Having reliable access to the internet is incredibly important for our personal and professional lives. With more people than ever working from home, many people now need the internet just to earn a living.
The internet is the easiest way to connect with the world around us, and it is important to choose a reliable and trustworthy internet service provider.
To help you get connected and choose the right service provider for your needs, we’re going to take an in-depth look at two of the more well-known companies out there today – Spectrum and AT&T. We’re going to examine everything, including prices, download speeds, and customer satisfaction ratings to determine which service provider is the better choice.
How Do Spectrum and AT&T Differ?
To determine the best internet service provider, we’re breaking down each company and comparing them across a variety of areas.
Spectrum vs. AT&T: Price Comparison
Both companies offer plans that meet the internet speed requirements of most people at fairly reasonable prices, but the two providers differ in certain regards. For example, Spectrum offers unlimited internet plans that do not have a data cap, AT&T offers slightly cheaper plans with data caps.
This is why it is important to first consider your needs. If you live on your own and do not stream, upload, or download a lot of content, you might be okay with a monthly download cap. If you have a larger family or you regularly use the internet to stream HD movies and play video games, you might be better off with one of the unlimited plans that Spectrum offers.
To get an unlimited plan with AT&T, you have to upgrade to their most expensive package which offers a much higher download speed at nearly double the monthly cost of their most basic plan.
|Provider||Plan||Price Per Month||Download Speed||Data Cap|
|Spectrum||Spectrum Internet||$49.99||Up to 100 Mbps||Unlimited|
|Spectrum||Spectrum Internet Ultra||$69.99||Up to 400 Mbps||Unlimited|
|Spectrum||Spectrum Internet Gig||$109.99||Up to 940 Mbps||Unlimited|
|AT&T||AT&T Internet 100||$35.00||Up to 100 Mbps||1 TB|
|AT&T||AT&T Internet 300||$50.00||Up to 300 Mbps||1 TB|
|AT&T||AT&T Internet 1000||$60.00||Up to 940 Mbps||Unlimited|
Both Spectrum and AT&T offer reasonable monthly rates given the speeds they offer. As you can see, there is a fairly significant variation in price depending on the type of plan you sign up for.
It is difficult to determine a winner between the two based strictly on price because each provider has its advantages and disadvantages. While Spectrum is generally more expensive, you do get access to unlimited data with all of their plans. On the other hand, if you do not think you will exceed the 1 TB monthly data limit, you may want to choose one of the more affordable plans offered by AT&T.
Installation Fee – One thing that is worth noting when discussing price is the installation fees the two companies charge when they set you up with a new plan.
While AT&T offers cheaper plans, they do charge a fairly expensive $99 installation fee. On the other hand, Spectrum’s installation fee is only $49.99. Assuming you are looking at one of the cheaper packages, this difference between the two installation fees almost equals an entire month’s internet bill!
Spectrum vs. AT&T: Download Speed Comparison
As you can see from the chart above, both internet providers offer plans with varying download speeds.
It is important to understand your own needs before shopping for a new internet package. If you regularly stream high definition videos or enjoy playing online video games, you need a high-speed package and one with a large or unlimited monthly data limit.
Both internet providers offer download speeds that vary between 100 and 940 Mbps, so you can get an appropriate plan for your needs. When it comes to downloading speeds, though, it is worth noting that most users rarely receive the download speeds advertised. This is because actual speeds vary depending on where the user lives and how many people are using the network in the surrounding area.
When the Federal Communications Commission or FCC performed a 2023 survey to examine actual download speeds versus those advertised by American internet service providers, they found some interesting speed scores with both Spectrum and AT&T.
After dividing the actual download speed by the advertised download speed of either company, they found a percentage of over 100% for both companies. In other words, many customers of both Spectrum and AT&T received download speeds above what they were paying for. At 108.9% for AT&T plans and 114.78% for Spectrum customers, both companies delivered good value and impressive download speeds.
You should get what you are paying for if you choose an internet plan with either Spectrum or AT&T; however, it is worth noting that Spectrum customers usually experience even higher speeds across the various plan types offered by the company.
Spectrum vs. AT&T: Customer Service Ratings
It is a bit of a cliché that internet companies are annoying to deal with. After all, who hasn’t been put on a lengthy hold by an internet or cable provider?
While there are countless reasons why a person could become irritated by the quality of customer service offered by their internet provider, one of the most common causes of frustration is a general lack of clarity regarding fees.
According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, or ACSI, AT&T’s customer service ranked at around 62 out of 100. While this sounds pretty mediocre, it is a little above average for an internet provider. On the other hand, Spectrum scored 59 out of 100. While the two scores sound close, Spectrum’s score is actually a little below industry average. Given this is an industry known for poor customer service, scoring below average is a fairly serious issue.
Which Provider is Better Overall?
AT&T takes the top spot for price, but it is only practical if you have low data usage needs, so it is somewhat of a draw. In terms of speed, both companies offer a variety of options and are both known to deliver on promised speeds.
Customer service is the deciding factor and given that AT&T ranked noticeably higher, we have to give it to AT&T overall. That said, both of these providers offer reasonable rates and competitive prices. Most importantly, they deliver on what they promise. Either would be a great choice, and the decision should be based on your own needs!