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After acquiring Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in 2016, Charter Communications became the 2nd largest cable service provider in the US, just behind Comcast. They offer a range of services in addition to internet access, but on this page you’ll find their plans and promotions that offer TV or home phone service or both.

Charter Spectrum has the most coverage in California, Texas, New York, and 42 other states. Since merging with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, their network footprint covers a population of 101.5 million potential customers across 45 states.

They are best known for their cable Internet offerings, although they also offer TV, phone, and business broadband services. They have straightforward, standardized pricing compared to other providers. Their plans are favored by cord cutters thanks to their lack of data caps and affordable no-contract options. How To Compare Charter Spectrum Plans

When choosing any internet provider, it’s important that the plan you choose is fast enough to suit your needs. Charter internet generally offers comparable speeds to their cable competitors (usually 60–100+ Mbps), and the wide availability means that you’ll likely have access to several different plans in your area.

The standard Charter Spectrum plans offer speeds of up to 100 Megabits per second (Mbps), which is fast enough for pretty much anything you need to do online. You’ll be able to stream multiple videos at the same time and the speeds are fast enough to support multiple users on the same network. Power users who download multiple things at once and have multiple HD streams going at once may run into some issues with the 100 Mbps speed, but the vast majority of users will be more than satisfied.

To put this in concrete terms, imagine you’re downloading an HD movie on iTunes to watch on a plane later. On a Spectrum 100 Mbps connection, downloading the 3GB file will take you just over four minutes. And older DSL connection of only 15 Mbps would leave you waiting for almost half an hour.

It can be tempting to opt for the fastest speed, but it’s important to take a look at your internet usage. You can often save a lot of money by going for a lower-tier plan if your usage is average rather than heavy. Is Charter Spectrum Available In My Area?

As mentioned above, the service area of Charter Spectrum covers most of the US. The company has some sort of presence in every state except North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. However, there are some states with only 1 or 2% coverage which basically makes the service unavailable in that area.

Charter Spectrum primarily uses a cable network, which uses the lines that deliver television content to transmit data. This was previously the gold standard of Internet speeds before it was unseated by the new fiber technology, and it has the potential for some pretty amazing speeds. Additionally, the technology has been around for a while so much of the country is hooked up to at least one cable provider.

The one disadvantage that cable has over alternatives is reliability. While the speeds are fast the majority of the time, you’ll occasionally run into situations where your speed drops when the network is under a heavy load — such as when your neighbors get home from work and start streaming Netflix. This normally isn’t a huge decrease in speed, but it’s notable enough to worth mentioning.

DSL technology, or Digital Subscriber Lines, uses your telephone lines to deliver data and is slower yet more reliable. Fiber technology transmits data through light, and is the fastest technology available yet incredibly expensive to roll out. Cable is a good compromise of better than average speeds with better than average reliability, so you’ll likely be pleased with the higher-tier plans available through Charter Spectrum. Internet Equipment: Rent or Buy?

For most providers, a monthly rental fee is applied to your internet equipment in order to support service to your modem and router. You’ll need both pieces of equipment or a combination of the two in order to receive internet at your home. The modem connects you to the Internet, while the router creates a wifi network and allows you to connect multiple devices to the Internet.

Charter is relatively unique in that they provide a modem free of charge. For a router, you’ll have to pay a small fee per month if you rent from the company, or you can choose to buy your own equipment. (Usually around $5, but subject to change.)

Unless you’re planning to have the service for a good number of years, we recommend the extra charge each month to use the company’s own equipment. By using their devices, you’ll have access to their customer support, and technicians will know how to troubleshoot their own modems and routers. Many companies charge $10-$15 a month for their equipment which would make the decision a little more difficult, but Charter has low fees in comparison. Charter Merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks

Since their merger with TWC and Bright House, Charter’s services have been branded as “Spectrum” across the board. Currently, all customers have been moved to Charter Spectrum billing and account management. While investments in local infrastructure have improved speeds in many areas and expanded service coverage dramatically, transitioning to Spectrum pricing has left some customers upset about higher prices. In most cases, this is with customers who had temporary reduced rates from TWC. Should You Sign a Contract?

One of the biggest decisions that you should think about when you are evaluating different plans and deals from a provider is to consider whether a long term contract is in your best interest. Generally these contracts offer a discounted price for a set period of time. This is great for consumers who see themselves in the same place for the length of the contract, but for consumers who are renting or move a lot they can face sizable early termination fees or ETFs if they try to cancel their service before their contract is finished.

Promotional pricing and the final price you pay after taxes and additional equipment can vary quite a bit. As you are evaluating different promotional deals make sure to compare the final price after tax. This will be what you are paying even if the promotional offer shows differently.

That said, let’s take a look at how Charter’s customer ratings stack up against their direct competition as this is the best way to compare two providers in an unbiased fashion. (Remember, reviews on BroadbandNow are from IP verified customers.)