Verizon Fios Home Internet vs. Spectrum

Best price on near gigabit internet
  • Speeds start at 200 Mbps (Fiber) or 0.5 Mbps (DSL)
  • No contract required
  • Gigabit connection pricing: $79.99/mo.†

 Starting at $39.99/mo.*
 

Best provider for contract-free service
  • Speeds start at 100 Mbps
  • No contract required
  • Gig pricing: $104.99/mo.

Starting at $44.99/mo.
 

*w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip. charges.
w/ Auto Pay + taxes.

Verizon vs. Spectrum internet

Verizon Spectrum

Type of service

Fiber or DSL

Type of service

Cable

Price

$39.99–$79.99/mo.* (Fiber)
$69.99/mo. (DSL)

Price

$44.99–$104.99/mo

Contract

No annual contract

Contract

No annual contract

Price guarantee

N/A

Price guarantee

1 year

Download speeds

200 Mbps–up to 940 Mbps (Fiber)
0.5 Mbps–15 Mbps (DSL)

Download speeds

100 Mbps–940 Mbps

Upload speeds

200 Mbps–up to 880 Mbps (Fiber)
0.5 Mbps–3 Mbps (DSL)

Upload speeds

10–35 Mbps

Equipment fees

$15.00/mo. (router)
Router included with the Fios Gigabit Connection

Equipment fees

$5.00/mo. for router (optional)

Installation fee

$99.00 (Waived when ordered online)

Installation fee

$9.99–$199.99

Customer satisfaction

N/A*

Customer satisfaction

(3.78/5)

View Verizon plansView Spectrum plans
Verizon

Type of service

Fiber or DSL

Spectrum

Type of service

Cable

Verizon

Price

$39.99–$79.99/mo.* (Fiber)
$69.99/mo. (DSL)

Spectrum

Price

$44.99–$104.99/mo

Verizon

Contract

No annual contract

Spectrum

Contract

No annual contract

Verizon

Price guarantee

N/A

Spectrum

Price guarantee

1 year

Verizon

Download speeds

200 Mbps–up to 940 Mbps (Fiber)
0.5 Mbps–15 Mbps (DSL)

Spectrum

Download speeds

100 Mbps–940 Mbps

Verizon

Upload speeds

200 Mbps–up to 880 Mbps (Fiber)
0.5 Mbps–3 Mbps (DSL)

Spectrum

Upload speeds

10–35 Mbps

Verizon

Equipment fees

$15.00/mo. (router)
Router included with the Fios Gigabit Connection

Spectrum

Equipment fees

$5.00/mo. for router (optional)

Verizon

Installation fee

$99.00 (Waived when ordered online)

Spectrum

Installation fee

$9.99–$199.99

Verizon

Customer satisfaction

N/A*

Spectrum

Customer satisfaction

(3.78/5)

Verizon View Verizon plans
Spectrum View Spectrum plans

Verizon vs. Spectrum packages and pricing

Cable providers like Spectrum can deliver fast download speeds, making it useful anytime you’re navigating the internet, streaming video, or downloading files. But Spectrum just can’t deliver as much uploading speed as Verizon fiber.

Verizon offers two types of internet service: DSL and fiber (Fios). Verizon Fios Home Internet is fiber internet, which means it’s racing fast. Fios speeds start at 200 Mbps and go up to 940 Mbps. DSL is delivered over phone lines and is much slower—ranging from 0.5 Mbps to 15 Mbps.

Verizon internet packages

PackagePriceDownload speedUpload speedInternet type
Fios Home Internet 200/200 Mbps$39.99/mo.*200 Mbps200 MbpsFiber
Fios Home Internet 400/400 Mbps$59.99/mo.*400 Mbps400 MbpsFiber
Fios Gigabit Connection$79.99/mo.Up to 940 MbpsUp to 880 MbpsFiber
Verizon High Speed Internet + Phone$69.99/mo.Up to 15 MbpsN/ADSL
PackageFios Home Internet 200/200 Mbps
Price$39.99/mo.*
Download speed200 Mbps
Upload speed200 Mbps
Internet typeFiber
PackageFios Home Internet 400/400 Mbps
Price$59.99/mo.*
Download speed400 Mbps
Upload speed400 Mbps
Internet typeFiber
PackageFios Gigabit Connection
Price$79.99/mo.
Download speedUp to 940 Mbps
Upload speedUp to 880 Mbps
Internet typeFiber
PackageVerizon High Speed Internet + Phone
Price$69.99/mo.
Download speedUp to 15 Mbps
Upload speedN/A
Internet typeDSL

