Choosing between Internet Service Providers requires in-depth research and calculations. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a nerd in mathematics to find your ideal service provider.
If you are not satisfied with the speed of your internet or want to sign up for a new connection, Spectrum and AT&T are two options you can’t afford to ignore. We will walk you through each service provider to help you figure out which one is the best and why. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Price Comparison: AT&T Vs Spectrum
When it comes to choosing the best Internet Service Provider, pricing and speed are the two most important factors to consider. Spectrum and AT&T provide plans with speeds that are suitable for heavy to normal internet usage. The starting plan starts from 100Mbps and will do fine for heavy users whether it be online gaming, streaming movies or large file downloads.
Households having heavy gamers and streamers can sign up for Spectrum Internet because the plan directly jumps from 100Mbps to 400Mbps and 1,000Mbps. Although AT&T also offers 300Mbps and 1,000Mbps plans, which is quite lucrative – to avail you need to check whether they offer coverage in your area.
However, when comparing both, Spectrum is a clear winner as it offers unlimited data cap for 1,000Mbps plan while AT&T offers limited data cap up to 1Tb. If you are comfortable with a limited data cap, go for AT&T, but in terms of value and pricing, Spectrum is a great deal to look for.
If you sign up for the Spectrum 100Mbps plan, you will get exactly what is being advertised. It is sufficient for movie lovers, gamers and an average-sized family with a few more connected devices.
Keep in mind that the Spectrum’s advertised prices are not going to stay there. They are going to put a huge dent on your wallet as Spectrum’s prices surge high for every pricing plan. For instance, Spectrum’s 1,000Mbps plan is the most expensive one as compared to Xfinity’s gigabit plan that costs $70 per month while for Verizon the price goes up to $79.99 per month.
Still, Spectrum is not a bad option even if the prices go up because of the no-contract option. You don’t have to pay anything when canceling the contract.
Spectrum Internet Prices and Download Speeds
|Plan||Price||Download Speed||Data Cap|
|Spectrum Internet||$49.99||100 Mbps||Unlimited|
|Spectrum Internet Ultra||$69.99||400 Mbps||Unlimited|
|Spectrum Internet Gig||$109.99||940 Mbps||Unlimited|
If you look at AT&T’s DSL plan that delivers speed up to 100Mbps, you will be paying the same price as that of Spectrum. However, the speed might not be the same as advertised and you may get as much as 50Mbps download speed.
For higher tiers including 300Mbps and 1,000Mbps plan, you will get what you pay for. If you want to verify, you can check the Federal Communication Commission’s report 2018 where it states that AT&T delivers faster speeds than what you pay for.
If you live in an area, where Fiber Internet is available, you must consider subscribing to it. Fiber internet, as you may know, delivers faster upload and download speeds. If you are a budget-savvy individual, paying for the 300 Mbps fiber AT&T plan will not disturb your finances.
AT&T DSL Internet Prices and Download Speeds
|Plan||Price||Download Speed||Data Cap|
|AT&T Internet 100Mbps||$49.99/mo.||100 Mbps||1 Tb|
|Internet 300||$50^||300 Mbps||1 Tb|
|Internet 1000||$49.99/mo.°||940 Mbps||Unlimited|
Internet Speed Comparison: AT&T Vs Spectrum
AT&T’s fiber internet is widely available in the East Coast and West Coast regions but not in every area. Therefore, if you are living in any of these areas, you can enjoy speeds up to 1,000Mbps. AT&T and Spectrum, both are widespread throughout the nation, but the main question is whether these Internet Service Providers can offer you such high speeds or not.
Spectrum was ranked third among all the Internet Service Providers surveyed by the FCC in 2018 while AT&T was ranked sixth.
Bundle Comparison: AT&T Vs Spectrum
Both AT&T and Spectrum offer bundle packages to their customers in order to help them save money. The advantage of a bundle package is getting more services at a lesser price.
For instance, both AT&T and Spectrum offer bundle deals that include cable tv, telephone, and high-speed internet. If you subscribe to the Spectrum bundle deal, you will save around $15 per month, which accounts for $180 annually. While for AT&T, you can save as much as $20 a month, with U-Verse and DirecTV bundles. It doesn’t hurt to save an extra $240 per year. Maybe the amount can be utilized to pay other bills or buy groceries.
Spectrum TV Internet Bundles
|Plan||Price||Internet Download Speed||TV Channel Count|
|Select Double Play||$89.98||200 Mbps||125|
|Select Triple Play||$99.97||200 Mbps||125|
|Silver Double Play||$114.98||200 Mbps||175|
|Silver Triple Play||$124.97||200 Mbps||175|
|Gold Double Play||$134.98||200 Mbps||200|
|Gold Triple Play||$144.97||200 Mbps||200|
When it comes to bundling up, you don’t get much choice in terms of internet speed. However, when it comes to Spectrum Bundle, it offers a limited set of channels for the price you pay. While with AT&T DirecTV or U-verse bundle, you can enjoy more channels.
