Internet For Business: Review of Spectrum Internet

Internet For Business:  Review of Spectrum Internet

2023-01-26 06:51:40

While Spectrum has received some negative press in the past1, it currently offers competitive pricing and download speeds when compared to other internet service providers (ISPs) serving the same areas.

Furthermore, Spectrum internet plans include a few extra benefits that you won't find anywhere else, such as unlimited data. Is Spectrum your best option for internet service? Let's look into the facts and see what we can learn.

Pros:

Good pricing for most speeds
No Contracts
No Data Caps

Cons:

Download speeds may be slower than advertised
Poor Customer Service

Spectrum Plans and Pricing

Spectrum has you covered if you need fast download speeds to keep a family gaming and streaming over the weekend. It offers a variety of plans with download speeds ranging from 100 to 940 Mbps. Each of those speeds is satisfying enough to prevent the buffering icon from appearing.

But, we're not going to lie, we'd like to see more Spectrum plans. That's because we like options, and Spectrum doesn't currently offer any slower download speeds at lower prices.

Sure, it's up to 100 Mbps plan* is affordable, but what about solo gamers or casual web surfers who don't need that much bandwidth?

Spectrum Internet®    $49.99*    Up to 100 Mbps     
Spectrum Internet®    $49.99*    Up to 200 Mbps   
Spectrum Internet Ultra    $69.99*    Up to 400 Mbps    
Spectrum Internet GIG    $109.99*    Up to 940 Mbps    

Spectrum has been likened to AT&T Fiber and Frontier. This is because these three ISPs cover some of the same territories in the United States.

In terms of cost, we believe AT&T Fiber provides the best value—and the lowest prices. AT&T Fiber is also a fiber connection, which is generally more reliable than Spectrum's cable connection.

If you can't get AT&T Fiber and must choose between Spectrum and Frontier, we recommend Spectrum. Frontier's prices start out low but quickly rise to the highest price for a gig speed plan we've seen.

Spectrum Internet    $49.99–$109.99*    100–940 Mbps    Unlimited     
AT&T Fiber    $35–$60†    100–940 Mbps    Unlimited    
Frontier FiOS Internet    $29.99–$74.99‡    50–1000 Mbps    Unlimited   

Is Spectrum broadband service available in your neighborhood?

Spectrum broadband is available in 42 states, so there's a good chance it'll be close to you. Especially if you live in the northeastern United States, where Spectrum connects cities and towns to the internet.

Here are the top five states with the most Spectrum internet availability out of all the states where Spectrum internet is available:

Ohio
Maine
New York
Wisconsin
North Carolina

We will assist you if you are unsure if Spectrum internet is available in your area. Simply enter your zipcode below to see if Spectrum is available in your area.

Spectrum Speed

Without worrying about data charges, stream in 4K or download your entire Steam library.

We mentioned that we wish Spectrum provided more download speed options, but the speeds it does provide are ideal for watching The Expanse on Amazon Prime Video or playing PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds with your friends.

Parents should be able to stream Schitt's Creek while their kids watch Phineas and Ferb on Disney+ with the up to 100 Mbps plan*. 

If you have a lot of connected devices, such as cell phones, home security systems, and smart TVs, and you still want to binge-watch The Great British Baking Show when you get home from work, you should upgrade to Spectrum's up to 200 or even 400 Mbps plan.

And what about Spectrum's Gigabit Internet plan? That's ideal for a big family who enjoys doing all of the above, as well as serious gamers and adults who work from home.

Spectrum Internet®    Up to 100 Mbps    10 Mbps    Unlimited
Spectrum Internet®    Up to 200 Mbps    10 Mbps    Unlimited
Spectrum Internet Ultra    Up to 400 Mbps    20 Mbps    Unlimited
Spectrum Internet GIG    Up to 940 Mbps    35 Mbps    Unlimited

So, what about all the media attention given to Spectrum's slower-than-promised speeds? Yes, we've heard about it as well, and it makes us shake our heads in disapproval.

Spectrum was ranked 14th out of 38 ISPs in our most recent analysis of the fastest internet providers in the United States. RCN (ranked 6th), Xfinity (ranked 7th), and Optimum (ranked 8th) are among the other cable internet providers (ranked 9th).

