AT&T vs. Spectrum internet: Two leading ISPs compared | ZDNet

Trying to find the right ISP can be difficult, especially when each company only highlights the good parts of their services. We take a look at two of the main internet providers: AT&T and Spectrum, and put together a comprehensive overview for consumers like you. We are here to adjust the score on Internet Spectrum vs. In this way, you can decide which company best suits your needs or your business.

AT&T vs. Spectrum overview

AT&TSpectrum
JD power rating5/53/5
Packages withSatellite TV, telephoneCable TV, telephone
# of states servedtwenty-one43
Speed ​​range5 Mbps to 940 Mbps.100 Mbps to 940 Mbps
Internet typeDSL, fiberCable
Data limit1 TB data limitNo data limit
Price range$ 49.99$ 49.99 * – $ 110
Contract period1 year1 year

Customer service

Let’s be frank: the internet industry has a bad reputation when it comes to customer service. Whether it’s incorrect billing, a walk through phone trees, no-show technicians, or faulty connections, dealing with your ISP can be a nightmare. But when your connection drops, calling is your only option. To minimize pain, we analyze third-party ratings from JD Power, Consumer Reports, and the American Satisfaction Index (ACSI) to assess the customer experience.

When the question of who has the best customer service is AT&T versus Spectrum Internet, AT&T is doing better, but Spectrum is close behind and getting better. ACSI’s 2019-2020 Telecommunications Report shows a 7% year-over-year increase in customer satisfaction for Spectrum from a score of 59 to 63, while AT&T had a 1% decrease from 69 to 68. The industry average for ISPs it’s 65. At the end of the day, both companies have a reputation for being reasonable and helpful when it comes to customer service. Your own experience will depend on your local agents.

Speed ​​packages

AT&TSpectrum
JD power rating5/53/5
Packages withSatellite TV, telephoneCable TV, telephone
# of states servedtwenty-one43
Speed ​​range5 Mbps to 940 Mbps.100 Mbps to 940 Mbps
Internet typeDSL, fiberCable
Data limit1 TB data limitNo data limit
Price range$ 49.99$ 49.99 * – $ 110
Contract period1 year1 year

The speed options you have, with both providers, will vary depending on where you live and what technology is in your neighborhood. AT&T offers DSL and fiber optic Internet, but rarely in the same area. While their fiber network is widespread, AT&T fiber is only available in a limited number of US zip codes. To check and make sure the fiber network covers your area, take a look at your live coverage map. You are more likely to have access to AT&T DSL, which features multiple tiers of high speed, depending on your location. For example, a resident in one state may have the option of up to 100 Mbps, while some states on a client may have access to a higher or lower Mbps. AT&T has the same price for all of its Internet customers, $ 49.99, so you’ll pay the same no matter what speed you get with DSL or fiber. But you’ll be glad to hear that AT&T came in first place in our review of Top DSL Internet Companies in the US.

Spectrum customers only have the option of cable Internet. Depending on your location, speed capabilities will differ, but customers have options of up to 940 Mbps. Spectrum’s speed is targeted at heavy Internet users and large households. If all you do is surf email and surf the web, Spectrum’s plans will be overkill. But users who stream, download, and play online will appreciate the generous tracks (especially since the starting price is the same as AT & T’s). And Spectrum combines these high speeds with an unrestricted data allowance, ensuring that users can fully utilize the speeds offered to them without having to worry about additional charges at the end of the month. If your current internet is feeling slow lately, you might want to try some of our tips to increase internet speed.

Grouping options

One of the advantages of combining with AT&T is that it is not necessary to add a phone plan to get the best deals. AT&T acquired DirecTV last year and the merger opened the options for bundling Internet and TV services to save money. In our review of the best TV providers, we found DirecTV to be a fan favorite. It has an impressive DVR, excellent sports programming, and six-channel packages to choose from. The TV / Internet package will include a free year of HBO Max and, if ordered online, customers get a $ 300 AT&T Visa Reward Card. And on AT&T Fiber Internet packages, you will also get one use. unlimited data.

