Verizon vs. Spectrum: Which Internet Provider Is Best for You?

Verizon and Spectrum offer different internet connection types. We compare the two so you can choose what’s best for you.

  • Best for speed
    • Customer rating: 3.8/5
    • Price: $39.99–$119.99/mo.*‡†
    • Speed: Up to 200–2,048 Mbps
    • Internet type: Fiber, DSL
    • Annual contract: No contract
    • Setup charge: $99.00 (waived when ordered online)
  • Best for availability
    • Customer rating: 3.6/5
    • Price: $49.99–$89.99/mo.§
    • Speed: Up to 300–1,000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)
    • Internet type: Cable
    • Annual contract: No contract
    • Setup charge: $49.99 for pro; $19.99 for self

Compare Verizon and Spectrum head to head

Choosing between Verizon and Spectrum mostly comes down to fiber versus cable. Spectrum’s cable internet is the clear choice if you want speeds faster than DSL internet and there is no fiber internet in your area.

However, we suggest going with fiber from Verizon Fios if you can. Verizon’s high-speed plans are cheaper than Spectrum’s, plus you get the benefits of fiber like symmetrical speeds, low latency, and great reliability.

Pros and cons: Verizon vs. Spectrum

Pros:

  • No annual contracts
  • No data caps
  • Fiber internet with speeds up to 2 Gbps

Cons:

  • Limited fiber availability
  • No DSL for new customers

 

Pros:

  • No modem rental fee
  • No annual contracts
  • No data caps

Cons:

  • WiFi is an extra fee
  • No fiber availability
  • Higher prices after promotion

Want to compare the best Verizon and Spectrum plans in your area? Enter your zip code below.

Plans and pricing: Verizon vs. Spectrum

Verizon is cheaper than Spectrum when you compare the 300 Mbps plans. Their gigabit plans are identical in price, but the pricing of all three Spectrum Internet® plans increases after twelve months whereas Verizon’s plans do not. Verizon simply has the upper hand in both pricing, symmetrical speeds, and the fastest downloads you can get of the two.

Verizon plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedTypeDetails
Internet 200/200$39.99/mo.*200 MbpsFiber
Internet 300/300§$39.99/mo.*300 MbpsFiber
Internet 400/400$64.99/mo.*400 MbpsFiber
Internet 500/500§$64.99/mo.*500 MbpsFiber
Internet 1 Gig$89.99/mo.†Up to 940 MbpsFiber
Internet 2 Gig$119.99/mo.‡Up to 2,048 MbpsFiber

At first glance, Verizon offers a wider variety of internet plans than Spectrum. But a closer look shows that Verizon’s Internet 300/300 and Internet 500/500 plans are limited to specific areas in New York. That narrows the list down to four fiber connections in most areas.

Verizon also pairs DSL internet with traditional landline phone service, but it does not offer DSL to new customers.

Spectrum plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedDetails
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

Like Verizon, Spectrum also serves up speeds maxing out at 300, 500, and 1,000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary).

The base Spectrum Internet plan is $10 more per month for the same download speed as Verizon’s Internet 300/300 plan. Spectrum’s 500 Mbps plan costs $5 more per month while its gigabit plan matches Verizon’s Fios Gigabit Connection price. But Spectrum increases your monthly cost after the first 12 months, making its cable internet a far less affordable option compared to Verizon’s fiber.

The win for Spectrum, though, is that cable internet has a wider availability than fiber. Given fiber internet is relatively new and scarce in most areas, Spectrum may be your only high-speed option.

HSI badge deals

Deals and promotions: Verizon vs. Spectrum

Sign up for Fios Gigabit Connection to get a Disney+ trial for 6 mos., Motorola MoCA Adapter, $50 XBox gift card, and either a discount on a Stream TV Soundbar or a free Stream TV device.

Spectrum
Get a free, 12-month trial of Peacock Premium when you sign up for a qualifying internet plan.

Get the Deal

Extra fees: Verizon vs. Spectrum

Equipment FeeInstallation FeeOther Fees
Verizon
  • $15.00/mo. router charge (waived with Fios Gigabit Connection)
  • $99.00 (waived if you order online)
  • $7.00 phone payment processing fee
  • $9.00 late payment fee
  • 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
  • $49.99 for pro install
  • $19.99 for self-install and service activation
  • $49.99 for WiFi Pod install
  • $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
  • Spectrum doesn’t charge a modem rental fee each month. However, it charges a $5.00 monthly fee for WiFi, whether you have Spectrum’s standalone router or one of its wireless gateways. You can eliminate this fee by buying your own router.

    The good news is Spectrum dropped its one-time $199.99 activation fee and lowered the monthly cost for gigabit internet. The plan is now more affordable than ever if you need gigabit speeds and Verizon’s fiber isn’t available where you live. But Verizon is still the cheaper, faster, and more reliable option if you can get it.

    Want to see which Verizon and Spectrum plans are available in your area? Check to see by typing in your zip code below.

    Customer ratings: Verizon vs. Spectrum

    Overall RatingReliability RatingCustomer Service RatingSpeed RatingPrice Rating
    Verizon3.83.83.83.93.5
    Spectrum3.63.63.63.73.2

    Verizon ranked third for overall satisfaction in our annual customer satisfaction survey. It also ranked second in terms of speed, price, and reliability satisfaction, falling behind EarthLink in most cases. Meanwhile, Spectrum hovered in the lower half of 12 internet providers, swapping places throughout each category with cable internet rivals Xfinity and Optimum.

