Frontier vs. Spectrum Internet

We’ve researched everything from download speeds to contracts to find out whether Frontier or Spectrum reigns supreme.

Best for fiber

Price: $49.99–$149.99/mo.

Download speeds: 500–2000 Mbps

Data cap: Unlimited

Best value

Price: $49.99–$89.99/mo.

Download speeds: 300 Mbps–1 Gbps

Data cap: Unlimited

Frontier’s fiber internet plans offer better internet performance for less compared to Spectrum. But if your area doesn’t have Frontier Fiber coverage, stick with Spectrum over Frontier’s outdated DSL network.

Frontier Fiber vs. Spectrum internet pros and cons

Frontier

Great fiber internet plans
A free combo router/modem
Terrible DSL plans

View Plans

Spectrum

Contract-free plans
Reliable cable internet service
Expensive introductory prices

View Plans

Interested in internet service?

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Deals and promotions

Frontier Fiber internet deals

Frontier’s top deals include Visa cash cards, multi-year price guarantees, and bundled mesh Wi-Fi hardware. Check out our internet deals guide to learn more about the latest savings.

Spectrum internet deals

Spectrum covers up to $500 in early termination fees, and you’ll also get 12 free months of Peacock Premium when you sign up for Spectrum internet. Visit our Spectrum deals guide to learn more.

Compare Frontier Fiber vs. Spectrum head-to-head

Frontier vs. Spectrum

Service Pricing Download speeds up to Upload speeds up to Data cap Details
Frontier Fiber $49.99–$149.99/mo. 500–2000 Mbps 500–2000 Mbps Unlimited View plans
Spectrum $49.99–$89.99/mo.* 300–940 Mbps 10–20 Mbps Unlimited View plans

Data effective as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

* See full disclaimer.

When we say Frontier Fiber offers better plans than Spectrum, we’re talking about Frontier’s fiber-optic service, which they acquired from Verizon in 2015. These fiber internet plans are competitively priced with excellent download speeds.

In contrast, we don’t recommend Frontier’s DSL plans, which is a shame since they’re much more widely available than its fiber counterpart. Unfortunately, they don’t advertise their DSL speeds, so you’ll have to call for more information about service in your area.

By comparison, Spectrum’s internet plans are just fine for a cable ISP. Its prices aren’t spectacular, but you’ll have a decent range of download speeds to choose from and respectable customer service.

We’d recommend Frontier only if your area has Frontier fiber coverage because of the faster speeds. But if your neighborhood is stuck with Frontier DSL, grab a Spectrum cable internet plan instead.

Frontier Fiber vs. Spectrum packages and prices

Frontier and Spectrum are two very different ISPs, but they overlap in a few important areas. Here’s what you need to know about Spectrum and Frontier’s internet plans.

Frontier internet packages

Plan Price Max download speed Max upload speed Internet type Details
Basic Internet $32.99/mo. N/A N/A DSL View plans
Internet $39.99/mo. N/A N/A DSL View plans
Our pick
Frontier Fiber Internet 500/500 Mbps
$49.99/mo.* 500 Mbps 500 Mbps Fiber View plans
Frontier Fiber Gig $79.99/mo. 940 Mbps 880 Mbps Fiber View plans
Frontier Fiber 2 Gig $149.99/mo. 2,000 Mbps 2,000 Mbps Fiber View plans

Data effective as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Price per month. One-time charges apply. Maximum speeds are wired speeds. Wi-Fi, actual and average speeds vary. Service performance details at frontier.com/internetdisclosures. One-time charges apply.

* Per month for 12 mos. w/ Auto Pay. One-year agreement, early termination fee, and one-time charge apply. Max speeds are wired. Wi-Fi, actual & average speeds vary.

Per month for 36 mos. w/ Auto Pay. One-year agreement, early termination fee, and one-time charge apply. Max wired speed 940/880 Mbps. Wi-Fi, actual & average speeds vary.

Per month w/ Auto Pay. One-year agreement, early termination fee, and one-time charge apply. Max speeds are wired. Wi-Fi, actual & average speeds vary.

Frontier has both an old DSL network and new fiber internet infrastructure. With Frontier’s fiber internet plans, you’ll get download speeds of up to 2,000 Mbps for between $49.99 and $149.99 per month.

We always recommend getting fiber internet wherever it’s available because you’ll get the best performance with it compared to cable or DSL internet. Fiber internet’s benefits include fast upload speeds and low latency.

