Spectrum vs. AT&T Internet Review 2020

AT&T nabs the win for high speeds and lower prices, but Spectrum comes with unlimited data and no contracts.
Best for Wallet-Friendly Speeds
Monthly price
$50$70
Download speeds
1001000 Mbps
Data cap
1 TBUnlimited
Best for No Contracts or Data Caps
Monthly price
$49.99$109.99
Download speeds
100940 Mbps
Data cap
Unlimited

If you’re tired of slow internet speeds, then both Spectrum and AT&T can relieve your burden. But that’s where the similarities between these two internet service providers (ISPs) end.

We dug into the prices, speed, data, and performance of these two providers to find out which one is tops for speed and price. Check it out.

Spectrum vs. AT&T internet overview
ProviderSpectrum InternetAT&T InternetAT&T Fiber
Monthly price$49.99$109.99*$40$50$50$70
Download speeds100940 Mbps5100 Mbps1001000 Mbps
Data capUnlimited1 TB1 TBUnlimited
Connection TypeCableDSLFiber
Learn moreView PlansView PlansView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months.
For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.

Compare AT&T and Spectrum internet plans near you.

Spectrum vs. AT&T: Prices

AT&T’s price is spot on, but Spectrum’s plans may be more available than AT&T Fiber.

Both Spectrum and AT&T offer plans with speeds that should work for all but the biggest speed demons just fine. Both ISPs’ basic 100 Mbps plan (“up to” 100 Mbps in AT&T’s case) will do you just fine whether you’re a big gamer or love to stream HD videos.

But if you’ve got a big family all streaming and gaming under one roof, Spectrum quickly jumps ahead with its options for a 400 Mbps and 1,000 Mbps plan.

Yes, we know AT&T Fiber also offers 300 Mbps and 1,000 Mbps plans—but you’ll need to live in the fiber internet coverage area to get them. Oh, and all but AT&T’s 1,000 Mbps plan come with a 1 terabyte (TB) data cap, while Spectrum’s got that unlimited data you’ve been dreaming of. (Not to mention no contracts.)

Now, we will point out that if you can get AT&T Fiber, its prices put Spectrum’s prices for similar speeds to shame. (*rings bell*)

P.S. Narrowing down the download speed you need is a great way to save money. And hey, we’ve got a guide to help you figure out the right download speed for your family.

Spectrum internet prices and plans
PlanPriceDownload speedData capDetails
Spectrum Internet$49.99100 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
Spectrum Internet Ultra$69.99400 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
Spectrum Internet GIG$109.99940 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
For the first 12 months when bundled

Spectrum’s 100 Mbps plan is right on par with the price of AT&T’s 100 Mbps plan—er, we mean up to 100 Mbps. More on that in just a second.

And because Spectrum’s 100 Mbps plan gets you 100 Mbps and nothing less (performance and connection issues aside), that’s the plan we recommend. It’s enough speed for gamers, streamers, and your average family with a house full of connected devices.

But Spectrum’s prices quickly start to put a strain on your wallet compared to AT&T’s when you look at the 400 Mbps and 1,000 Mbps plans. In fact, Spectrum’s gig plan is one of the more expensive ones we’ve seen. For contrast, an Xfinity gigabit plan costs $70 a month and a Verizon Fios gigabit plan costs $79.99 a month.

“Spectrum’s 100 Mbps plan has enough speed for gamers, streamers, and your average family with a house full of connected devices.”
Spectrum Internet
Spectrum Internet
Download speed:
100 Mbps
Data cap:
Unlimited
$49.99 a month

Of course, Spectrum’s high price comes with no contract, while Verizon Fios and Xfinity plans come with strings attached.

Okay, we promised to explain this whole “up to” 100 Mbps deal AT&T has going on. So you see, AT&T’s solo DSL plan promises up to 100 Mbps download speeds—or at least the fastest download speeds it can connect to in your area.

But whether you get the full 100 Mbps or land somewhere around 50 Mbps, you’ll pay the same price.

AT&T DSL internet prices and plans
PlanPriceDownload speedData capDetails
AT&T Internet up to 100 Mbps$50100 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Internet 300$50^300 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Internet 1000$70°1000 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
Data effective 11/25/19. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
^ for 12 mos, plus taxes & equip fee. 12 mo agmt req'd. $10/mo equip fee applies. Incl 1TB data/mo. $10 chrg for each addl 50GB (up to $100/mo)
° for 12 mos, plus taxes & equip fee. 12 mo agmt req'd. $10/mo equip fee applies. Incl unlimited internet data allowance ($30-value).

