Modern homes require modern amenities, and your internet should enhance your home life. If you’ve found that it’s time to upgrade your net connection, you have choices. Spectrum and AT&T are two of these. Each is a popular ISP that offers high speeds and even bundles internet packages with television, wireless, and voice. But, how do you know which to choose? Is it apples and apples, or are Spectrum and AT&T different beasts altogether? Find out below.
Best Pricing, Contracts and Bundles: AT&T(More Basic Internet Options)
Fastest Internet Speeds & Reliability: Spectrum (Faster Starting Speeds)
Local Availability & Coverage: Spectrum
Bonus Features & Add-Ons: AT&T
Spectrum vs AT&T: Pricing, Contracts and Bundles
Pricing for all internet providers is location-based. However, you can expect most ISPs to start out somewhere in the $40 to $50 per month ballpark most of the time. Before you begin your comparisons, you want to make sure that your chosen price point offers similar speeds through whichever provider you choose. Spectrum’s slowest speed is 200 Mbps, whereas AT&T typically pushes fiber services, which start at 300 Mbps, for the best prices.
That said, AT&T does have packages available with much slower internet – as low as .8 Mbps. We are not sure who would want speeds that slow, but the option is nice, although plans less than 100 Mbps usually run the same price as their Internet 500 service. Spectrum has done away with confusing options, and the company offers three tiers of service: 200 Mbps, 400 Mbps, and 940 Mbps. No matter which company you choose, you can get a great deal if you want to bundle your services, and especially if you’re willing to sign a 12 or 24-month contract.
Spectrum vs AT&T: Internet Speed & Reliability
Speaking of internet speeds, how do you know which is best? For the most part, 200 Mbps is a great place to start for a single user or small family. Thankfully, both Spectrum and AT&T offer a gig-speed connection, which is great for households where someone – or everyone – works or goes to school at home, streams 4K television and is constantly connected to the Wi-Fi via phones, tablets, and gaming systems.
For reliability, both companies stand tall with continually upgraded networks and expansive teams of technicians that can be dispatched at a moment’s notice. AT&T, as one of the largest internet and data providers in the United States, handles more than 335 PB of internet traffic each day. It continually invests in its networks to create a seamless user experience. Spectrum also pays close attention to speed and quality and claims 99.9% network reliability.
Spectrum vs AT&T: Local Availability
For widespread availability, you can’t top Spectrum, which is owned by cable conglomerate Charter. Available in more than 40 states, Spectrum is hands-down one of the largest service providers in the states. AT&T is available in 21 states, so there is some overlap. AT&T also claims to have the vastest fiber network in states where it provides fiber service. Not sure what’s available in your area? Check out service areas for Spectrum and AT&T below.
Spectrum vs AT&T: Unlimited Data & Other Features
If you’re looking for unlimited, Spectrum and AT&T each deliver with unlimited data in their most popular plans. You also want to consider bandwidth, which is essentially how much data can flow in and out at a single time. AT&T does not limit bandwidth. Spectrum does. However, it is unclear exactly by how much, although you would likely be allotted more than you would ever use.
Other features to look out for with both providers are online security and self-install options, particularly if you are in a hurry to change. Something to consider here is that AT&T offers free HBO Max with its top-tier plans. If you’re already paying the $14.99 per month for the streaming service, it’s a value that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Spectrum vs AT&T: Which is Better Overall?
Like all tough decisions, choosing your internet service provider isn’t easy. Honestly, with these two providers, it’s going to come down to price and availability. We’ve already mentioned that pricing is location-specific, so you want to check both Spectrum and AT&T’s websites for the most current promotions available. Keep in mind, further, that availability is subject to change. Both companies devote massive amounts of capital toward strengthening their infrastructure each year. If one is not available now, it might be soon.
Will I notice a difference between gig speeds if I choose Spectrum over AT&T?
Probably not. That said, each ISP owns and operates its own networks. There may be times that networks are bogged down, and your speeds might be marginally affected. Something else to be aware of is that the further from your modem you get, the slower your speeds will be. Both Spectrum and AT&T work with Wi-Fi extenders, so this is always an option if you have a large home and need to speed things up the further you get from your modem.
Which company has the best bundles?
This again comes down to geographic region. Both offer cable, internet, and mobile services. You may be able to save up to 40% on your services by bundling them together. Spectrum and AT&T do this as both a benefit to customers and to encourage brand loyalty.
Should I sign a contract?
Spectrum and AT&T offer no-contract services. However, if you are looking for the best price, you’ll want to sign up for at least 12 months. The only time it does not make sense to commit is when you know that you are moving out of the area where you currently live before your service contract is over. Both companies have early termination fees, which are reduced each month your contract is in good standing.