Spectrum vs. AT&T

Is AT&T or Spectrum Internet better? This guide will help you decide which provider offers the best internet, TV, and bundles for you.


The quick answer: Is AT&T or Spectrum better?

Spectrum will be the best option for those who just want an easy, no frills way to stay connected. Their starting plans are affordable and offer fast, reliable speeds, so you won't have to break the bank. There are only a few plans to choose from with Spectrum, which makes your decision a lot simpler. Plus, if you're looking to bundle, Spectrum TV offers all of the popular channels and on demand features that you'll love.

If you're looking for a high-speed fiber connection, premium TV services, or the ultimate sports package, go with AT&T. You'll pay more for fiber internet, but your connection will be the fastest and most reliable on the block. DIRECTV by AT&T offers a wide variety of channels and packages to choose from so you can find the option that best fits your entertainment needs. If you're a diehard sports fan, you'll want to opt for NFL Sunday Ticket, which is exclusive to DIRECTV.

Is Spectrum or AT&T Internet Faster?

If you’re looking for a basic internet plan

Our pick for basic speed: AT&T

AT&T’s basic fiber internet plan offers download speeds up to 100 Mbps at a monthly cost of $50. On the other hand, Spectrum’s starting cable internet plan costs $45 a month and has starting speeds of up to 100 Mbps.

100 Mbps is plenty of speed for the average household. If you like to binge watch Netflix, play online games, or download movies, you’ll be good to go. Fiber is a more reliable connection than cable, so if AT&T’s starting fiber plan is an option where you live, we’d recommend going with AT&T. However, cable internet is still a reliable, high-speed connection, so if you want to save $5 a month, go with Spectrum’s starting cable plan.

Spectrum Cable Internet vs. AT&T DSL

Spectrum

AT&T

Starting Price

$45/mo.

$50/mo.

12-mo. agmt req’d. Incl 1 TB/data/mo. $10 chrg for each add’l 50GB (up to $100/mo.). Ltd avail./select areas.

Starting Speed

Up to 100 Mbps

Up to 100 Mbps*

Connection

Cable

Fiber

Contracts

No contracts

1 year

Installation

$49.99

$99

Data caps

No data caps

1 TB

Equipment

Included at no extra cost

Included at no extra cost

*Speed/Time examples are estimates and based on wired connection to gateway. Actual customer speeds may vary and are not guaranteed. Speeds may vary based on factors including site traffic, content provider server capacity, internal management factors, and end user device capabilities. For more information, go to www.att.com/speed101.

If you’re looking for a premium internet plan

Our pick for premium speed: AT&T

Large households with heavy duty internet users may want to opt for a faster plan. AT&T’s Internet 300 or Internet 1000 fiber plans are a great option if you need more speed. Plus, fiber is generally faster and more reliable than cable. Just keep in mind that fiber will usually be more expensive. Spectrum offers cable plans with download speeds of up to 400 and 940 Mbps, so if you’re not set on fiber and these plans are more affordable, you have the option.

Spectrum Cable Internet vs. AT&T Fiber

Spectrum

AT&T

Price and Speed

Internet Ultra: $64.99 for up to 300-400 Mbps

Internet Gig: $104.99 for up to 940 Mbps

Internet 300: $70 for up to 300 Mbps*

12-mo. agmt req’d. Incl 1 TB/data/mo. $10 chrg for each add’l 50GB (up to $100/mo.). Ltd avail./select areas.

Internet 1000: $75 for up to 940 Mbps*

12-mo. agmt req’d. Incl. unlimited data allowance ($30 value) at no add’l charge. Ltd. avail/select areas.

Connection

Cable

Fiber

Contracts

No contracts

1 year

Installation

Internet Ultra: $49.99

Internet Gig: $199.99

Free for Internet 300 and Internet 1000 plans

Data Caps

No data caps

No data caps

Equipment

Included at no extra cost

Included at no extra cost

*Speed/Time examples are estimates and based on wired connection to gateway. Actual customer speeds may vary and are not guaranteed. Download speeds (up to 940Mbps for Internet 1000) are typically due to overhead capacity reserved to deliver the data. Speeds may vary based on factors including site traffic, content provider server capacity, internal management factors, and end user device capabilities. For more information, go to www.att.com/speed101.

