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Spectrum Internet review

Spectrum offers some of the fastest internet speeds available in the U.S.

Spectrum Internet review
(Image: © Spectrum)

Our Verdict

If you live in an area covered by Spectrum (and you probably do), get it. You get fast speeds and reliable service, and while the prices can be a little high, they're worth paying.

For

  • Faster internet speeds than most other providers
  • Reliable service
  • Plans for qualified low-income households

Against

  • A little pricey
  • Prices are non-negotiable

Spectrum is important right now as access to the internet is a home utility that's as vital as electricity, heat, or water. It’s one of those things that should just work without customers having to think about it all that much, but even the best internet providers quality can vary dramatically. Sometimes there’s not much to be done about that, as many locations across the U.S. only have access to a single provider. When there is more than one option, however, it pays to do your homework.

If Spectrum’s service is one of your options, get it. Much of the Spectrum network is fiber, which means you’ll get reliable internet connections that are fast, fast, fast. Spectrum’s a bit more rigid with its pricing structures than providers who are willing to knock a few dollars off here or there if you call up and complain. The tradeoff, however, is crystal-clear expectations of what you should be getting for your money.

Spectrum Internet: Plans & Pricing

Spectrum’s pricing can get dizzying with the various bundles it offers. Do you want TV? TV and Voice? What about Mobile? But if all you’re looking for is internet, the pricing is nicely straightforward. The plans are:

  • Spectrum Internet: Spectrum’s basic tier gets you download speeds up to 200Mbps for $49.99 a month. 
  • Internet Ultra: The next best level is up to 400Mbps for $69.99 a month.
  • Internet Gig: Spectrum’s top-of-the-line service, 1GB speed, is yours for $109.99 a month.

All of these prices are listed as being good for 12 months only, presumably so Spectrum has room to raise rates on a regular basis. Spectrum also says it has no contracts, data caps, or termination fees, which makes them a highly flexible provider. 

There’s almost always some kind of welcoming deal for new customers; at the time of this writing, it knocks $5 off the monthly fee for each level of service.

Spectrum Internet: Features

  • Contract buy-out
  • Self-install kit

If you want to switch to Spectrum but are currently saddled with a contract, Spectrum is happy to help you out. If you sign up for a “qualifying” Spectrum offer, then send them a copy of the final bill from your previous provider — complete with early termination fee — they’ll reimburse you up to $500. That reimbursement is for the termination fee only, mind you; they’re not going to pay for your last month of HBO. The qualified Spectrum offers require internet plus TV, phone, or both. 

Spectrum

(Image credit: Spectrum)

If you don’t want to bother with a technician who’ll be arriving “between 9 and 5”, Spectrum will happily send you a self-install kit. While likely not the best option for the truly techno-challenged, it’s a nice option for those who know their way around a router.

Spectrum Internet: Performance

  • Average customer speed is fantastic
  • Some customers get faster speeds than they pay for

According to Broadband Now, Lattimore, NC is the beneficiary of Spectrum’s fastest internet in the nation, a scorching 931Mbps. Most users opt for the Spectrum Internet tier, as 200Mbps is more than enough for the average home, but the average connection speed hovers in the high 200’s/low 300’s — a nice bonus likely due to Spectrum’s investment in upgrading its network to a fiber/cable hybrid. 

Regardless of location, customers can expect to receive at least 75% of the speed they’re paying for.

Spectrum Internet: Customer Reviews

  • No wiggle room on pricing
  • Highly capable, efficient service

User reviews are overwhelmingly positive for Spectrum Internet, and the few negative ones have minor gripes at best. One customer, for example, gave Spectrum 3 stars out of 5 because they had to call and “wait a few minutes” in order to cancel their service. 

Spectrum’s customer service representatives are courteous, professional, and eager to provide excellent service. That said, don’t expect to haggle. The price is the price, and that’s that, even in times of crisis.   

Should you choose Spectrum Internet?

  • Yes
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Spectrum is currently in 44 states, so your odds of being in their service area are pretty good. If you are? Sign right on up, because you’ll get fast service that’s more reliable than the competitors. That speed and reliability does come at a premium price, which gets even higher should you want to include TV or phone. 

That said, most households can more than get by with Spectrum’s lowest-priced tier. If for some reason Spectrum just doesn’t cut it for you, the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, but just double-check the conditions. Spectrum is fair, but not generous, and they’ll hold you to the very last letter of what you sign up for.

Susan Arendt

Susan Arendt is a writer, editor, and consultant with more than two decades of experience from companies including AOL, Conde Nast, and The New York Times. You can find her most recent written work on Wired, or look for her on Twitter.  Be prepared to see too many pictures of her dogs.