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9.6 / 10  Review Rating

Spectrum® Internet in a Nutshell

  • Offers Service in: California, Texas, New York, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kentucky, South Carolina, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Hawaii, Indiana, Minnesota, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Illinois, Washington, Nebraska, Kansas, Montana, Louisiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Connecticut, Wyoming, New Jersey, Virginia, Arizona, New Hampshire, Idaho, West Virginia, Vermont, Mississippi, New Mexico, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Arkansas
  • Major Cities Covered: Los Angeles, CA, San Diego, CA, Orlando, FL, Tampa, FL, Indianapolis, IN, Louisville, KY, Saint Paul, MN, Saint Louis, MO, Charlotte, NC, Brooklyn, NY, New York, NY, Cincinnati, OH, Cleveland, OH, Columbus, OH, Austin, TX, Dallas, TX, El Paso, TX, Fort Worth, TX, San Antonio, TX, and Milwaukee, WI
  • Residential Pricing: $49.99+ per month for 12 months

Spectrum Internet was the first Internet provider I had in my first house. It was an easy choice among the other options — Spectrum has the best new customer deals where I live. I had Spectrum Internet for a little over a year before switching to another provider to get a lower-priced plan, so I had plenty of time to test it out for this review. And I didn’t have to rely on my experience alone: My mom has been a loyal Spectrum Internet customer for almost a decade.

So what did testing Spectrum Internet twice over reveal? I’m not fond of how much Spectrum Internet prices increase after the first year, but they’re not high enough to make a budget-watcher like my mom switch providers. Though it’s not quite cheap, Spectrum’s impressive offerings make it one of the best values in her area for high-speed Internet, TV, home, and mobile phone services — not to mention the perks that save her hundreds each year. Still, my own testing shows that Spectrum Internet speeds can vary, and I had very different experiences with speed, pricing, equipment, and more. I’ll detail all of it below in this year’s review of Spectrum Internet.

Overview of Spectrum Internet

I can say with confidence that Spectrum is much better today than it ever was back then. Spectrum’s customer service is easy to reach, and there are multiple ways to do so. Spectrum's modem is more up-to-date and doubles as a wireless router. Spectrum's introductory Internet speeds have also increased from 200 to 300 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) across the United States. That said, during my testing, I found the download speeds to fluctuate, depending on the time of the day.

The reason that Spectrum Internet speeds vary from market to market — and from hour to hour — is that Spectrum’s network is primarily a cable Internet network. Cable Internet connections like Spectrum’s slow down when the network is crowded. They’re simply not as fast as fiber networks. That’s not the end of the world, though, as my mom’s loyalty shows — if the price is right and your Internet use doesn’t require jaw-dropping speeds, you might be perfectly happy on a cable network.

When it comes to value, I found Spectrum was worth its price. For just $49.99 per month for 12 months, you get download speeds up to 300 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary). My connection was fast during the middle of the days and late nights — perfect for working from home. I live in an area where Spectrum averages around 313 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary), but any speed in this neighborhood should be more than fast enough to handle your household’s Internet traffic, even if you want to stream on multiple devices simultaneously.

Spectrum Internet speeds can be strong, but the company’s pricing and availability are what stand out the most relative to other providers. Spectrum’s availability gives it an edge in markets that few — if any — other ISPs serve. My only options for high-speed Internet are Frontier and Spectrum Internet; my mom’s neighborhood only has Spectrum installed, so she has no choice.

Pros and Cons of Spectrum Internet


  • Low-priced new customer deals
  • No data caps
  • Nationwide WiFi hotspots


  • Prices increase after the promotional period
  • Speeds can slow down randomly
  • Additional fee for WiFi

Spectrum Internet Plans & Speeds

Spectrum Internet offers about three plans, give or take, in most of the markets it serves. Exactly how many options you’ll have will depend on where you live. Having three plans seems to be the norm for Internet providers nowadays. Spectrum Internet plans have a wide range of speeds that can grow with your household if need be.

