Before getting a service plan for my household, I want to know everything about them. I compiled all available information about Spectrum to help us decide.
Determine whether you should get Charter Spectrum’s services by checking out these sections:
- Home internet packages, speeds, & fees
- Cellular service overview
- Cable television plans, channels, & extra costs
- Where the service is available
- Current deals & promotions
- How their customer service is
Read on to learn more.
Spectrum Home Internet Plans, Pricing, & Features
Home internet plans Spectrum offers include:
|Tier||Promo. Price||Median Latency||Max. Speed (DL/UL)||Best For|
|Internet||$49.99/mo.||26 ms||300/10 Mbps||Video streaming platforms & gaming|
|Internet Ultra||$69.99/mo.||26 ms||500/20 Mbps||Seldom file downloads|
|Internet Gig||$89.99/mo.||26 ms||1,000/35 Mbps||Frequent file downloads & torrenting|
Spectrum supports hybrid cable/fiber connections on their home internet services. This means the “fiber” portion of the connection benefits the signal’s long haul.
The “cable” portion is the connection that enters your home.
None of their home internet plans offer fiber connectivity. You won’t have to worry about an Optical Network Terminal (ONT), but you won’t have as reliable internet as 100% fiber connections.
All home internet plans come with the following:
- Access to Spectrum Mobile
- Hundreds of thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots
- Antivirus software
- No hard data cap
- Free borrowed modem
I cover all these features in-depth in a separate guide. I also compare Spectrum home internet to competing internet service providers (ISP). Check it out.
I’ll cover the Spectrum Mobile plan later. No data cap means no data limits and overage surcharges.
The antivirus isn’t anything special. Spectrum couldn’t convince me to use it over Windows Defender. Plus, it’s not available on Mac.
In my experience, the Wi-Fi hotspots offer the most value. They’re free Wi-Fi access points you can access from residential and business areas. You could use them to stream video content, study, or escape your cramped home.
They also lessen the impact on your phone’s soft data cap. I’ll emphasize when I cover Spectrum’s cellular plan.
Check out whether this ISP’s right for your home.
Spectrum Home Internet Pros & Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of using Spectrum residential internet include:
- No hard data cap
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Contract buyout program
- Price increases after a year
- Wireless router rental leaves much desired
- Asymmetric internet speeds (uneven DL/UL)
- No way to upgrade upload speed
Check out what I mean by price hikes.
Spectrum Internet Price After 12 Months
Standard rates for Spectrum’s internet plans are as follows:
|Tier||Promo. Price||Standard price||Percentage Increase|
New Spectrum customers must pay up to an additional 40% on internet plans from month 13 and on. You could try to negotiate with Spectrum’s retention department. Attempt to get your new customer rate again.
Threaten to quit, straight up ask for discounts, or complain that the pricing is outside your budget. Check out what I’d say in a separate piece.
Before adding a Spectrum plan to your online shopping cart, see this next section. It may make-or-break Spectrum as a service.
Spectrum Upload Speeds Compared
Here are all the upload speeds for Spectrum home internet plans :
|Tier||Max. Upload Speeds||Enough For…|
|Internet||10 Mbps||2 1080p Zoom group calls running simultaneously|
|Internet Ultra||20 Mbps||1 person livestreaming in 720p|
|* Internet Gig||35–500 Mbps||1 person gaming online competitively and 2 people livestreaming|
|Internet Assist||4.0 Mbps||1 Nest Camera|
|Spectrum 100||10 Mbps||1 Ring Doorbell & 2 Nest Security Cameras|
* Few areas will give you upload speeds up to 500 Mbps . You’ll need to call a Spectrum sales representative and ask if your area supports these speeds.
Upload speeds won’t matter if your household only streams and games. And even hops on to video calls once in a while. I have a more in-depth guide on what’s possible with these speeds.
It depends on how you ration your upstream bandwidth. If you’re, for instance, a video editor, none of these speeds will work. And homes that rely on high-definition security cameras can’t do much either.
On the 300 Mbps plan, you could use 2 cameras at max. (each requires 4.0 Mbps UL).
And imagine trying to upload a 10 GB 4K UHD TV1 WITH the Internet Gig’s 35 Mbps upload speeds. It would take you 40 minutes.
If this upload speed isn’t enough, use the tip I typed beneath the table. If Spectrum says 500 Mbps upload Internet Gig isn’t available in your area, seek alternatives.
Because you can’t upgrade these upload speeds.
Low Income Internet: An Overview
Homes participating in government benefit programs can apply for the Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) or Internet Assist.