AT&T Fiber, on the other hand, has no such caveats. If you pay for 300 Mbps, you’ll likely get it. Same with its 1,000 Mbps plan.

How do we know? Well, the good ol’ Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a report in 2018 that showed AT&T often delivers faster download speeds than what you pay for.1

“AT&T Fiber’s Internet 300 plan is perfect for lining up a shot in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare or streaming reruns of ER on Hulu.”
Internet 300
AT&T Fiber
Download speed:
300 Mbps
Data cap:
1 TB
$50 a month

Also, fiber internet is known for reliably delivering the download and upload speeds you pay for. That’s why we recommend you grab it if it’s in your area and at an affordable price.

Of the two AT&T Fiber plans, we think Internet 300 is more than enough for anyone who loves lining up a shot in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare or streaming reruns of ER on Hulu.

Spectrum vs. AT&T: Internet speed

Both AT&T and Spectrum over deliver on speed so you’ll likely get more than you paid for.

While not everyone under AT&T’s coverage can access fiber speeds, we like that some lucky people (mostly on the East Coast and West Coast) can get up to 1,000 Mbps download speed.

But Spectrum doesn’t slouch on its delivery either. If you’re lucky enough to live in a Spectrum coverage area, it also offers download speeds up to 1,000 Mbps.

Spectrum vs. AT&T download speed comparison
ProviderDownload speeds
Spectrum Internet100940 Mbps
AT&T Internet5100 Mbps
AT&T Fiber1001000 Mbps

But does AT&T or Spectrum actually send you racing across the internet at such ludicrous speeds? You bet they do.

Spectrum ranked third out of all ISPs surveyed by the FCC in 2018, and AT&T scored sixth.1 And hey, while AT&T earned a spot in our list of the fastest ISPs, Spectrum is nothing to scoff at.

AT&T vs. Spectrum 2018 FCC speed scores1
ProviderAverage actual/advertised speed
AT&T108.9%
Spectrum114.78%

Data effective 11/20/2019.

When the FCC did some math and divided the actual download speed by the download speed that was advertised, they got a number higher than 100%. That means most users probably saw download speeds faster than what they paid for. Hey, we’re not complaining.

Wanna dig into the details on the pros and cons of internet service with each provider? Check out our AT&T Internet review and our Spectrum internet review.

Spectrum vs. AT&T: Internet and TV bundles

Both AT&T and Spectrum save you cash on bundles, but AT&T saves you more.

Both Spectrum and AT&T save you some moolah if you bundle your internet service with TV. Spectrum’s savings hover around $15 a month, while AT&T’s hits the big $20 a month for both its U-verse and DIRECTV bundles.

Neither one offers much choice when it comes to your internet speed if you bundle, though. Spectrum is probably the most rigid. Trying to get anything but 200 Mbps is like trying to arm wrestle John Brzenk, the Ultimate Armwrestling League’s right-handed champion.

Spectrum TV + internet bundles overview
PlanPriceInternet download speedTV channel countDetails
Select Double Play$89.98200 Mbps125+View Plan
Select Triple Play$99.97200 Mbps125+View Plan
Silver Double Play$114.98200 Mbps175+View Plan
Silver Triple Play$124.97200 Mbps175+View Plan
Gold Double Play$134.98200 Mbps200+View Plan
Gold Triple Play$144.97200 Mbps200+View Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
For the first 12 months when bundled

One other small complaint we have about Spectrum’s bundles is the modest channel count. You’ll get more channels for your money with an AT&T DIRECTV or U-verse bundle, for sure.

Remember we mentioned Spectrum’s single download speed choice of 200 Mbps with its bundles? You’ll notice AT&T also offers one speed and one speed only with its DIRECTV packages. But just like Spectrum’s 200 Mbps, the 100 Mbps you get from AT&T ain’t half bad.

Data effective 11/20/2019. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

*DIRECTV SELECT All-Included + AT&T Internet bundle price for 12 months plus taxes. All other DIRECTV + AT&T Internet bundle prices for 12 months plus taxes and RSN fee.