Spectrum internet packages

PackagePriceDownload speedUpload speedInternet type
Spectrum Internet$44.99/mo.˚100+ MbpsUp to 10 MbpsCable
Spectrum Internet Ultra$64.99/mo.˚Up to 400 MbpsUp to 20 MbpsCable
Spectrum Internet GIG$104.99/mo.˚Up to 940 MbpsUp to 35 MbpsCable
Spectrum Internet Assist$17.99/mo. for qualifying persons Up to 30 MbpsUndisclosedCable
PackageSpectrum Internet
Price$44.99/mo.˚
Download speed100+ Mbps
Upload speedUp to 10 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageSpectrum Internet Ultra
Price$64.99/mo.˚
Download speedUp to 400 Mbps
Upload speedUp to 20 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageSpectrum Internet GIG
Price$104.99/mo.˚
Download speedUp to 940 Mbps
Upload speedUp to 35 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageSpectrum Internet Assist
Price$17.99/mo. for qualifying persons
Download speedUp to 30 Mbps
Upload speedUndisclosed
Internet typeCable

Spectrum Internet offers several robust speed packages that work well for the average household. Unlike wimpy internet plans that won’t support more than one or two devices, any standard Spectrum plan will allow you and your kids to watch and play games on different devices (with the exception of Spectrum Internet Assist, which is part of a government-assistance program).

Because Spectrum is a cable internet provider, you might experience slowing during the evenings or on weekends, when a lot of your neighbors are also using the internet. But since standard plans start at 100 Mbps, Spectrum has built in a buffer for most households.

What is Spectrum Internet Assist?

Spectrum offers an affordable internet option for low income families. It isn’t as speedy as Spectrum’s other internet packages, but Spectrum Internet Assist delivers speeds up to 30 Mbps for a tidy $17.99 per month (which is the same price you’d pay for 1 Mbps dial-up). You’ll also get a free modem and be eligible for Wi-Fi for only $5 more a month.

To qualify for Spectrum Internet Assist, you or a member of your family must meet one of the following requirements.

  • Qualify for The National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
  • Qualify for The Community Eligibility Provision of the NSLP
  • Receive Supplemental Security Income (for those 65 and older only)

Find out more about Spectrum Internet Assist.

Verizon Fios Home Internet vs. Spectrum: Who has the fastest internet speed?

Internet speeds

If you have a choice between Spectrum or Verizon Fios Home Internet, pick Verizon Fios for the fastest upload speeds in the industry, according to the FCC. Fiber internet is fast and has low latency, which is key for online gaming. However, both Spectrum and Verizon Fios are fast enough for video streaming.

In recent ratings, Netflix ranked Verizon Fios as the top internet provider for video streaming performance in the nation in August 2019. Spectrum snagged the second-to-top spot. Verizon DSL came in a lot lower, in the ninth spot.

Verizon High Speed Internet (which has a DSL connection) is a lot slower. Not to be confused with its speedy cousin Verizon Fios, Verizon DSL has below-average performance for video streaming.

Test your speed

Find out how fast your current internet connection is with our speed test tool.

Internet types

Spectrum is cable internet, which has advantages and disadvantages. Faster than DSL, cable internet can reach speeds up to 940 Mbps. But cable internet connections have slow upload speeds, which will make for more lag time for online games and slower photo uploads.

Verizon offers both DSL and fiber internet. Verizon Fios Home Internet is fiber and offers the fastest upload and download speeds and competitive pricing. Verizon Fios is available primarily in  the Northeastern part of the US, with good coverage in NY, NJ, DE, CT, MA, DC, MD, RI, VA, and other areas. Verizon DSL is available in Verizon coverage areas where the fiber network hasn’t been installed. It’s slow compared to Fios but certainly better than nothing if it’s your only option.

