Spectrum Business Internet Review: Compare pricing & plan options


Is Spectrum Cable Business Internet worth it? Contractless plans, speeds up to 300 Mbps, and exceptional entertainment bundles make Spectrum cable worth a look as your small business internet provider.

Overall Rating4 / 5
Plan prices starting at $59.99/mo.
Cable speeds up to 300 Mbps
No-contract cable plans
Poor customer satisfaction

Consumers may be cutting their cable television cords, but cable internet is alive and kicking. And for small business owners, cable from providers like Spectrum is a good option for running your online business operations at high speeds and reasonable costs.

Recommended Spectrum business internet plans

PlanBest forStarting price (per month)Max download / upload speedWhat you getLearn more
Internet PlusCheapest$59.99100 / 10 Mbps
  • Speed for up to 10 users, moderate file sharing, and backups
  • Free tech services
  • No contracts
View Plan
Internet MaxFastest$139.99300 / 7-20Mbps
  • Speed for up to 10 to 20 users, heavy data transfers, backups, and web hosting
  • Free tech services
  • No contracts
View Plan
Triple PlayBest Bundle$99.97100 / 10 Mbps
  • Speed for up to 10 users, moderate file sharing, and backups
  • Phone with free, unlimited local and long-distance calls
  • 45+ channel TV with HD
  • Free tech services
  • No contracts
View Plan

Data effective 02/02/18. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

So is Spectrum internet a good investment for your business? According to our research, that depends on what type of business you run.

Spectrum Business is best for bars, restaurants, and offices that want stellar TV packages

Spectrum offers several enticing internet bundles that include cable TV packages. Businesses that need to keep customers entertained while they wait, shop, or eat have the most to gain by taking advantage of these bundles.

But even for other company types, solo cable internet plans from Spectrum aren’t too shabby. That’s because the plans are fast and affordable, and they include lots of tantalizing technology services.

If you’re looking for a cheap internet option, you can’t do much better than Spectrum’s $59.99 per month Internet Plus cable plan. This plan gets you download speeds up to 100 Mbps, which is enough for about 10 connected devices at a time.

The greatest thing about all of these plans and bundles? Each of them is contract-free and comes with free technology packages.

On the other hand, if it’s speed you crave, consider the Internet Max plan. For $139.99 per month, your download speeds jump up to 300 Mbps with upload speeds ranging between 7 and 20 Mbps. At those rates, you can connect several more devices and more easily download and upload large files.

Find out how much internet speed you need for your business with Spectrum’s bandwidth calculator.

Our third recommendation is for those bars and restaurants or offices with waiting rooms. Spectrum’s business-class Triple Play bundle combines the 100 Mbps internet plan with affordable phone and TV services. Employees can make free local and long-distance phone calls. And customers can stay entertained with HD-enabled TV channels.

The greatest thing about all of these plans and bundles? Each is contract-free and comes with free technology packages that can help you get more out of your internet plan. We give you more details about these perks in the sections below.

Things to consider about Spectrum

Broadband cable debuted in the mid-twentieth century as a way to deliver television to viewers, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the technology was repurposed for high-speed internet.1 Since Spectrum (a Charter Communications brand) acquired Time Warner Cable in 2016,2 the company has expanded its broadband cable and other internet services across the United States.

Above, we told you what we like about Spectrum—and there’s a lot of likes to give. But what about the not-so-greats? Here’s a rundown of the good and bad of Spectrum business internet.

Thumbs Up

Strengths

  • Awesomely affordable high-speed plans
  • Zero monthly contracts
  • Truckloads of free tech upgrades
  • Special offers for bars and restaurants
Thumbs Down

Weaknesses

  • Slowish upload speeds
  • Gloomy customer service ratings
  • Fragmented fiber availability

Although cable internet can get you faster download speeds than many competitors in the DSL internet game, Spectrum’s cable upload speeds are unimpressive. The fastest upload speed Spectrum advertises is 20 Mbps, but that figure is displayed as a range of 7 to 20, so your actual upload speeds may not be that high.

Upload speeds are important for avoiding interruptions with large-file downloads and backups, VoIP service, and video conferences. If your business needs these services, you may run into trouble with Spectrum’s cable internet plans.

You should also be wary of Spectrum’s low customer satisfaction ratings, as reported by several organizations. Read more about these ratings below.

Ultimately, there are several things to like and dislike about Spectrum, so consider your business priorities before making a decision.

Watch out

The upload speeds for Spectrum cable plans don’t vary much from plan-to-plan, so only pay for more speed if you care about doubling or tripling your download speeds.

Spectrum business internet speeds and pricing

Spectrum offers a simple suite of internet plans—an upside or downside, depending on what you’re looking for. Cable internet plans range in download speeds up to 300 Mbps. Spectrum also offers fiber plans, but—as we’ll explain—details about fiber service are limited.

Cable internet plans

Starting at 100 Mbps download speeds, Spectrum cable comes in three flavors: Plus, Pro, or Max. As we mentioned above, the upload speeds are lackluster, but the download speeds pack a punch.