AT&T DirecTV Bundles
|Plan||Price||Internet Download Speed||TV Channel Count|
|DIRECTV SELECT All-Included Package AT&T Internet||$79.98||100 Mbps||155|
|DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT All-Included Package AT&T Internet||$84.98||100 Mbps||160|
|DIRECTV CHOICE All-Included Package AT&T Internet||$89.98||100 Mbps||185|
|DIRECTV XTRA All-Included Package AT&T Internet||$99.98||100 Mbps||235|
|DIRECTV CHOICE All-Included Package AT&T Internet Phone Unlimited||$109.97||100 Mbps||185|
|DIRECTV PREMIER All-Included Package AT&T Internet||$154.98||100 Mbps||330|
|DIRECTV PREMIER All-Included Package AT&T Internet Phone Unlimited||$174.97||100 Mbps||330|
AT&T U-verse Bundles
|Plan||Price||Internet Download Speed||TV Channel Count|
|U-family All-Included AT&T Internet Basic 5||$79.99||5 Mbps||180|
|U-family All-Included AT&T Internet||$79.98||100 Mbps||180|
|U-200 All-Included AT&T Internet||$99.98||100 Mbps||370|
|U-300 All-Included AT&T Internet||$104.98||100 Mbps||485|
|U300 All-Included AT&T Internet 1000||$124.98||100 Mbps||485|
|U450 All-Included AT&T Internet||$154.98||100 Mbps||550|
Coverage Area: AT&T Vs Spectrum
Spectrum internet services are widely available in 44 states including New York, California, and Texas. The cable internet by Charter Spectrum is readily available to more than 102.7 million people. The provision of internet services to such an extensive range makes Charter Spectrum the second-largest cable provider in the United States.
Moreover, apart from cable internet, Spectrum also provides fiber internet service that is widely available to households and businesses requiring high-speed download and upload speeds.
In comparison, AT&T is providing its services to more than 58% of the country’s population. While the remaining uncovered areas are found in the outskirts of urban areas including Idaho, Nebraska, California, Arizona, Wyoming, and Montana. However, people living in densely populated areas can benefit from the coverage provided by AT&T. According to the users’ report, AT&T provides reliable 4G coverage 88.9% of the time.
Data Caps: AT&T Vs Spectrum
Data caps are one of the most important factors when considering an internet connection. Spectrum is ideal for those who love binge-watching shows on Netflix and can’t keep their hands off from gaming online whether it be Call of Duty, Fortnite, and Apex Legend. The unlimited data caps by Spectrum keeps your worries at the bay and allows you to surf, stream, play, or download as much as you like. You don’t even need to worry about the number of devices connected because this internet connection can easily support all your internet-enabled devices.
AT&T data plans are somewhat confusing as they make you scratch your head for a while. AT&T unlimited plans come with data caps and de-prioritization. Let’s find out what it means.
AT&T will deprioritize your data during busy hours – meaning that you would experience slower internet speeds during busy hours. Mostly it happens when sporting events are in progress and everyone is glued to the screens.
If you have exceeded 50Gb of data, you will start experiencing slow internet speeds. Especially if you are into gaming and streaming HD content, hitting the 50GB data limit will not be difficult in a month.
The data cap won’t hit until you exceed more than 100Gb of data. Using that much data isn’t easy, but the real question is if the package was elite in real time, why does it have a data cap.
Most of the internet users with less usage won’t have any problem with de-prioritization and data caps. However, some of the heavy users will surely find it annoying and troublesome.
Spectrum Equipment Fees and Additional Charges
As mentioned previously, Spectrum offers a carefree package with unlimited data limits. Moreover, Charter Spectrum also provides a no-contract option for its valued clients – meaning that if you want to switch or cancel the subscription, you don’t need to pay hefty amounts. Some of the other providers might charge you hundreds of dollars for leaving them without completing the time of contract. So, if you are moving from one town to another, and have to switch your providers frequently, Spectrum is all that you need. Don’t go for long term commitments when you have Spectrum available. Frontier and Xfinity are the other two options that offer contract-free internet. If they are available in your area, you can surely get your hands on them.
If you are overjoyed to find that there are no additional charges to pay for terminating the contract, there is some bad news for you. Spectrum additional fees are quite confusing and you might need to think a bit longer whether to sign up for Spectrum internet services or not. But don’t worry, we are going to breakdown the additional fees that Spectrum charges. Let’s dive right into it.
