EarthLink vs Spectrum - Which One is Better?


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for 12 mos.*

  • Speeds Up to 1000 Mbps
  • Available in 41 States
  • No Contract

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(877) 654-4997

Starting at


for 12 mos.*

  • Speeds Up to 100 Mbps
  • Available in 48 States
  • Requires Contract

Call to Order

(877) 652-0821

Are you ready to break free from the confines of a slow and unreliable internet service? Look no further than the ultimate showdown between EarthLink and Spectrum. You won’t lose in this battle of the internet as either choice will leave you with a faster and more reliable internet connection. So, are you ready to pick a side?

On one side, we have EarthLink, the provider that puts customers first with its top-notch customer support. And on the other hand, we have Spectrum, the provider known for its lightning-fast speeds and a wide range of services, including cable TV, mobile, and phone.

But let’s get real for a moment. Choosing the best internet provider is not just about the technical specs and price points. It’s about finding a provider that fits your unique needs and lifestyle. Therefore, carefully evaluate your requirements and ask yourself what you value the most. It’s time to ask yourself the tough questions. Let the battle begin to see which provider will come out on top.

Table of Contents

Internet Service Comparison – EarthLink vs Spectrum

Features Spectrum EarthLink
Starting Price Range $49.99/mo. – $89.99/mo. $54.95/mo. – $189.95/mo.
Speed Range 300 Mbps – 1000 Mbps 10 Mbps – 5000 Mbps
Internet Type Cable DSL, Fiber, Fixed Wireless
Contracts None Yes
Equipment Fee Yes Yes
Installation Fee Yes Yes
Coverage Area 41 states 48 states

While America does not lack internet providers, EarthLink and Spectrum are two popular choices. They both have a large customer base due to their extensive availability. However, there are significant differences between the two providers. Spectrum offers cable internet service, while EarthLink provides access to the internet via various technologies, such as DSL, fiber, and fixed wireless. These differences affect the speed, reliability, and specifications of your internet connection.

We will break down the similarities and differences between EarthLink and Spectrum to help you determine which provider is right for you. So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to explore the world of these two popular internet service providers!


EarthLink is a well-known internet service provider, operating for over two decades. Founded in 1994, EarthLink initially provided dial-up internet access but has since expanded its services to include DSL, fiber, fixed wireless, and satellite internet. And while EarthLink is an independent company, it relies on other providers’ networks to deliver its services to customers across 48 states.

EarthLink internet plans, including high-speed options suitable for heavy internet users who regularly stream content or work from home. But what makes EarthLink so popular? One of its most significant advantages is its flexibility in delivering internet access through different technologies. For example, its fixed wireless internet service provides reliable internet access to rural areas, while its satellite internet service allows customers to access the internet from almost anywhere in the country. EarthLink’s fiber-optic internet service is also gaining popularity due to its fast and reliable speeds.

Overall, EarthLink is an attractive option for people looking for reliable internet service and excellent customer support. Furthermore, its commitment to providing internet access to customers in rural areas and remote locations is helping bridge the digital divide in the country.



  • Multiple plan options
  • Nationwide availability
  • Fast fiber internet speeds
  • No data caps
  • No price hike after first 12 months of service
  • Excellent customer service and support


  • High internet costs
  • A 1-year contract on all plans
  • Varying internet speeds depending on location


Spectrum is a highly reputable and renowned internet service provider in the United States. The brand was officially introduced in 2014 by Charter Communications, which had been marketing telecommunications services primarily under the Charter brand since 1993. Spectrum experienced significant growth after acquiring and merging with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. Today, it offers a diverse range of services, including internet, TV, and phone, to customers in over 41 states across the nation.

While there are many reasons for its popularity, its state-of-the-art Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC) network is the key feature that sets Spectrum apart from its competitors. This technology allows for faster internet speeds and more reliable service than traditional cable networks, making it a preferred option for residential and business customers.

Overall, Spectrum’s combination of state-of-the-art technology, fast and reliable internet speeds, and extensive availability make it an attractive choice for anyone looking for a high-quality internet service provider.



  • Transparent price structure
  • Free modem
  • Unlimited data
  • No contracts
  • Reliable service


  • Price hike after 12 months
  • Limited internet plans

Internet Plans & Pricing – EarthLink vs Spectrum

EarthLink and Spectrum are two of the most popular internet service providers in the United States, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Let’s see how they actually compare in terms of their internet offerings.