Our favorite Frontier Fiber internet plan is 500/500 Mbps, which offers speeds of up to 500 Mbps for $49.99 during your first year.

So while Frontier’s fiber plans aren’t the cheapest, they’re surprisingly competitive compared to other fiber internet providers:

Frontier fiber internet vs. competition

Download speed Frontier Verizon Fios Optimum
100 Mbps n/a n/a n/a
200 Mbps n/a $49.99/mo. n/a
300 Mbps n/a $49.99/mo.* $40.00/mo.
400 Mbps n/a $69.99/mo. n/a
500 Mbps $49.99/mo. $69.99/mo.* $60.00/mo.
940 Mbps $79.99/mo. $89.99/mo. $80.00/mo.
2,000 Mbps $149.99/mo. n/a $120.00/mo.
View Frontier plans View Verizon plans View Optimum plans

Data effective as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*in New York market area only.

But for most customers, Frontier’s fiber internet plans come with a sizable asterisk. Frontiers Fiber’s network is only in Florida, California, Texas, or Indiana at the moment. Although fiber availability is generally inconsistent for most ISPs, it’s not much of a consolation for Frontier customers stuck with the ISP’s DSL network.

And speaking of Frontier’s DSL network—hoo, boy.

We’d recommend Frontier’s DSL plans only if your home can’t get cable internet. Otherwise, consider Frontier’s DSL plans to be an option of last resort.

View Frontier plans

Spectrum internet packages

Plan Price Max download speed Max upload speed Details
Spectrum Internet $49.99/mo. for 12 mos. 300 Mbps 10 Mbps View plans
Our pick
Spectrum Internet Ultra
$69.99/mo. for 12 mos. 500 Mbps 20 Mbps View plans
Spectrum Internet Gig $89.99/mo. for 12 mos. 1 Gbps 20 Mbps View plans

Data effective as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

* See full disclaimer.

Comparing Spectrum’s cable internet plans to Frontier’s fiber internet plans is a slightly apples-and-oranges scenario, but not in the way you’d expect.

Spectrum internet vs. Frontier fiber internet

Spectrum Frontier
$49.99/mo. (300 Mbps) $49.99/mo. (500 Mbps)
$69.99/mo. (500 Mbps) $79.99/mo. (940 Mbps)
$89.99/mo. (1,000 Mbps) $149.99/mo. (2,000 Mbps)
View Spectrum plans View Frontier plans

Data effective as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Despite fiber internet being newer and faster compared to cable internet, Frontier’s introductory pricing still beats Spectrum across the board. You’ll get more bang for your buck on Frontier’s fiber internet plans compared to Spectrum’s cable ones.

That said, Frontier’s limited fiber availability makes these price differences a moot point if you’re not in a state with fiber coverage. And of course, we wholeheartedly recommend Spectrum over Frontier’s DSL plans; Spectrum’s cable internet packages offer fast download speeds, and the same plan selection is available regardless of your address.

For most households, we’d recommend Spectrum Internet Ultra. With 500 Mbps download speeds at $69.99 monthly for your first year, you’ll get an excellent price and enough bandwidth to support a whole family’s internet needs.

View Spectrum plans

Spectrum vs. Frontier Fiber internet features

When it comes to internet plans, price and download speeds aren’t the only things you need to consider. Let’s break down what else you should know about Spectrum and Frontier’s internet plans.

Equipment

Frontier bundles a free Wi-Fi router/modem for subscribers, while Spectrum includes only a free modem. But Spectrum customers can rent a Wi-Fi router for an additional $5.00 monthly.

We’ll give Frontier the win here (who doesn’t like free stuff?), although a free combo router/modem isn’t necessarily the biggest needle-mover. Still, it’s one less thing you’ll have to buy if you’re setting up a home network from scratch.

Pro tip: You can bring your own Wi-Fi router to Spectrum and Frontier if you don’t like renting hardware. Check out our best Wi-Fi router guide for our top router picks.

Customer satisfaction

Spectrum landed in fourth place out of 14 providers in our annual internet customer satisfaction survey. Spectrum subscribers disliked the ISP’s prices, although the provider still earned decent customer service scores.

By comparison, Frontier finished at ninth-place out of 14 providers overall. Frontier customers didn’t hate Frontier, but the ISP rarely inspired much enthusiasm and regularly earned a bottom-half finish in our polling.

Price increase after 12 months

Spectrum tacks on a $25 monthly price hike after your first-year promotional rate ends. Although we don’t love it when ISPs pull this move, Spectrum doesn’t have any contracts, and its modest price increase won’t break your budget.

