AT&T Internet vs Spectrum: Side by Side Comparison

Enter your zip code below to see if AT&T Internet or Spectrum offers service in your area.

AT&T Internet vs Spectrum

Internet users have a lot of factors to consider when deciding between AT&T and Charter for home broadband. While both offer similar prices and speeds, differences in the details so far as TV offerings, infrastructure type, and promotional strategies result in a laundry list of pros and cons.

AT&T Internet AT A GLANCE

  • Sales: (844) 602-3932
  • Support: (800) 288-2020

(844) 602-3932

$40 to $80 / mo.

6.0 mbps to 1,000 mbps

1.0 mbps to 1,000 mbps

64%64%

DSL

Current: 12th ↑ (+3)

Charter Spectrum AT A GLANCE

  • Sales: (855) 371-9049
  • Support: (833) 694-9256

(855) 371-9049

$39.99 to $39.99 / mo.

30 mbps to 300 mbps

Up to 10 mbps

63%63%

Cable

Current: 8th (0)

AT&T Internet OVERVIEW

AT&T U-Verse is a bundled broadband Internet, phone, and digital TV provider. They provide connectivity via both DSL and fiber networks.

Spectrum OVERVIEW

Charter Communications provides residential and business broadband cable and fiber Internet, phone, and TV under the “Spectrum” brand name. Their 2016 acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks expanded their cable network to become one of the largest in the US.

AT&T Internet INTERNET DEALS †

  • $40 for 50 mbps Fiber
    • 50 mbps ↓ and 50 mbps ↑ w/ a 1000 GB/mo data cap
    • 1-year promo rate. Regular rate is $70.00.
    • Contract Term: 1 year with up to $180 ETF
    • Setup: $99.00 (Internet Installation Fee)
    • Modem w/ WiFi included.
    • Call (844) 602-3932 to setup service.
  • $40 for 50 mbps DSL
    • 10 to 75 mbps depending on location w/ a 1000 GB/mo data cap
    • 1-year promo rate. Regular rate is $70.00.
    • Contract Term: 1 year with up to $180 ETF
    • Setup: $99.00 (Installation Fee)
    • Modem w/ WiFi included.
    • Call (844) 602-3932 to setup service.
  • $60 for 100 mbps Fiber
    • 100 mbps ↓ and 100 mbps ↑ w/ a 1000 GB/mo data cap
    • 1-year promo rate. Regular rate is $80.00.
    • Contract Term: 1 year with up to $180 ETF
    • Setup: $99.00 (Internet Installation Fee)
    • Modem w/ WiFi included.
    • Call (844) 602-3932 to setup service.
  • $80 for 1,000 mbps Fiber
    • 1,000 mbps ↓ and 1,000 mbps ↑ w/ no data cap.
    • 1-year promo rate. Regular rate is $90.00.
    • Contract Term: 1 year with up to $180 ETF
    • Setup: waived
    • Modem w/ WiFi included.
    • Call (844) 602-3932 to setup service.
Last updated on 11/14/2017

†All plans not available in all areas or to all customers. Verify details with AT&T Internet.

Spectrum INTERNET DEALS †

  • $39.99 for 60 mbps Cable
    • Up to 100 mbps w/ no data cap.
    • 1-year promo rate. Regular rate is $64.99.
    • Modem included.
    • Call (855) 371-9049 to setup service.
Last updated on 12/6/2017

†All plans not available in all areas or to all customers. Verify details with Spectrum.

AT&T Internet: DATACAPS From 1000 GB/mo.

We have found plans that include datacaps. AT&T Internet offer plans with data caps regionally or nationwide. Be sure to verify plan details before purchasing.

Spectrum: NO DATACAP FOUND

We have not found plans that include data caps. This doesn't mean Spectrum doesn't have data caps, just that we haven't found them when collecting their plans. Always verify plan details before purchasing.

AT&T Internet's TECHNOLOGY

AT&T offers fiber optic and hybrid DSL internet connections to many residential consumers and businesses across the US. They also offer a variety of “triple play” plans with bundled TV and home phone service.

Their DSL offering, historically known as AT&T U-verse, leverages a fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) layout where fiber optic cable terminates at a point near consumers, with the final stretch to the subscriber residence reached via telephone, ethernet, and in some rare cases coaxial cable. This hybrid fiber network has allowed AT&T to offer higher bandwidth plans than traditionally expected from DSL.[3]

In addition to their DSL offering, AT&T also offers fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) in some areas. FTTH is considered the “gold standard” for strong, fast, and reliable home internet connection.

Spectrum's TECHNOLOGY

Charter Communications offers broadband Internet, TV, and phone service to consumers via their hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) network.

Hybrid Fiber Coaxial is a broadband infrastructure that uses fiber optic cables as it’s backbone, only resorting to slower coaxial cables for the “last mile” between customer residences and a local “optical node.”[4]

The optical node translates optic signals into electric signals, which are generally distributed via existing cable TV networks. A node may serve anywhere from 50-2,000 homes in an area.

This type of connection is widely called a “cable” internet connection due to the use of coaxial cable, which was historically used to offer “cable TV.”

AT&T Internet INSTALLATION

To get AT&T services installed, you have two main routes: professional installation or self-installation.

AT&T generally charges a fee for professional installation, so if your house is already wired and qualifies for self-installation, this may be an easy route for you to save money when setting up service.

Spectrum INSTALLATION

Installation of the hardware needed for Charter is generally straightforward. Most Charter plans are cable, which requires plugging a cable modem into your house’s existing TV jack.

For homes with working internal wiring, self-installation can be done using the equipment and instructions provided by Charter. Houses that have never been wired for Charter before, have no internal wiring, or have damages to wiring will need help from a professional technician.

Professional installation comes with a fee, but for customers who are nervous about installing hardware themselves, the fee may be worth it for ease and peace of mind.

AT&T Internet RATINGS AND REVIEWS

41%41% Customer Rating

41.2% recommendation rating according to 84,783 verified users.

Spectrum RATINGS AND REVIEWS

54%54% Customer Rating

53.8% recommendation rating according to 35,323 verified Spectrum users.

AT&T Internet COVERAGE & AVAILABILITY

AT&T Internet Interactive SVG Map showing broadband coverage.

Spectrum COVERAGE & AVAILABILITY

Charter Spectrum Interactive SVG Map showing broadband coverage.

Buying vs renting a modem from your provider

Why rent something that’s so cheap?

Rental fees have been on the rise from many broadband providers — U-verse and Charter are no exceptions. Considering that a decent modem costs around the same as a year of rental fees, spending the $40+ up front to purchase modem and/or router is a no-brainer for most consumers.[1]

The only “gotcha” here is to make sure the hardware you buy is compatible with your provider, and to double-check that the “equipment fee” doesn’t stay on your bill regardless of whose modem you’re using.

On the other hand, if you move frequently and anticipate changing providers several times in the near future, buying a modem can be risky since it might not be compatible with your next broadband provider.

Television and streaming: cut the cord, or keep the channels?

Streaming is on the rise, and plans are adapting

Streaming video from companies like Netflix has changed the way consumers get TV forever. U-verse and Charter both offer TV options bundled with service, and it’s important to consider the specific channels and on-demand options available in your area when making a decision.

Many customers choose to “cut the cord” and forego TV service entirely in favor of online services like Hulu and Youtube. Regular TV watchers are often better off with a dedicated TV subscription directly from their broadband provider.

The most important thing for cord cutters to consider is data caps, which can trigger huge overage fees if you stream more data than your plan allows.[2]

Last updated on 12/6/2017.

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