With a selection of plans to meet the various demands of its clients, EarthLink is a leading competitor in the market for internet service providers. EarthLink covers all your needs by providing internet access via different technologies, with speeds ranging from 10 Mbps to a staggering 5 Gbps, depending on your location.

Although EarthLink’s plans starting rates are on the pricier side, the provider compensates for them by being upfront about their pricing. Unlike other providers that use low promotional rates to attract customers, only to increase them astronomically after the first year, EarthLink’s plans are priced differently, without any hidden fees or unpleasant surprises. The lowest-priced EarthLink internet plan starts at $54.95 per month, while the most expensive one costs around $189.95.

So if you’re looking for a reliable internet service provider that provides excellent speeds and transparent pricing, EarthLink might be the perfect choice for your household.

EarthLink Internet Plans

Monthly Price Internet Speed Internet Type
$54.95/mo. 12 Mbps DSL
$59.95/mo. 24 Mbps DSL
$64.95/mo. 45 Mbps DSL
$69.95/mo. 75 Mbps DSL
$59.95/mo. 100 Mbps Fiber
$69.95/mo. 300 Mbps Fiber
$79.95/mo. 500 Mbps Fiber
$89.95/mo. 1000 Mbps Fiber
$129.95/mo. 2000 Mbps Fiber
$189.95/mo. 5000 Mbps Fiber


Spectrum values simplicity and transparency, offering three plans across its entire coverage area. These plans are distinguished by speed, ranging from 300 Mbps to 1000 Mbps, allowing customers to choose the one that best suits their internet usage needs.

What sets Spectrum apart from EarthLink is its consistent pricing. While EarthLink’s plans can be pricier and vary by location, Spectrum keeps things simple with a starting price of around $49.99 per month for the lowest-tier plan, and $89.99 per month for its highest-tier for the first 12 months. However, keep in mind that the prices for the Spectrum internet plans will increase after the initial promotional period ends.

Despite the increase, Spectrum offers a collection of benefits that make it one of the most dependable internet providers on the market. They do not require long-term contracts, meaning you can easily switch plans or providers without any hassle. Additionally, Spectrum provides unlimited data, a free modem, and a 30-day money-back guarantee to ensure the best service possible.

In short, Spectrum Internet® plans may seem less varied than EarthLink, but their simplicity and reliability make them an attractive option for many customers.

Spectrum Internet Plans

Plan Price Speed Contact Spectrum
Internet $49.99/mo. 300 Mbps Call Now
Internet Ultra $69.99/mo. 500 Mbps Call Now
Internet Gig $89.99/mo. 1000 Mbps Call Now


EarthLink and Spectrum take different approaches to their internet speeds. EarthLink’s speeds depend on your location and the available technology. If you’re lucky enough to live in EarthLink’s fiber footprint, you can get lightning-fast speeds of up to 5000 Mbps, but if you’re not, its DSL internet will only offer speeds of up to 75 Mbps. However, the downside to EarthLink’s speed offerings is that they can vary significantly based on where you live, so you might not get the speeds you want.

In contrast, Spectrum offers a more consistent experience with only three-speed tiers within its service area, with download speeds of up to 1000 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 35 Mbps. It means that regardless of your location, you can expect the same level of performance from Spectrum’s Internet service. Overall, EarthLink may offer faster speeds in certain areas, but Spectrum provides a more uniform experience throughout its coverage area.

Internet Speed EarthLink Spectrum
Download Speed 300 Mbps – 1000 Mbps
Upload Speed 10 Mbps – 50 Mbps
DSL Download Speed 10 Mbps – 75 Mbps
DSL Upload Speed 1 Mbps – 8 Mbps
Fiber Download Speed 100 Mbps- 5000 Mbps
Fiber Upload Speed 100 Mbps – 5000 Mbps

Data Caps

Spectrum and EarthLink provide unlimited data with their wired internet plans, allowing you to stream, download, and browse as much as you want without worrying about hitting a data limit. This is excellent news for customers living in densely populated areas.

However, you might have to rely on EarthLink’s wireless internet service if you reside in a rural area. It’s worth noting that EarthLink’s fixed wireless internet plans come with data caps that range from 100 to 200 GB. While these caps may be sufficient for light internet users, heavy users or families who frequently stream and download large files may find them restrictive.


