EarthLink vs Spectrum Internet - Which One is Better?


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  • Speeds Up to 1 Gbps
  • Available in 41 States
  • No Contract

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(877) 654-4997

Starting at


  • Speeds Up to 5 Gbps
  • Available in 48 States
  • 12 Months Contract

Call to Order

(877) 652-0821

The internet has become an integral part of our daily lives, and a reliable service provider is crucial to ensuring a seamless online experience. Choosing the right internet service provider can be confusing, especially if you have to choose between the two leading companies, EarthLink and Spectrum. 

Both companies serve many customers and provide various services for different needs. But which one is truly the better option based on your specific requirements?

To help you select between EarthLink or Spectrum, let’s delve into a detailed comparison of the two internet service providers (ISPs) and discuss the pros and cons of each, examine their internet service offerings, additional costs, and much more.

Table of Contents


EarthLink started in 1994 in the USA. Now, it is the second biggest internet provider in the country, serving almost 78% of US homes across 48 states. They provide DSL, fiber, and satellite internet for homes and businesses.

With EarthLink, you can get up to a staggering 5 Gbps of internet speeds. Although EarthLink is one of the largest internet suppliers in the country, its pricing structure is above the average cost mark, and its plans start at $54.95 per month. 



  • Wide coverage area
  • Unlimited data on most plans
  • Fiber options available in some areas
  • Speeds of up to 5 Gbps


  • Higher cost compared to some competitors
  • Speed and availability vary by location


Like EarthLink, Spectrum is also one of the largest internet companies in the country, with more than 32 million registered users. Spectrum, a brand of Charter Communications, was launched in 2014 and provides its services in 41 states. 

Spectrum mainly offers cable and fiber-coaxial internet services to its business and residential customers. Its internet plans range from 300 Mbps to 1 Gbps. 

Unlike EarthLink, Spectrum also provides TV connections and bundle offers. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of Spectrum.



  • No contracts required
  • Free modem
  • A nationwide network of Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Self-installation option


  • Price increases after the first year
  • Limited fiber availability

Internet Service Comparison – EarthLink vs Spectrum

If you are a heavy internet user, choosing between Spectrum or EarthLink is important to ensure a seamless experience. 

Let’s look at an overview to understand the differences between the two companies before discussing the pricing and plans of Spectrum and EarthLink.

Feature EarthLink Spectrum
Internet Type DSL or Fiber Cable or Fiber
Speed Up to 5 Gbps*  Up to 1 Gbps
Data Caps Unlimited Data Unlimited Data
Availability Nationwide, fiber availability is limited Widespread (41 states), but service areas may vary
Price Range  $54.95/mo. – $189.95/mo. (with Auto Pay) $49.99/mo. – $79.99/mo.**(with Auto Pay)
Promo Pricing  No Yes
Customer Reviews 3.39/5 4.05/5
Bundles Internet only Can bundle internet with cable TV and phone
*EarthLink’s multigigabit speeds are available in select few markets.
**Spectrum’s promotional prices are subject to change after 12 or 24 months of service, depending on the choice of your plan.

Plans & Pricing Details – EarthLink vs Spectrum Internet

Internet connectivity continues to be an indispensable aspect of modern life. Understanding the offerings and prices of these providers becomes crucial for consumers seeking the most suitable and cost-effective solution for their needs. 


Although EarthLink has a higher customer rating and satisfaction level, its cost is slightly higher than Spectrum. Let’s take a detailed look at its plans and monthly fees. 

EarthLink Fiber Internet Plans
Plans Starting Price Max Speed Type
Fiber 100  $59.95/mo.  100 Mbps  Fiber
Fiber 300  $69.95/mo.  300 Mbps  Fiber
Fiber 500  $79.95/mo.  500 Mbps  Fiber
Fiber 1,000  $89.95/mo. 1,000 Mbps  Fiber
Fiber 2,000  $129.95/mo.  2,000 Mbps  Fiber
Fiber 5,000 $189.95/mo.  5,000 Mbps  Fiber
DSL 12 $54.95/mo 12 Mbps DSL
DSL 24 $59.95/mo. 24 Mbps DSL
DSL 45 $64.95/mo. 45 Mbps DSL
DSL 75 $69.95/mo. 75 Mbps DSL
100 GB Wireless $59.95/mo. 100 Mbps Wireless 
150 GB Wireless $84.95/mo. 100 Mbps Wireless 
200 GB Wireless $109.95/mo. 100 Mbps Wireless 
300 GB Wireless $159.95/mo. 100 Mbps Wireless 
*Taxes and surcharges apply.
*The monthly internet fees are subject to change.
*Availability of the plans and services may vary based on your location within the country.