Spectrum Equipment Fee
Spectrum provides a free modem to its valued customers with most of the plans. The good thing is that the company won’t surprise you by putting the cost on the bill. Unlike Spectrum, other companies charge anywhere from $10 to $20 for the rented equipment. Now if you have already purchased your router or modem, you can use it at your home or in the office. For serious gamers and avid streamers, a wide range of modems and routers can be found popularly from manufacturers like NetGear, TP-Link, Asus and ARRIS SurfBoard Modem.
Spectrum Service Fees
If you have signed up for Spectrum’s high-speed internet, you need to pay a nominal installation fee for 100Mbps and 400Mbps. However, when it comes to the 940Mbps plan, the fee hits the roof that might put a hole in your wallet.
The pro installation fees for Spectrum Internet and Spectrum Ultra Plans are $49.99 while for Spectrum Gig Plan the amount goes up to $199.99. If you want to activate Wi-Fi to connect to the internet in any part of your house, the activation fee is $9.99. The same goes for self-installation.
AT&T Equipment Fee and Additional Charges
AT&T, unlike Charter Spectrum, comes with a one-year contract, whether you are a fiber or a DSL subscriber. If you have to move from one town to another frequently, AT&T is surely not going to be the best option. But if you can still manage to pay extra charges, we won’t stop you.
If you look at some of the offers by Xfinity, you can still find no-contract options. A no-contract option gives you the freedom to switch or terminate the services whenever you want to because there is no early termination fee involved.
AT&T Installation and Termination Fees
Just like any service provider, you need to pay the fees whether high or low. Let’s breakdown different types of fees charged by AT&T.
AT&T Equipment Fee
If you opt for AT&T internet, you will be given a router and Wi-Fi gateway combo. You don’t need to worry about buying your equipment or setting up a Wi-Fi network at your home. Just pay for the internet service and the equipment will be delivered to your doorstep. Even if you have no experience setting up the equipment, just follow the instructions given in the manual and within minutes, your internet will be up and running. For the shipment period, it won’t take too long – at least be patient for the next 5 to 6 business working days or less. The equipment rental fee charged by AT&T is just $10 per month. If you want to save $10 every month, the best option is to buy your own equipment, which easily available in stores and online.
AT&T Installation Fee
If you have an idea about how to install the equipment yourself, you just need to pay $35 for the activation. Professional installation, on the other hand, costs around $99.
AT&T Early Termination Fee
The early termination fee is just $15 for each month left on your contract. For instance, if you have two months left, you need to pay $30 to cancel the services.
Customer Service: AT&T Vs Spectrum
Internet service providers have to deal with customers very carefully. However, in terms of customer support and service, Spectrum has a very bad reputation. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, the internet industry scored an average of 62 out of 100 back in 2019. Spectrum scored 59 out of 100 which is one point lower as compared to scores back in 2018. If, in case of an emergency, you need to call Spectrum’s customer service, make sure to grab a pen and a paper. However, if possible, emailing or online chatting is a better option because some of you might not be able to hold a phone for ages. Moreover, keeping a notebook comes in handy when you want to keep a log of what was said and show it as a proof for future reference.
AT&T’s customer support has managed to rank above the industry average of 62 out of 100, as per the American Customer Satisfaction Index. It isn’t bad at all and you might not regret calling AT&T’s customer support, unlike other ISPs.
Summing Up: AT&T Vs Spectrum
It’s time to conclude and help you decide which one to choose and why. If you have read thoroughly, you might have noticed that AT&T has an advantage over customer service, prices, and bundles. But that doesn’t leave Spectrum at the bottom of the list. Spectrum bundle deals are lucrative for budget-savvy people. Moreover, the availability of Spectrum in the United States is much greater than AT&T’s Fiber internet.
When we look at the price, AT&T is more economical, only if you live in the AT&T fiber coverage area. Moreover, if you are not comfortable with signing a contract, Spectrum is a way better option than AT&T. If Spectrum offers coverage in your area, you can enjoy high-speed internet at a reasonable price.
In terms of speed, both Spectrum and AT&T deliver speed up to 1,000Mbps. Without denying, both of the ISPs over-deliver when it comes to speed.
The Internet and TV bundles are good on both sides. AT&T allows you to bundle with DirecTV, letting you save as much as $20 per month. While with Spectrum’s bundle you can save around $15 per month.
Customer service, as discussed in the previous section, matters a lot when it comes to service providers and AT&T ranked higher than Spectrum in this particular regard.
So, keep all the aforementioned points in mind and choose the provider that perfectly blends with your requirements.