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Spectrum Internet Review

By SatelliteTV-Deal.com Team
Last updated: 4/10/2024
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If you live in a Spectrum area, chances are you've used or at least considered getting their internet service. It's Spectrum's flagship product and, really, where most of their value exists (their TV plans will likely only be available via internet in the future, making it even more dependent on internet). In this comprehensive review of Spectrum internet, we'll be analyzing the service based on the following categories:

  • Plan value: the relative amount of internet speed for the price, compared to competitors
  • Reliability: the general up-time of the service and, when down, how quickly it's fixed
  • Equipment: overall functionality and ease-of-use of their modem and router

For starters, here's a quick look at Spectrum's internet plans:

Price /mo
Cost /Speed


  • Good overall value with all plans
  • No contracts (cancel anytime)
  • No data caps, ever
  • Contract buyouts
  • Hotspot access


  • Modem and router just average
  • Router fee extra

Spectrum Internet Value

No one likes overpaying for internet, even if it works well. With Spectrum, you generally get well-priced plans that deliver solid value. As shown in the pricing table above, the average cost / speed (Mbps) of their first two plans (300 and Ultra) is $0.15. So, while not the cheapest, that puts it in the middle of the pack compared to competitors.

Speaking of which, how does Xfinity compare? Well, Xfinity's 400 Mbps plan (aka, "Fast") is a fair way to do it. Being 400 Mbps, it puts it exactly in the middle of Spectrum's first two plans. Xfinity 400 goes for $50/mo and that translates to a cost/speed $0.10. So, comparing that to Spectrum's cost/speed of $0.15, Xfinity's a bit cheaper. One important caveat though. Those Xfinity prices are only guaranteed for 24 months. Thereafter, prices generally increase > 30%. Spectrum's prices don't increase after x months. So, long-term Spectrum actually comes out cheaper.

Contract buyouts

If you're stuck in an internet contract, Spectrum is willing to buy it out so you can switch to them. Good for up to $500, it's a quick and easy way to give yourself a bunch of flexibility. We've taken them up on this offer in the past and the process is surprisingly quite painless. You simply document how much is left on your contract (bill or statement works), submit it to Spectrum and a check goes out a couple weeks later. No small print or other hoops to jump through.

Spectrum Internet's pricing breakdown

As discussed, Spectrum internet offers three plans: 300, Ultra and Gig. Sometimes it helps to get a visual look at how they compare (big jumps in price, speed, etc). Here's a quick snapshot:

[Ch #1] Spectrum internet by speed

300 Ultra Gig Mbps

[Ch #2] Spectrum Internet by price

300 Ultra Gig Price

The biggest thing that sticks out is the large jump in speed with the Gig plan. For only $10/mo more, you get twice the speed (up to 1,000 Mbps).

Bottom Line
Spectrum Internet isn't the cheapest but still a solid value. If you need the extra speed and it's in your budget, upgrading to the Gig plan makes the most sense.


Internet is a mandatory service for most, especially if any part of your income depends on it. So, if it's down for even part of a day, it's a big deal. Sometimes downtime isn't the provider's fault either. A tree knocks down a line, power goes down, etc. How and when a provider takes action is what matters.

With Spectrum, in most parts of the country, they do an above-average job of keeping their network stable and active. Over the years, we've tracked over 50 major Spectrum outages (either personally or relayed to us by customers) and over 90% of them resolved sooner than we estimated. Those estimations were based on the severity of the issue, current weather conditions and population density of the area impacted.

With regard to their network, it's relatively new compared to competitors. In nearly all Spectrum areas, all the wiring delivered to your neighborhood is via Spectrum's fiber backbone. When it gets close to customers' homes, that last stretch is connected via regular coax cable. That fiber-coax setup is about as stable as it gets... provided it's not overloaded. Meaning, if too many customers in your area are sharing the same fiber backbone, that can slow things down for everyone. If Spectrum does a solid job of capping the number of users on the same fiber line. If things do slow down during peak hours, they'll often shift customers around to different lines or isolate high-usage users if they're responsible for the majority of the bandwidth.

