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Spectrum vs CenturyLink: Packges and Prices Comparison

Spectrum vs CenturyLink

In the United States, people usually have a number of options. From local providers to national ones, the choice to pick one can be very confusing. That’s not to mention that each provider usually has several internet plans and types to choose from. To make the choice easier for you, this blog compares two of the best US internet providers, Charter Spectrum vs CenturyLink. Read on for a detailed view of how each provider stacks up against the other.

An Overview of Spectrum vs CenturyLink

When it comes to high-speed internet services, CenturyLink has made quite a name for itself in the industry. The provider offers a diverse array of internet services which include copper, DSL, fiber, and fixed wireless services. CenturyLink has a subscriber base of over 59 million customers, with the largest coverage in Washington, Colorado, and Arizona.

On the other hand, Spectrum is the second largest internet provider in the United States. It boasts a massive subscriber base of over 102 million customers across 44 states. Spectrum offers primarily offers high-speed cable internet as well as fiber-optic internet in select markets. The provider is perhaps most popular for its no-contract subscription and amazing bundle deals. Spectrum has the largest coverage in New York, Texas, and California.

Provider Spectrum CenturyLink  
Subscribers 102 million + 59 million +
Most Coverage New York, Texas, California. Washington, Colorado, Arizona.

The Speeds You Can Expect

Both providers offer the same maximum speeds of 940 Mbps on their internet services. However, CenturyLink offers a larger number of fiber-optic speed options. The provider’s speeds start at 10 Mbps, depending on whether you opt for DSL, wireless, or cable internet. CenturyLink plans start at $49 per month and premium plans can cost you as much as $65.

On the other hand, Charter Spectrum plans start at a more reasonable $49.99 for much faster internet starting speeds. The premium cable internet plan is a bit pricey at $109.99 per month and is only available in select markets. But when you consider that Spectrum has no data caps on any of its internet plans, you can see this is a great deal.

Read also: Spectrum vs Windstream

Comparing Features

Both providers excel at offering high-speed internet services. However, Charter Spectrum offers unlimited data with every internet plan. In contrast, CenturyLink only offers unlimited data on select plans. Neither provider requires you to enter into a long-term service agreement. However, Spectrum also goes a step further by offering to buy you out of an existing contract. Spectrum also offers excellent cable TV services, which gives it an advantage over CenturyLink if you’re looking to bundle services. Both providers offer residential home phone service.

The Best Plans

Spectrum’s high-speed cable internet plans start at 100 Mbps. This plan costs around $49.99 per month. In many areas, the provider also offers a higher-tier cable plan with speeds up to 400 Mbps. This plan costs a reasonable $69.99 per month. The provider’s premium cable internet plan reaches speeds of up to 940 Mbps and costs $109.99 with no data limits.

By comparison, CenturyLink’s lower-tier plans are much more expensive. The provider’s 10 Mbps DSL plan starts at $49 per month, as does its 100 Mbps high-speed fiber plan. On the other hand, the provider’s premium fiber plan reaches speeds of 940 Mbps and costs just $65 per month. However, limited coverage makes this available only in a few markets.

Plan (Type) Spectrum CenturyLink
20 Mbps N/A $49/mo (DSL)
40 Mbps N/A $49/mo (DSL)
100 Mbps $49.99/mo (Cable) $49/mo (Fiber)
400 Mbps $69.99/mo (Cable) N/A
940 Mbps $109.99/mo (Cable) $65/mo (Fiber)

Installation Options and Costs

Like many providers, CenturyLink offers subscribers the option to install their own equipment. This self-install can cost up to $50, including equipment handling and shipping fees. On the other hand, professional installation from one of the provider’s technicians can cost you around $125.

Read also: Spectrum Vs AT&T

Spectrum also offers subscribers the option to choose between installing their own equipment or making use of a professional installation. Professional installation costs you just $49.99 for a one-time technician’s visit. If you opt for a self-install, you need to may a $9.99 activation fee, as well as l$9.99 for equipment mailing or pick up.

Provider Spectrum CenturyLink
Professional Installation $49.99 $125
Self-Installation Free Free
Activation Fees $9.99 N/A
Equipment Handling/Mailing Fees $9.99 Up to $50

Equipment Rentals and Other Expenses

CenturyLink offers its customers the option to either purchase the provider’s modem or rent it for a monthly fee. Purchasing the equipment can cost you around $150. On the other hand, the equipment rental costs you just $10 per month. However, since you enter into a 12 to a 36-month agreement with CenturyLink, you may end up paying much more than the equipment is worth in rental fees. Most CenturyLink plans come with a hard data limit of 1 TB. In certain markets, it can cost as much as $10 for an additional 50 GB of data once you exceed the 1 TB limit.

However, that still doesn’t beat what Spectrum offers. The provider offers a free modem with all of its plans, and also allows subscribers to rent a router for just $5 per month for in-home Wi-Fi. Since Spectrum does not require you to enter into a contract, you don’t have to worry about being stuck paying expensive rentals for an extended period. More importantly, all the provider’s internet plans come with unlimited data.

Provider Spectrum CenturyLink
Equipment Fees Free modem, $5/mo for router rental. $150 to purchase equipment, $10/mo for rental.
Early Termination Fees None None
Data Limits Unlimited Data 1 TB with $10 for an additional 50 GB.

 Who Wins?

If you have intense internet usage, download lots of content, and play serious video games, then you should opt for a CenturyLink fiber pan wherever available. However, in almost every other situation, Spectrum is the clear winner. It offers much faster internet starting speeds for less than CenturyLink. It also has a much more affordable equipment rental option. Since Spectrum does not require a long-term contract, you don’t have to worry about early termination fees. It has a much larger coverage area than CenturyLink. And most importantly, Spectrum has NO data limits on any of its internet plans. This makes it a relatively better choice than many other providers you could name. As per this blog, the winner in Spectrum vs CenturyLink is quite clear to see. Let us know about your experiences with both providers in the comments below.

Disclaimer: The above prices and details are accurate at the time of this writing. Prices are subject to change at any time by the provider.

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