Spectrum vs. AT&T Internet Review 2021
AT&T or Spectrum? We think AT&T has this win in the bag thanks to its fiber internet speeds and low prices. But if you’ve only got AT&T DSL service in your area, Spectrum is the clear winner.
That’s because AT&T recently discontinued its DSL service, and its fiber internet availability is mainly focused on big cities. We go into more detail about this in our AT&T review if you’d like to catch up.
Even if you can get AT&T Fiber in your area, Spectrum still offers no contracts and fairly reasonable prices. We dug into all the details on how these two internet service providers (ISPs) stack up, so let’s dive in.
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 offer speeds that’ll keep you connected whether you’re a big gamer or love to stream HD videos.
If you’ve got a big family all streaming and gaming under one roof, you’ll want to opt for AT&T’s or Spectrum’s faster internet plans. And with those faster speeds come higher prices—though AT&T’s prices will get you more speed for less money, especially when it comes to the gig plan.
But again, that’s if you can get AT&T Fiber in your area.
|AT&T Fiber Internet 100||$35/mo.||100 Mbps||View Plans|
|AT&T Fiber Internet 300||$45/mo.||300 Mbps||View Plans|
|Internet 1000||$60/mo.*||940 Mbps||View Plan|
Spectrum’s price for its up to 100 Mbps plan* is pretty close to the price of AT&T Fiber’s Internet 100 plan.
But as your download speed gets faster, Spectrum’s prices quickly start to tower over AT&T’s prices, and not in a good way. In fact, Spectrum’s Internet Gig plan is one of the more expensive gig plans we’ve seen. For contrast, an Xfinity gigabit plan costs about $84.99 a month and a Verizon Fios gigabit plan costs $79.99 a month.
|Spectrum Internet®||$49.99†||Up to 100 Mbps||View Plan|
|Spectrum Internet Ultra||$69.99†||Up to 400 Mbps||View Plan|
|Spectrum Internet GIG||$109.99†||Up to 940 Mbps||View Plan|
Of course, Spectrum’s high price comes with no contract, while AT&T Fiber plans come with some strings attached.
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.
Both Spectrum and AT&T Fiber offer a broad range of download speeds for you to choose from. That’s good news because it means you’ll have an easier time finding an internet plan that fits your needs—and doesn’t cost you excess money.
|Provider||Download speeds||Upload speeds|
|Spectrum Internet||100–400 Mbps||10–20 Mbps|
|AT&T Fiber||100–940 Mbps||100–880 Mbps|
But when it comes to judging how well AT&T and Spectrum deliver on those speed promises, we found both ISPs to be a little lacking.
In our latest analysis of the fastest internet providers in the US, Spectrum ranked 14th out of 38 ISPs overall, and AT&T ranked 15th out of 38 overall. But we should point out that AT&T’s speed score included its DSL internet service, so its fiber internet likely performs better.
|Provider||Overall score||Score by connection type|
|AT&T||33.8 out of 100 (15th)||9th out of 20 fiber providers|
|Spectrum||25.6 out of 100 (14th)||7th out of 22 cable providers|
Data effective 12/3/2020.
We scored each of these internet providers by looking at the average download speed, upload speed, and latency scores from 1.6 million internet speed tests. So the weighted score doesn’t represent a download speed you might see.
Overall, both AT&T and Spectrum sit close to the front of the pack when it comes to the actual speeds they delivered to customers. But because AT&T is now focused solely on its fiber internet, we think you’ll probably see better speed performance from it in the future.
Spectrum vs. AT&T: Customer service
Both AT&T’s and Spectrum’s customer service needs work.
In internet land, customer service is never seen as amazing. And AT&T and Spectrum are no different.
In the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report, AT&T’s customer service scored 68 out of 100 and Spectrum scored 63 out of 100.2 And the internet industry as a whole scored 65 out of 100. But none of those scores are great—they’d all be considered “below average” in a classroom.
|ACSI 2019–2020||63 out of 100||68 out of 100|
We’d like to point out that Spectrum’s score of 63 out of 100 is a huge improvement over its previous score of 59 out of 100. Let’s hope it can carry that momentum and topple Verizon Fios Home Internet as the high-score champ.
Spectrum vs. AT&T: Which is better?
On the face of it, AT&T earns the crown for lower prices and fiber internet reliability. But don’t disregard Spectrum: It may be more readily available than AT&T’s fiber internet service, and it can still offer a bargain with no contract required.
- 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 940 Mbps.* And, more often than not, we think you’ll see speeds close to what each ISP advertises.
- Customer service: AT&T ranks better, but Spectrum is most improved.
|Provider||Spectrum Internet||AT&T Fiber|
|Download speeds||100–400 Mbps||100–940 Mbps|
|Learn more||View Plans||View Plans|
* Wireless speeds may vary.