Comparing options is an effective way to secure a great deal for yourself.
What if you could enjoy internet speeds over a Gig, unlimited data, and no contracts at a reasonable price? It sounds too good to be true. Well, that’s what Spectrum and WOW! claim to offer to their customers.
Spectrum and WOW! are two broadband network providers offering hybrid fiber-cable internet connections. They also provide cable TV and home phone bundles, making their services quite similar and easy to compare. They serve millions of customers across 41 and 6 states, respectively.
If you want to know the differences between Spectrum and WOW!, we have gathered all the information you need to know before making a switch.
Spectrum’s service stands out for its simplicity and flexibility. It is one of the largest telecommunication companies in the United States. Spectrum offers a range of services, including internet, cable TV, home phone, and mobile, to about 32 million customers in 41 states. Spectrum is the second-largest cable internet provider in the nation.
Spectrum’s internet service is powered by a hybrid fiber-coaxial cable network (which combines fiber optics with the reliability of coaxial cables). Their service has won several awards for its performance and customer satisfaction.
Spectrum also provides cable TV and home phone services through its network, as well as mobile service through its partnership with Verizon Wireless. It has strong coverage in urban areas, but it may not be available in rural regions.
Besides all that, Spectrum does not require customers to sign any contracts, pay any termination fees, or undergo any credit checks. You can also get your money back in 30 days if you don’t like their service. This makes Spectrum a very attractive option for customers who want a hassle-free and reliable internet service.
WOW!, short for WideOpenWest, is a telecommunications company that provides fast and good internet service. Interestingly, the acronym represents what the brand expects customers to say after trying out the service. WOW! may not be as well-known as other cable internet providers, but it is a competitive and customer-friendly option for those who can access it.
You can get 100 Mbps to 1.2 Gbps over their robust coaxial cable network. Currently, their service is available in different parts of six states of the US.
WOW! is also improving its service by using only fiber-optic cables in some places, like Mauldin, South Carolina. WOW! plans to distribute their fast internet service to 400,000 more homes by 2027. This will expand their service area by 21%.
Like Spectrum, WOW! also provides cable TV and home phone service to its customers. The main drawback is that their service is only available in some places, especially in the countryside.
Spectrum has a bigger and more widespread service area, while WOW! is a smaller and cheaper option. Both providers have internet plans with fast download speeds, no contracts, and bundle deals. But they also have differences in price range, data caps, upload speeds, and customer satisfaction. Here is a table that compares the main features of Spectrum and WOW!:
|$49.99 – $79.99/mo.for 24 mos*
|$19.99* – $94.99*/mo.for 12 mos*
|Download Speed Range
|300 – 1,000 Mbps
|100 – 1,200 Mbps
|Upload Speed Range
|10 – 35 Mbps
|10 – 50 Mbps
|Hybrid fiber-coaxial cable
|Hybrid fiber-coaxial cable
WOW!, with its range of speed options and competitive pricing, it is great for families of different sizes and internet needs.
Spectrum offers three-speed plans. Their basic plan starts at 300 Mbps, which is quite fast, especially when you compare it to WOW! which starts its plans at 100 Mbps. This plan is priced at $49.99 per month for the first year. The Spectrum Gig plan is another option, offering even higher speeds, though its cost might be a consideration for some. Notably, Spectrum’s pricing is straightforward, with no hidden taxes, fees, or contractual obligations. After the first year, the price increases by $35.
These plans might seem excessive for solo gamers or casual internet users who do not require such high speeds. Interestingly, Spectrum does have a 100 Mbps plan, but it is only available for families eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program.
|Spectrum Internet Plans
WOW! offers good value for the speeds you get. They have five cable internet plans, so you can choose one that fits your household size and internet usage. The cheapest plan starts with 100 Mbps, which is enough for a small to medium-sized family.
If you have a large family or use a lot of internet, like for gaming or streaming, their 1,000 Mbps or 1,200 Mbps plans are great options. Another plus for WOW! is that their prices stay pretty much the same after the promotional period ends, unlike Spectrum, where you can expect a $30 increase.
A significant advantage of WOW is they have higher upload speeds compared to many cable internet providers. For example, their Internet 500 plan has an upload speed of 50 Mbps, which is higher than the upload speed of 20 Mbps offered on Spectrum’s Internet Ultra plan.
|WOW! Internet Plans
|Internet 1.2 Gig
Both Spectrum and WOW! have crafted bundle deals to cater to the needs of their customers, each with its features and benefits. Let’s unwrap these bundles to see what they offer.
Starting with Spectrum, they offer a range of options. Their internet and cable TV bundles are great for those who love to surf the web and catch up on their favorite shows. Then there’s the 3-in-1 bundles, which take it a notch higher by adding a home phone service into the mix, ideal for anyone looking for a complete home communication solution.
But Spectrum ups the game with its Spectrum One deal. It is an all-in-one package where you get Internet with free WiFi and Mobile services. What’s more, they recently spiced it up and launched Spectrum One Stream by adding Spectrum TV and a complimentary Xumo Stream Box for the first year. This package is a buffet of services – Internet, Advanced WiFi, Mobile Unlimited, Spectrum TV, and the Xumo Stream Box, all in one. It’s perfect for those who want everything under one roof.