On the other hand, AT&T offers a few different download speeds here and there with its U-verse TV bundles. We’re not head over heels about its 5 Mbps choice, but the 1,000 Mbps plan paired with U-300 is super exciting.

AT&T U-verse bundles overview
PlanPriceInternet download speedTV channel countDetails
U-family All-Included + AT&T Internet Basic 5$79.995 Mbps180+View Plan
U-family All-Included + AT&T Internet$89.99100 Mbps180+View Plan
U-200 All-Included + AT&T Internet$109.99100 Mbps370+View Plan
U-300 All-Included + AT&T Internet$114.99100 Mbps485+View Plan
U300 All-Included + AT&T Internet 1000$134.991000 Mbps485+View Plan
U450 All-Included + AT&T Internet$164.99100 Mbps550+View Plan

Data effective 11/20/2019. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

*Price for 12 months plus taxes.

Spectrum vs. AT&T: Customer service

AT&T’s customer service is pretty average, but Spectrum’s needs help, stat.

In internet land, customer service is never seen as amazing. Most of these issues arise from lack of billing clarity, so make sure you know what you’re buying.

AT&T’s customer service ranked above the industry average of 62 out of 100, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).2 That’s not half bad, at least if you’re comparing it to other internet providers.

But Spectrum, oh my. It scored a whopping 59 out of 100, which is below industry average. Join us when we cringe and say, “Yikes.”

AT&T vs. Spectrum customer service ratings comparison2
RatingSpectrumAT&T
ACSI 2018–201959 out of 10069 out of 100

We’ve read a few reports of Spectrum’s internet service speed not living up to its name, especially in metropolitan areas. Recently, New York City tried to give Spectrum the boot for not meeting demand. And the latest? US Representative Anthony Brindisi introduced a bill that says Spectrum should be scrutinized for its rising costs.3

We won’t ignore the fact that calling your ISP’s billing or customer service hotline can be a real pain in the you-know-what too. If you do have to call, here’s our advice: test your internet speeds using a speed test. If you’re not getting the speeds you pay for, see if it’s an ongoing equipment or technical issue. If not, see about getting discounted service.

Recap: Spectrum vs. AT&T

AT&T takes the cake for better prices, bundles, and customer service. But don’t disregard Spectrum as its bundles still save you money and it’s more widely available than AT&T Fiber.

  • Pricing: AT&T is cheaper than Spectrum—but only if you’re in an AT&T Fiber coverage area. If not, look to Spectrum for reasonable prices on fast speeds.
  • Speed: Both AT&T and Spectrum offer speeds up to 1,000 Mbps. And both have been known to over-deliver on those speeds.
  • TV + internet bundles: AT&T lets you bundle with DIRECTV, which can save you about $20 a month. Spectrum’s bundles save you about $15 a month.
  • Customer service: AT&T ranks better, but internet customer service is never beautiful.

Dig in a little more with our Spectrum internet review and AT&T review.

AT&T vs. Spectrum comparison
ProviderSpectrum InternetAT&T InternetAT&T Fiber
Monthly price$49.99$109.99*$40$50$50$70
Download speeds100940 Mbps5100 Mbps1001000 Mbps
Learn moreView PlansView PlansView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months.
For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.

Weigh your options: compare AT&T and Spectrum internet near you.

Sources

  1. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), “2018 Measuring Broadband Across America: Fixed Broadband Report
  2. American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), “ACSI Telecommunications Report 2018–2019
  3. Syracuse Post-Standard, “Rep. Anthony Brindisi: Feds Should Examine Spectrum Cable’s Rising Rates
  • Margarita Gonzalez

    I have Spectrum for my internet services and Direct TV for cable Tv. In my area, Spectrum offers 100 mbps. I have been considering bundling all my services by adding AT&T and cancelling my Spectrum service. AT&T advised me that their internet service is only 50 mbps. They say that even though 100 mbps is greater then 50 mbps, the AT&T service would be better due to the fiber optic delivery. Is that true?

  • joy

    I had AT&T but switched to Spectrum. Spectrum is cheaper and faster, but Spectrum is not as reliable. My internet is constantly going down. This week, it has gone down everyday except for Wednesday. I am thinking of switching back to AT&T. When I average the time that my internet is available with the price I pay each month, I am actually paying more per hour for Spectrum.