We wish Frontier would’ve been similarly straightforward about its prices. Frontier’s DSL plans are no-contract with flat-rate pricing, but the ISP’s fiber internet plans lock you into a one-year agreement complete with early termination fees. There’s also the $85 activation fee during installation to worry about.

The 500/500 Mbps plan has a one-year price guarantee and Fiber Gig stretches this to three years, while Fiber 2 Gig lacks a scheduled price increase. Frontier doesn’t openly disclose what you’ll pay after your price guarantee, but Frontier customers online have mentioned increases of around $10 depending on their location.

Frontier beats Spectrum thanks to its lower price increase, although we dislike the contract hoops you’ll have to jump through with Frontier’s fiber plans. If you’re shopping for Frontier fiber internet, we’d suggest confirming whether you’ll get a price increase and how much it will be before signing the dotted line.

Final take: Is Frontier or Spectrum better?

Spectrum wins out over Frontier’s DSL plans, but our recommendation comes with a few qualifiers if you’re in a state with Frontier Fiber internet.

Although Frontier’s customer service is lackluster at best, its fiber internet plans are a far better value than Spectrum’s cable internet plans. Keep Frontier’s customer service on a short leash, but we’d ultimately recommend Frontier’s fiber internet plans over Spectrum if you have access to them.

Frontier vs. Spectrum internet FAQ

What's the difference between Spectrum and Frontier?

Spectrum offers cable TV, phone, and internet service, while Frontier offers DSL internet, fiber internet, and home phone service for home subscribers.

Which Wi-Fi is better: Spectrum or Frontier?

Spectrum cable internet is better than Frontier’s DSL plans, but Frontier’s fiber internet trumps Spectrum’s internet plans.

Can I have Frontier and Spectrum?

You can have separate Frontier and Spectrum plans, since Frontier offers internet but not cable TV, while Spectrum has cable TV plans. Check out our Spectrum cable TV review to learn more about the service.

Is Verizon FiOS the same as Frontier?

No, Verizon FiOS is not the same as Frontier, although Frontier did purchase its fiber internet network from Verizon. However, Frontier and Verizon are two different ISPs with separate internet plans and fiber internet networks.

Methodology

We analyzed all eight internet plans from Spectrum and Frontier for more than 16 hours to see how they compared on price, performance, and availability. We also used our annual internet customer satisfaction survey to see what actual Spectrum and Frontier customers said about their provider.

For more information on our methodology, check out our How We Rank page.

Disclaimer

*Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter. Spectrum Internet ® promotion price is $49.99/mo; standard rates apply after yr. 1. Taxes, fees and surcharges extra and subject to change during and after the promotional period; installation/network activation, equipment and additional services are extra. General Terms: INTERNET: Speed based on wired connection and may vary by address. Wireless speeds may vary. Services subject to all applicable service terms and conditions, subject to change. Services not available in all areas. Restrictions apply. Enter your address to determine availability. ©2021 Charter Communications.

Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter. Spectrum Internet® Ultra promotion price is $69.99/mo; standard rates apply after yr. 1. Taxes, fees and surcharges extra and subject to change during and after the promotional period; installation/network activation, equipment and additional services are extra. General Terms: INTERNET: Speed based on wired connection and may vary by address. Wireless speeds may vary. Services subject to all applicable service terms and conditions, subject to change. Services not available in all areas. Restrictions apply. Enter your address to determine availability. ©2021 Charter Communications.

Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter. Spectrum Internet® Gig promotion price is $89.99/mo; standard rates apply after yr. 1. Taxes, fees and surcharges extra and subject to change during and after the promotional period; installation/network activation, equipment and additional services are extra. General Terms: INTERNET: Speed based on wired connection and may vary by address. Wireless speeds may vary. Services subject to all applicable service terms and conditions, subject to change. Services not available in all areas. Restrictions apply. Enter your address to determine availability. ©2021 Charter Communications.

◊To qualify for the Contract Buyout Program, a customer must order and install a qualifying Triple Play or limited Double Play promotion; offers not available in all areas. Offer available to qualifying customers only who have no outstanding obligations to Charter. Payment amount will be determined by the Early Termination Fee on the final bill from the previous provider, not to exceed $500. For Contract Buyout qualifications, go to Spectrum.com/buyout.

**Speed based on wired connection. Available Internet speeds may vary by address. Gig capable modem required for Gig speed. For a list of Gig capable modems, visit Spectrum.net/modem.

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