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Compare Spectrum vs. CenturyLink

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Is Spectrum or CenturyLink the provider for you?

Considering Spectrum or CenturyLink for your home? We compared pricing, channel lineups, internet speeds and more to help you find the provider that’s right for you.

  • Best internet speeds – Spectrum and CenturyLink both offer gig speeds in select areas. Both providers max out at 940 Mbps where fiber internet is available.
  • Best availability – Spectrum is available in select areas of 46 states and covers a third of the U.S. population. CenturyLink is available in parts of 36 states, but only covers around 16% of the population due to higher coverage in rural and suburban areas.
  • Best contracts – Neither Spectrum or CenturyLink come with contracts. Even without a contract, CenturyLink offers a “Price for Life” guarantee that lets you keep your monthly internet rate for as long as you have the plan.
  • Best customer satisfaction – Spectrum and CenturyLink both scored a 63/100 for internet services in 2020, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

Spectrum vs. CenturyLink quick comparison

CenturyLink primarily uses a DSL network for service, which means available internet speeds can vary considerably by location. Where CenturyLink fiber-optic service is available, speeds are more consistent with max speeds up to 940 Mbps. Spectrum uses a cable internet and TV network, which allows them to offer more consistent speeds, but their gigabit internet plan with speeds up to 940 Mbps is not available in all Spectrum-serviceable areas.

  • Available in 36 states
  • Internet and TV bundles featuring DIRECTV starting at $98.99/mo.*
  • Speeds from 3 Mbps to 940 Mbps
  • TV channel range of 155-250+ channels
  • No-contract internet and home phone plans
  • Available in 46 states
  • Internet and TV bundles starting at $89.98/mo.*
  • Speeds from 100 Mbps to 940 Mbps
  • TV channel range of 125-200+ channels
  • No contract required

Spectrum vs. CenturyLink availability

As the second-largest cable internet provider in the country with 46 states nationwide, consumers are more likely to be in a Spectrum serviceable area. CenturyLink home services are available in 35 states, but it’s usually available in more rural areas.

Areas where CenturyLink and Spectrum availability overlap include eastern North Carolina, Alabama, central Texas, Ohio, northern Michigan, Wisconsin, western Oregon, central Washington and central Florida.

Though Spectrum is available in more states and to more people than CenturyLink, residents of rural areas are more likely to be eligible for CenturyLink service. CenturyLink has better coverage across the Midwest and Western states, but Spectrum services more major cities and the Eastern and Southeastern states.

To find out which providers and plans are available in your area, click “Check availability” below.

Spectrum vs. CenturyLink internet

ProviderStarting monthly price*Starting speedsFastest speedsData capsWi-Fi hotspots
CenturyLink$49.003 Mbps940 MbpsDSL, one TB; Fiber, noneNone
Spectrum Spectrum$49.99100 Mbps940 MbpsNone500,000+ nationwide

High-speed internet service from CenturyLink and Spectrum start at around the same speed and price point. However, starting speeds vary vastly by location. In some areas, CenturyLink speeds may start as low as 3 Mbps. Spectrum starting speeds are usually much higher, with minimum speeds up to 100 or 200 Mbps in select areas.

Both providers offer speeds up to 940 Mbps, but once again, those speeds are only offered in limited areas.

Choosing an internet provider for your needs

If service without data limits is your top priority, Spectrum or CenturyLink fiber internet is the best option for you. CenturyLink DSL plans have data caps up to one TB/mo. before speed throttling. If you like to use free Wi-Fi on the go, you’ll want Spectrum internet, which comes with access to more than 500,000 hotspots across the country.

Spectrum vs. CenturyLink cheapest internet plans

A basic internet plan from CenturyLink or Spectrum is the first-tier internet plan. You’ll pay about the same monthly rate with either provider but you’ll get more speed than many providers offer and therefore, more bang for your buck.

Spectrum vs. CenturyLink fastest internet

You can get gig speeds from either provider, but the price point and availability will vary greatly. CenturyLink’s gig-speed internet will likely be available in more areas, despite CenturyLink’s smaller service area. Call to learn more about the fastest CenturyLink and Spectrum internet speeds in your area.

Spectrum vs. CenturyLink bundles

Bundle deals can be a great way to simplify your monthly bill and get more than one service for a discounted price. However, the internet speed and TV plan you select can greatly affect monthly costs and potential savings.

Pricing, internet speeds and available TV channels for CenturyLink and Spectrum bundles will vary by location. Click the button below to see what’s available in your area.

Spectrum vs. CenturyLink TV

Spectrum offers cable TV service in most areas, while TV service from CenturyLink is much more limited. You can choose from satellite TV providers like DISH and DIRECTV, or live TV streaming services like AT&T TV and YouTube TV. Unfortunately, you won’t get any discount when going through CenturyLink.

Choosing cable TV from Spectrum or satellite TV from DIRECTV can give you a much different viewing experience. While DIRECTV might offer more channels in its lowest plans, it costs more than Spectrum, and prices go up in the second year of the contract. Additionally, you’ll be locked into a two-year agreement with DIRECTV whereas Spectrum does not require a contract at all.

Here’s how DIRECTV as part of a CenturyLink bundle and Spectrum cable TV services compare:

Shop and compare TV services in your area from Spectrum, DIRECTV and other providers all in one place. Click “Shop TV” below to see what’s available in your area.

Spectrum vs. CenturyLink customer satisfaction

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) gives the top internet providers an annual customer satisfaction score based on feedback from real customers. Here’s how CenturyLink and Spectrum scored for internet services over the past three years.

Provider2020 score2019 score2018 scoreAvg. past three years
63595860.0
Spectrum63596060.7

Both companies have improved considerably in the past year, and while 63/100 might not seem like a sterling grade, it’s actually pretty solid for internet service providers. In 2020, four companies ranked ahead of Spectrum and CenturyLink and five companies fell below them.

Joe Supan Joe Supan
Joe Supan

Sr. Staff Writer

@allconnect

@allconnect

Joe oversees all things wireless and streaming for Allconnect, from music services to live TV sites. His streaming service reviews are among the most popular articles on the entire site. … Read more


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