    Based on our report, 43% of the Verizon customers surveyed said they felt “very satisfied” with their connection’s reliability—Spectrum saw a slightly lower 41% from its customers. Verizon also saw a better response in speed satisfaction, with 89% of its customers saying their speeds “usually” or “always” met their needs. Spectrum scored slightly lower at 87%, which still isn’t bad.

    Best TV and internet bundles

    PackageInternet speedTV channelsPriceDetails
    Verizon 400 Mbps Internet + Your Fios TVUp to 400 Mbps125+$139.99/mo.*
    Verizon Fios Gigabit Connection + More Fios TVUp to 940 Mbps300+$179.99/mo.**
    Spectrum Internet (up to 300 Mbps) + TV SelectUp to 300 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)125+$99.98/mo. for 12 mos.‡View Plans
    Spectrum Internet Ultra + TV SelectUp to 500 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)125+$119.98/mo. for 12 mos.‡View Plans

    Verizon’s Mix & Match options come in only four flavors, the cheapest of which costs $119.99 per month. Verizon’s Your Fios TV service includes one set-top box and allows you to pick five of your favorite channels. The More Fios TV service consists of a set-top box, basic DVR service, Verizon’s most popular channels, and regional sports.

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

    Internet types: Verizon vs. Spectrum

    Internet typeDetails
    VerizonFiber, DSL
    SpectrumCableView Plans

    Verizon’s DSL service is the slowest of the three using telephone lines already installed in most areas. Meanwhile, Verizon’s Fios network is the fastest of the three due to how the infrastructure is designed. Fiber also has symmetrical speeds, unlike cable and DSL.

    Cable internet is the middle ground when it comes to speeds. It relies on cable TV lines, so it’s more widely available than fiber. The fastest cable internet plan you can get from Spectrum is 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps), and in some areas, the upload speed reaches 500 Mbps. Verizon’s fastest fiber plan has symmetrical speeds of up to 2,048 Mbps (2 Gbps).

    Data caps: Verizon vs. Spectrum

    Data CapDetails
    VerizonNo cap
    SpectrumNo capView Plans

    Verizon and Spectrum do not force data caps, but that may change in the next few years for Spectrum.

    Part of Charter’s deal with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2016 when it acquired Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks was that it wouldn’t impose a data cap and usage-based pricing. That agreement will lapse in May 2023, and Charter already attempted to end its agreement two years early but withdrew its petition. In a response to the FCC, Charter implied that customers would benefit from data caps and usage-based pricing.1

    Contracts: Verizon vs. Spectrum

    Contract lengthDetails
    VerizonNo contract
    SpectrumNo contractView Plans

    Verizon and Spectrum do not have annual contracts or early termination fees. Spectrum, however, offers discounted pricing for 12 or 24 months, depending on where you live. There’s no catch either—you can cancel the discounted service at any time after the first month without any hidden penalties. They’re just promotions to get you to sign up with Spectrum.

    Installation: Verizon vs. Spectrum

    Installation optionsDetails
    Verizon
  • $99.00 (waived if you order online)
  • Spectrum
  • $49.99 for pro install
  • $19.99 for self-install and service activation
  • $49.99 for WiFi Pod install
  • View Plans

    Verizon doesn’t offer a self-install kit, but you can save money by ordering Verizon’s service online—Verizon will waive the pro install fee. Spectrum doesn’t offer a similar discount with its pro install service.

    In fact, Spectrum encourages new customers to opt for its self-install kit over a pro install due to COVID-19. Spectrum sends a technician out to customers for completely new installs, relocating the modem, rewiring, and so on.

    Availability: Verizon vs. Spectrum

    Verizon’s DSL internet covers most of its service areas. Its fiber-based Fios network has a smaller footprint, available in key metro areas within Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

    Spectrum has a broader footprint across North America. It provides cable internet in California, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, New York, North and South Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and several other states.

    To see Verizon and Spectrum availability in your area, enter your zip code below.

    Final call: Verizon vs. Spectrum

    The choice between Verizon and Spectrum boils down to fiber versus cable internet. Verizon doesn’t offer DSL service to new customers, and its fiber internet has limited availability. We suggest Spectrum’s cable internet over DSL and satellite if you can’t get fiber internet.

    But if you live or work where Verizon Fios overlaps in coverage with Spectrum’s cable internet, go with Verizon instead. Fiber internet plans are hard to beat, and Verizon Fios’s fiber plans are a great deal. They’re cheaper than Spectrum plans—even more so after Spectrum’s promotional pricing ends—and provide equal upload and download speeds.

    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. Federal Communications Commission, “Reply of Charter Communications, Inc.,” August 6, 2020. Accessed August 20, 2021.

    Author -

    Kevin Parrish has more than a decade of experience working as a writer, editor, and product tester. He began writing about computer hardware and soon branched out to other devices and services such as networking equipment, phones and tablets, game consoles, and other internet-connected devices. His work has appeared in Tom’s Hardware, Tom's Guide, Maximum PC, Digital Trends, Android Authority, How-To Geek, Lifewire, and others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on internet security.

    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.