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Google Fiber vs Spectrum

  • Best speeds
    • Customer Rating: 4.3/5*
    • Price: $70.00–$150.00/mo.
    • Speed: 1,000–8,000 Mbps
    • Internet type: Fiber
    • Data cap: No data cap
    • Contract: No contract
  • Best prices
    • Customer Rating: 3.7/5*
    • Price: $19.99–$89.99/mo.
    • Speed: 100–1,000 Mbps§
    • Internet type: Cable
    • Data cap: No data cap
    • Contract: No contract

Data as of 11/21/2022. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

*Based on our annual Customer Satisfaction Survey

†Plus taxes and fees. Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual Internet speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc.

‡Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter. Spectrum Internet ® promotion price is $49.99/mo; standard rates apply after yr. 1. Taxes, fees and surcharges extra and subject to change during and after the promotional period; installation/network activation, equipment and additional services are extra. General Terms: INTERNET: Speed based on wired connection and may vary by address. Wireless speeds may vary. Services subject to all applicable service terms and conditions, subject to change. Services not available in all areas. Restrictions apply. Enter your address to determine availability. ©2021 Charter Communications.

§wireless speeds may vary

Google Fiber gives you the speed and reliability that you can get only with fiber-to-the-home service. Spectrum has much wider availability, offers decent speeds, and has cheaper options. But if you opt for a gigabit connection, Google Fiber is actually the more affordable option.

 

Pros and cons: Google Fiber vs. Spectrum

 

Pros:

  • Gigabit and multigigabit speeds (1,000–8,000 Mbps)
  • No contracts
  • No hidden fees

Cons:

  • Limited availability

 

Spectrum

 

Pros:

  • Speeds up to 1,000 Mbps*
  • Wider availability
  • No contracts

Cons:

  • More expensive gigabit plan
  • Price hikes after 1 year

Want to see what plans are available in your area? Enter your zip code below.

Plans and pricing: Google Fiber vs. Spectrum

Google Fiber offers gigabit and multigigabit fiber internet connections at a reasonable price. Spectrum offers cable connections, which can reach gigabit speeds but also provide slower, more affordable plan options. If your household can get by on a 300 Mbps connection, going with Spectrum will save you some money. But if you need higher speeds than that, Google Fiber offers faster speeds at a better price per megabit than Spectrum.

Google Fiber plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedDetails
Google Fiber 1 Gig$70.00/mo.*1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps)
Google Fiber 2 Gig$100.00/mo.*2,000 Mbps (2 Gbps)
Google Fiber 5 Gig$125.00/mo.**5,000 Mbps (5 Gbps)
Google Fiber 8 Gig$1050.00/mo.**8,000 Mbps (8 Gbps)

Google Fiber gives an amazing value to customers that need a fast connection. It’s one of the smaller nationwide internet service providers (ISPs), but it has had a huge impact in popularizing fiber home internet.1 Its plans start at a higher price point than most ISPs, but these plans are still cheaper than many offering the same speeds.

Spectrum plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedDetails
Spectrum Internet® Assist$19.99/mo.*Up to 30Mbps
(wireless speeds may vary)
View Plan
Spectrum Internet® 100$29.99/mo.*
for 24 mos.
Up to 100Mbps
(wireless speeds may vary)
View Plan
Spectrum Internet®$49.99/mo for 12 mos.†Up to 300 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)View Plan
Spectrum Internet® Ultra$69.99/mo for 12 mos.†Up to 500 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)View Plan
Spectrum Internet® Gig$89.99/mo for 12 mos.**Up to 1,000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)View Plan

Spectrum’s plans start at 300 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) which, while considerably slower than a gigabit connection, is more than enough to do most online activities, including bandwidth-intensive ones like streaming video. In homes with just a handful of connected devices, this basic plan can meet your needs while saving you money on your monthly bill.

Are you paying for the right amount of internet speed?

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If, on the other hand, your home network often has multiple computers, tablets, or smart TVs that all use the internet at once, you might need a faster connection.

Spectrum has plans all the way up to 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) (wireless speeds may vary), but this plan is more expensive than Google Fiber’s equivalent and also doesn’t come with the other benefits of fiber connections.

It’s also important to note that Spectrum’s prices increase after the first year—up to $25 per month—so the difference in price only gets worse as time goes on.

HSI badge deals

Deals and promotions: Google Fiber vs. Spectrum

Get the 1 Gig plan for $70 per month to have 1,000 Mbps speeds with no data caps and free installation.

Spectrum
Get a free Unlimited Mobile line for 12 months when you sign up for an internet plan with speeds of 300Mbps or faster.

Get a free mobile line with unlimited talk, text and data and free Advanced WiFi for enhanced network security when you sign up for Spectrum One Stream and get 300Mbps Spectrum Internet®. You can also get a free Xumo Stream Box when you add Spectrum TV®.

Get the Deal

Extra fees: Google Fiber vs. Spectrum

Equipment FeeInstallation Fee
Google FiberFreeFree
Spectrum
  • $5.00/mo. for WiFi (no charge with Internet Gig plan)
  • $3.00/mo. per Spectrum WiFi Pod
  • No charge for modem or gateway
  • $59.99 for pro install
  • $24.99 for self-install and service activation
  • $49.99 for WiFi Pod install
  • Google Fiber has simple, straightforward pricing with no hidden fees. Installation is free, as is the equipment. Spectrum has an installation fee, but it also has a cheaper option for self-installation, which can keep your initial costs pretty low.

