most customers, but unfortunately is all too common amongst most ISPs.
Spectrum Internet Plans & Speed
One of the most interesting things about Spectrum Internet is the limited number of plans they offer their customers. While they do offer a few plan options, Spectrum gives the impression that they only have one Internet plan available. This may be due to some of their plans only being available in certain areas, or perhaps they are reserving their highest Mbps for select customers. Regardless, their lack of options when it comes to Internet plans is a major drawback for the company. The plan they do advertise, what we’ll call their “main plan” runs about $10 cheaper than other plans from their competitors for a similar Internet speed – a plus point. With an Internet speed of 100 Mbps, Spectrum’s main plan is adequate for multiple devices, high-definition streaming, and even for gaming.
In some locations serviced by Spectrum Cable you can even upgrade to a 400 Mbps, and if you are one of the really lucky ones you can qualify for their extremely fast 940 Mbps plan! We are unsure of the eligibility requirements for these seemingly hidden plans, but know that they do exist so if you are thinking of making a switch to Spectrum Cable, or are already a customer of theirs, ask about these higher Mbps plans.
As covered above, when it comes to Internet speed Spectrum doesn’t offer a lot of choices. However, their basic plan and the 100 Mbps that comes with this plan should be sufficient for most households. Spectrum is doing well against their competitors when it comes to actual download speed. Every year Netflix ranks various ISPs and their download speeds, and according to the most recent report put out by Netflix, Spectrum rated third in the streaming category. This among all of the ISPs on the market is a good ranking. Additionally, some Spectrum customers say one of the advantages of not having a lot of options for Internet speed is that you don’t end up paying for a speed you don’t actually need. However, if you have a household full of online gamers, Hulu streamers, and many devices streaming at the same time, Spectrum Cable Internet may not be right for you.
Does Spectrum Have a Data Cap?
A big plus point for many Spectrum customers is a zero data cap perk. Spectrum does not have a data cap on their Internet plans, which sets them apart from many of their competitors such as CenturyLink, Xfinity, and even Cox who have a data cap of 1 TB. While it is unlikely that the average household will need more than 1 TB of data in a month, the peace of mind knowing it is impossible for you to go over your data is a big selling point for many Spectrum customers.
Does Spectrum Internet Have Bundles?
Spectrum does offer some bundles and package deals as a way for their customers to save money, however the savings are not astronomical. They offer a variety with their bundles, allowing you to combine your Internet with a TV service, a phone service, or both. Bundling all three of these services appears to save you around $20.00 a month; not a huge savings – but a savings nonetheless.
There are three Spectrum TV and Internet bundles we were able to find. The first is Internet 100 (100 Mbps) and TV Select (around 125 channels) for a bundled price of $89.98 a month. The second is Internet 100 (100 Mbps) and TV Silver (175 channels) for a bundled price of $109.98 a month. The third and final is Internet 100 (100 Mbps) and TV Gold (200 channels) for a total monthly cost of $129.98 a month. While these bundled prices are average in the Internet and TV market, keep in mind these prices are only guaranteed for the first 12 months of service. Additionally, these are not the “out the door” costs – your monthly bill will be higher once you add in taxes and fees, equipment rental fees, or a home telephone service.
In addition to offering a bundle on TV, Internet or home phone services, Spectrum Cable is now offering a cell service bundle as well. If you are a Spectrum customer or looking at switching, they are offering a reliable cell phone service plan, a discount on your home Internet if you bundle, and they are boasting that they can do so at a large discount compared to other major cell phone service providers such as AT&T. Spectrum is not using their own network and cell towers for this option, they are offering a cell phone service via Verizon’s cell network. These various bundles and the variety of services included is a plus point for the company, as it gives their customers a lot of options based on their individual needs and budget.
Spectrum Customer Service Ratings
Spectrum’s customer service has a lot of room for growth and improvement, to put it kindly. While customer service and satisfaction is a weak point for many ISPs across the country, some of these companies have made huge strides towards improving their reviews and rankings. Spectrum appears to be remaining in a rather low range in this area. On the latest report from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, or ACSI, Spectrum scored a 60 out of 100 in customer satisfaction.
With that being said, Spectrum does appear to be making efforts towards improving their customer satisfaction rates and are broadening the locations that customers can reach out and leave feedback. They are now offering an online chat support where customers merely need to enter their zip code to chat with a representative that can help them with their service area. They also offer a chat support on Twitter and Facebook, bringing their customer support to social media and doing away with those long telephone wait times.
Spectrum Internet Cost and Fees
It’s difficult to sum up the additional costs and fees for Spectrum in one review because they do appear to vary widely based upon location and the services you choose. However, here is our best effort to sum up the majority of their fees. When it comes to installation fees the quotes given ranged anywhere from $9.99 to $49.99, depending on the address provided. This tells us a few things: Spectrum does not offer a zero installation fee option nor do they offer to waive these fees for new customers. The cost for installation varies upon location with rural areas on the higher end of the range.
Spectrum offers a free modem for your home when you sign up for their Internet service. However, if you want a wireless connection for your home Internet Spectrum will require you to upgrade to a Wi-Fi router and this will cost an additional $5.00 a month. Some locations across the United States are eligible for Spectrum’s faster Internet plans, and it appears that these plans come with a free Wi-Fi router, but again this varies based upon location and the service plan chosen. Some Spectrum Cable customers report paying over $7.00 for each high-definition cable box in the home. This means if you have 3 TVs, and are paying $7.00 for each TV to have high-definition channels, add another $21.00 to your monthly bill. The fact that the Spectrum costs swing on such a large scale it is likely this is an area you could negotiate your price down and ask for loyalty discounts or price-lock guarantees.
The Bottom Line
Our analysis of Spectrum Cable company and their Internet service is that they are an average Internet provider, ranking around the middle of the pack amongst their competitors. Their limited plans, mediocre customer service, and bills that slowly creep up on you every year are drawbacks to making the switch to Spectrum. However, their average pricing, decent download speed rankings, and zero data caps are big plus points for the ISP.
Spectrum Cable offers a decent Internet connection at an average speed for a fairly competitive price. But be prepared for hidden fees, installation and equipment costs, rising annual bills, and a customer service department that leaves a lot to be desired. If you are thinking of making a switch to a new cable and Internet provider, price is most likely the biggest deciding factor.