The former is a $30 recurring credit that goes toward your internet bill. $75 if you qualify for the program and live in certain Tribal Lands.
Rates you’d get when using this credit are as follows:
|Tier||Promo. Price||* Price (w/ ACP Credit)||Standard Price||Standard Price w/ Credit|
With the ACP, you also unlock the Spectrum 100 plan. It’s a 100/10 Mbps (DL/UL) internet plan that doesn’t charge an activation fee. You also get a free router rental.
Apply for this program first. Because Internet Assist isn’t the most desirable plan. It gives you 30/4.0 Mbps (DL/UL) internet and no freebies. It also has much more strict requirements.
I list some requirements and the application process for these programs in a different guide.
It’s a fantastic way to offer more accessibility to internet plans. But Spectrum doesn’t offer discounts on laptops or tablets.
Some providers participating in the ACP or Lifeline (an identical program) offer refurbished devices. Or $100 off certain laptops. For instance, Xfinity Internet Essentials offers a decent Dell or Chromebook for $149.99.
I still have much to cover. Small businesses shouldn’t skip this next section.
Spectrum Business Internet Packages, Pricing, & Features
Charter Spectrum offers small businesses the following business internet plans:
|Tier||Max. Speeds (DL/UL)||Promo. Pricing||Best for|
|300 Mbps||300/10 Mbps||$64.99/mo.||<5 employees|
|Internet Ultra||600/35 Mbps||$49.99/mo.||<20 employees|
|1 Gbps||1,000/35 Mbps||$164.99/mo.||>20 employees|
Spectrum Business Internet has no data caps and offers various perks like:
- 25 email addresses connected to your website domain name
- Website hosting
- A free domain name
- Cloud backup
- Discounts when bundling
I recommend Spectrum Business for certain scenarios. For instance, if you run a small office that doesn’t often upload files. The plans’ download speeds should give your team enough bandwidth for most scenarios.
Or if you have a café or restaurant that focuses on to-go orders. Because if people linger in your lobby and use your Wi-Fi, they’ll devour your upstream and downstream bandwidth.
If that happens, your point of sales (PoS) systems, smart devices, or online activities will load slower. The upload speeds are horrendous if you want to use cloud-based security cameras for your business.
Each camera will require 4.0 Mbps upload speeds at all times. You’ll have slower speeds if you need to upload files for clients or vendors.
These plans aren’t fiber optic internet. They’re cable/fiber hybrid plans. For fiber service, you’ll need Spectrum Enterprise. Research suggests you’d need to pay $800 monthly for 100/100 Mbps (DL/UL) for those products .
That information is from a forum. Take their claim with a grain of salt.
Either way, Spectrum Business internet doesn’t offer the most competitive pricing. Or decent download speeds.
Business and home customers will need to consider the following fees.
Spectrum Internet Hidden Fees
Extra costs you may deal with when using Spectrum home internet include:
|Router Rental Fee||$5.00/mo.|
|Spectrum WiFi Pods||$3.00/mo. per pod|
|Data Overage Charge||No Charge|
|Unreturned Wireless Router Fee||$76|
|Unreturned Modem Fee||$60|
|Unreturned Spectrum WiFi Pod Fee||$64|
|Unreturned EPON ONU Fee||$95|
|Wireless Internet Backup (Business)||$20/mo.|
|Static IP Addresses (Business)||x1: $19.99/mo.x5: $29.99/mo.x13: $39.99/mo.x29: $59.99/mo.|
Unless you get Spectrum Internet 100, there’s no way to escape the Self-installation fee. Why do we have to pay a fee after connecting and troubleshooting Spectrum’s hardware?
You’ll incur unreturned equipment surcharges if you forget to return this hardware when canceling leases or your internet plan. Ensure you return your equipment 15 days after canceling to avoid these fees.
In my experience, most people, tech-savvy and not so, have done fine buying third-party routers. They cost more upfront, but have more features. And they’ll save you $60 a year.
Be careful when buying a router, though. Research what Spectrum routers you should get. Or explore our router, mesh Wi-Fi, and gateway recommendations.
The same applies to Wi-Fi pods. You don’t need these pods unless you have a 3,000-square-foot home. Or if you have many Wi-Fi dead spots. I also put my blood and sweat into a piece that covers fixing these issues.
If you’ve decided on getting Spectrum Internet, also consider their mobile.
Spectrum Mobile Plans, Pricing, & Features
Spectrum Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service that uses Verizon’s cellular towers.