On the other side, WOW! keeps things a bit more streamlined but equally appealing. They have two main bundle types: Internet + TV and Internet + Mobile. The Internet + TV option combines their Internet service with YouTube TV. This comes with the flexibility of choosing from five different plans based on your internet speed needs – a custom-fit approach for your viewing and browsing habits.
Then there’s the Internet + WOW! Mobile bundle. This one’s particularly attractive for new customers because of its affordability – starting at just $24.99 per month. It’s a straightforward combo of internet and 5G mobile service.
Spectrum goes big with a wide array of services in its bundles, especially with the all-encompassing Spectrum One. WOW!, meanwhile, focuses on providing targeted, efficient internet and TV/mobile packages at competitive prices.
Gaming is a popular and demanding online activity that requires a fast and reliable internet connection. In fact, 3 out of 4 households in America have a gamer. Many gamers wonder which internet provider is best for gaming when they have to choose between two similar cable providers, as in the case of Spectrum and WOW. We need to look at different factors to decide which provider is a better pick for gaming.
Both Spectrum and WOW! offer up to Gig internet speeds. But, WOW! has an edge over Spectrum in terms of upload speed. Spectrum generally offers upload speeds from 10 to 35 Mbps, whereas WOW! can offer upload speeds from 10 to 50 Mbps. Upload speeds are important for playing games, and also for activities like streaming your gameplay.
The lower the latency or ping, the better the gaming experience, as it means less delay, jitter, and packet loss. Both Spectrum and WOW! have low latency, averaging around 20 ms, which is well below the recommended threshold of 100 ms for gaming. However, latency can vary depending on the game, the server, the network congestion, and the distance from the provider’s infrastructure.
Data caps limit affect your gaming experience if you exceed them. Some providers impose these caps to manage network traffic and might charge extra if you exceed them. WOW! is one such provider, with their initial plans (100 and 200) having 1.5 TB limits and even their Internet Gig plan having a 3 TB data cap. Only their fastest cable plan, ‘Internet 1.2 Gig,’ offers unlimited data.
Luckily, Spectrum does not impose data caps, allowing you to enjoy gaming without worrying about exceeding data limits or facing additional fees. Therefore, if you use a lot of data, opting for WOW!’s initial plans is not recommended.
After all, the best services are of no use if they are not accessible in your area. Let’s compare Spectrum and WOW! in terms of their reach and availability to see which provider covers more ground.
Spectrum clearly has the upper hand with its service reaching 41 states. WOW!, while smaller in network size reaches six states. However, it is growing and could become more widely available in the future.
Spectrum has a wide-reaching network, serving about 32 million customers across 41 states. Spectrum’s network covers nearly a third of the country, making it one of the most accessible cable internet providers. Spectrum’s top five states with the most availability are Ohio, Maine, New York, Wisconsin, and North Carolina.
While Spectrum is widespread, like most cable internet providers, it might not reach certain rural areas. If you are in a less populated region, you may need to look into other internet service options.
In comparison, WOW! has a smaller footprint compared to Spectrum. It operates in 2 million homes in 15 markets within six states in the Midwest and Southeast US. These states include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
While WOW!’s coverage is more concentrated, they are expanding their network. They are working on constructing an all-fiber network in some regions.
When picking any service, how they handle customer service is really noteworthy. Good support can make a big difference, especially if you encounter problems or have questions.
Spectrum’s customer service has seen improvements over the years. They have made some progress, but there is still room for improvement.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) provides a broader view. Spectrum experienced an increase in customer satisfaction in 2023, reaching 64 points. It maintained this score consistently, even amidst industry-wide dips. Considering the general low ranking of internet customer service across industries, Spectrum’s score suggests it is doing reasonably well.
In a study by J.D. Power in 2023, Spectrum’s scores were not as high as other carriers in the same regions. For example, in the South, they scored 728 out of 1,000, which was behind companies like AT&T and Xfinity.
WOW!’s customer service seems a bit more hit or miss. They are not listed in the ACSI report. But, in the 2023 J.D. Power study, WOW! did pretty well in the North Central region of the US. They got a score of 694 out of 1,000, which is higher than Spectrum for that region.
Both Spectrum and WOW! offer great features like gigabit internet speeds, no contracts, and bundles. But as they say, the devil is in the details, and that is where your decision might tilt.
The lack of data caps and the availability of high-speed plans play in Spectrum’s favor. However, it is not all roses. After the first year, prices jump significantly, and if you are in a remote area, you might find Spectrum’s service lacking.
On the other hand, WOW!, though limited in its geographical footprint, stands out with competitive pricing. WOW!’s higher upload speeds are a boon for content creators and heavy uploaders. But it is not without its drawbacks – WOW! has data caps on most plans, and its customer satisfaction ratings do not match up to its claims.
So, what is the final verdict? If you value widespread availability, and flexibility, and are a heavy internet user, Spectrum is the way to go. However, if you are in an area covered by WOW! and are seeking good value for money with decent speeds, WOW! could be your ideal pick.