About Spectrum vs. Starlink, Charter Communications and SpaceX are among the country’s largest broadband service providers.
They both provide internet connectivity to millions of potential subscribers nationwide.
Picking between the two options could be overwhelming to users.
Today, we’ll compare Spectrum vs. Starlink to help you pick the best option.
So, which one is the superior choice?
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- What is Spectrum and How Does it Work?
- Starlink vs Spectrum: Comparison
- Starlink vs Spectrum: Which Is Best?
What is Spectrum and How Does it Work?
Spectrum is a popular internet service provider in the US, competing against big brands such as Xfinity, Verizon, and Frontier.
It uses a Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial (HFC) network system for its wired broadband service transmission.
The data is transmitted over fiber lines and then shifts to older, coaxial cables over short distances within a locality.
The coaxial “hop” proximity may vary, but the download speeds range between 300Mbps to 940Mbps, with up to 35 Mbps upload speeds.
Though, the problem with HFC networks is bandwidth sharing.
The sharing might reduce the speeds of your network during peak usage hours, but the speeds will still be fast enough for daily usage.
Starlink vs Spectrum: Comparison
Starlink primarily supplies satellite internet, and Spectrum provides cable internet.
Although both have high-speed internet, Spectrum is faster and with a more reliable connection than Starlink.
Spectrum features uniform download speeds of up to 940 Mbps.
This is significantly higher than Starlink, whose download speeds only range between 250–500 Mbps.
However, the speeds depend on your equipment, plan, and location.
With Starlink and Spectrum, you get three plans with different internet speeds.
Starlink internet plans
|Plan||Download Speeds Mbps||Upload Speeds Mbps|
Spectrum home internet plans
|Plan||Download Speeds Mbps||Upload Speeds Mbps|
|Spectrum Internet Ultra||500||20|
|Spectrum Internet Gig||940||35|
Starlink is a constellation of satellites orbiting around the planet.
The latency is thus significantly lower since the Starlink satellites are in a low orbit.
Usually, Starlink internet offers a latency (ping) ranging from 40 ms – 70 ms.
On the contrary, the average latency on spectrum internet speed is 20 ms – 30 ms throughout their coverage area.
Its lower latency leads to more stability, thus giving a better internet experience.
Spectrum would be ideal for latency-sensitive applications such as VoIP calls, Zoom meetings, and remote work.
|Provider||Latency (Off Peak Hours) (ms)||Latency (Peak Hours) (ms)|
Spectrum does not enforce data caps like other internet providers but throttles subscribers who use a lot of data.
Primarily, Spectrum poses a 1 Terabyte limit on its unlimited plans before throttling connection.
Therefore, you don’t have to track data usage after hitting some arbitrary threshold.
Starlink, however, has a soft data cap of 250 GB.
If you go above 250 GB in a month, the provider deprioritizes your connection below the level of other Starlink users.
It is more pronounced during peak hours.
However, the speed drop will not be as noticeable as that from Spectrum.
Spectrum commands a solid market in the eastern and central time zones.
Its coverage is mostly concentrated in the Northeast, the Midwest, and the Southern areas of the US.
Although it does not cover the entire country, it is available in 32 US states.
Starlink has a broader footprint across all the US states and 33 other countries.
Its major focus is in the US, Australia, the UK, and Canada. Unlike Spectrum, Starlink’s infrastructure functions well in rural and highly populated areas.
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While both services offer three plans across their entire coverage area, each has different pricing.
The Starlink Residential package would cost between $90 – $110 monthly.
Its price depends on your service address location; high rates apply to regions already at or above capacity.
Residential Starlink has no contracts or cancellation fees. Users can even pause and reactivate their internet plan anytime for free.
However, Starlink’s upfront and monthly fees are pretty expensive compared to Spectrum.
The cheapest Spectrum package costs only $49.99, and $89.99 for its most expensive plan.
Fortunately, Spectrum does not enforce a contract and gives a discount for the first 12 months.
After committing more than 12 months, expect your monthly bill to increase by an extra $25.
It also charges a monthly fee of $5 for Wi-Fi if you don’t have a personal router.
The installation of both Starlink and Spectrum is very straightforward.
These kits come with a step-by-step installation guide to simplify the process.
However, you may need to pay $200 for the pro install option when installing the Gig plan.
Some people may also require assistance when installing Starlink.
Starlink requires an upfront cost of $599 to purchase the Starlink Dish, which comes with connection cables and a wireless router.
The Starlink business kit will cost $2,500. Other users may also have to buy additional accessories, including pole mounts.
With Spectrum, there is no inclusive equipment fee.
It includes a modem in your monthly cost, so you don’t have to pay per month for a modem rental like with other providers.
Starlink does not have a contact or an email address for communication.
Users can only reach the providers by submitting a ticket on the Starlink website.
Though they do not offer direct phone call communication, they provide fast replies to tickets.
Spectrum, on the other hand, provides support in a non-conventional way.
Their customer service is available Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 10 PM EST.
They also provide 24/7 technical assistance for accounts and billing.
Starlink vs Spectrum: Which Is Best?
While Starlink’s internet is satellite-based with speeds of up to 500 Mbps, Spectrum’s is wired and offers speeds of up to 940 Mbps.
Both providers may offer good internet connection, but Spectrum is way faster than Starlink.
In addition, Spectrum currently has no data caps compared to Starlink’s 1 TB soft data cap.
It also has extremely low latency and is generally less expensive than Starlink.
However, Starlink offers more coverage, especially in rural and highly populated areas.
It is available in several remote areas where other internet providers are not accessible.
It makes it ideal for people living in difficult-to-reach areas.
Both Spectrum and Starlink perform impressively well in delivering a good internet connection.
Starlink has much greater coverage than Spectrum, including in several rural areas of the United States.
Hope you can make the best choice for you after reading this article.