When comparing these two providers it really boils down to speed and price. AT&T offers faster speeds, but Spectrum is more affordable.

Overall, we’d recommend going with Spectrum, as you’ll generally be getting more bang for your buck. Most families won’t need more than Spectrum’s starting plan of up to 100 Mbps, which is an affordable option. Plus, AT&T’s fiber plans have limited availability, so they might not even be available in your area. However, if you live in a very large household and AT&T fiber is available to you, we’d recommend going with fiber.

Who Has Cheaper Internet: Spectrum or AT&T?

Our pick for price: Spectrum

The prices and specific plans that are available to you will vary by your location. AT&T’s starting fiber plan typically costs $50 a month and Spectrum’s costs $45/mo for up to 100 Mbps. AT&T’s starting plan is more expensive for the same amount of speed, but fiber will be more reliable than cable. The easiest way to find out which plans are available to you and how much they cost is to use our search by zip code tool.

How much do AT&T and Spectrum charge for Installation and Equipment?

Our pick for installation and equipment costs: Spectrum

AT&T charges $99 for standard installation. However, they provide free installation as a perk for the Internet 300 and Internet 1000 fiber plans. Spectrum’s standard installation costs $49.99 for all of its plans except the Internet Gig plan, which has a $199.99 installation fee. Internet providers often have promotions that offer free or discounted installation, so be on the lookout for those! AT&T and Spectrum both include the cost of equipment in their monthly plan price, so you won’t have an extra fee tacked on.

Spectrum vs. AT&T Availability

Spectrum’s internet services are available in 41 states across the nation, so it’s likely that they’re available in your state. AT&T’s internet services are currently only available in 21 states, so it’s less widely available. There are currently about 28 million Spectrum customers and 16 million AT&T internet customers across the country. The fastest way to find out if you live in an area that these providers service is to use our search tool.

Pros and Cons for Spectrum vs. AT&T Internet

Spectrum

AT&T

Pros

  • Fast starting speeds
  • Widespread availability
  • No contracts
  • Affordable plans
  • Wide range of plan options
  • Widespread availability
  • Fast speeds
  • Fiber options
  • Cons

    • Fewer plan options
    • No plans with free installation
    • 1 year contract required
    • Slow and expensive starting DSL plans
    • Fiber has limited availability

    Spectrum TV vs. DIRECTV from AT&T

    Our pick for TV: Spectrum

    Spectrum and AT&T both offer TV packages, so you can get your internet and TV all in one place. We’ll compare the packages and perks offered by both providers so you can decide which provider is best for you.

    DIRECTV from AT&T

    AT&T owns DIRECTV and offers all six of the provider’s satellite TV packages to customers. You’ll have a wide range of options with DIRECTV in terms of channel count and price. DIRECTV’s starter Select Package offers 155+ channels for $35 a month, and its top-of-the-line Premier package boasts 330+ channels for $110/mo. HBO is included at no extra cost for a year, and other premium channels like SHOWTIME, Cinemax, and STARZ are included for three months when you opt for the Choice package or above. You’ll be required to sign a 2-year contract with whatever plan you choose, so it’s a great option for settled homeowners or those that aren’t planning to move anytime soon.

    DIRECTV will be your go to choice if you’re a die-hard sports fan. They offer exclusive sports content and features on NFL Sunday Ticket* which comes free for one season with their CHOICE package and above. With NFL Sunday TIcket, you can watch 4 or 8 games at once on a single screen, keep tabs on the stats of all your favorite teams and players, and track your fantasy league. You’ll never miss a touchdown again. Plus, you can watch games on the go, so you won’t have to rush home every time your team is playing.

    DIRECTV offers the Genie HD DVR, so you can record all of your favorite shows and movies. With the Genie you can record as many as 5 shows at the same time, store 200 hours of HD content, and rewind live TV for up to 72 hours. You can access your recordings from anywhere in your home on any device. You’ll be able to watch all of your recordings, live TV, and on demand titles on the go with the DIRECTV app. Whether you’re using your laptop, tablet, or smartphone, you’ll be good to go.

