Charter Communications, based in Stamford, Connecticut, bought Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in 2016 and launched the Spectrum consumer brand. Spectrum became the second-largest internet provider in the United States due to the acquisition. Spectrum will serve 27 million residential broadband consumers in 41 states by 2020.
Spectrum, unlike many other ISPs, does not have a data cap. Almost percent of Spectrum’s customers use its cable network, which, like other cable providers, provides rapid downloads but poor uploads. As part of its 2016 acquisition, the Federal Communications Commission ordered Spectrum to rule out data limitations by the end of 2023. It now claims it has no intentions to do so.
Spectrum’s cable network also offers TV and home phone service by Spectrum TV and Spectrum phone. However, many of its customers don’t want those services; at the end of 2020, it had just 15.6 million residential video subscribers.
Spectrum is the greatest option for:
- Those who don’t wish to be worried by data caps
- Customers looking for internet and television combo
- Customers seeking a provider with a broad range of services
- Spectrum should not be used in the following situations:
- Users who need a high upload speed
- Budget-conscious shoppers who don’t require lightning-fast downloads
The old-fashioned, phone-based digital subscriber line (DSL) connections that sometimes serve as Spectrum’s primary wired competition are not competitive in much of the 41-state service region. However, it has a significant edge over many other ISPs in that it does not have a data cap. Spectrum also compares favorably to cable providers in general, with download speeds ranging from 200 to 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload rates ranging from 10 to 35 Mbps, even if it falls short of fiber (which it offers only in a tiny part of its consumer service footprint).
Spectrum’s internet-only plans start at $49.99 per month. It offers download speeds of 200 Mbps and upload speeds of 10 Mbps. However, clicking through the buying procedure on the company’s website displays a $21 increase in the second year. So, even though Spectrum advertises its no-contract price, you will still see a rate increase after the year-one promotional period, just as you would if you had signed a contract with another provider.
Unlike other cable companies, spectrum provides a free modem rather than charging you to rent one. It offers to rent you a modem with a Wi-Fi router for $5 a month. Still, most people would rather buy an excellent standalone wireless router for less than $100.
Bundling services are encouraged by Spectrum, which offers a $5 monthly discount if you bundle its Spectrum TV package. However, adding its wired phone line to a triple play bundle does not further reduce internet expenses.
Is Spectrum Internet service available in my neighborhood?
Spectrum operates in 41 states, but most only cover individual patches. Even if you live in a Spectrum-heavy state like New York, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, or Wisconsin, you should check Spectrum’s website to see if service is available and at what speeds and rates.
Plans & Costs for Spectrum Internet
Spectrum provides simplified pricing for residential consumers, with only three plans available and no data limitations, contracts, or modem rental fees for the first year. Unfortunately, after that introductory period, its costs will skyrocket; expect a $25 hike in solo service on any of those three plans and a $21 increase if you have a double-play bundle of TV and internet (in which you already pay $5 less for internet).
While Spectrum’s $49.99 base plan’s 200 Mbps download speed should be sufficient for most homes, the plan’s 10 Mbps upload speed will be inadequate for people who work from home. Starting at $69.99, Spectrum’s Internet Ultra doubles both download and upload speeds to 400 and 20 Mbps, respectively. Finally, the Internet Gig package, which starts at $109.99, offers download speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps but just 35 Mbps for uploads.
Spectrum promotes its fiber network, yet only a small percentage of its customers have access to fiber-optic cable in their area.
Although Spectrum does not charge a rental fee for the needed modem but includes it in its advertised prices, it offers consumers the option of paying an extra $5 per month for a modem with built-in Wi-Fi. Because a new wireless router costs roughly $100 or less, you’re probably better off purchasing one yourself.
With more options, you’re nearly certain to save money. You must research before shopping. You are allowed to use own equipment for the internet connection.
An all-in-one modem and router can help you keep your house cleaner and may make tech support easier. Paying $5 a month for Wi-Fi will quickly exceed the cost of purchasing a separate wireless router.