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Charter Spectrum Internet Review

Posted by: Scott Teran        Updated: 1/16/2017

The Bottom Line

Charter Spectrum’s internet service is unlike other ISPs: there’s no equipment fee for Charter’s modem, and its basic internet plan starts at 60 Mbps (download speed). Charter doesn’t require a contract either, so you’re not locked into a one- or two-year service agreement. However, there are a few odd things about Charter. For instance, you’ll probably have only one Charter internet plan in your area.

Is it Right for Me?

  • YES
  • If you want to drop another service for Charter. Charter offers a $500 contract-buyout promotion.
  • If you want no-contract internet.
  • If you want unlimited data (no data caps).
  • If you don’t want to pay a modem fee.
  • If you want to bundle services (add TV, phone, etc.).
  • NO
  • If you’re in a remote or rural location and need satellite internet.
  • If you want options; it’s likely you’ll only have one Charter plan in your area.
  • If you want upload speeds faster than 4 Mbps.
  • If you want to avoid a professional installation fee, there’s no self-installation for new customers.


Plans are limited, but pricing is better than average.

Charter internet only

If you want Charter internet only service, you’ll likely have just one or two options. Luckily, Charter’s basic internet plan is pretty impressive; it has high speeds and doesn’t require a contract.

PlanAdvertised priceRegular priceDownload speedContract
Charter Internet$2999/mo$3999/mo60 MbpsNone
Ultra Internet*$89/mo$99/mo100 MbpsNone
Charter Internet
Advertised price
Regular price
Download speed
60 Mbps
Ultra Internet*
Advertised price
Regular price
Download speed
100 Mbps

Updated 8/25/16. Pricing and availability may change depending on location. *Only available in select areas.

Charter’s advertised price is what you’ll find on Charter’s website, and to get that price you’ll have to bundle internet service with TV and phone. The regular price is the actual internet only price, and it’s good for one year—no contract required.

Charter internet (+TV/phone)

PlanServicesAdvertised priceDownload speed
Internet + PhoneInternet/Phone$4999/mo768 Kbps
Triple Play SelectInternet/TV/Phone$9999/mo1.5 Mbps
Internet + Phone
Advertised price
Download speed
768 Kbps
Triple Play Select
Advertised price
Download speed
1.5 Mbps

Updated 8/25/16. Pricing and availability may change depending on location.

If you want to include TV or phone with internet service, you can. Charter offers service bundles for internet, TV, and phone. Most of Charter’s bundles compare favorably with the competition, but we included two of the more popular bundles in the chart above. As always, we recommend calling a representative to see what’s available in your area.

What’s the real price?

How much is Charter internet? It might not be easy to tell at first because all prices on Charter Spectrum’s website are for bundles. If you want to find the price of internet-only service, you’ll have to go through the checkout process online or call and ask a representative. For example, the internet only plan is $29.99 a month for one year, but the standard rate, which is $49.99 a month, isn’t shown until you get to the checkout screen. This isn’t unusual, but other internet providers do a better job of being upfront with standard prices.

Heads up – Charter’s $500 Contract Buyout Promotion Charter Spectrum is running a promotion we haven’t seen from an internet service: a contract buyout. If you order a Charter Spectrum Triple Play, you can get up to $500 towards your old internet service contract. Of course, there are some stipulations. You’ll need to fill out a one-page form (it’s surprisingly short) and send in a copy of your final bill from your previous ISP. We couldn’t find details on when this promotion ends, so if you’re interested it wouldn’t hurt to call and speak with a representative sooner than later.

Hidden fees

There’s no modem fee for Charter Spectrum, but if you want a Wi-Fi enabled modem (which should be standard by now) you’ll have to pay an extra $5 a month. Most other ISPs offer Wi-Fi enabled modems, but they typically charge $10 a month.

Be aware of the following fees:

Professional installation (ETF)

  • Professional installation is required for all new customers; there is no option for self-installation. Ours was a one-time fee of $49.99, but we also received a $15 discount. If you don’t see a discount yourself, it doesn’t hurt to ask for one.

Wi-Fi activation fee

  • If you want to rent a Wi-Fi modem from Charter, you’ll have to pay a one-time Wi-Fi activation fee of $9.99.

Wi-Fi monthly fee

  • There’s a $5-a-month fee for Wi-Fi service. We think this fee is a bit ridiculous, but on the other hand Charter doesn’t charge any equipment fees, which are usually close to $10 a month. (Comcast charges $10 a month for its modem.)

Activation fee

  • If you happen to live in an area where Charter’s Ultra internet plan is available, be aware there is a one-time fee of $199 to get started.


