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Spectrum Internet® Review

Spectrum is a good cable-based alternative to fiber and DSL.


Price: $24.99–$79.99/mo.*†‡
for 12 or 24 mos.

Speeds: 50–1,000Mbps
(wireless speeds may vary)

Data cap: No cap

Contract: No contract

Compare all plans

Provider star ratings are based on user reviews and our independent customer satisfaction survey.

Our Spectrum Internet® review

Spectrum typically delivers cable internet in areas where it doesn’t overlap other cable providers. It’s faster than DSL internet from providers like AT&T, Frontier, and Verizon—but it’s not the best choice if the competition offers fiber internet.

Spectrum also has fiber-to-the-home internet. It’s installed in “green” locations within its coverage areas: New neighborhoods and business zones not claimed by competing fiber internet providers, like AT&T and Verizon. Spectrum does not install fiber internet service in its existing cable internet neighborhoods.

Overall, Spectrum is a solid choice if you can overlook some of its questionable fees and lackluster customer support. But, before we begin, I’m a Spectrum customer—a longtime inherited Time Warner Cable customer, in fact. I will compare Spectrum against its competitors and tell you my personal experience as a customer.


  • No data caps
  • No contracts
  • Rent-free modem, gateway, or SONU


  • Monthly WiFi fee
  • Lacking customer support
  • Price hikes after 12 or 24 mos.

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Compare Spectrum Internet plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedView on Spectrum’s site
Spectrum Internet® Assist$24.99/mo.*Up to 50Mbps
(wireless speeds may vary)
View Plans
Spectrum Internet® 100$29.99/mo.*Up to 100Mbps
(wireless speeds may vary)
View Plans
Spectrum Internet®$39.99–$49.99/mo.
for 12 mos.
Up to 300Mbps
(wireless speeds may vary)
View Plans
Spectrum Internet® Ultra$49.99–$69.99/mo.
for 24 mos.
Up to 500Mbps
(wireless speeds may vary)
View Plans
Spectrum Internet® Gig$59.99–$79.99/mo.
for 24 mos.
Up to 1,000Mbps
(wireless speeds may vary)
View Plans

Spectrum Internet: Our favorite plan

The base Spectrum Internet® plan is a solid choice if you only check email, stream a few videos, and post to social media. It’s relatively cheap for the speed you get and even supplies a rent-free modem, gateway, or SONU to new customers.

Spectrum keeps your choices simple

Overall, there’s no scrolling through a long list to suss out the ideal plan. Plus, the Spectrum Internet® Ultra and the Spectrum Internet® Gig plans may offer 12- and 24-month promotions, depending on where you live. There’s no contract involved, and customers can cancel or downgrade at any time—there’s no catch in opting for the longer-term, cheaper pricing. Customer support says the 12- and 24-month options are just “two different promotions.”

However, Spectrum’s gigabit fiber plan varies in upload speeds, 500Mbps or 1,000Mbps, depending on where you live (for now). The cable internet version remains locked at 35Mbps until Spectrum transitions to the 10G Platform.

Finally, Spectrum provides the Assist and 100Mbps plans for low-income households in select areas. Spectrum lists the requirements needed to qualify for these services on its online application.

Is Spectrum Internet® available where you live?

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Spectrum Internet speeds: What’s best for you?

Spectrum’s three plans offer a range of speeds that should meet the needs of most homes. The Spectrum Internet® Gig plan is probably overkill for most, but it’s ideal if you work from home and frequently download large files.

The Spectrum Internet® Ultra plan is good for households of around four, although you may feel a speed pinch if others download large files (game updates, etc.) while you stream content from Spectrum TV or some other service.

With the base Spectrum Internet® plan, there’s enough bandwidth for a few people to stream UHD content, play games online, and download media from your favorite services.

How fast are your Spectrum speeds?

Click below for a quick speed test and find out.

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Spectrum Internet: Data caps and overage fees

Good news! Spectrum doesn’t enforce a data cap and doesn’t charge a fee for unlimited data, as seen with Xfinity—at least, for now.

In 2016, the FCC set a seven-year data cap ban as part of its approval of Charter’s merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. Spectrum can’t enforce a data cap or usage-based pricing until Charter’s agreement with the FCC expires on May 18, 2023.

