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AT&T nabs the win for high speeds and lower prices, but Spectrum comes with unlimited data and no contracts.
AT&T or Spectrum? This is the question we set out to answer when we spent days methodically researching and testing the two internet service competitors.
We think AT&T's fiber internet has this win in the bag thanks to its fast speeds and low prices. But if you've only got AT&T DSL service in your area, Spectrum is the clear winner.
Even if you can get AT&T Fiber in your area, Spectrum still offers no contracts and fairly reasonable prices. We dug into all the details on how these two internet service providers (ISPs) stack up, so let's dive in.
AT&T Internet pros and cons
Spectrum pros and cons
Spectrum vs. AT&T: Prices
Both Spectrum and AT&T offer plans with speeds that'll keep you connected whether you’re a big gamer or love to stream HD videos. If you’ve got a big family all streaming and gaming under one roof, you'll want to opt for AT&T's or Spectrum's faster internet plans.
In fact, we don't really recommend AT&T's DSL plans unless you can get top-tier speeds of 75 or 100 Mbps. Anything less than that and you're looking at an internet slowdown if you've got a lot of connected devices or lots of housemates using the internet with you.
But with faster speeds come higher prices—though AT&T's prices will get you more speed for less money, especially when it comes to the gig plans.
But again, that's if you can get AT&T Fiber in your area.
|AT&T Internet up to 75 Mbps||$55.00/mo.*||75 Mbps||View Plans|
|AT&T Internet 300||$55.00/mo.†||300 Mbps||View Plans|
|AT&T Internet 500||$65.00/mo.†||500 Mbps||View Plans|
|AT&T Internet 1000||$80.00/mo.‡||1000 Mbps||View Plan|
|AT&T Internet 2000||$110.00/mo.‡||Up to 2000 Mbps||View Plans|
|AT&T Internet 5000||$180.00/mo.‡||Up to 5000 Mbps||View Plans|
Spectrum’s price for its up to 400 Mbps plan* is pretty close to the price of AT&T Fiber’s Internet 500 plan.
But as your download speed gets faster, Spectrum’s prices can start to tower over AT&T’s prices. But not by much now that Spectrum reduced the monthly cost of its Gig plan.
|Spectrum Internet®||$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.^||Up to 300 Mbps°||View Plan|
|Spectrum Internet® Ultra||$69.99/mo. for 12 mos.^||Up to 500 Mbps°||View Plan|
|Spectrum Internet® Gig||$89.99/mo. for 12 mos.**||Up to 1000 Mbps††||View Plan|
Spectrum vs. AT&T: Internet speed
Both Spectrum and AT&T offer a broad range of download speeds for you to choose from. That's good news because it means you'll have an easier time finding an internet plan that fits your needs—and doesn't cost you excess money.
Data effective 4/26/2022.
Spectrum vs. AT&T: Customer service
In internet land, customer service is never seen as amazing. And AT&T and Spectrum are no different.
In the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report, AT&T’s customer service scored 71 out of 100 and Spectrum scored 63 out of 100. And the internet industry as a whole scored 65 out of 100. But none of those scores are great—they'd all be considered "below average" in a classroom.
ASCI 2020-2021 rating
|63 out of 100|
|71 out of 100|
Spectrum vs. AT&T: Which is better?
On the face of it, AT&T earns the crown for lower prices and fiber internet reliability. But don’t disregard Spectrum: It's a bargain compared to AT&T's DSL internet plans.
- Pricing: AT&T is cheaper than Spectrum—but only if you’re in an AT&T Fiber coverage area. If you've got only AT&T DSL to choose from, look to Spectrum for reasonable prices for fast speeds.
- Speed: AT&T offers speeds up to 5,000 Mbps while Spectrum goes up to 1,000 Mbps.* And, more often than not, we think you'll see speeds close to what each ISP advertises.
- Customer service: AT&T ranks better, but Spectrum is most improved.
|Monthly price||$19.99/mo.–$89.99/mo. for 12 mos.‡‡||$55.00/mo.–$180.00/mo.^^|
|Download speeds||30–1000 Mbps||300–5000 Mbps|
|Learn more||View Plans||View Plans|
When reviewing and comparing internet services, such as those provided by AT&T Internet and Spectrum, we go above and beyond simple metrics.
We place a heavy emphasis on the technical details such as overall download speeds, upload speed, and any included data caps. However, we also consider overall availability, affordability, and contracts involved.
Here are the factors we considered when comparing these two services:
- Overall download/upload speeds
- Price of each provider’s plans
- Whether contracts are required
- Geographic service availability
- Included equipment and fees
While Spectrum does offer cheaper plan options than AT&T Fiber Internet to start, Spectrum's Gig plan is about $10 more per month compared to AT&T's 1,000 Mbps plan.
If low-priced plans are what you are after, both AT&T Internet and Spectrum provide affordable offerings.
A good internet speed for your home varies depending on the activities you enjoy (such as streaming movies and playing video games) and the number of devices which will be accessing the internet at a single time.
To find the perfect internet speed for your home or office, we recommend checking out our guide, How Much Internet Speed Do I Need?
We've compared connection types, customer service scores, prices, availability, and download speeds of dozens of internet service providers. Check out our review of the best internet service providers to find one that works best for you and your location.