Rates and soft data caps for these plans are as follows:
|Tier||Price||Soft Data Cap||Max. Speed After Exceeding Cap|
|Unlimited||$29.99/mo. per line||30 GB per line||1.0 Mbps (DL) 512 Kbps (UL)|
|Unlimited Plus||$39.99/mo. per line||20 GB per line||1.0 Mbps (DL) 512 Kbps (UL)|
|By The Gig||$14 per GB||5 GB per line||256 Kbps (DL/UL)|
If you can’t tell, soft data caps are like express lanes. When driving through them, you have less congestion, and you’re faster. Once you leave these lanes—in this case, you exceed your cap—you slow down.
Don’t stream video or download files with your data. Take advantage of Spectrum’s free Wi-Fi hotspots for that.
Here are a few extra tidbits before I proceed:
- No contracts
- You can’t use Mobile Hotsp
- ots with the Unlimited & Unlimited Plus plans
- You can bring your own device
- Share data with up to 110 lines with By The Gig
Those bringing their own devices will need unlocked phones. Ensure your phone’s compatible with Verizon.
And if you’re using the iPhone 14 (American model), you’re in luck. Spectrum Mobile supports eSIM.
See our Spectrum Mobile overview to learn more.
For now, see whether it’s worth getting this cellular service.
Spectrum Mobile Pros & Cons
Here’s why I love and hate Spectrum Mobile:
- Plenty of eSIM phone support
- They offer modern phones
- Stellar trade-in bonuses
- Excellent coverage
- No free calling or texting in Canada & Mexico
- Only accessible to Spectrum Internet customers
Spectrum Mobile 5G & 4G LTE Coverage
Here’s a map showing Spectrum Mobile’s coverage:
This one’s for you, Alaskans and Hawaiians (or tourists).
On to extra costs.
Spectrum Mobile Hidden Fees
Spectrum’s cellular service has these extra fees:
|By The Gig Additional Data||$14 per GB|
There’s no SIM or eSIM card cost, besides the activation fee. Otherwise, By The Gig customers will need to pay $14 per gigabyte they use.
And there are international calling, texting, and data rates. They’re as follows:
|Service||Rates to “X” Country||Rates From “X” Country|
|Talk||Up To $0.47 Per Min.||Up To $0.17 Per Min.|
|Text||Free||Up To $0.02 Per Message|
|Data||NA||Up To $0.04 Per Megabyte|
There’s nothing else to talk about. If you’re considering live streaming or cable TV services, you’ll like this next section.
Spectrum Cable TV Plans, Pricing, & Features
Here are cable television plans Spectrum offers:
|Tier||Promo. Price||Channels||Price Per Channel|
|MI Plan Latino||$39.99/mo.||145+||$0.27|
|Spectrum TV Select + Latino View||$71.99/mo.||200+||$0.35|
It’s cable TV. No fiber optic connections. I don’t know if Spectrum still offers the TV Choice and Basic plans. Their channel lineup and rate card pages suggest they do .
If these plans interest you, get a hold of Spectrum’s sales department. Ask whether these plans are available in your area.
TV Essentials is available as an add-on purchase when getting a Spectrum Internet plan. Check out online, and you’ll see this pop up:
If you can’t already tell, it’s a live TV streaming plan. You’ll watch all 60 channels through the Spectrum TV app. Speaking of. This app comes with EVERY television package.
But if you’re using the software on, for instance, TV Select, you get more channels.
I suggest taking the one-week free trial for Essentials. See if your household will watch the available channels. And ensure you have at least 8.0 Mbps of downstream internet available for each device.
Because that’s the speed you’ll need to stream 1080p FHD content.
Before checking out the available channels, see the pros and cons.
Spectrum Television Pros & Cons
The wins and losses for Spectrum’s TV packages include:
- Spectrum TV app offers streaming on unlimited devices simultaneously (at home)
- Many channel packages available
- Live TV streaming package available
- Self-installation fee
- Must rent a cable box
- No discounts when bundling channel packages
Spectrum Channel Lineup
Channels available for each Spectrum TV package include :
|Channel Name||TV Select||Mi Plan Latino||Spectrum TV Choice||Spectrum TV Basic||Spectrum TV Essentials|
|WABC – ABC||•||•||•|
|WCBS – CBS||•||•||•|
|WNBC – NBC||•||•||•|
|WNET – PBS||•||•||•|
|WNYW – FOX||•||•||•|
|CNN en Espanol||•|
|De Pelicula Clasico||•|
|FOX Business Network||•||•|
|FOX News Channel||•||•|
|FOX Sports 1||•||•|
|History en Espanol||•|
|Hallmark Movies & Mysteries||•||•||•||•|
|Ingles Para Todas||•|
|Nat Geo Mundo||•|
|Shop Zeal 1||•|
|Shop Zeal 2||•|
|TBN Enlace USA||•|
|Tele El Salvador||•|
|The Weather Channel||•||•||•||•|
Channel lineup for all Spectrum TV packages.