Spectrum Internet Plans, Pricing, and Speeds

Connection Type Download Speed Data Cap Promotional Rate
Spectrum Internet* Cable Up to 300 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) No cap $49.99 per month for 12 months
Spectrum Internet Ultra** Cable Up to 500 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) No cap $69.99 per month for 12 months
Spectrum Internet Gig*** Cable Up to 1 Gbps (wireless speeds may vary) No cap $89.99 per month for 12 months

Spectrum Internet plans are right in the middle when it comes to prices, so you can expect to pay about as much for Spectrum as you would for one of its competitors. Unfortunately, this isn’t a good thing: Some of Spectrum’s biggest competitors are fiber Internet providers, which offer faster service, so I would have liked to see Spectrum aim for lower prices on its slower plans. Cable Internet also doesn’t offer the same reliability as fiber, which gives more value to AT&T’s plans compared to Spectrum’s, even though Spectrum’s plans remain slightly cheaper.

Spectrum’s prices increase after the first 12 months. That’s to be expected, I’m afraid: most Internet providers increase their prices after a while. However, Spectrum doesn’t charge an equipment rental fee, which keeps the pricing of their plans in a competitive range when compared to other cable providers. Price increases notwithstanding, Spectrum is pretty affordable. That's especially true if you manage to land a Spectrum discount deal.

Spectrum also offers perks that some of their cable and fiber competitors lack. Spectrum’s nationwide hotspots are fast and stable enough to handle Zoom video calls. My mom’s favorite perk, Spectrum’s free antivirus software, helps her save money and time in line at Walmart every year. But Frontier still gives Spectrum a run for its money by offering fiber Internet at a lower regular monthly price. Spectrum’s perks and extras definitely make it a better value than it would otherwise be, but the ultimate perk would be a speedier fiber connection (hint hint, Spectrum!).

Spectrum Internet Fees

Fees Cost Optional? Type
Installation $59.99 ($199.99 for GIG) No (Self-installation costs $24.99) One-time
Early Termination Fee N/A N/A N/A
Router Fee Free N/A N/A
WiFi fee $5.99 Yes Monthly


Spectrum Internet installation fees are generally lower than most competitors’ fees, but there’s one big exception to this rule: Spectrum’s Internet Gig plan. The installation fee for the Gig plan is the highest I’ve ever seen from a cable Internet provider. And there’s no way around it, unfortunately: professional installation is required for the Gig plan.

This is only a problem with the Gig plan, though: There’s a good chance you won’t need professional installation if you choose any other Spectrum Internet plans. Most people are able to opt for self-installation. Spectrum’s self-installation is easy — it only took me 10 minutes to set up my service — and it only costs $24.99. All I had to do was connect the modem and call Spectrum to activate. Each self-installation kit comes with step-by-step instructions in case you need guidance.


All Spectrum Internet plans, including their bundles, are contract-free. They will even help you get out of a contract if you’re stuck in one. Most providers' early termination fees (ETFs) cost less than $500. Spectrum will pay up to $500 in ETFs to help you switch to one of their plans.

One advantage many don’t realize exists with the no-contract policy is that you can still get a discounted rate without being locked in. Other Internet providers also offer contract-free plans, but they’re normally available only at a higher price than the provider’s advertised rates. This is one reason why I chose Spectrum Internet when I moved.


Spectrum Internet offers a free modem/router combo with all their plans. However, there’s a $5.99-a-month WiFi fee to use the router capabilities. My mom avoids this fee by using her own WiFi router along with the Spectrum Internet modem.

My mom’s router no longer supports the speed her plan offers. She’s calling to activate her modem’s wireless router functions to get the speed she’s supposed to. During my time with Spectrum Internet, I stuck with their modem/router combo. We never had a WiFi dead zone in the house or garage.