Like other ISPs, Charter Spectrum requires its own modem or an authorized modem for internet service.

In our other ISP reviews, we’ve recommended purchasing your own modem. Charter is a little different. If you already have a compatible wireless router or you don’t need Wi-Fi, go with Charter’s free modem. For every other situation, we recommend getting a modem/router combo (modem and Wi-Fi router) from Charter’s authorized modem list. A modem/router combo can pay for itself within a year, and you never know what make or model of modem you’d get from Charter.

SPEED 7/10

There are limited options for speed, but at least Charter starts high.

PlanDownload SpeedUpload Speed
Charter Internet60 Mbps4 Mbps
Ultra Internet100 Mbps4 Mbps
Charter Internet
Download Speed
60 Mbps
Upload Speed
4 Mbps
Ultra Internet
Download Speed
100 Mbps
Upload Speed
4 Mbps

What internet speeds do I really get?

Charter Spectrum’s download speeds start high at 60 Mbps, which means you’ll never need to worry about Netflix buffering (even in HD), but there’s also really no other option for speed from Charter. Yes, there is the Ultra internet plan, which has a download speed of 100 Mbps, but its coverage is limited to select metro areas.

If you want high upload speeds, you’ll be disappointed with Charter internet. No matter the plan, you only get 4 Mbps of upload speed. This might be an issue if you’re constantly backing up your computer to the cloud or uploading photos or videos online. Of course, upload speed isn’t important to everyone, so it might not make a difference for you. If it does, a different internet service provider would be better for you.

What speed is right for me?

Internet speeds are not guaranteed.The factors you should consider are:

  • Multiple users

  • Computer hardware and software

  • Modem

Below are the FCC’s minimum broadband speed requirements for a single user.

Activity (single user)Minimum Download Speed
Web browsing1 Mbps
Watching video4 Mbps
Video conferencing4 Mbps
Online gaming5 Mbps

DATA 10/10

No limits on your data means less stress.

There are no data limits (i.e., data caps) for Charter’s internet service.

Other ISPs, such as AT&T and Comcast, have data limits (300 GB and 1,000 GB respectively). Though Charter isn’t the only ISP with unlimited data (Time Warner Cable and Verizon have it as well), it’s definitely worth mentioning


Close-to-average service.

ASCI 2016 RatingJD Power

Charter Spectrum’s support is just average, but it does have some interesting service features (contract buy-out and no-contract service).

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), Charter Spectrum scored a 63 on a 100-point scale for customer satisfaction in 2016. That’s an improvement from a score of 57 in 2015, but Charter’s 2016 rating makes it land right in the middle of the best and worst ISPs.

The 2015 U.S. Residential Internet Service Provider Customer Satisfaction Study from J.D. Power gives Charter Spectrum a 3 out of 5 rating, which means Charter is “about average.” We agree.

We tried multiple times to use Charter’s online support chat, but it didn’t work. When we called support to ask about other Charter plans, we could only get information after providing our address. This is typical, but we still hope that representatives would be more eager to answer our questions without getting our info first.

If you have a question for Charter Spectrum, you’ll have to call, but it’s not a terrible experience…it’s just okay.


Charter Spectrum internet has few options, but plenty of perks.

If 60 Mbps download speed and 4 Mbps upload speed sounds good to you (it’s more than enough speed for the average household), Charter is worth checking out. Charter also has some excellent benefits: no modem fees, contract buyouts, unlimited data, and no-contract service.

Our Recommendation: Charter Spectrum Internet

Charter Spectrum internet has 60 Mbps download speed for $39.99 a month, and that’s a good deal when compared other ISPs. For example, Verizon Fios’ 50/50 plan with a 50 Mbps download speed is $49.99 a month and requires a one-year contract (it does have better upload speeds though).

Other great options:

If you want to add TV to your internet service, the TV Select + Internet plan starts at $79.99 a month.

The Triple Play Select has all three home services: internet, TV, and phone for $89.99 a month.

All in all, decent speeds for a decent price. You won’t have a ton of customization options in the packages available to you, but the plans that are available should offer enough speed to serve any household.

Scott Teran - Reviews.org Writer

By: Scott Teran

Staff Writer

  • James towne

    This is the worst Internet service ever. We put a package deal together for TV, internet, and phone. The internet is the worst. We called and complained, spent over an hour on the phone with a non English speaker only to have him give us guidance which shut down our Internet that he could not get running again. My wife hung up and actually read the information and got it going. I continually get your Internet can not connect. We gave up Verdon to get this garbage….I am writing this on my phone because my tablet will not connect.

