All about Spectrum services: Your ultimate guide

Robin Layton

Apr 9, 2024 — 6 min read

Thinking about switching to Spectrum service? Find out what it’s really like to be a Spectrum customer, from moving to equipment costs and everything in between.

Photo of Spectrum service truck and technician

Are you moving to a Spectrum area or considering switching to Spectrum internet at your current home? There are plenty of websites to tell you about promotional Spectrum prices and plans, but what is it really like to have the service? From placing your order to setting up equipment to being a long-term Spectrum customer, we’ll tell you the secrets of Spectrum services.

Spectrum internet and phone services

First, we’ll review what services Spectrum offers. Customers have several choices of internet plans with Spectrum, from $49.99/mo. to $79.99/mo. for speeds up to 300 to 1,000 Mbps. Spectrum also offers TV and mobile phone services. The Spectrum One plan allows you to pick your internet speed plan, starting up to 300 Mbps, and get Advanced WiFi and one unlimited mobile line free for 12 months. Prices start at $49.99/mo.

Spectrum TV

You can get cable TV through Spectrum starting at $64.99/mo. for 12 months with 150+ channels. Spectrum also offers Spectrum TV Stream for $39.99/mo. with 75+ channels on a Xumo Stream Box. All TV plans include On Demand access, FREE HD and the Spectrum TV® App.

Spectrum mobile phone

Spectrum offers mobile phone service to its internet customers only. Spectrum internet and cellphone bundle options start at $29.99/mo. Spectrum uses Verizon’s coverage to provide service for its Spectrum mobile phones. The phone service comes with unlimited talk and text, 5G service where available and no contracts.

Signing up for Spectrum

There are three ways to sign up for Spectrum service — online, over the phone or by going into a local Spectrum store. After confirming that Spectrum is available in your area, you can select your internet, TV or phone plan, along with any extras, such as premium or international channels. 

What else does signing up for Spectrum involve? You may need to run a credit check to get new Spectrum service. And, when you sign up for a Spectrum home internet plan, you can typically choose between self- or professional installation options. 

  • Spectrum professional installation — If you choose professional installation, your appointment will be scheduled and the technician will typically come to your home within two to five days, depending on availability. Sometimes, next-day appointments are available. Spectrum will send a reminder of your scheduled appointment a day ahead. 
  • Spectrum self-installation — For those who prefer self-installation, your equipment will be shipped to you within two to three business days via FedEx.

Getting your first Spectrum bill

You may be wondering what Spectrum really ends up costing and what to expect on your first Spectrum bill. Like other internet service providers (ISPs), Spectrum bills for state taxes and other charges, such as FCC fees. Depending on your Spectrum package, you could see amounts for installation or equipment. 

Be aware that fees such as shipping costs (for equipment), installation or the entire first-month bill may be required upfront when you place your order or delayed until your first billing cycle.

Spectrum lists their terms of service in one handy spot to review.

Getting your Spectrum equipment

You will receive the necessary equipment depending on the plan you choose. The Spectrum equipment you need will either be shipped directly to your home or brought by the technician during your professional installation appointment. 

Spectrum internet equipment

If you opt for standalone internet and self-installation, you will receive a modem with Spectrum self-install instructions in the mail. Spectrum provides the internet modem for free, but there is a charge for Wi-Fi service, so most customers opt for the Spectrum equipment and provide their own Wi-Fi router. You can also elect to provide a Spectrum-compatible modem.

Spectrum TV equipment

Spectrum cable TV plans come with a DVR and set-top boxes. You select how many rooms you want to have TV service connected, and if you want DVR service in more than one room. Based on your order, the technician knows the correct number of TV boxes to bring on their truck. Spectrum’s Stream TV doesn’t require a box and comes with over 75 channels.

With Spectrum DVR service, you can record up to six shows simultaneously. You can either have set-top boxes in your auxiliary rooms, allowing you to watch all the channels Spectrum offers in your chosen TV plan, or you can upgrade to DVR service for the other rooms. You can also access Spectrum’s cloud DVR service through the Spectrum app for a small monthly fee.

Not sure what you need? Think about where you will primarily be watching TV because those are the room(s) where you will likely want the ability to record, pause and rewind TV.

Ways to transfer your Spectrum service

Spectrum makes it easy to move your service to a new home. If you are moving within a Spectrum region and want to move your Spectrum service with you as-is, you can simply log in to your Spectrum account and arrange the move service date. Depending on location, you may be able to take your modem to your new residence, connect it and be online, all without needing a technician. On a Reddit thread regarding moving Spectrum services, one customer said, “Moved to a new apartment, hooked up my modem and called and within 20 minutes it was working.”

What if you’re moving but want to change your Spectrum plan? For instance, if you are moving to a larger home and will need TV service in more rooms, then be sure to call or go to a Spectrum retail store to make the appropriate changes to your account prior to your move-in date. It’s important to make changes to your plan ahead of time so that you have the equipment you need upon arriving at your new residence. 

If you are moving outside of a Spectrum coverage area and need to end your Spectrum service, you will not have an early termination fee (ETF), but according to Spectrum’s cancellation policy, you’ll be charged for the remainder of your current billing cycle. Our suggestion? Choose an end-service date that coincides with the end of your billing month.

What’s it like to be a long-term Spectrum customer?

There are certainly some benefits to being a Spectrum customer. Spectrum does not have contracts, which sets them apart from many other ISPs. This makes it relatively easy to change plans, move or end service completely, if needed. Spectrum plans do still have promotional rates that last for varying periods of time, typically 12 months. 

Edward from Florida shared his Spectrum experience with Allconnect, “I have been a Spectrum customer for the last 8-12 years. They offer some great packages but some how the value of those packages don’t seem to maintain the original standard after so much time has passed. They do make up for it in customer service and offers that are available once you talk to them.”

Vicki said, “I am very happy with my service. Much better than Xfinity was at my last location. Better speed, more consistent connection.”

Spectrum deals and promotional rates

For new customers, once the 12-month promotional period is over, the monthly price will increase approximately $25 to $30 a month on average. When you sign up for service, ask what the non-promotional price will be so that you know what to expect a year down the line. However, be aware that Spectrum price increases can occur, and since there are no contracts, your non-promotional rate may change more than once. 

On the flip side, since there are no contracts with Spectrum, you can also upgrade or downgrade your plan if you find you need faster internet speeds, prefer a different TV package or just want to lower your monthly bill. But remember, if you change your plan while you are still in a promotional period, you risk losing your current reduced rate. Check here for other deals and promotions.

Robin Layton

Written by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

Robin Layton is an editor for the broadband marketplace Allconnect. She built her internet industry expertise writing and editing for four years on the site, as well as on Allconnect’s sister site … Read more