You can buy a modem and router, but the risk you run with using your own equipment is that it may not support the speeds your plan offers. You also miss out on the technical support Spectrum can provide you. For instance, Spectrum is able to reset your equipment on their end if you have trouble. When you get your own equipment, you have to rely on its manufacturer’s support. If you still want your own equipment, you can check with Spectrum to get their equipment requirements or a list of approved routers before buying your own.

Spectrum Internet Customer Service

Spectrum’s customer service is easier to reach these days now that there are multiple ways to contact them. You can use their 24/7 support phone line, Twitter (@AskSpectrum), online chat, and Facebook. Hold times aren’t long, so don’t worry if you happen to get stuck on hold. Some people complain Spectrum’s customer service has long wait times, but we were usually able to speak to a representative without having to wait on hold.

After the merger, my mother’s plan didn’t automatically switch to one of the new plans. In one call, customer service was able to upgrade her plan quickly and give her new-customer pricing. Your experience with customer service should be smooth once you are in touch with an agent.


As the second-largest cable Internet provider in the U.S., Spectrum Internet is everywhere: It’s some people’s only option for high-speed Internet. And it’s a strong option in many markets — though not all of them. Spectrum’s cable network can’t match the speed or reliability of a modern fiber network, but opting for a fiber network like this can save you money. Plus, I was impressed with the perks, including its nationwide hotspots.

With Spectrum Internet, I felt like I was paying for Internet access across the U.S., not just at home. When you factor in their freebies, the lack of contracts and data caps, and the bundling options, Spectrum starts to look like a better value. And since it’s already one of the most affordable nationwide Internet providers a decent value is all Spectrum needs to appeal to budget-conscious shoppers. Though some fiber competitors might offer more bang for your buck, they will likely also come with higher overall prices. Spectrum is a strong option for affordable Internet.

25 thoughts on “Spectrum Internet Review

  1. Cindy Joshi says:

    I’ve been with Spectrum cable for at least 10 years. Toward the last few months my cable was going out every time it rained! They have terrible customer service! They don’t seem to care about keeping their customers happy!

  2. Lynda West says:

    If you are a good customer and pay your bills on time monthly, they reward you by raising your rate yearly until you can no longer afford their service. I only have internet and I’m paying $74.99 a month and I’m a senior. This is pure corporate greed.

    1. KM says:

      Just FYI…if you do not pay them, they cannot disconnect your services because utilities are prohibited by CPUC has prohibited all utilities to keep all of their services available no matter the payment status of the utility. Same for telephone, electric, gas, and water.

      1. Doug says:

        100% false.

    2. Anonymous says:

      I agree pure greed. They tell you your rates will never increase what a joke.

    3. Your Name Here says:

      Raising the price several times during a pandemic is beyond cruel. Being a local monopoly it’s easy to do that. My wife has worked from home since 2020. She just retired after 27 yrs of teaching. We’re both seniors. I’m disabled. But need the internet, so we’re screwed.

    4. john says:

      Yea, I just moved to Florida in August 2022 and I have been paying $74.99 per month. Up north were I was from it was lower and much easier and better checking my email messages.

  3. JC says:

    We signed up for internet with Spectrum at a promotional rate which they advertise and said would last for 12 months. After only five months of service they doubled the rate and refused to lower it. They scammed us with a huge bait and switch. We called their customer service and even escalated to a manager named Nathan. I said, “So you are going to scam us by changing the rate on us.” He said, “Yep, uh huh.” I would recommend you never go with Spectrum.

    1. CS says:

      File a complaint with the FCC. It’s very easy todo online. Spectrum consistently gouges their customers. 16 years of experience with them.

  4. T says:

    Their internet service is pure garbage. We pay for ‘up to 50’ download speed and get 3, sometimes 5 on good days. It shouldn’t cost $75/month for ‘better than simply nothing’ service.

  5. Ray A Judkins says:

    Their service is rotten garbage, they came to install service a week ago, the tech was clueless,he was going to go overhead, I asked a question, then he found out it had to go underground to match the electrical service,now they cop out and say I don”t have “a good credit rating”, I am 700+. total BS. Glad I did not cancel AT&T!!!