Spectrum    14th out of 38 ISPs    7th out of 22 cable ISPs

Quickly, we'd like to point out that Spectrum's weighted score of 35.6 out of 100 isn't indicative of actual download speeds. Instead, the weighted score is based on the average download, upload, and latency speeds experienced by Spectrum internet customers in over 1 million speed tests conducted between January and December 2019.

RCN, our highest-ranking cable internet provider, received 47.4 out of 100 points, while Sparklight, our lowest-ranking cable internet provider, received 31.5 points. When it comes to internet speed from big cable ISPs, Spectrum is near the bottom of the pack. As a result, we expect you to get slower speeds than you pay for with Spectrum.

Spectrum has no contracts, which is a silver lining. So, if your download speeds are slowing and customer service isn't helping, it's simple to cancel your service and find someone else. You also won't be charged any early termination fees.

Data Caps

Spectrum will neither throttle your speeds nor charge you extra for your data use. That’s the best kind of “no” we’ve ever heard.

While most ISPs offer only 1 TB of data (which is usually more than enough data for most of us), Spectrum’s unlimited data is a dream come true for anyone who uses the web for file sharing, (legally) downloading movies, or working from home.

Equipment, Contracts, and Fees

EQUIPMENT

Spectrum includes a free modem with your internet service, which is a good gesture. The majority of other businesses charge an additional $10 to $20 per month to rent equipment.

Of course, if you choose, you can bring your own modem and router. If you're looking for a recommendation, we recommend the ARRIS SURFboard modem router combo from Amazon.

CONTRACTS

Spectrum's no-contract internet option is appealing because it allows you to switch providers if you move or are dissatisfied with the service. If you're renting, working in a city on a temporary basis, or simply don't like commitments, this is ideal. (We understand.)

Frontier and Xfinity are two other no-contract internet providers that may be available in your region.

Spectrum's extra fees are the only problem we have with it. We'll try to explain those fees to you because they're a bit confusing.

FEES

The Spectrum Internet® and Spectrum Internet Ultra plans have one of the most reasonable professional installation fees we've seen. The cost of the Spectrum Internet Gig plan, on the other hand, is astronomical at best.

What's the deal with the Wi-Fi activation fee, anyway? Nobody knows, but it's been a hot topic of debate for at least a few years. We've never seen another ISP charge a comparable fee for Wi-Fi setup, so we're not sure why Spectrum feels the need to do so.

Pro installation fees: $49.99 for Spectrum Internet® and Spectrum Internet Ultra plans, $199.99 for Spectrum Gig plan
Self-installation fee: $9.99
Wi-Fi activation fee: $9.99
Early termination fees: No contract means no early termination fee. Yay!

Customer Support

In terms of customer service, the internet service as a whole isn't very good. We realize this isn't an excuse, but we want to put the situation in context before we look at Spectrum's customer service.

Every year, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) grades ISPs on customer service, and the internet industry received 65 out of 100 scores in 2020.

So, while we're happy to see Spectrum improve over the last year, we're still hoping for bigger and better things from it in the future.

But what can you do if you don't have any other option but to call customer service? First and foremost, take a deep breath and pick up a pen and paper.

1. If possible, use online chat or email. Chat and email allow you to continue living your life without the distraction of a cell phone in your ear. Both of these techniques also keep a record of what was said or promised, which is useful if you need to prove anything.

2. Make an argument for yourself. If your current customer service representative isn't up to par, request to speak with another representative—or their manager. It may appear disrespectful, but you are the customer, and you deserve to be treated fairly and respectfully!

3. Make an effort to reach an agreement. Because Spectrum does not have contracts, you can use this as a major bargaining chip. Before you call or chat, do some research on other internet providers' prices and speeds, and don't be afraid to say you'll cancel your service if Spectrum can't provide what you're looking for.

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Spectrum's pricing and customer service are adequate, but the company's fast speeds are complemented by unlimited data and no contracts.

Spectrum competes with great dogs like Xfinity, Verizon, and AT&T as the country's second-largest internet provider.

How does that compare? If you ask us, we'd say so-so.

It's widely available in the United States, has a wide range of speeds that are suitable for streaming or gaming, and provides unlimited data—all without requiring you to sign a contract.

However, its perplexing fees—including a fictitious Wi-Fi activation fee—and shaky customer service make us wary. Is there anything better than Spectrum? Yes, indeed. But are there any ISPs that are worse? Yes, once more.

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