Spectrum vs. Windstream

A Side-by-Side Comparison of Spectrum and Windstream Internet Service in 2021

Spectrum and Windstream are two internet providers that deliver value in ways that give consumers flexibility and power: high-speed internet with no contracts and zero data cap restrictions. While Spectrum is primarily a cable internet provider with its largest service footprint in California, Texas, and New York, Windstream is known for its DSL services and have their greatest presence in Georgia, Texas, and Illinois. Both providers offer fiber-backed internet options provided you live in one of their limited coverage zones. Spectrum and Windstream both offer a wide range of plans and prices, but there are a few key differences that we cover below.

Spectrum Info

Price Range

$49.99-109.99/mo.

Windstream Info

Price Range

$45-75/mo.

Spectrum vs. Windstream Comparison
Provider Spectrum Windstream
Speed 200-1,000 Mbps 50-1,000 Mbps
Pricing $49.99-109.99/mo. $45-75/mo.
Service Type Cable or Fiber DSL, Fiber, Copper, Cable or Fixed Wireless
Spectrum vs. Windstream FEATURE COMPARISON
Provider Spectrum Windstream
High-Speed Plans Yes Yes
Unlimited Data Yes Yes
Contract-Free Plans Yes Yes
TV Service Yes Yes
Phone Service Yes Yes

Spectrum Internet Deals †

Last updated on 7/24/2021

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

Windstream Internet Deals †

Last updated on 8/3/2021

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

Spectrum vs. Windstream Performance Overview

As the second largest residential cable provider in the U.S., Spectrum is known for their reliable, high-speed cable services and contract-free options. With no data cap restrictions, Spectrum customers are offered unlimited data across all plans. Spectrum’s internet-only pricing structure is standardized across the board with one basic plan starting at $44.99 with speeds up to 100 Mbps, regardless of location. Prices will vary if you decide to bundle your internet with phone and/or TV services.

Windstream offers a variety of broadband network options including DSL, cable, fiber, copper, and fixed wireless. Their pricing and speed entirely depends on your location, requiring lots of due diligence from the consumer to know exactly what they’re getting. However, if you’re lucky enough to live within their fiber coverage area, their pricing is incredibly reasonable for the speed. Windstream’s rural availability is also worth noting, as internet services are harder to come by in those areas. Like Spectrum, Windstream also offers a variety of TV and phone services.

Spectrum Installation

Spectrum’s professional installation costs a one-time fee of $49.99, while self-installation costs $9.99.

If you have your own equipment (router and modem) and the technical knowhow, you can bypass the professional installation fee and opt to self-install. There is also a one-time Wi-Fi activation fee of $9.99.

Windstream Installation

Windstream customers can either opt for professional installation or free self-installation.

Professional installation is a one-time charge of $35 and an activation fee of $50. What’s neat about Windstream’s installation pricing is that the fees for installation and activation can be waived if you order online. In fact, most promotions allow service representatives over the phone to waive these fees—don’t forget to ask!

Spectrum Contracts, Equipment Fees & Fine Print

Spectrum is one of the few internet providers that is a contract-free provider.

Spectrum customers are free to change or cancel service at any time with no penalty fees. However, in lieu of contracts, Spectrum offers promotional rates that are guaranteed to go up after the first year. This increase can be in the ballpark of 10-40%. Spectrum includes a complimentary modem with select internet plans but charges a leasing fee of around $10/month for most plans.

Windstream Contracts, Equipment Fees & Fine Print

Windstream does not require its users to sign up for a 1-year contract in most of its promotions—but they certainly incentivize it.

Windstream consumers can redeem great deals like three free months of internet service and one free month of modem rental by committing to a 1-year contract. While Windstream itself does not enforce contracts with their internet plans, their TV service provider, Dish Network, does. Keep this in mind if you’re considering adding TV service to your internet plan. Like Spectrum, their monthly rate is promotional and will increase after the first 12 months of service. Modem rental per month averages between $9.99-11.99 for all plans.

Spectrum Data Caps

All Spectrum internet plans have the benefit of no data cap.

Windstream Data Caps

Windstream does not employ data caps with their internet plans.

Service Review

on October 29, 2019

5 Stars all the way! Front desk scheduling any time of the day or night. Tech support calls no time limits, smart and always helpful, invested in your problem all the way. Thank you all so much for your kind attitude and willingness to help us.

Customer service

on June 15, 2021

We had been experiencing issues with the picture going black so we called Spectrum to try to get it rectified. A technician came by and what great service he provided. He was very friendly, professional, knowledgeable, courteous and very thorough. He checked everything and answered all of our questions. He gave us lots of useful information as well. I do not think my wife and I have ever had such great service before. Thank you.

Speed is so much better now!

on August 30, 2018

5 years ago, we struggled with connecting to the internet with Windstream. 3 years ago, Windstream ran fiber to Mount Vernon and upgraded to bonded DSL and we immediately jumped to 25Mbps. They are now running fiber closer to our home which will result in speeds jumping to 50Mbps.

Ok for email, and Streaming video, not any good for Steam server loses signal.

on March 11, 2021

Have had Windstream for years. Ok for email and works most of the time on video streaming. Only have dual DSL. Works for streaming sometimes then crashes steam server connection. Upload is very slow, like 1.4mbps. It will download at 20mbps max.

Spectrum vs. Windstream Coverage Availability

Spectrum Coverage & Availability

Windstream Coverage & Availability

Frequently Asked Questions about Spectrum & Windstream Internet Services

  • Is Spectrum cheaper than Windstream?

    Spectrum’s lowest-priced internet-only plan starts at $44.99, which is more expensive than Windstream’s starting at $26. However, Spectrum’s highest-priced internet-only plan is cheaper than Windstream’s. That being said, pricing and coverage availability depends on your location.

  • Who has faster speeds? Spectrum or Windstream?

    On average, Spectrum’s cable-based internet is faster than Windstream’s DSL internet. However, both providers offer fiber-backed networks with speeds up to 1000 Mbps that put DSL and cable to shame. The only dilemma is that those coverage areas are limited and not the norm.

  • Do Spectrum and Windstream have unlimited data?

    Both internet providers offer unlimited data plans.

  • Do Spectrum and Windstream require a contract?

    Spectrum does not require a contract as it is a contract-free provider. Windstream generally does not require a contract, but incentivizes you to commit to a 1-year plan by providing additional value with extra months of free internet and equipment rental.