  6. Fred says:

    No issues at all with the Ultra 400 service. I use my own modem and router. The service feed to the home is important. Those of you with issues could have a modem/wifi router, or some other connection issue. A tech can come check things. I had one come out about a year ago and he removed a signal booster i had and it improved the speeds.

  7. Mark says:

    Spectrum cuts off your email accounts cold turkey if you leave their service area, with no warning and no support options to forward your email to another email account. This is catastrophic for anyone job seeking as you will get not interview emails after you move. Aso, we found our service to be pretty intermittent and unreliable and this affected our daughter taking tests from home, disconecctions from web conferencing and other inconveniences. I would not recommend Spectrum for all these reasons.

  8. MS says:

    Customer at 3 addresses in Ohio for 8 years (needed to keep the same email address). Very unreliable for a wired internet connection.

  9. Texas Tech Savvy says:

    I am heavy internet user here in North Texas (work from home, smart home, tons of devices, etc) and I had Spectrum for a few years and recently switched after finally getting fed up with everything. First, the service stability here was horrible–depending on the weather, the service would go up/down all the time. The straw that broke the camels back is I finally discovered they were throttling/blocking many popular site (Apple, Microsoft, streaming services). One I established a VPN, magically I could reach these sites for software updates, etc. After I cancelled the service, they proceeded to charge me for a full month of service anyway. I would never recommend Spectrum and I am never going back. BTW-horrible technology on their back end as well–this from their field techs who know it best!!!

  10. Forrest says:

    Most of us are Trapped with Only Spectrum in our areas. They are Over Priced, have Crap for Dependability and Value. They are a Total Rip Off! No Matter how long they Roll their Dog Terd Around in Powdered Sugar they will Never have a Jelly Doughnut. Spectrum is a Total Rip Off!

  11. samarah v thorpe says:

    i have been with this company for more than 3years, so i have a multitude of knowledge about their programs. pros and cons. cons- the spectrum internet website used to check account information is inaccurate and confusing. they continuously upsell, they dont give you the best deals for your neighborhood (you can have promotions in your area for 14.99 or 19.99, even if the 14.99 has better speeds they will push for 19.99), they have blatantly lied about deals to the detriment of the consumer (was told if i tried a TV program i would have better internet for the same price after i cancel within 7 days , that was a lie, i went from paying 20 to 151) . plus no punishment for judy and supervisor Joy for lying and giving no information about fixing the problem.

    pros- free modem, decent prices (but you have to fight for it), good internet with ethernet cable

    *the cons arent worst case scenarios, this WILL happen, especial the upselling*

  12. Will says:

    Outdated review. They charge for modem and gouge the customer whenever possible. Bright House was much better in terms of performance, customer service and pricing options.

  13. Anonymous says:

    spectrum tv program always shows same old movies over and over again.

  14. Anonymous says:

    spectrum tv program always shows same old movies over and over again.
    Time Warner was the best.

  15. William Buckley says:

    I have had Spectrum for some time, pay $79 a months, and only get a maxium of 90 Mbps. They run the biggest con game in the internet industry with their false ads of 300 Mbps.

  16. Helena Donaldson says:

    Spectrum is the worst about your bill they call your phone every ten minutes and although your bill is not due they start to threaten you with warnings I recommend don’t use spectrum

  17. John carboni says:

    In the process and changing tv and phone and possibly internet yall keep going up i am a senior citizen can’t afford to keep paying

  18. John says:

    I’m not a Spectrum customer. Spectrum cut my internet line while working on my neighbor’s internet. I spent the day arguing with my ISP to have a technician fix my internet. I work from home and lost a days wages. My son is autistic and we were not able to receive services that day. Spectrum refuses to reimburse me for any of this.

  19. Rob says:

    For an article that was supposedly updated 4 days ago you’ve got some markedly outdated information here. This is kinda a joke.

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