If you are looking for a TV and Internet service, Spectrum’s options are not that generous. Combining just those two services will only give you the lowest promotional price. While this doesn’t come with as many login perks, it keeps things simple and straightforward. Customers don’t have to set up reminders when free promotions are exhausted so they can renew or cancel. One of the most attractive package deals is Triple Play Silver, which has more than 175 channels with internet and phone service for $ 124.97 per month, which makes it a better option for testing than AT&T, whose plans come with one or two. years. contracts and high fees for early termination.

So which one is right for me?

AT&TSpectrum
JD power rating5/53/5
Packages withSatellite TV, telephoneCable TV, telephone
# of states servedtwenty-one43
Speed ​​range5 Mbps to 940 Mbps.100 Mbps to 940 Mbps
Internet typeDSL, fiberCable
Data limit1 TB data limitNo data limit
Price range$ 49.99$ 49.99 * – $ 110
Contract period1 year1 year

How to Compare Internet Companies

Get started with availability

There is a good chance that your options are not Spectrum vs. AT&T Internet, as neither option may work for your address. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports that 85% of US households have two or fewer Internet options. Large cable companies intentionally avoid competition in places where one provider may already have a dominant presence. As you embark on your search for an Internet service, it is essential to first find out which providers will serve your address. You can check this by connecting to the providers’ websites or using online resources such as Allconnect. Once you know which providers are options, you can start comparing them.

Calculate your speed needs

When comparing Internet providers, speed plans will likely be the most important point of comparison. To find out which plan is best for you, you will need to evaluate how much speed does your home need. The FCC advises that 39 Mbps is the average internet speed at home. After consulting with networking experts and the FCC speed guideWe have created a tool to help you find a reference speed that suits your use.

Internet speed guide

AT&TSpectrum
JD power rating5/53/5
Packages withSatellite TV, telephoneCable TV, telephone
# of states servedtwenty-one43
Speed ​​range5 Mbps to 940 Mbps.100 Mbps to 940 Mbps
Internet typeDSL, fiberCable
Data limit1 TB data limitNo data limit
Price range$ 49.99$ 49.99 * – $ 110
Contract period1 year1 year

We recommend that you also combine that speed with adequate data allocation. Light internet users will need no more than 500GB of data. If your home uses the Internet for more demanding activities (such as gaming, downloading files, and HD streaming), you will be better off with at least 1TB of data per month.

Consider price holistically

The best offer will not be as simple as the lowest price. The value of an Internet package has several components to consider. Post-contract fees and price increases are hidden things that could cost you in the future. We recommend reading the contracts carefully to find out the small fees and price for your plan after your contract ends.

The combination of opportunities can also add value. Often you will save at least $ 10 on each service you combine, and equipment ($ 5- $ 15 per month) and setup fees (over $ 100) are not charged on most package promotions.

AT&T vs. Spectrum, who has the best internet service?

AT&T is better for customer service and package options, while Spectrum gains in speed and reliability of service. But when it comes down to it, ISPs are quite similar to each other, the best ISP for you will depend on the features that are a priority for your home, be it speed, price, bundling opportunities, customer service or team capabilities. . Perhaps neither AT&T nor Spectrum is available in your area, so we recommend that you check out our review of all top-rated vendors in the US to make direct comparisons of the largest providers in the country.

Should I buy my own router?

Our network experts recommend that most people buy their own router. Not only will you save money on rental fees (typically $ 10 to $ 15 per month), but it can also help you increase your internet quality. There’s a good chance that all of your neighbors are renting the same stock equipment as you, and they are all operating with the same frequency, slowing down everyone’s internet traffic. You can find routers at virtually any price, but we recommend investing at least $ 70. We found four favorite wireless routers for all types of Internet users.

What types of Internet connections are there?

There are several types of Internet: cable, DSL, fiber optic, and satellite. The best will depend on what you value the most about a provider. Cable Internet uses coaxial cables built into your neighborhood infrastructure. It is the most popular type and you will probably find fair speeds at reasonable prices. DSL uses existing telephone cables and is generally less reliable but widely available. Fiber optic internet is the latest technology – it’s super fast and really reliable, but availability is limited. Satellite Internet is available in all 50 states and in many remote locations. But its speeds are limited and prices are not competitive.

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