Verizon vs. Spectrum fees and contracts

We like the way Spectrum doesn’t lock you in to a contract to get service. You can come and go as you please with Spectrum, which is unusual for Internet Service Providers (ISP). Spectrum Internet prices do go up after the first year, however. In month 13, prices revert to standard rate, which is roughly 31% higher than promotional pricing. For instance, Spectrum Internet 100 Mbps goes up to $64.99.

You might have heard that Verizon internet requires a contract, but that’s no longer true. Starting in 2020,  Verizon Fios Home Internet stopped requiring an annual contract, which we really like. Nobody ever enjoyed paying an early termination fee!

Verizon Fios Home Internet fees

FeesAmount
Installation fee$99 (waived if you order online)
Equipment rental fee$15/mo. (waived with Fios Gigabit Connection)
Late payment feeVaries by location
Phone payment processing fee$7

Verizon’s installation fee of $99 is fairly standard for internet providers. Verizon’s equipment rental fee is on the high side but not a deal breaker for most people.

Spectrum fees

FeesAmount
Installation fee$49.99–$199.99 (self-install or professional)
Wi-Fi activation fee$9.99
Equipment rental fee$5.00
Early termination Fee$0
Late payment fee$8.95
Phone payment processing fee$5.00

Since Spectrum doesn’t require contracts, you won’t have an Early Termination Fees with Spectrum, which is a big plus.

Overall, the rest of Spectrum’s fees are fairly standard, although we did think the Wi-Fi activation fee on top of the internet installation fee was a bit much.

If you want to self-install your internet, Spectrum charges $9.99 for a self-install kit with step-by-step directions. Professional installation costs $49.99 to $199.99, depending on how complicated your installation is.

Internet contracts

Spectrum and Verizon are both contract-free internet provides. In fact, Spectrum may even help buy you out of your current internet contract if you decide to switch to Spectrum and get a Triple Play bundle.

Verizon Fios Home Internet vs. Spectrum equipment

Renting or buying modems and routers

Spectrum includes free rental of a modem with your service, but charges $5 per month for router rental (which you’ll need if you want to broadcast a Wi-Fi signal around your house). You can also choose to use your own equipment, as long as it’s compatible with Spectrum.

Verizon charges $15 per month to rent a modem/router combo (the Fios Home Router). If you have the Fios Gigabit Connection, it’s included with monthly service. If  you’d rather buy one, it’s available for $299.99.

Mobile apps

Spectrum has a network of Wi-Fi hotspots across the country that you can use on any internet-enabled device using the Spectrum app. Verizon Fios does not currently have a Wi-Fi hotspot network. The Verizon Fios app is primarily for paying your bill.

Verizon vs. Spectrum customer service

Verizon’s customer service is the top-rated ISP in the eastern United States in recent surveys by  J.D. Power. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been complaints, but it seems that working things out with Verizon customer service usually has favorable results.

In the same survey, Spectrum is rated lower than Verizon for customer satisfaction and customer service by J.D. Power. Our last customer satisfaction survey placed Spectrum service in the middle of internet providers.

Installation and setup

Verizon

Installation fee: $99.00 or waived when ordered online

Installation type: Pro or self-install

Installation customer satisfaction rating: N/A

 

Schedule an installation
 

Spectrum

Installation fee: $9.99–$199.99

Installation type: Pro or self-install

Installation customer satisfaction rating:

(4.85/5)

 

Schedule an installation

Verizon internet can be set up by a professional or self-installed. For Verizon DSL, you need to have a working landline phone jack. Verizon Fios is available only to homes and apartments within the Verizon fiber network.

As long as your home or apartment is wired for Spectrum cable service, you can opt to self-install Spectrum. If you want to self-install, you’ll have a kit delivered to your home that you’ll set up yourself. Then you’ll activate your Spectrum internet. For more information, read “Your Guide to Spectrum Internet Installation.”

Verizon vs. Spectrum availability

Top 5 cities for Verizon:

  1. New York, NY
  2. Brooklyn, NY
  3. Oakland, CA
  4. Washington, DC
  5. Brunswick, OH

Top 5 cities for Spectrum:

  1. Carlsbad, CA
  2. Frisco, TX
  3. McKinney, TX
  4. Lewisville, TX
  5. Staten Island, NY

Spectrum Internet is available to customers living in parts of 45 states, with the heaviest coverage in New York, Texas, and California.