    While your Spectrum modem is rent-free, it does charge a $5 fee if you want to use its router or its gateway’s WiFi. Spectrum’s gigabit Internet plan throws in WiFi at no extra charge. But for the slower plans, an extra $5 per month eats away at the monthly savings you get from opting for a cheaper plan in the first place.

    Customer ratings: Google Fiber vs. Spectrum

    OverallSpeedPriceReliabilityCustomer service
    Google Fiber4.34.34.04.34.2
    Spectrum3.73.93.33.73.7

    Google Fiber ranked well above the big nationwide providers in our annual customer satisfaction survey. Google Fiber ranked especially high in speed and reliability.

    Although Spectrum’s customer ratings are quite a bit lower than the astronomical numbers of Google Fiber, Spectrum did well against other nationwide providers in our survey this year, finishing in the middle of the pack for most categories.

    Best TV and internet bundles

    PackageInternet speedTV channelsPriceDetails
    Spectrum Internet + TV Signature*Up to 300 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)125+$114.98/mo. for 12 mos.†View Plans
    Spectrum Internet Ultra + TV Signature*Up to 500 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)125+$113.18/mo. for 12 mos.†View Plans

    Google Fiber doesn’t offer bundles with TV, but its high download speeds make it a good choice for those who use streaming services like Netflix or Hulu.

    Spectrum doesn’t offer the traditional TV and internet bundle with a discount. Instead, you can pair its TV Select service with any one of its three cable internet plans. Both services have discounted pricing for the first 12 months, but all premium channels are an added cost. Plus, you’ll see a broadcast surcharge of up to $21 per month that’s not part of the discounted pricing.

    Internet types: Google Fiber vs. Spectrum

    Internet typeDetails
    Google FiberFiber
    SpectrumCableView Plans

    Google Fiber offers fiber-to-the-home internet. This means the connection to your home is built from the same technology as the backbone of the entire internet. Fiber has low latency, which is good for video chat and online games, and high upload speeds, which is good for streamers and other content creators.

    Spectrum provides cable internet, which is one of the faster and more reliable types of connection but not as fast or reliable as fiber. Cable has slow upload speeds, however, which can cause issues for people who work or go to school from home.

    Find out more about the differences between cable and fiber.

    Data caps: Google Fiber vs. Spectrum

    Data CapDetails
    Google FiberNo data caps
    SpectrumNo data capsView Plans

    Neither Google Fiber nor Spectrum have data caps, which is a big perk. This is especially important on fast plans where you can download massive amounts of data in seconds. With either ISP, you can download to your heart’s content with no fear of having your connection throttled.

    Contracts: Google Fiber vs. Spectrum

    Contract lengthDetails
    Google FiberNo contract
    SpectrumNo contractView Plans

    Neither Google Fiber nor Spectrum make you sign a contract when you sign up for an Internet plan. You pay month to month and are free to switch providers at any time.

    Installation: Google Fiber vs. Spectrum

    Installation optionsDetails
    Google Fiber
  • Free for pro install
  • Spectrum
  • $59.99 for pro install
  • $24.99 for self-install and service activation
  • $49.99 for WiFi Pod install
  • View Plans

    Google Fiber gives new customers free professional installation. This is especially nice considering fiber connections are generally quite a bit more complicated than other technologies, so self-installation usually isn’t an option

    Spectrum encourages new customers to opt for the self-install kit over a pro installation due to COVID-19. But you can get a pro to come out if you need a completely new installation, to relocate the modem, rewire existing cabling, and so on.

    Availability: Google Fiber vs. Spectrum

    Google Fiber’s biggest hurdle is its very limited availability. Even with new Google Fiber cities getting connected over the last few years, it still covers less than 1% of the US population.2

    On the opposite end of the spectrum (so to speak), Spectrum’s cable network reaches over a third of all US households, though it’s primarily found on the East Coast and large urban areas.2

    Final call: Google Fiber vs. Spectrum

    Google Fiber offers fast, reliable connections that are a great value. If speed is a major factor in your decision or you have a very connected household, go with Google Fiber if it’s available. If you don’t need as much speed, or if you’re interested in bundling services, Spectrum might be worth considering.

    You can save a bit on your monthly bill with some Spectrum plans, but upfront costs and price hikes down the road mean you might not save much compared to Google Fiber’s more straightforward plans.

    View Spectrum Plans

    Methodology

    Our HighSpeedInternet.com 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.

    Sources

    1. Blair Levin and Larry Downes, Harvard Business Review, “Why Google Fiber Is High-Speed Internet’s Most Successful Failure,” September 7, 2018. Accessed June 7, 2021.
    2. Federal Communications Commission, “Fixed Broadband Deployment,” Accessed June 7, 2021.

    Author -

    Peter Christiansen writes about satellite internet, rural connectivity, livestreaming, and parental controls for HighSpeedInternet.com. Peter holds a PhD in communication from the University of Utah and has been working in tech for over 15 years as a computer programmer, game developer, filmmaker, and writer. His writing has been praised by outlets like Wired, Digital Humanities Now, and the New Statesman.

    Editor - Cara Haynes

    Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for HighSpeedInternet.com for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.

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