Spectrum vs. AT&T Internet

Our experts use their hundreds of hours researching Spectrum and AT&T to help you find the best option for you.

Best for fiber internet

Price: $55.00–$180.00/mo.

Internet speed: Up to 75–5,000 Mbps

Data cap: 1,000 GB–unlimited

Best for flexibility

Price: $49.99–$89.99/mo.

Download speed: Up to 200–1,000 Mbps°

Data cap: Unlimited

AT&T and Spectrum Internet compete in the Midwestern and Southern US—plus Nevada and California—across a total of eighteen states. Both providers have reliable internet solutions with no-contract plans.

In our recent survey, AT&T internet customers responded with more overall satisfaction than Spectrum customers. But in areas where AT&T offers only its DSL-hybrid internet rather than AT&T Fiber, Spectrum can offer you faster speeds with more bang for your buck.

Spectrum vs. AT&T: pros and cons

Spectrum

No contracts
No data caps
$5/mo. for Wi-Fi router

AT&T

No contracts
High customer satisfaction rating
Included modem/router
✗ Limited fiber availability

Deals and promotions

Both Spectrum and AT&T offer sign-up incentives for new customers. Check out their ongoing promotions on the Spectrum deals and AT&T deals pages. Or, for all of this month’s big internet promos, check out our internet deals review.

Spectrum contract buyout

If you’re ready to get away from your current internet provider, Spectrum will buy out your old contract up to $500 when you sign up for a Triple Play plan (or Double Play if one of the three TV, internet, or phone services aren’t available in your area).

How are Spectrum and AT&T different?

When you compare AT&T internet versus Spectrum internet, the broad strokes look about the same:

Provider Price Download speeds Data cap Installation fee Type of service Details
Spectrum $49.99–$89.99/mo. for first 12 mos. Up to 200–1,000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) Unlimited $19.99 one-time charge Cable View plans
AT&T $55.00–$180.00/mo.* Up to 100–5,000 Mbps 1 TB–Unlimited $99.00 one-time charge DSL-hybrid or fiber View plans

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Price after $5/mo. Autopay & Paperless bill discount on internet. Taxes and fees apply.

With its cable internet network, Spectrum offers up to 100 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) download speeds in most areas. That’s an excellent standard for most homes, and in a few areas, you can even snag those hot gig speeds.

AT&T has two internet services—AT&T Internet and AT&T Fiber. AT&T Internet is a DSL hybrid, and depending on where you live, it might not scratch Spectrum’s 100 Mbps download speeds. But in large cities, you’ll likely have access to fiber-powered gig speeds instead.

It might require a phone call or two to confirm which provider is the speed demon in your area. If AT&T’s speeds are slower than Spectrum’s, you may want to pass on AT&T’s customer service reputation for speeds that get you where you want to go.

You’ve got options

Spectrum and AT&T are the primary providers in a bunch of towns. But you might have a third or fourth option you didn’t realize. Put in your ZIP code below, and we’ll list out your area’s providers.

Please enter a valid zip code.

Spectrum vs. AT&T internet prices and plans

Spectrum internet prices and plans

Packages Price Max. download speed Data cap More info
Spectrum Internet® $49.99/mo. for 12 mos. Up to 200 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) Unlimited View plans
Spectrum Internet® Ultra $69.99/mo. for 12 mos. Up to 400 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) Unlimited View plans
Spectrum Internet® Gig $89.99/mo. for 12 mos. Up to 1,000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) Unlimited View plans

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

You don’t have to sweat slow plans with Spectrum. The base plan downloads at up to 200 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary), which is a smooth speed most of the time—even if you’ve got some smart-home devices set up.

In some areas, Spectrum has started rolling out up to 400 Mbps and up to 1,000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) plans. These download speeds are great for working from home, and they really beat out AT&T’s DSL-hybrid speeds.

But if you have AT&T Fiber internet in your area, keep in mind that AT&T Fiber plans offer faster upload speeds, which improve the quality of your video calls and make it easier to send large documents—like that massive Excel spreadsheet your boss needs within the hour.

Spectrum by any other name

Here’s as good a place as any to tell you more about Spectrum’s history.

Spectrum is the brand name Charter Communications gave its internet and TV services after it purchased Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. But getting all three networks on the same page took some doing.

Some customers were left with growing pains when their plans and pricing changed. Those shifts are part of the reason Spectrum’s customer satisfaction reviews have been low. As a new customer, you might not notice a thing.

AT&T Internet and AT&T Fiber pricing and plans

Packages Price* Max. download speed Data cap Technology type More info
AT&T Internet up to 75 Mbps $55.00/mo. 75 Mbps 1,000 GB DSL-hybrid View plans
AT&T Internet up to 100 Mbps $55.00/mo. 100 Mbps Unlimited DSL-hybrid or Fiber View plans
AT&T Internet 300 $55.00/mo. 300 Mbps Unlimited Fiber View plans
AT&T Internet 500 $65.00/mo. 500 Mbps Unlimited Fiber View plans
AT&T Internet 1000 $80.00/mo. 1,000 Mbps Unlimited Fiber View plans
AT&T Internet 2000 $110.00/mo. 2,000 Mbps Unlimited Fiber View plans
AT&T Internet 5000 $180.00/mo. 5,000 Mbps Unlimited Fiber View plans

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Price after $5/mo. Autopay & Paperless bill discount on internet. Taxes and fees apply.

