Best Internet Deal
- Discount rate for 1 year
- 60+ Mbps speeds
- Modem Included
Best Triple Play
- 60 Mbps Internet
- Unlimited nationwide calls
- 125+ channels
Charter Communications currently offers Internet and TV deals under the Spectrum Internet brand name. They are one of the only Internet providers that offers Internet service without a contract.
Spectrum Internet plans are usually in the 60–300 Mbps speed range, which is more than sufficient for streaming HD video (Netflix, Roku, etc). They also offer bundled plans with TV and phone service. However, we found that Spectrum Internet-only plans offer the strongest value for most customers.
Top Charter Spectrum Internet Deals
Spectrum Internet — Best Internet-Only Deal
The first main advantage of this plan is that it offers unlimited streaming, unlike most other cable providers. This means you can use as much data as you want without hitting a "data cap," which is a problem with some other major Internet providers like AT&T and Comcast.
The second big plus is that Spectrum Internet comes contract-free, making it convenient and flexible for renters, students, and anyone else who wants to avoid a contract lock-in. It's slightly more expensive than DSL, but it's several times better in terms of speed. It's the only option outside of fiber if you plan on streaming 4K "Ultra HD" video from Netflix, Hulu, and etc.
The 60 Mbps speed can download an HD film file in less than 20 minutes, compared to the hour or more of a DSL connection. When streaming, Spectrum 60 Mbps connections can start immediately and their network is designed to avoid buffering.
Triple Play Select – Top Internet/TV/Phone Bundle Plan
Currently, Charter is offering this plan for a discount — $89.97/mo. for the first year. Once those 12 months run out, the long-term price is $149.97. This is a substantial jump, but normal for a family TV and Internet/phone package. In most areas, the price isn't beatable for 125+ channels, unlimited nationwide calling. On the plus side, this plan includes your equipment such as DVR and modem. HD boxes may cost an extra $6.99/box, but it may be possible to remove the fee when ordering online or by requesting a deal from the rep when you call to sign up.
Thanks to Spectrum's lack of data caps, the Triple Play Select plan allows entertainment junkies to enjoy the "best of both worlds" with unlimited streaming from third-party services alongside Spectrum's robust video selection.
- The Weather Channel
All Spectrum Deals
Below are all of the Charter Spectrum deals that we’ve collected. Additional plans may available online or over the phone in select zip codes.
|Deals||Price Monthly||Internet Speed||Phone|
|Best Internet Deal Spectrum Internet — Best Internet-Only Deal||$4499||100 Mbps Cable||(855) 436-5105|
|Spectrum TV Select + Internet||$8998||100 Mbps Cable||(855) 436-5105|
|Best Triple Play Triple Play Select – Top Internet/TV/Phone Bundle Plan||$8997||100 Mbps Cable||(855) 436-5105|
|Spectrum Internet Ultra||$6999||300 Mbps Cable||(855) 436-5105|
When is a Charter Spectrum Internet deal the Best Option?
Charter Communications is often the only cable game in town, which means that you’re probably deciding between Spectrum and a competing DSL or wireless plan.
Spectrum is also one of the biggest cable providers in the US, largely thanks to their acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in 2016. 
In the short term this means fewer deal options for customers in some areas as Time Warner and Bright House get folded under the “Charter Spectrum” brand. 
In the long term, Charter is making big strides to simplify their bundle offerings and reduce add-on fees.
Spectrum Cable Internet Deals vs DSL plans
Charter’s cable Internet comes over a hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) network originally built for Television service, while DSL comes over the phone lines using infrastructure originally built for landline phones.
Cable has three big advantages over DSL:
- Cable networks use coaxial cable, which offers better speeds and bandwidth than DSL.
- Cable is less vulnerable to outages since the cables are more weather-resistant than DSL.
- Cable offers great bundle deals for TV watchers, since the network is already optimized for TV and the provider can efficiently offer both services.
Cable is often a little bit more expensive than DSL. However, the speed and reliability of cable networks generally makes up for the small price difference. The speeds are at least double DSL in most cases, making it well worth an extra $10 or so to avoid Netflix buffering.
Charter Spectrum’s cable infrastructure is expected to grow in rural areas throughout 2018 and 2019, since the FCC is requiring them to extend service to two million new customer addresses as a stipulation of their merger with Time Warner Cable. 
Are Charter Spectrum Bundles Worth Buying?
Like most cable Internet providers, Charter frequently offers “bundled” deals that combine TV and/or phone service with broadband Internet access.
…Unlike most other cable deals, they generally don’t have a data cap. This is a huge bonus for streamers and cord-cutters, as many other ISPs have been rolling out overage fees and “data caps” for heavy Internet users. 
How to Compare Charter Spectrum Deals
Charter Communications is making a big effort to win the public relations war and earn a good reputation with their customers. Part of this means offering regular sign-up deals and special offers.
Tip #1: Be Careful With “Promo Bundles”
Charter Spectrum’s “triple play” deals often come with a lower price tag than their double play deals. This leads many customers to sign up for all three services offered, including a home phone. After all, why not take more services for less money?