Verizon Fios is offered to over 30 million customers who live in densely populated metro areas in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

Verizon DSL is available to 50 million customers in 11 states in the eastern United States.

Pro tip: Find internet options in your neighborhood.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Great for video streaming
  • Best for gaming (faster upload speeds)

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi hotspots
 

Pros

  • Great for video streaming
  • Great for travelers (Wi-Fi hotspots)

Cons

  • Slower upload speeds
  • Price hike after first year
 

Mobile phone coverage

Spectrum and Verizon both offer mobile phone plans. Spectrum is a MVNO—a Mobile Virtual Network Operator. They pay to use Verizon’s network and offer service for about half the price of being an official Verizon Wireless customer. But Spectrum Mobile customers are deprioritized over direct Verizon customers, so they may experience slower data and more dropped calls than direct Verizon customers.

Our verdict

If you live in an area where Verizon Fios is available, we recommend it thanks to its fast upload and download speeds. Online gamers, YouTubers, and remote workers will appreciate the fast upload speeds. And most households will have plenty of bandwidth for Netflix even on the lowest speed Fios package.

A lot of what we’re all doing online these days is streaming, and Spectrum plans are made for that. While gamers will prefer Verizon Fios, Spectrum’s 100 Mbps plan is a cost-effective choice for avid video streamers.

Find internet options in your neighborhood:

Verizon vs. Spectrum FAQ

How fast is Verizon Fios vs. Spectrum internet?

Both Verizon Fios and Spectrum packages start at download speeds of 200 Mbps and go up to 940 Mbps, but that’s only part of the story. The edge Verizon Fios has over Spectrum speeds is not in download speed but in upload speed. Spectrum upload speeds top out at 35 Mbps, but Verizon Fios upload speeds can reach up to 880 Mbps.

Spectrum performs well for standard internet activities like watching video content and browsing, but Verizon Fios takes the prize for online gaming performance or uploading large files.

Who is cheaper: Verizon Fios or Spectrum?

That depends on which plan you’re looking at. If you’re looking for the cheapest internet overall, Spectrum’s slowest speed plan (100 Mbps) is a tiny bit cheaper. Verizon’s base prices are lower than Spectrum, but Verizon has higher equipment fees. When you add in equipment costs, Verizon Fios costs $54.99 for 200 Mbps, while Spectrum charges $49.99 for the same speed.

But if you compare Verizon Fios’s Gigabit plan to Spectrum’s Gigabit plan, Verizon Fios is cheaper. Verizon’s up to 940 Mbps plan is $79.99 per month while Spectrum’s 940 Mbps plan is $104.99 per month.

Does Spectrum offer a mobile phone and internet bundle?

No, Spectrum doesn’t offer an official mobile phone and internet bundle, but Spectrum does offer discounted mobile phone service to current internet customers under the name Spectrum Mobile.

Who has better coverage: Verizon Wireless or Spectrum Mobile?

Verizon Wireless has the best coverage. Technically, Verizon Wireless and Spectrum Mobile run on the same network (Verizon’s). But Verizon will prioritize direct Verizon Wireless customers over Spectrum customers, which results in Spectrum customers getting slower or worse service at times.

Author -

After graduating with a degree in English from the University of Utah, Kristin learned to geek speak while working as a technical recruiter, interviewing software developers and tech companies in the Pacific Northwest. Over the past 20 years, she has created award-winning content for technology, health, and finance companies, eventually bringing her talent to HighSpeedInternet.com where she writes unbiased reviews of internet providers and tech products. Her work has been featured in the New York Post, PC Magazine, Forbes, Business Insider, Space.com, and Fox News.

Editor - Cara Haynes

Cara Haynes has edited for HighSpeedInternet.com for three years, working with smart writers to revise everything from internet reviews to reports on your state’s favorite Netflix show. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span (buffering kills). With a degree in English and editing and five years working with online content, it’s safe to say she likes words on the internet. She is most likely to be seen wearing Birkenstocks and hanging out with a bouncy goldendoodle named Dobby, who is a literal fur angel sent to Earth.

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