Charter Communications has been offering internet services since the 90s. The provider connects most customers via its cable network, which falls behind more modern fiber-optic technology. However, that didn’t stop Spectrum from reaching an annual revenue of $48.1 billion in 2020, an increase of 5.1 percent compared with 2019.
As you’ll discover in this Charter Spectrum Internet review, the provider is aware of the limitations of its cable network, and it does a lot to increase the overall value of its Spectrum internet packages.
There are three Spectrum Internet plans that you can choose from:
|Spectrum Internet Standard
|up to 200 Mbps
|up to 10 Mbps
|Spectrum Internet Ultra
|up to 400 Mbps
|up to 20 Mbps
|Spectrum Internet Gig
|up to 940 Mbps
|up to 35 Mbps
As you can see, Spectrum only offers asymmetric plans, so your upload speed will always be much worse than your download speed.
If you only consume online content and perform basic tasks such as browsing the web or sending email messages, then asymmetric plans are perfectly acceptable.
Unfortunately, such plans are rarely able to meet the needs of content creators who frequently upload large quantities of data or stream high-definition video in real-time. The good news is that all three plans are completely unlimited.
According to a 2021 FCC report on ISP speed scores, Spectrum Internet speeds were higher than 95 percent of the advertised speed, which is a great result that makes Charter Communications one of the most consistent providers.
But how much do the plans cost? Let’s look at the current Spectrum Internet prices:
|Spectrum Internet Ultra
|Spectrum Internet Gig
The cost of all Spectrum packages includes a rental fee for the supplied modem. Just know that the modem doesn’t come with WiFi, and it cost $5 extra dollars per month for a modem with WiFi capabilities. If you already have your own WiFi router that you’re satisfied with, you can simply ignore the fee because it takes a minute to connect the modem to your router.
Self-installation costs $19.99, and there’s also a professional installation option that costs $49.99 for Spectrum Internet and Spectrum Internet Ultra plans and $199.99 for Spectrum Internet Gig plan.
You can switch providers at any time because Spectrum doesn’t require its customers to sign a contract. Other internet service providers that do the same include Frontier and Xfinity, and such providers are preferred by renters and other people who may have to relocate on short notice.
Charter internet services are available in the following states:
That’s 42 states out of 50—a pretty admirable coverage. Unfortunately, not all states are covered equally well, but you can easily check coverage using the online tool provided by Spectrum.
To increase the value of its internet plans, Spectrum offers customers some extra perks. We consider Spectrum Out-of-Home WiFi to be the best of them, providing access to nationwide out-of-home WiFi.
At the time of writing this review, the Spectrum Out-of-Home WiFi offering includes some 500,000 hotspots spread across most areas where Spectrum Internet packages are available.
To connect to a Spectrum WiFi hotspot, all you need to do is select the corresponding WiFi network on your wireless device, open your browser, and sign in with your username and password.
Besides free WiFi, Spectrum customers also get to enjoy free computer security software and six Spectrum email addresses. We’ll leave it up to you to decide how valuable these additional perks are. Just know that Windows already comes with great antivirus software, and there are many email providers that let you register an unlimited number of free email addresses.
You can get in touch with Spectrum’s customer service by:
Spectrum also has a dedicated mobile app, called My Spectrum Support App, and you can use it to manage your services, pay your bill, and troubleshoot equipment from the palm of your hand.
When it comes to the overall satisfaction of customers with Spectrum, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) gave the provider a score of 63 out of 100 in 2021. That’s not bad considering the internet industry averaged a score of 65 out of 100 for 2021, but there’s clearly room for improvement.
For comparison, Cox also scored 63 points, Xfinity (Comcast) scored 67, and both Verizon Fios and AT&T Internet scored 71.On BroadBandNow, Spectrum customers rate the provider 3.4 out of 5 stars based on the following criteria: Reliability, Speed, Equipment, Support, Interaction, and Value.
While there’s clearly no shortage of customers who are fully satisfied with Spectrum and feel no need to explore available alternatives, there are also many customer complains published on Better Business Bureau, where Spectrum Internet reviews produce an abysmal average score of 1.07 out of 5 stars.
Charter Spectrum Home Internet plans are a good (and often only) choice for people who live in areas where fiber-optic internet service isn’t available. Such customers get to enjoy unlimited bandwidth, mostly straightforward pricing, decent speeds, and access to a dense network of free WiFi hotspots.
Due to their asymmetric nature, Charter Spectrum Home Internet plans cannot be recommended to content creators and all other people who regularly upload large quantities of data. The service is also unlikely to be the best choice in areas where fiber-optic internet service is available.
If, after reading this and other Spectrum Internet reviews, you do decide to purchase a plan, then we highly recommend you use a WiFi analyzer like NetSpot to perform a Spectrum Internet test to analyze your internet speed and WiFi coverage.
If the results of your Spectrum Internet speed test show that you’re not getting the speeds you’re paying for, then you shouldn’t hesitate to contact Spectrum.