AT&T Internet DSL-hybrid speeds run up to 100 Mbps. That’s about as big a difference as a crack in the sidewalk compared to the Grand Canyon.

It’s nice that Internet 100 plans have the same prices. AT&T sets the plans in this range by the fastest speeds available in every area.

But if you’re a gig-speed hound living in a fiber-wired city, you’re in for a treat. AT&T’s Internet 1,000 plan is as fast as Spectrum Internet Gig, but AT&T’s gig plan is cheaper and AT&T Fiber has faster upload speeds versus Spectrum.

Spectrum vs. AT&T internet fees and extra charges

Spectrum Internet fees and extra charges

Fees Amount More info
Self-installation $19.99 Learn more
Modem equipment rental Included Learn more
Router rental $5.00/mo. Learn more

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

Spectrum’s fees aren’t worth fretting over. The one-time installation fee is smaller than a lot of providers, and your subscription includes a modem rental for no extra charge.

You might consider investing in a router instead of renting one from Spectrum. It’s a handy way to avoid router rental fees and Spectrum’s unnecessary Wi-Fi activation fee. The budget-friendly TP-Link Archer AC1750 pays for itself in a little over a year.

AT&T internet fees and extra charges

Fees Amount More info
Installation $99.00 (waived with online sign up) Learn more
Wi-Fi gateway rental Included Learn more
Data overage $10 per 50 GB block Learn more

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

AT&T’s installation fee is ugly, but you can skip it when you sign up for internet on AT&T’s website.

And on the plus side, your Wi-Fi gateway with a modem and router comes included in your service.

Additionally, you probably don’t have to worry about the data allowance overage charge. The 1,000 GB (1 TB) data cap AT&T enforces on some plans won’t be a problem for the average internet user. To go over that limit, you’d have to spend 11 hours a day streaming HD videos for a whole month. Remember to turn off Netflix when you fall asleep, and you’ll be fine.

Installation

Provider Installation fee Type of installation Details
Spectrum $19.99 Self-install View plans
AT&T $99.00 (waived with online sign up) Professional View plan

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

If you’re a DIYer, Spectrum’s self-installation isn’t too tricky—we’ve got all the details in our Spectrum installation guide. But AT&T will handle the trouble of your installation at no extra cost if you sign up for its internet service online.

Spectrum vs. AT&T internet customer satisfaction

Overall Customer Rating
(3.82 /5)

Sign up for Spectrum

Overall Customer Rating
(3.59 /5)

Sign up for AT&T

AT&T placed second for overall satisfaction in our recent customer survey, beat out by Verizon Fios. AT&T has maintained high customer satisfaction for years, and you’re more likely to have a good experience with its customer service than with most other providers.

This was a big climb for Spectrum, which in past years hit as low as tenth place. It seems that Spectrum has smoothed over the initial problems it had with customer service when it took on Time Warner Cable and Bright House Network customers back in 2016.

Bundling with TV

You can bundle your Spectrum internet service with its TV Select plan, one of the most affordable starting packages on the market. Tack on phone service, and your home will be looking pretty well connected.

Recommended Spectrum bundles

Package Introductory price Max. download speed Channel count More info
Internet + TV Select From $99.98/mo. for 12 mos. Up to 200 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) 125+ View plan
Internet + TV Select + Voice From $114.97/mo. for 12 mos. Up to 200 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) 125+ View plan

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

AT&T has more TV packages than it knows what to do with. You can bundle internet with its satellite TV service, DIRECTV, or pair up your fiber internet with the streaming service AT&T TV.

Recommended AT&T bundles

Package Price* Max. download speed Channel count More info
AT&T Internet 300 + DIRECTV STREAM ENTERTAINMENT $124.99/mo. 300 Mbps 65+ View plan
AT&T Internet 500 + DIRECTV STREAM CHOICE $154.99/mo. 500 Mbps 95+ View plan
AT&T Internet 1000 + DIRECTV STREAM ULTIMATE $184.99/mo. 1,000 Mbps 130+ View plan
AT&T Internet 5000 + DIRECTV STREAM PREMIER $329.99/mo. 140+ 140+ View plan

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Price after $5/mo. Autopay & Paperless bill discount on internet. Taxes and fees apply.

AT&T offers bundles with the live TV streaming service DIRECTV STREAM. We’re not huge fans of DIRECTV STREAM, though—YouTube TV or Hulu + Live TV will treat you better.

Double-check your choices

Not sure Spectrum or AT&T is right for you? No worries. Enter your zip code below, and we’ll help you find what other providers offer service in your area.

Please enter a valid zip code.

Final take

Since both Spectrum and AT&T offer no-contract internet plans with high speeds (and usually no data caps), you can just focus on prices and speeds when you’re signing up.

Spectrum isn’t a bad deal as far as internet goes. Its plans are faster the ones you’ll get with AT&T’s DSL-hybrid internet, and they’ll get you more speed for your dollar.

But AT&T has the stronger offering if you can get its fiber internet, especially if you consider its fast upload speeds. And its included Wi-Fi gateway will save you a lot in the long run.

View AT&T internet plans

Methodology

Our experts have researched AT&T and Spectrum’s internet service for years to determine the functionality of each provider and help you decide on the internet plan that’s best for your needs. We compared their bang for your buck, reliability, and features. To learn more about our methods, check out our How We Rank page.

AT&T vs. Spectrum Internet FAQ

What is better, AT&T or Spectrum?

If you’re in an area with AT&T Fiber coverage, AT&T will offer better internet versus Spectrum.

Disclaimer: °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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