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Should You Bundle Cable TV and Internet Service?
There is no simple yes or no answer to whether you should bundle your cable TV and internet service. It really depends on two major factors—what are the deals like in your area and what are your TV viewing habits?
If you’re someone who likes a broad range of content—an NFL game on Sunday, the local news on weeknights, and the new episode of your favorite HBO drama on Friday—then a cable TV and internet bundle could save a good chunk of change and make your life a little easier.
But, if you mostly watch shows that are available through streaming services, and you’re willing to do a little legwork, then skipping the bundle and cutting the cord may be your best bet.
We’ll go over both options in detail here, beginning with the benefits of bundling.
The benefits of bundling
Grab a warm coat, some mittens, and a scarf, because we’re going to bundle town. Here are all the reasons that you may want to consider bundling your cable TV and internet services.
Bundling is cheaper
In the words of the Swedish pop band ABBA: “I work all night, I work all day to pay the bills I have to pay. Ain’t it sad!” Yes, it is sad. But bundling may help you lower the cost of those bills, so you can work less and watch more (or, you know, spend some time outside).
We should be clear, not all bundles will save you money. Many companies offer bundles that are just the same price as buying separate services. But sometimes you can find an amazing deal.
For example, with Comcast Xfinity you can get 600 Mbps internet service plus TV service with 125+ channels for just $69.99 a month. Separately, these two services would cost $99.99! Comcast has quite a few bundles like this, depending on where you live.
Best internet and cable bundles
Internet speed range
Max available channels
|Xfinity||$29.99–$140*||75–1200 Mbps||185||View Plans|
|Cox||$54.99–$252.99†||100–1000 Mbps||250||View Plans|
|Mediacom||$29.99–$139.99‡||100–1000 Mbps||170||View Plans|
|RCN||$38.97–$121.4^||300–940 Mbps||288||View Plans|
|Spectrum||$69.98/mo. for 12 mos.–$149.98/mo. for 12 mos.°||300–1000 Mbps||140||View Plans|
|Optimum||$55–$210**||300–940 Mbps||420||View Plans|
Bundling is easier
This might be obvious, but paying one bill instead of two (or one bill instead of three) saves you time. But it’s not just paying your bill that can be easier.
If you decide to cancel your service because you’re moving or just want something different, you only have to deal with one company’s (likely) annoying cancellation process.
Plus, many bundles offer special promotions that aren’t available for single services, like free installation and equipment, rebates, and waived fees.
Bundling gives you the most entertainment options
Many people are cancelling their cable subscription and opting to stream to their TV through the internet (we’ll talk about this option more below). While this may work for some people, there are downsides.
For one, bundle packages often offer live TV, special channels, and pay-per-view options that aren’t available via streaming services. And there’s something nice about having content that’s just on all the time. Sometimes you don’t know that you want to watch Speed 2: Cruise Control until you come across it while channel surfing at two in the morning.
Another thing to keep in mind is that streaming TV through the internet eats up your data and your bandwidth. Even the fastest internet can get congested when you have too many devices streaming high-definition video at once. With cable TV, you don’t have to worry about it.
Alternatives to bundling internet and cable
We just laid out some pretty convincing arguments for bundling. But hold up. Before you sign up for a plan you might want to hear the counterpoints. Here are some reasons that it might be smarter to not bundle your internet and cable TV plans.
Cutting the cord
If cable TV seems a little too 20th century for you, then you might want to consider cutting the cord. It can be a cheaper, more flexible way to watch TV, especially if you don’t need 500 channels.
There are plenty of ways to cut the cord. Just grab a pair of scissors … kidding! Cord cutting is usually done by picking up a streaming device, like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV. The device lets you stream all kinds of content, from Hulu + Live TV, Netflix to Disney+ to Youtube TV.
So, instead of bundling internet and cable, you can eliminate your cable package altogether. Just make sure you have a fast enough internet connection with a high enough data cap to handle the extra bandwidth.
Buying internet and cable service separately
Sometimes it just makes more sense to buy services separately. Maybe there’s a special promotional deal on a standalone internet plan that you want. In some places, the best internet provider is the worst cable provider (or vice versa), so it makes sense to get the services from different companies.
Whatever your reason is, there’s nothing inherently wrong with skipping the bundle, no matter what the salesperson from Comcast says to you (stay strong!).
To bundle or not to bundle: how to decide
That’s all we’ve got to say about bundling vs. not bundling. Now it’s up to you to decide. Here are a couple of tips to help you figure out which is best for you.
- What do you watch? If you mostly watch channels and shows that are available through streaming apps (like HBO, Disney, FX, and network sitcoms) then cutting the cord and eliminating cable may be the best option. But, if you watch a lot of news, sports, or just enjoy channel surfing, then bundling cable and internet is the way to go.
- How fast is your internet? If you’re not going to bundle, you’ll want really fast internet so that you can stream content on several TVs without sacrificing internet speeds on your computer, phone, and other devices.
- What are the deals like? Bundling or not bundling often just comes down to price. Check out the best internet and cable bundles in your area and compare the price to buying the two services separately.