Spectrum Reviews



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Spectrum Internet Review

Company Overview

Spectrum is a brand name used by Charter Communications, headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, for their Internet, cable television, telephone, and mobile service offerings to the residential and business markets. The Spectrum brand name was first introduced in 2014 but Charter Communications has a history all the way back to 1980.

Charter acquired Bright House Networks in March of 2015 and then acquired Time Warner Cable a year later in May 2016. All three of these services, including Charter, Bright House, and Time Warner Cable were re-branded under the Spectrum brand name. These acquisitions made Charter Communications the second largest cable operator in the US (behind Comcast), with service coverage in at least 41 states.

The Good

As we mentioned above Spectrum offerings include not only Internet services but also cable television, telephone service, and mobile phone service. The focus of this review will be Spectrum's Internet service.

Spectrum Internet services are offered in three (3) different plans. The "Internet" plan includes speeds up to 200Mbps downlink and 10Mbps uplink, and starts at $49.99 per month for the first 12 months. The "Internet Ultra" plan has speeds up to 400Mbps downlink and 20Mbps uplink, with a starting price of $69.99 per month for the first 12 months. The third plan is the "Internet Gig" plan with speeds up to 1Gbps downlink and 35Mbps uplink, at a starting price of $109.99 per month for the first 12 months. Like most Internet providers the pricing reverts to standard plan pricing after a set time period. The table below provides a quick reference guide to the most recent pricing for each plan.

Plan Name DL/UL Starting Price Price after 12 mos.
Internet 200/10Mbps $49.99/mo $74.99/mo
Internet Ultra 400/20Mbps $69.99/mo $94.99/mo
Internet Gig 940/35Mbps $109.99/mo $134.99/mo

The service comes with a free modem but if you want to use their router device they will charge an additional $5 per month to lease it. This is cheaper than other providers like Comcast who typically charge between $10 to $15 per month. Spectrum will also charge a $9.99 self-installation fee which other providers typically waive.

None of the Spectrum plans include any data caps, unlike some other providers. This can be an important feature during strange times like the COVID-19 pandemic situation where people were asked to stay home, including for work and school. Also, there are no contracts with any plans which is another appreciated feature when compared with some other providers.

Similar to other large Internet service providers you can bundle services together. Bundling can often save you some money. The savings with Spectrum are not too much to write home about though with a $5 per month saving for the first 12 months when you bundle a TV package with Internet service. Home phone and mobile phone services are other offerings you can bundle.

The Support section on their website is neatly organized into sections for account and billing questions, then per service including Internet, TV, phone, and mobile. Under the Internet section you can access different topics like troubleshooting, and sections related to your WiFi network setup. They also have a Spectrum Storm Center section which has all the info you need for weathering storms and outage information.

To get more information about your account you can login to their online secure web portal, where you can pay your bill, manage your account, and watch TV (if you have that service). If you cannot find the information you need with their web support section you can contact them through their online chat virtual agents or call them directly. You can also go to one of their local stores.

For businesses there are also three (3) Internet plans available with the same names as the residential plans. The Ultra plan includes speeds up to 600Mbps downlink and up to 35Mbps uplink (good for up to 20 employees), otherwise the Internet (good for 5 or fewer employees) and Internet Gig (good for 20+ employees) plans offer the same speeds as noted above. Pricing starts at $64.99 per month for the Internet plan, $114.99 per month for the Internet Ultra plan, and $249.99 per month for the Internet Gig plan, all for the first 12 months. Standard pricing applies after the first 12 months.

The Bad

Pricing increases to standard rates, an additional $25 per month per plan, after the first 12 months. It also notes that pricing can vary per location so we recommend verifying standard rates before signing up for service.

Bundling services does not save you much money, with a $5 per month saving for the first 12 months when you bundle TV with Internet service.

If you cancel your service mid month there is no pro-rated refund for that service month. However, this is more common now with month to month services.

Like all cable Internet services the downlink speeds are much faster than the uplink speeds. When considering plans make sure the uplink speeds are sufficient for your needs.

The Bottom Line

  • 3 Internet service plans available; Internet, Internet Ultra, and Internet Gig.
  • The Internet plan includes speeds up to 200Mbps downlink and 10Mbps uplink, starting at $49.99 per month.
  • The Internet Ultra plan includes speeds up to 400Mbps downlink and 20Mbps uplink, starting at $69.99 per month.
  • The Internet Gig plan includes speeds up to 940Mbps downlink and 35Mbps uplink, starting at $109.99 per month.
  • Pricing increases by $25 per month after the first 12 months. Pricing is before taxes and fees.
  • Residential cable TV, home phone and mobile plans are also available and can be bundled with your Internet service.
  • For business they also offer 3 Internet plans, with downlink speeds of 200Mbps, 600Mbps, and 1Gbps.

Overall Thoughts

Since the acquisition of Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable in 2016 Charter Communications has become the second largest Internet service provider in the US. Under the brand name of Spectrum they offer Internet services to millions of subscribers across at least 41 states.

With three different Internet plans most home users should be able to find a plan that suits them, from the casual home Internet user to the power users.

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