Unfortunately, there’s a catch — the “first year” price is usually different from the final price you’re locked into for your contract. Assuming you’re signing a 2-year contract and planning to stick around for much longer, this mistake could cost you hundreds of dollars for a phone you don’t use or need.
Long story short: compare the final price rather than the promotional price, and only bundle services you will actually use.
Tip #2: Renting vs Buying a Router
Most home Internet connections require two pieces of hardware to work: a “modem,” which brings in Internet data through the cable in your wall, and the “router,” which turns that connection into Wi-Fi and broadcasts it throughout your home.
While Charter doesn’t charge for the modem, they do charge a fee for the router. While it only costs a few dollars a month and includes upkeep/replacement, we recommend that customers who plan to stick around for more than one year go ahead and buy their own.
A decent router will only cost $40 or so, and will save you hundreds of dollars over a multi-year contract. Routers that are compatible with Charter Spectrum are listed on their website, and can be purchased from third-party sources like Amazon and eBay.
Where Charter Spectrum Shines: National and Local TV
Spectrum doesn’t advertise them heavily, but they will often throw in some pretty enticing TV streaming bonuses if you ask for them. These packages often include your local TV channels alongside the standard cable channels advertised on their site (ABC, PBS, FOX, etc.).
It beats having a lopsided antenna on your roof, and might be the tiebreaker if you’re choosing between cable and DSL. Check the Channel Guide to see if Spectrum TV has everything you’ll need because channels change from region to region.
While the pricing on Charter TV plans is a bit higher than other cable providers like Comcast, they don’t use the same price-swapping shenanigans to get customers on board. In our book, that’s a big win, and if you’re a customer for more than one year the pricing becomes essentially equivalent. (This is because more popular providers like Xfinity and DirecTV will charge cheap prices at first, then increase the price as much as double for “existing customers.”)
The main place Spectrum TV falls short is on the DVR. First off, they don’t really give you a choice of which model comes with the plan. Usually it’s some sort of basic Motorola model, but there’s no official standard. Second, the storage and performance on their DVRs falls significantly short of other major TV providers:
|Provider||Standard DVR||HD Storage Hours||Maximum Streams|
|Charter Spectrum||Motorola DVR||21 hours||2|
|Comcast Xfinity||X1||60 hours||6|
Conclusion: Charter Spectrum beats DSL for streamers and TV fans
Charter Communications is probably your best bet for bundling TV with your Internet for a decent monthly price. However, the real bonus with Spectrum is that they play nicely with streaming services like Netflix and don’t penalize customers for choosing their video source.
While they are currently required to provide unlimited streaming by law due to their Time Warner Cable merger agreements, it’s expected that they will continue to uphold this policy at least through 2020. The streaming-friendly policy has won them goodwill with customers and higher overall customer satisfaction rankings compared to other cable providers.
While Spectrum’s cable infrastructure isn’t perfect, their wide availability makes them the best option for “the rest of us,” particularly in suburban and rural areas outside the reach of complete “Fiber to the Home” gigabit fiber networks like Verizon Fios. That also may change, as Spectrum is expanding their fiber lines faster than any other provider in 2018. Again, this is required by their merger agreements, but the result is good for customers who don’t otherwise have access to Internet speeds above 60 Mbps.
For more information on Spectrum TV and equipment options, check out our Charter Spectrum Review.
Time Warner Cable Deals
Confused about whether you’re a Time Warner Cable or Charter Spectrum customer? Short answer: Spectrum.
Long answer: Time Warner Cable has been officially rolled into the Spectrum brand at the time of this writing, and all Time Warner customers should already be seeing Spectrum branding on their bills.
Time Warner Cable customers grandfathered in on “retention rate” low-cost deals will also begin to see those rates rise as Spectrum attempts to standardize pricing across their coverage areas.
Information for former Time Warner Cable customers is available directly from Charter Spectrum for those confused about terms of the transition.
Here is a map detailing the former Time Warner Cable coverage area. Customers in these areas should instead search for Spectrum or other local cable operators.
Bright House Networks Deals
Information for former Bright House Networks customers is available at Charter’s website. Note that the Time Warner Cable page linked in the section above is somewhat more detailed and contains information applicable to both situations.
Bright House Networks sign-in and services may still be available, but new customers should turn their attention to the Spectrum deals above, since Bright House Networks is no longer signing new customers under the Bright House brand name.