The average cost of internet in the USA is about $60—$90 per month. Compared to this, Spectrum’s internet speeds and prices are economical, at least in the promo period. Here is a breakdown of their pricing structure and plans.

Spectrum Internet Plans
Plans Starting Price  Max Speed Type
Internet $49.99/mo. 300 Mbps Fiber-cable 
Internet Ultra $69.99/mo. 500 Mbps Fiber-cable 
Internet Gig $79.99/mo.  1,000 Mbps Fiber-cable 
The price of Spectrum Internet 300 is subject to change after 12 months, and the regular rates for Internet Ultra and Internet Gig apply after 24 months.
Prices are mentioned with an Auto Pay and paperless billing discount.

Additional Costs – Spectrum vs EarthLink 

Installation Fee 

While the monthly charges for both Spectrum and EarthLink are reasonable, there are some additional costs that users should be aware of before opting for a service. One of the add-on expenses that users might have to pay is the installation fee. The professional setup fee for EarthLink varies from plan to plan but may reach up to $79.95. 

Unlike EarthLink, Spectrum offers options for both self and professional installation. The company provides a self-install kit, which you can buy from a store or order by email from the company. The kit includes a step-by-step guide. So, you can perform the installation yourself. However, even with the self-install option, you must pay $30 as an activation fee. Apart from this, the company also provides professional installation service that costs around $65. 

Equipment Fee

In addition to the installation fee, you will also have to pay $14.95 per month to rent the modem/router from EarthLink. 

In contrast, if you opt for Spectrum Internet, there are no additional rental charges for the modem since the company provides it for free. 

However, if you want a Wi-Fi service, you can rent it from the company for just $7 per month. This additional cost diminishes if you choose the Spectrum Internet GIG plan, which includes a Wi-Fi device by default. Additionally, if you require Wi-Fi pods, you can rent them from the company for just $3 per month. 

Early Termination Fee 

EarthLink internet plans come with a 12-month contract, and you will have to pay a heavy fine of $200 for early termination. 

On the other hand, Spectrum offers its services without binding contracts, allowing you to terminate your subscription anytime. However, after the promo period of 12 months, the company increases its monthly cost significantly, which might be cumbersome for users. 

TV & Internet Bundles – Spectrum vs EarthLink

It is where Spectrum stands out. The company provides TV and phone packages along with internet services. On the contrary, EarthLink is primarily an internet service provider and does not offer bundle deals with TV services.

Better Option for Gaming – Spectrum or EarthLink?

For gaming, stable and high-speed internet is crucial. Spectrum’s cable internet provides consistently high speeds and is generally considered better for gaming compared to EarthLink’s services. 

According to a report by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the actual internet speed provided by Spectrum is close to advertised speeds, which is extremely important for gamers and streamers. 

Wider Coverage Area – EarthLink or Spectrum?

In terms of availability and coverage area, EarthLink is the clear winner as it provides its services in 48 states or across the contiguous USA. On the other hand, Spectrum currently offers its services to only 41 states. 

Better Customer Service – EarthLink or Spectrum

Comparing customer service between EarthLink and Spectrum is not straightforward. Different customer surveys provide different results. 

Spectrum has earned its place in the country’s prestigious customer satisfaction indices and surveys. In the American Customer Satisfaction Index – 2023, Spectrum scored 64 out of 100 points in the non-fiber ISPs category, just 2 points below the industry average. Whereas, EarthLink was not mentioned by name in the list.  

Similarly, EarthLink is hard to find in the J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey. However, Spectrum is a few points below the region average scores in East, West, South, and North Central regions. 

Therefore, Spectrum’s customer service supercedes EarthLink’s.

Final Verdict – EarthLink or Spectrum?

Spectrum and Earthlink are among the largest ISPs in the USA, and the final choice drills down to your specific requirements and priorities. If you require vast coverage areas and availability, then EarthLink might be a better choice. 

However, if you are looking for a no-contract option with consistent speeds and better gaming performance, Spectrum could be the way to go.

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