Bottom Line
Spectrum has a relatively young and stable network that doesn't often go down. When it does, they do an above-average job of minimizing the downtime.


Internet delivered to your home via coax cable involves two pieces of equipment: a modem and router. The modem converts the signal to a usable form (and an Ethernet cable takes it from there). If you need WiFi or want to split wired lines, you'll also need a router. Let's take a look at what Spectrum offers...

Spectrum Modem

Spectrums modem E31T2V1
Spectrum Modem
(DOCSIS 3.1)

Spectrum uses a pretty reliable modem. The tech standard you'll need is either a DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1. DOCSIS 3.0 works with plans of up to 1 Gbps. They're also cheaper and have less built-in security. DOCSIS 3.1, though more expensive, is noticeably faster (less latency) and innately more secure. It supports speeds of up to 10 Gbps. It also does a better job of keeping you connected even when the incoming signal is on the weaker side or it's the peak usage time of day.

Spectrum includes a free modem with all their internet plans and it's a DOCSIS 3.1. So, no need to look elsewhere unless you already own a newer DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1 modem that you prefer.

Spectrum Advanced WiFi Router

Spectrums Advanced WiFi Router
Advanced WiFi

If you want WiFi (who doesn't?), you'll need a compatible router. Just about any modern router works. Spectrum's most recent version is their "Advanced WiFi" router. It has added security and management over which devices are allowed to connect (and lets you remove unwanted devices). It's actually quite good overall.

However, it comes at a cost, literally. For a rental price of $7/mo, you can use it indefinitely. And, no, it's not a lease-to-buy type thing. If you have Spectrum for three years, you'll be renting a router for three years as well (and forking over a hefty $252).

Not surprisingly, we always recommend you use your own router. One, it'll save you from the monthly fee and pays for itself in a handful of months. Two, you can customize it to your exact needs, even if you switch providers -- the interface, features and settings will stay the same, ensuring you never have gaps in your online security.

Bottom Line
Spectrum includes quality modems and routers with all their plans. If you're at all tech-savvy, using your own router is highly recommended.

Wrapping up

Spectrum become the nation's second-largest cable internet provider after they acquired Time Warner Cable in 2016. Since then, they slowly tweaked and consolidated all their internet plans. The end result is a streamlined mix of three options, rnging from 300 to 1,000 Mbps. We almost always recommend folks in a Spectrum area try them first. A fiber/coax connection is always more stable than a low orbit satellite or other wireless connection. If you happen to have Xfinity as an option as well, run a speed test or ask your neighbors what kind of speeds they get. Neither provider offers discounts for slower than advertised speeds, so everything else being equal. go with the provider that offers the best speeds at your residence.

Back to Spectrum, they're mostly found in urban and suburban neighborhoods. In most cases and everything else being equal, it's likely to be your best option. They're a bit pricier than Xfinity but in our experience, more reliable in most parts of the country. Toss in the free modem and they are just way more pros than cons. Finally, the fact that it's contract-free is a nice safety net. If you happen to be in a bad spot and Spectrum doesn't deliver the speeds it should, simply cancel and try option B, absolutely risk-free.

If you have questions about this review or want more information about Spectrum Internet, drop us a line below or click here.


Spectrum Internet Customer Reviews

Current or previous Spectrum subscribers, feel free to share your experience below. Comments are never edited.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Charter and Spectrum the same?

Yes. Charter is the parent company and Spectrum is the brand for TV, internet, phone and wireless. It was formed in 2014, just a couple years before they acquired Time Warner and Bright House.

Can I save by bundling internet with TV or phone?

Most of the time. Bundling internet and TV usually comes with a one-time bonus (gift card, etc). Bundling internet with Spectrum mobile wireless is where you'll score the most perks.

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