This map details the former Bright House Networks coverage area as of 2016:
References and Footnotes
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_Communications#2014.E2.80.932017:_Acquisition_of_Time_Warner_Cable_and_Bright_House ↩
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectrum_(cable_service) ↩
- https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-17-34A1.pdf ↩
- https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/06/charter-we-wont-impose-data-caps-after-buying-time-warner-cable/ ↩
Disclaimers:‡ Limited time offer; subject to change; new customers only; requires purchase of a standard Triple Play package and cannot be combined with any Single or Double Play upgrade offers. Bundle price for TV Select, Internet, and Voice is $89.97/mo. for year 1; standard rates apply after year 1. Free DVR service for 1 DVR is for year 1; standard rates apply after year 1. TV: Equipment required and is extra; channel and HD programming availability based on level of service. INTERNET: Available Internet speeds may vary by address; no additional charge for modem. VOICE: Taxes and fees included in price. Other equipment, install, taxes, fees & surcharges may apply. Services not available in all areas. Restrictions apply. Enter your address to determine availability.^ Limited time offer; subject to change; new customers only; Triple Play required. Bundle price for TV Select, Internet, and Voice is $89.97/mo. for year 1; standard rates apply after year 1. Free DVR service for 1 DVR is for year 1; standard rates apply after year 1. TV: Equipment required and is extra; channel and HD programming availability based on level of service. INTERNET: Available Internet speeds may vary by address; no additional charge for modem. VOICE: Taxes and fees included in price. Other equipment, install, taxes, fees & surcharges may apply. Services not available in all areas. Restrictions apply. Enter your address to determine availability.
Robert Smith is a UX designer based in Brooklyn, New York. He enjoys sharing his knowledge about all things “user experience” through articles, op-eds, and how-to posts. When he’s not creating web apps, he enjoys cycling and reading classic sci-fi.
James Webb is a tech and gadgets expert with a focus on educational content development. He draws on his background in the startup world to make complicated technologies and topics easy to understand for normal folks.
Questions & Answers
9 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
Can I use my own DVR with Spectrum TV?
Yes, but they won’t offer support or guarantees of any sort on the equipment if you get it from a third party. Setting up a DVR is a pain for the average person, but you can definitely save money by using your own DVR and/or router. The default Spectrum router is pretty low quality in our opinion compared to what’s offered by providers like Xfinity and DirecTV. (See storage specs in article above.) So, if you are a regular viewer and use the DVR heavily it’s probably worth the trouble of installing your own.
I'm in Los Angeles and my Spectrum price went from around $50 to $65 this month. Why can they do this? How do I get the old price back? I only have Internet.
Spectrum offers “promotional pricing” that increases after the first year of service. You’ll see this as small print under the price breakdown when you sign up: it’s annoying, but it’s standard for cable providers. The only way to get the promotional price back would be to sign up as a new customer.
Does Charter Spectrum still offer senior discounts?
Charter only offers senior discounts in certain regions. The best way to find out what they currently offer is to call and have a representative recommend the cheapest deal that meets your needs. Unfortunately, they do not list senior discounts online and the availability of such plans is prone to frequent change.
I'm confused about Spectrum modems and routers. Is there a fee for these, and what's the cheapest way to get Wi-Fi?
There are two pieces of hardware needed for a basic Internet connection with Wi-Fi: the modem and the router.
The modem is provided free with Spectrum plans, and it’s important because it translates the data flowing over cable wires into something your computer and other Internet-enabled devices can understand.
The router is the piece of the puzzle that actually creates Wi-Fi. Without it, you can only connect to the Internet by plugging one device at a time directly into the modem. Obviously, this is less than ideal, so 99% of customers will need a router.
Spectrum offers to lease you a router for a few dollars a month (rates subject to change, usually less than $10/month). This includes upkeep and replacement for the router.
Short term residents should go ahead and rent the router. If you are planning to subscribe for more than one year, go ahead and buy one outright. This will save you around $100/year in the long run, and Spectrum provides a list of compatible routers on their site. Retailers like Amazon also maintain lists of recommended routers for various providers.
I don't see an option for only internet with phone service. How much would that be if offered?
Internet + phone deals are available in most areas, you can shop for them at Charter’s official website.
Why won't Spectrum give me a cheaper deal than the one you are showing, even when there are cheaper options in my area?
Charter Spectrum currently doesn’t negotiate pricing on a customer-by-customer basis. Instead, they stick to a reliable price that won’t change based on your area or how long you’ve been a customer. Some customers left because of this when they took over Time Warner Cable. In the long term, their strategy is to avoid the constant incremental rate hikes and hidden fees that some other cable companies are known for.
What is the difference between Charter and Time Warner Cable?
Charter acquired Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in 2016 and they are now the same company. In some regions, Charter does still use a Time Warner Cable or Bright House styled logo to help prevent customer confusion, but they are one company.
Will my bill go up now that Charter owns my existing Internet plan?
This remains to be seen, but if you are in a contract then that contract should continue to be honored. However, they are not required to honor “grandfathered” plans (AKA the ones you used to get with TWC by calling and negotiating) once the contract on that agreement is expired.
I am renting an apartment for the first time and have couple questions. First, what is the difference between the 39.99 vs 44.99 internet only deal? I was told I could get spectrum wifi for 20.00, please explain. Second, do I need a plan or just wifi from my complex?
Good questions. First question: the price of Charter’s Internet-only plan varies from area to area and over time depending on the latest deals. The price listed here are updated every few days.
Second question: the situation with Internet service in apartment buildings or multi-dweller units is sometimes complicated if the landlord attempts to offer Wi-Fi as part of the rent. If you are renting a place that includes Internet service with the rent, you are effectively subletting Internet service from your landlord, who controls how it is set up and who you share it with.
I would reccomend checking with your landlord what your Internet options are, and if you can subscribe directly you can call one of the numbers above to find out the best offer for your address.