Spectrum offers various sports, international, variety, and premium channel packages. Each has varying channels available and pricing. Find all the channels these packages include here.
For now, get an overview of what channel add-ons Spectrum offers.
Spectrum Sports Channel Add-ons Compared
Additional sports channels and passes Spectrum offers include:
|NHL Center ice||$69.99|
|NBA League pass||$99.99|
Premium Channels Spectrum Offers
Spectrum offers the following premium channels:
|STARZ + STARZ Encore||$9.00/mo.|
|The Movie Channel||$5.00/mo.|
No discounts are available when bundling premium channels with Spectrum. For instance, if you get all these channels, you must add up the above rates.
International Channel Packages for Spectrum
Spectrum offers the following international channel packages:
|India view premium||$29.99/mo.|
|Jade world view||$24.99/mo.|
The number of channels will vary by package. Refer to the channel guide link I mentioned for more information.
For now, read the next section. It’s my favorite feature Spectrum TV offers.
Spectrum TV App: Live TV Streaming Application
The Spectrum TV app lets you stream most Spectrum channels through smart devices (e.g., Roku), smartphones, and laptops. And stream on unlimited devices at home simultaneously.
Or 2 devices while traveling.
It’s an excellent app that reduces the need for renting additional cable TV boxes. It also gives your household a means to watch TV while you’re out and about.
Here’s an example. Open the app on a smartphone and stream Nickelodeon. Give a cranky kid the phone, and they’ll maybe stop their tantrum.
The app’s free and is only available when buying Spectrum TV plans (including TV Essentials). It’s also the most accessible TV streaming app I’ve found among providers.
Check out all the devices it supports here.
What are all the extra costs for Spectrum television plans?
Spectrum TV Hidden Fees
Hidden costs for Spectrum cable television packages include:
|HD TV Box||$9.99/mo. each|
|Apple TV 4K||$9.99/mo. each for 18 mo. or$180 (one-time)|
|Cloud DVR Plus||$9.99/mo.|
|Broadband TV Fee||$21/mo.|
|DVR Service Package (2 To 4 DVR Receivers)||$19.99/mo.|
|DVR Service (1 DVR Receiver)||$12.99/mo.|
|Additional Bill Copies||$1.99|
|Insufficient Funds Fee||$25|
|Late Fee (45 Days Past Due)||$8.95|
|Phone Payment Processing (Charter Assisted)||$5.00|
Again, no way to avoid the self-installation fee. You also can’t prevent the broadcast TV and device lease fees.
You get Spectrum TV Essentials. That’s why I recommended this add-on earlier. Getting it will save you more than $300 a year. Because the TV box rental would cost up to $119 a year. And the broadcast TV possible more than $370 annually.
To access the Spectrum TV app through the add-on, follow my advice from the prior section.
If you HAVE to access hundreds of channels and want to save a bit, consider renting a CableCARD. It requires a third-party TV box purchase. But costs less over time.
Learn more about connecting a third-party TV box.
Before I continue, consider the Phone Payment Processing fee. It’s a surcharge Spectrum inflicts on your wallet when paying your Spectrum bill by phone.
Don’t do this.
Here’s another hidden (and unavoidable) Spectrum TV cost.
Spectrum TV Prices After 12 Months
After a year, you’ll pay the following standard pricing rates for Spectrum TV packages:
|Tier||Promo. Price||Post Promo||Percentage increase|
|MI Plan Latino||$39.99/mo.||$54.99/mo.||27%|
|Spectrum TV Select + Latino View||$71.99/mo.||NA||0%|
No information on Spectrum’s website suggests the Basic, Choice, And Essential plans charge more after a year.
And to get new customer pricing after a year, refer to the standard pricing for internet section earlier in this guide.
For now, let’s see where Spectrum Internet, TV, and landline is available.
Where Is Spectrum Available?
Spectrum offers their home and business internet, TV, and landline services in these states:
|New Hampshire||New Jersey||New Mexico|
|New York||North Carolina||Ohio|
States where Spectrum TV, landline, and internet is available.