However, in June 2020, Charter petitioned to enforce a data cap two years early, but then withdrew the petition in January 2021.5 6 Charter’s letter to the FCC in August 2020 suggests that some consumers who don’t use lots of data or those who want a cheaper plan may benefit from usage-based pricing and data caps.7

That said, Spectrum may discontinue its unlimited data in less than a year, taking cues from AT&T, Xfinity, and Cox. We provide a list of internet providers with data caps for more information.


Spectrum ongoing deals and promotions + bundles

Sign up for Spectrum One and get Spectrum internet with speeds up to 300Mbps, free Advanced Wifi, and one Unlimited Mobile line free for 12 months.

Get the Deal


Free internet opportunities in NYC

Qualifying NYC residents can enroll in Big Apple Connect for a free plan up to 300 Mbps.

Spectrum Internet: Notable fees

Equipment Fee
  • $7.00/mo. for WiFi (no charge with Internet Gig plan)
  • $3.00/mo. per Spectrum WiFi Pod
  • No charge for modem or gateway
Installation Fee
  • $59.99 for pro install
  • $24.99 for self-install and service activation
  • $49.99 for WiFi Pod install
Other Fees
  • $9.99 service activation fee
  • $8.95 late payment fee (after 21 days)
  • $25.00 insufficient funds fee
  • $5.00 phone payment processing fee
  • $9.99 reconnection fee (internet)
  • $4.99 reconnection fee (TV)
  • $19.99 equipment upgrade fee to Internet Gig plan

As a customer, the one fee that’s a real eyesore each month is Spectrum’s WiFi charge. At first glance, it appears to be a monthly lease for its standalone routers. After all, customers don’t lease Spectrum’s modems or gateways.

But no, that fee also applies to its wireless gateways. Customers essentially lease the convenience of WiFi. Plus, if you want to use its WiFi Pod mesh system, you must pay an additional $3 for each unit every month. That can add up if you need whole-home coverage.

We go into more detail in the Why does Spectrum charge a WiFi fee section.

Another eyesore not listed above is the modem rental fee for customers on legacy plans, which persists even though Spectrum advertises free modems. Yes, new customers won’t see the monthly lease—at least for another few years. However, if you were a Time Warner Cable or Bright House Networks customer and never manually switched to an official Spectrum plan, you will continue to pay $10 or $4 per month, respectively, until you do so.

For more information about this fee, jump to the Why do I still see a modem fee on my bill section.

Spectrum Internet: Installation, equipment, and contracts

Spectrum gives you options to self-install internet (if possible) or have a technician come out to get you set up. But you definitely need a pro install if you don’t have existing cable TV lines in your home or building.

Spectrum Internet installation and equipment

Spectrum encourages new customers to opt for self-install over a pro install. You can pick up the equipment from a local Spectrum store or have Spectrum ship the devices to your address. After that, you can find instructions online on how to activate the modem.

But don’t worry—Spectrum’s pro install is still available for new installations for $59.99. Spectrum provides you with a separate modem and router or a single wireless gateway, depending on what’s available at the time.

Spectrum charges $49.99 per hour for any additional labor, and another $49.99 to make a special trip.

Spectrum Internet contracts

Spectrum doesn’t enforce contracts. Instead, it provides discounted pricing for the first 12 or 24 months of service, depending on the plan. You must keep the service for at least one month to get the discounted price. Once the promotion ends, prices increase by at least $20 per month.

Spectrum Internet: Customer satisfaction

OverallReliabilityCustomer ServiceSpeedPrice
Spectrum rating*
Average rating*

Our latest customer satisfaction survey shows Spectrum ranking seventh out of 15 internet providers for overall satisfaction, falling behind heavy hitters like Verizon, Xfinity, AT&T, and Cox. New to our list is T-Mobile’s 5G internet, which takes the top spot in three out of five categories in our most recent survey.

Speed satisfaction is Spectrum’s best ranking, indicating that most customers are fine with the speeds they get for the money. However, Spectrum’s weakest link is in price satisfaction, as it just can’t compete with the other internet providers in our survey that don’t raise prices after 12 months.

To be fair, Spectrum’s price increase is $25 at the most, which is far better than the eye-opening hikes you can get from Astound Broadband, Mediacom, and Optimum.

See what other Spectrum customers are saying

We value your feedback, so please go over to our Customer Review form and let us know about your experience with Spectrum—and check out what others have said.