    *With CHOICE™ Package and above. Subscription renews automatically for the 2020 season and each season thereafter at then prevailing rate (currently $293.94/season) unless you call to cancel within two weeks after the start of the season. Req's you to select offer. Out-of-market games only. Select int'l games excluded.

    Spectrum TV

    Spectrum offers 3 TV packages starting at a monthly cost of $44.99, with channels ranging from 125 to 200+. You’ll get access to over 40,000 on demand shows and movies with Spectrum, so you’ll have endless hours of entertainment for family movie night. Premium channels like HBO and Showtime are included at no extra cost with Spectrum’s Silver and Gold TV packages. None of Spectrum’s packages require contracts, so you can cancel at any time without incurring early termination fees.

    Spectrum makes it easy to take your entertainment on the go with the Spectrum TV app. You’ll be able to stream on demand shows and movies on your laptop, tablet, smartphone, or any other connected device. The app also lets you watch any titles you’ve recorded and program your DVR, no matter where you are. You’ll also have access to over 80 channel apps so you can watch your favorite channels even if you’re not home. There’s no need to stress about getting home in time to catch latest episode of your favorite show - you can watch it anywhere!

    A Quick Recap: DIRECTV and Spectrum TV

    DIRECTV offers a wide variety of packages, channels, and exclusive perks like NFL Sunday Ticket. It’s a great option for sports lovers or those who want access to as many channels as possible. On the other hand, Spectrum is perfect for the casual viewer who just wants popular networks and on-the-go streaming. Also keep in mind that Spectrum doesn’t require a contract for its TV packages, while DIRECTV requires you to sign on for 2 years. Plus, DIRECTV’s prices for its packages increase drastically after the first 12 months of service.

    DIRECTV

    Spectrum

    Channels

    330+

    200+

    Number of Plans

    6

    3

    Starting Price

    $35/mo.

    For 12 months w/24-mo. agmt. AutoPay & Paperless bill req’d. $81/mo. In months 13-24 (subject to change).

    $44.99/mo.

    Contracts

    2 years

    No contracts

    On Demand Titles

    10,000+

    40,000

    Watch Live TV and On Demand Titles On the Go

    Yes

    Yes

    Spectrum vs. AT&T Deals and Bundles

    Our pick for bundles and deals: AT&T

    You can bundle internet, TV, and home phone services with AT&T or Spectrum. Bundling makes your life easier, as you only have to pay one bill instead of 3 separate ones. Plus, providers often offer special perks and discounts when you sign up so you can save even more. When you bundle your AT&T internet service with DIRECTV, you’ll save $10 a month your internet. That adds up to $120 in savings every year. You’ll also get free installation when you bundle TV and internet. AT&T customers have access to thousands of WiFi hotspots across the country. That means you won’t have to waste your precious mobile data when you’re on the go.

    When you bundle Spectrum internet, TV, and voice services, you’ll only pay $10 a month for your home phone. Plus, combining all of your services on one bill will help you declutter. If you decide that you want to switch providers but you’re currently stuck in a contract with another provider, Spectrum has you covered. They’ll buy out your current contract for up to $500 to make your transition as easy and painless as possible. Plus, Spectrum offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so you can try out their services with no risk.

    The Verdict: AT&T or Spectrum?

    After conducting our analysis, we’ve found that both AT&T and Spectrum are top-of-the-line internet and TV providers. Spectrum takes the cake for overall price, installation and equipment fees, nationwide availability, and TV service. On the other hand, AT&T is our pick for speed and bundles. Overall, we recommend going with Spectrum if it is available to you. Their starting plan offers plenty of speed for the average household at an affordable price. If you’re looking for a TV package with all of your favorite networks, Spectrum won’t break the bank. Plus, Spectrum has lots of extra perks like a $500 contract buyout and plans without contracts, so you’ll be getting the most bang for your buck.

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