Spectrum vs WOW!: Side by Side Comparison

Enter your zip code below to see if Spectrum or WOW! offers service in your area.

Spectrum vs WOW!

WOW! and Time Warner Cable (now Spectrum) have plenty of differences for customers to consider while shopping for broadband Internet, TV, and phone service. WOW! is by far the smaller operation, with benefits in customization. Time Warner Cable, recently acquired by Charter, has all the convenience and dependability that a nationwide communications corporation offers.

Charter Spectrum AT A GLANCE

  • Sales: (855) 347-5741
  • Support: (833) 780-1880

(855) 347-5741

$44.99 to $44.99 / mo.

100 mbps to 940 mbps

10 mbps to 35 mbps

63%63%

Cable

Current: 8th ↑ (+1)

WOW! AT A GLANCE

  • Sales: (888) 607-2611
  • Support: (866) 496-9669

(888) 607-2611

$39.99 to $79.99 / mo.

5.0 mbps to 1,000 mbps

Up to 50 mbps

--

Cable

Current: 5th ↓ (-2)

Spectrum OVERVIEW

Charter Spectrum provides home broadband Internet, phone, and TV packages. Charter's acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks has helped their cable network to become one of the biggest in the US.

WOW! OVERVIEW

WOW! is a TV, Internet and phone company.

Spectrum INTERNET DEALS †

  • $44.99 for 100 mbps Cable
    • 100 Mbps ↓ and 10 Mbps ↑ w/ no data cap.
    • 1-year promo rate. Regular rate is $65.99.
    • Modem included.
    • Call (855) 347-5741 to setup service.
Last updated on 11/12/2018

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

WOW! INTERNET DEALS †

  • $39.99 for 100 mbps Cable
    • 100 Mbps ↓ and -- Mbps ↑ w/ no data cap.
    • 2-year promo rate. Regular rate is $49.99.
    • Contract Term: 2 years with up to $345 ETF
    • Setup: $0 (Installation is free when ordered online.)
    • Modem: $10/mo
    • Call (888) 607-2611 to setup service.
  • $59.99 for 500 mbps Cable
    • 500 Mbps ↓ and -- Mbps ↑ w/ no data cap.
    • 2-year promo rate. Regular rate is $69.99.
    • Contract Term: 2 years with up to $345 ETF
    • Setup: $0 (Installation is free when ordered online.)
    • Modem: $10/mo
    • Call (888) 607-2611 to setup service.
  • $79.99 for 1,000 mbps Cable
    • 1,000 Mbps ↓ and -- Mbps ↑ w/ no data cap.
    • 2-year promo rate. Regular rate is $89.99.
    • Contract Term: 2 years with up to $345 ETF
    • Setup: $0 (Installation is free when ordered online.)
    • Modem: $10/mo
    • Call (888) 607-2611 to setup service.
Last updated on 11/9/2018

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

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.

WOW!: NO DATACAP FOUND

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

Spectrum's TECHNOLOGY

Charter Communications services Internet to their subscribers over their hybrid fiber coaxial network.

Fiber-based cable is a broadband infrastructure that uses fiber optic lines for it’s core, but switches to slower copper cables in the “last mile” between customer residences. Local "optical nodes" switch optic signals into analog data, to be distributed on cable television networks.

Nodes may serveas many as homes.

This kind of connection is widely reffered to as “cable” due to the use of coaxial cable, which is also used to deliver cable TV.

WOW!'s TECHNOLOGY

WOW! provides several flavors of broadband. WOW! services include fiber, cable, DSL, and fixed wireless.

Cable is the most prevalent service with WOW!, using a hybrid fiber-coax infrastructure to deliver faster download rates. Fiber lines are the backbone of HFC networks. Inside the neighborhood, fiber connects to a node which switches signal from optic signal to radio frequency for transmission through copper TV networks.

While connections are the most robust among next-generation Internet access technologies — delivering speeds up to 1Gbps in ideal scenarios — the company is investing to deploy DOCSIS 3.1 to their existing cable networks. This advanced protocol is a major upgrade to the existing DOCSIS protocols. This upgrade will enable some cable service areas to reach gigabit speeds.

Spectrum INSTALLATION

Spectrum installation is not difficult. Most Spectrum plans are cable, which will require plugging a WiFi gateway into your home's existing TV jack.

Self-installation can be completed with self-install instructions provided by Charter. Those homes without coaxial wiring or with damages to wiring will need assistance from a professional technician.

Professional Installation comes with an additional charge, but for new customers who are unsure about installing hardware themselves, the fee is likely well worth it for peace of mind.

WOW! INSTALLATION

WOW! usually bundles installation with your plan. WOW! doesn't permit self-installation. WOW! doesn't provide self install kits for equipment and WiFi similar to Xfinity or Spectrum.

When you schedule an install, WOW! sends out a skilled technician to evaluate what's needed to get you online, as well as configure the television and router. Expect a connection charge, but no fee for the technician's time.

Spectrum RATINGS AND REVIEWS

50%50% Customer Rating

50.0% recommendation rating according to 59569 verified Spectrum users.

WOW! RATINGS AND REVIEWS

55%55% Customer Rating

55.5% recommendation rating according to 8161 verified users.

Spectrum COVERAGE & AVAILABILITY

Charter Spectrum Interactive SVG Map showing broadband coverage.

WOW! COVERAGE & AVAILABILITY

WOW! Interactive SVG Map showing broadband coverage.

Hidden fees and other considerations

Always keep an eye on the fine print

There are two big factors to keep in mind when signing up for promotional deals with a provider: ETFs (early termination agreements) and promotion length. ETFs matter because you’re essentially locked in with that provider for as long as the contracts states, and it might not possible to get a refund for it even if you have a legitimate reason for breaking.

Promotion lengths matter because the final, official monthly cost you pay for service should be factored in when you compare prices — unfortunately, many consumers fall into the trap of only comparing the promotional price, which is temporary. Beyond promotions, also keep an eye on the line items when you get bills. If anything is confusing or wasn’t there the previous month, give the company a call and ask for help explaining it. Understanding what you’re paying for is key to making sure you aren’t’ losing out on price.[1]

Modems and routers are cheaper than you might think

Rental fees, on the other hand, can add up quick

Modem and router rentals are a standard part of the most Internet subscriptions. Usually, customers are provided with a “plug-and-play” combo device that makes installation easy. While the monthly fees for this hardware may looks small, it actually adds up to the cost of simply buying one within a year or so. After that, customers are essentially paying for the same old equipment over and over again.[2]

Consider buying your own, as the half hour it takes to configure it properly will be well worth the hundreds of dollars you could save in the long term. Just keep in mind that not every provider will be compatible with every router, so renting is actually a good option for people who relocate frequently. Renting a router also offers benefits for less technically-minded consumers, since the provider will take care of replacing it if there’s every trouble.

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