Read Reviews

Spectrum Internet versus the competition

ProviderPlan price rangeSpeed (range)User rating*Order online
Spectrum $24.99–$79.99/mo.
for 12 or 24 mos.
(wireless speeds may vary)
3.7View Plans
AT&T $55.00–$250.00/mo.25–5,000Mbps3.9View Plans
Frontier $44.99–$129.99/mo. §500–5,000Mbps (fiber only)3.5View Plans

Spectrum’s direct competitors are AT&T, Verizon, and Frontier—all four can overlap in some service areas. Of the four, Spectrum is the middle ground provider with cable internet, while the other three serve faster fiber and slower DSL connections.

Generally, Spectrum’s prices are more expensive when you look at other comparable plans. For example, AT&T’s Internet 300 plan is $5 more per month than the base Spectrum Internet plan, but there’s no promotional pricing with AT&T, making it the better deal. Verizon has a similar plan at the same price, but again, there’s no price hike with Verizon. Plus, fiber has symmetrical speeds, which cable does not.

Customers who want gigabit speeds may now find Spectrum’s Internet Gig plan more appealing. The company recently dropped the price by $30 per month and discontinued the hefty $199.99 installation fee. The only drawback is that Internet Gig costs $114.99 a month by the third year of service, making it the most expensive long-term gigabit plan compared to the competition.

Read our full reviews of Spectrum vs its main internet competitors

Final call: Is Spectrum Internet right for you?

Spectrum is a good cable internet alternative if you don’t have access to fiber internet. It’s an even better choice than DSL, which can reach only half the speed offered by the Spectrum Internet plan.

Depending on your monthly download needs, your best bet is either the 300Mbps or the 500Mbps plan. The 1,000Mbps plan is a good deal, too, although you may find cheaper options elsewhere. The average user probably doesn’t need gigabit speeds anyway, but at least Spectrum’s Internet Gig service is now a more affordable option if you want all the speed you can get from Spectrum.

Unfortunately, Spectrum’s home fiber internet service is far less available than its cable service. It’s installed in “green” areas other fiber internet providers haven’t claimed, like in new neighborhoods and business districts—Spectrum doesn’t install fiber where it already has cable. The Internet Gig plan is still working on achieving symmetrical speeds, as you’ll see 500Mbps uploads in some areas and 1,000Mbps uploads elsewhere. Obviously, go with Spectrum’s fiber internet over its cable if you can get it.

Finally, we have to address the elephant in the room: Spectrum’s price hikes. The standard prices kick in after 12 or 24 months, depending on the plan. They’re nowhere near as eye-opening as Optimum and Astound Broadband, but they’re still an eyesore when you compare Spectrum to AT&T, Verizon, Google Fiber, and even Frontier. Just keep your long-term cost in mind when you select any internet provider where you live.

Shop Spectrum Internet

FAQ about Spectrum Internet

What are the best routers for Spectrum Internet?

Are Spectrum’s modems really free?

Why do I still see a modem fee on my bill?

Why does Spectrum charge a WiFi fee?

Why do Spectrum’s plans say “up to” in terms of speed?

Why do wireless speeds vary?

Is Spectrum’s gigabit internet really 1Gbps and not 940Mbps?

What is a SONU?


Our editorial team bases our analyses on customer input from our annual customer satisfaction survey, results from our speed test tool, and proprietary internet provider data on speeds and pricing. To strengthen our research, we look closely at provider contracts to get hard-to-find information on price hikes, data caps, and extra fees, and we keep tabs on the latest news reports and online reviews. When applicable, we also rely on our personal experiences testing these services.


  1. Charter Communications, “Spectrum Doubles Spectrum Internet Starting Speed to 200 Mbps in 17 Markets,” December 17, 2020. Accessed August 17, 2021.
  2. Charter Communications, “Advanced Home WiFi Puts Customers in Control of Their Spectrum Internet®,” August 9, 2021. Accessed August 17, 2021.
  3. Charter Communications, “About Charter,” Accessed August 19, 2021.
  4. Federal Communications Commission, “View Service Provider Details,” June 2020. Accessed August 19, 2021.
  5. Federal Communications Commission, “Petition of Charter Communications, Inc.,” June 17, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2021.
  6. Federal Communications Commission, “Charter Communications, Inc. Withdraws Petition to Sunset Merger Conditions,” January 19, 2021. Accessed August 20, 2021.
  7. Federal Communications Commission, “Reply of Charter Communications, Inc.,” August 6, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2021.
  8. Federal Communications Commission, “Memorandum Opinion and Order,” May 10, 2016. Accessed August 20, 2021.
  9. Reddit, “Why Is the Gig Speed Internet Installation Fee So High?” Accessed August 30, 2021.