Availability by ZIP code will vary. Visit spectrum.com/services, type your address, and see whether Spectrum offers their services.
If you’re a visual person, here’s a map of Spectrum’s coverage:
I covered mobile coverage. Thus, this section won’t include it.
And if you’ve made it this far, congratulations. You’re committed.
Don’t buy a Spectrum plan, yet. Learn how to get the most value out of your plan.
Spectrum Mobile, TV, Voice, & Internet Deals
Spectrum offers new TV and internet customers up to 40% off for the first year of service. From thereon, you must pay the standard rates.
I covered these earlier.
Bundle internet, mobile, and a Wi-Fi router and get the latter 2 services free for the first year.
Internet-only customers will have access to a free Peacock Premium subscription for 90 days. Cable television customers (excluding TV Essentials) can access the service free for 12 months .
This service originally costs $4.99 monthly and gives you more than 80,000 hours of content.
Spectrum Mobile customers get a huge bonus when trading in old devices. You get the trade-in value PLUS an extra $100 to $500 dollars in store credit. The trade-in bonus you’ll receive depends on your device.
Spectrum DOESN’T offer discounts or special plans for veterans, first responders, teachers, or students. But you can find more details regarding the above deals and more in a separate piece.
You’ll want to know how to reach Spectrum in emergencies.
Spectrum Customer Service Phone Numbers
A separate page lists EVERY way to reach Spectrum.
To save you a bit of time, here are all the important customer help phone numbers:
|Service/Purpose||Phone Number||Reasons to call|
|Current Customers||833-267-6094||Help or billing concerns for landline, TV, & internet|
|New Customers||855-366-7132||Ask whether they offer “X” in your area; or order new plan|
|Mobile Customers||833-224-6603||Spectrum Mobile inquiries|
|Accessibility Support||844-762-1301||Disability customer support|
|Business (New Customers)||855-750-5002||Order business products|
|Business (Existing Customers)||844-493-4458||Business product or billing inquiries & help|
|Enterprise (New)||877-794-1376||Order enterprise service|
|Enterprise (Existing)||888-812-2591||Enterprise product or billing inquiries & help|
Spectrum customer support phone numbers.
Before finishing this guide, let’s explore various bundles for Spectrum services.
Spectrum doesn’t offer discounts when bundling their TV, internet, and landline (voice) services. Besides the new customer pricing.
But it’ll condense your billing. And offer more compatible services.
|Bundle||Promo. Price||Standard Price|
|Spectrum Internet + TV||$109.98/mo.||$154.98/mo.|
|TV Select + Internet + Voice||$129.97/mo.||$174.97/mo.|
|MI Plan Latino + Internet||$89.98/mo.||$129.98/mo.|
|Ultra + TV||$129.98/mo.||$174.98/mo.|
|Mi Plan Latino + Ultra||$109.98/mo.||$149.98/mo.|
There aren’t special perks when grouping these services. But you’ll get everything included in each service.
Here’s an example.
Bundle Spectrum Internet 300 and TV Select. You’ll get the Spectrum TV app, Wi-Fi hotspots, and access to Spectrum Mobile.
Speaking of Spectrum Mobile. Bundle Spectrum Advanced WiFi (router rental), one Unlimited line, and any internet plan and get the first 2 services free. For 1 year.
This “bundle” is Spectrum One. Here’s the promotional and standard prices for the bundle:
|Tier||New Customer Price||Standard Price||Percentage Increase|
|Internet 300 Mbps||$49.99/mo.||$109.98/mo.||75%|
|Internet 500 Mbps||$69.99/mo.||$129.98/mo.||60%|
You save $34.99 monthly.
Once the first year passes, you’ll pay the standard rate for your internet package, the Wi-Fi router rental, and the single Unlimited line. But you save more than $400.
The year of getting a free mobile plan gives you time to save up for a third-party wireless router to eliminate the router rental fee.
FAQs: Charter Spectrum
The following sections will cover frequently asked questions about Spectrum’s services.
Do You Need a Landline for Spectrum Internet?
You do not need a landline to use Spectrum Internet-only plans.
How Do I Get Started With Spectrum?
Start your Spectrum service by ordering online, calling 855-366-7132, or visiting any Spectrum store.
Spectrum’s Mobile service offers some of the best value out of most cellular providers, but it requires you to get a Spectrum Internet plan. Most of the money-saving tricks or excellent features revolve around their internet.
Their cable TV and landline isn’t the best, though. Neither is their business internet.
Before getting any Spectrum service, compare their alternatives.