Spectrum and EarthLink have different policies in this regard. Spectrum does not tie you to a long-term agreement as it offers contract-free plans, allowing you to switch to another provider or plan without facing any penalty fees. On the other hand, EarthLink’s internet plans require a one-year contract, and if you decide to terminate it before the end of the term, you will have to pay a hefty early termination fee (ETF) of $200. This can be a drawback for those who don’t want to commit to a provider for a long time and prefer the flexibility of month-to-month service.

Equipment Charges

Spectrum may be the more appealing choice if you are on a budget, as it provides a free modem and only requires $5 for its WiFi service. In contrast, EarthLink charges a monthly equipment rental fee ranging from $7 to $15, even though it uses the equipment of other ISPs. You can avoid this fee from both providers by purchasing the equipment.

Provider Equipment Fee
Modem – Free
WiFi router – $5.00/mo.
WiFi Pod – $3.00/unit per month
Rental Fee – $7 – $15/mo.
Buyout Fee – $74.95

Installation Charges

Setting up your internet service is an essential step, but it can also come with a significant installation fee. Fortunately, Spectrum offers two affordable options: you can opt for a professional installation for just $59.99 or perform the installation yourself for just $24.99. In contrast, the $80 installation charge for EarthLink’s installation might strain your budget. So, Spectrum may be the better choice for you if you’re looking for a more cost-effective option.

Provider Installation Fee
Pro-installation: $59.99
Self-installation: $24.99
Pro-installation: $79.95

Perks – Spectrum vs EarthLink

Perks are an essential consideration when selecting an internet service provider. Here are some of the perks offered by EarthLink and Spectrum:


  • Time-limited free installation on its fiber internet plan
  • $100 MasterCard reward for new fiber internet customers
  • Security suite for protecting your devices against viruses and malware
  • 24/7 customer support



  • Spectrum One bundle with savings of over $400 for a year
  • Free modem and low-cost WiFi service
  • Access to Spectrum TV app for streaming live TV channels and on-demand content
  • Access to thousands of free WiFi hotspots
  • 24/7 customer support


Coverage Area – Spectrum vs EarthLink

EarthLink and Spectrum have an advantage over others due to their wide availability, allowing them to cater to a broad range of customers. While Spectrum is available in 41 states and primarily serves densely populated areas, EarthLink’s internet services are available in 48 states, making it a more widely accessible option. EarthLink’s coverage extends beyond urban areas to reach rural areas as well, thanks to its use of different technologies such as DSL, fiber, and fixed wireless. This wider availability means that EarthLink can serve a more diverse audience, including those living in remote or less populated areas, whereas Spectrum may not be available in certain regions.

Customer Service – EarthLink vs Spectrum

EarthLink and Spectrum have different reputations in terms of customer satisfaction. While EarthLink is not covered by significant customer services reviewers like ACSI and J.D. Power, it is known for providing excellent customer service, as evidenced by its A-plus rating from BBB (Better Business Bureau). On the other hand, Spectrum’s customer service has shown promising improvement over time, maintaining its score in ACSI’s report and creating a personal record in the South region in J.D. Power’s Study.

Which One is good for Gaming – EarthLink or Spectrum?

As an avid gamer, there’s nothing more frustrating than being in the middle of an action-packed play, and suddenly experiencing lag that freezes your character and boots you out of the game. That’s why you need a reliable internet connection to keep up with your gameplay. The most critical factor for gamers is latency, which refers to the time it takes for your device to communicate with the game server.

If you want the best gaming experience, fiber internet is the way to go, as it has the lowest latency rates. Therefore, if EarthLink offers fiber internet in your area, it’s definitely worth considering. However, if you can’t get fiber, Spectrum’s cable internet is the next best option, with a relatively low latency rate.

Final Verdict – EarthLink or Spectrum

EarthLink vs Spectrum is a tough comparison to make since both providers have their own advantages and disadvantages. EarthLink has wider availability and better customer service, while Spectrum offers more affordable pricing, better equipment charges, and better reliability. If you are an avid gamer and have access to EarthLink’s fiber internet, it is the ideal option due to its low latency rates. However, Spectrum may be the better choice for your family if you want a more budget-friendly option. Ultimately, the final choice comes down to your individual needs and preferences. So, take your time and analyze your requirements before settling for either provider.

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