  • Warren

    We were on Brighthouse years ago, then accepted a 2 year UVerse contract with ATT. Like all plans, the advertised price was about half of what you inevitably pay each month. With huge increases or severely lessened TV channels at the end of the contract, we went back to Brighthouse. Again, the advertised package was a sore disappointment compared to the actual billing and the bill wasn’t sent, either by snail mail or email; I finally got a call about my bill being delinquent! This last bill was a shocking increase, making my bare-bones Brighthouse package almost as expensive as the UVerse package we just left. Trying to contact BrightHouse right now is a nightmare as they are merging with Spectrum. I get “sorry, not available, our technicians are working on the problem” online responses when I try to log in. My cell battery died as I listened to the ubiquitous “We appreciate your business, you are a valued customer” loop. I left Spectrum an email and a callback number; it produced crickets. That is why I’m researching on this site to find decent internet and TV.

    • Thanks for checking Reviews.org out. So is your TV/Internet package officially with Spectrum, or is still under Bright House? We haven’t reviewed Bright House yet, but we have reviewed Spectrum (we liked their internet service more than their TV service). Are there any other providers in your area you’re considering?

      • Warren

        We are grandfathered to Brighthouse prices, but we automatically got the 60 MBPS “upgrade” from 50 MBPS. My original email message was finally returned on a Sunday afternoon. That $500 buy-out sounds patently unfair, as all existing customers are being shafted by the inducement for a few new customers; the cost is spread onto all our subscriptions.

        I am at a loss as to why “existing” customers are shut out of discount pricing available only to new customers. Newspaper delivery is a great example. Our local Orlando rag offers new customers $10-$12 a year (yes year) for a Sunday-Thursday newspaper delivery. When they try to raise it after a year, they will “back down” and offer a second year, usually for about $15. After that, the annual subscription is about $65.00. Because all the supplementary ads (grocery, WalMart, Target, etc.) are on line, and TV and Drudge supply the news, I find most of the newspaper ends up wrapping dog accidents or in the recycle bin. So I cancelled it. After about 6 months, I may “re-qualify” for their $10 annual price again.

        I am seriously thinking of finding an internet-only service at about 25 MBPS and using rabbit ears (free local) A movie service (HBO or STARZ) and Sling at $20/month for TV and a Walmart-like “landline” service for $10 per month that runs over the internet. The only channel I will miss on this configuration is CNBC, but I want to cut the cord from these 100-200-300 channel packages when I only watch a limited array of channels. Any suggestions?

        • If it’s internet-only service, we’d go with Verizon Fios, Optimum, or Suddenlink. Even Comcast XFINITY is a pretty good option if it’s internet-only. You can also start by finding what’s actually available in your area by going to highspeedinternet.com.

          We do use HBO GO and feel mostly positive about it (we might review it in the future). And the same can be said of Sling; we have one team member who’s used it for a year, and he would recommend it.

          We’re not sure there’s much use for landline service these days, but if you haven’t taken a look at Google Voice, check it out. It might work as an alternative, and it’s “free.”

          Also, from what we see, CNBC is available on Sling.

          • Warren

            I have an update on the BrightHouse/Spectrum merger… or is it a fiasco? Yes Spectrum tests out at 57MBps out of a promised upgrade to 60, but their billing procedures are indescribable. When I try to create an online account, they ask for an account number, “which can be found on your monthly bill.” Hard to find when I haven’t received a bill, either on line or in snailmail. Somewhere in their labyrinth of clicks, I found an 800 number to get my account number and a PIN. Try as I might, the account number doesn’t exist. To further complicate things, Spectrum detects my old BH account and tells me to move it to Spectrum, then puts me to a screen asking for — you guessed it — my Spectrum Account number. The only contact I get from Spectrum is their nasty “pay your bill” phone calls, not emails where I can view what is going on. Oh well.

            Methinks I will try to get an internet-only account using your recos and Sling. For mobile I use Boost Mobile, opne line, and pay $30/mo for unlimited Text/Talk/Data. I like the comfort of a landline as well, and that can run VoIP for next to nothing. I just hate getting new numbers when I shift providers as I have to change all my friend and business contacts. Can 25MBps handle HBO, NetFlix and streaming?

  • Jim Dowson

    I think you have a typo – 768 Mbps (or did you mean Kbps)?

    • Thanks for the catch! We fixed it.

  • Roger

    Thanks for the review. Can you answer a couple questions about the picture quality on charter? What is the HD signal broadcast at? 1080i or or 720P? (before it gets to the box). Also what is the streaming HD signal resolution before gets to the box? Last question is what type of compression are they using? Thanks