PlanStarting price (per month)Max download speedMax upload speedLearn more
Internet Plus$59.99100 Mbps10 MbpsView Plan
Internet Pro$99.99200 Mbps7 to 15 MbpsView Plan
Internet Max$139.99300 Mbps7 to 20 MbpsView Plan

Data effective 02/02/18. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

We didn’t include the Internet Pro plan in our recommendations—but that doesn’t mean it’s a terrible choice. At $99.99, this plan is a good middle ground in terms of price and speed and still comes with the no-contract agreement and all the extras offered with the other plans.

Fiber internet plans

Spectrum is building a fiber-optic network across the United States, so you may be able to snag one of these lightning-speed plans in your area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to dig up particular plan and pricing details, but we did find a list of Spectrum fiber coverage maps.

Check out the maps to see if Spectrum fiber has reached your business’s location, and then contact the company at 888-692-8635 to learn more.

Not sure which option will help you grow?

Transform your business with a free assessment, and get a tailored recommendation for services that will drive better results.

Bundles and packages: Keep customers connected and entertained

Internet service providers love to bundle. They’re savvy enough to know that if they offer discounts for combined services, you may be tempted to take advantage of the deal.

Fortunately, Spectrum’s business bundles are worth considering. These packages, named after baseball terms, combine reasonably fast internet with phone or TV services—or both. Plus, just like Spectrum’s internet plans, each bundle is contract-free, which we think is a home run.

Bundled servicesStarting price (per month)What you getLearn more
Double Play Plus$74.98
  • 100 Mbps download speed and free tech services
  • Phone with free, unlimited local and long-distance calls
  • No contracts
View Bundles
Double Play Pro$109.98
  • 200 Mbps download speed and free tech services
  • Phone with free, unlimited local and long-distance calls
  • No contracts
View Bundles
Double Play Plus$99.97
  • 100 Mbps download speed and free tech services
  • Phone with free, unlimited local and long-distance calls
  • 45+ channel TV including HD
  • No contracts
View Bundles

Data effective 02/02/18. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Technology: Extra useful and extra free

One shining facet of Spectrum’s prism of internet services is all the technology the company throws in for free. There are also a few paid services you can buy to truly tailor your business internet experience.

From Cloud backups to web hosting, here are all the tech upgrades we found Spectrum serving up.

Free services

ServiceDescription
Cap-free data usageUse data without limits on your business internet plan
Cloud backupGet 100 GB free to back up your vital business data
EmailAssign 25 custom email addresses with your own domain name
Internet securityProtect your business from viruses, spyware, spam, and more with Spectrum’s unique Internet Security Solution
ModemLease a cable modem for free on plans up to 300 Mbps
Wi-Fi Encourage customers to stick around by connecting to a unique Wi-Fi network
Web hosting and domain nameCreate and host a professional website, including a unique domain name and 5 GB of web storage

Paid services

ServiceDescription
Private business Wi-FiConnect any employee or device to a secure and private Wi-Fi network
Static IP addressMake it easier to host your own servers, VPNs, and more with unchanging IPs

Unfortunately, we couldn’t find pricing for these paid services. Ask a Spectrum representative if you’re interested in Spectrum’s private Wi-Fi or static IPs.

Reliability and support: Nothing out of the ordinary

You should be able to count on a reliable connection from your business internet provider. Service outages—or downtime—result in interruptions to essential operations like email, file sharing, and point-of-sale systems.

Let’s see what kind of reliability you can expect from Spectrum business class internet.

Uptime and latency: Down with downtime

Uptime is the percentage of time you can expect working internet. Although we didn’t find a Spectrum uptime service level agreement online, a chat with a customer service representative confirmed that the company guarantees business internet uptime at 99.9%.

That figure sounds nearly perfect, but according to our research, 99.9% is about the industry average. Verizon offers a stronger uptime guarantee of 99.99%.
What does that mean in real time? Take a look at how several uptime guarantees translate into seconds, minutes, or hours of downtime over longer periods.

GuaranteeDowntime per monthDowntime per year
99.9%
(Spectrum cable, CenturyLink DSL, AT&T fiber*)
43.8 minutes8.76 hours
99.95%
(Verizon DSL*)
21.9 minutes4.38 hours
99.99%
(Verizon fiber*)
4.38 minutes52.56 minutes
99.998%
(Comcast*)
52.56 seconds10.51 minutes

*Uptime guarantees confirmed from online chat conversations with internet service provider representatives.

Another marker of reliability is latency. Sometimes called lag, latency is the amount of time it takes for a packet of data to make a round trip from one internet connection point to another. High latency—measured in milliseconds—is an especially noticeable problem when streaming video or conducting video conferences.

We didn’t find any information about Spectrum’s average latency, nor do they offer any latency guarantees. If latency is a top concern for your business, consider a company—such as Verizon—that offers a latency guarantee.

Technical support: Help anytime you need it

If something goes wrong with your internet connection or you’re not getting the service you expect, you need quick access to technical support.

Spectrum offers 24/7, US-based technical support by phone for its business customers. The company also provides a collection of Spectrum Business Support articles and answers to common technical questions.

Customer service: Poor ratings and reviews

Several national organizations are in the business of surveying internet service provider customers and reporting their findings to the public. Here are some recent ratings the industry gave Spectrum, which—spoiler alert—left us disappointed.

  • ACSI: Spectrum received a 65 out of 100 from The American Customer Satisfaction Index—a just-above-average score. However, the score is a marked improvement over the previous two years’ scores.3
  • BBB: The Better Business Bureau grades Spectrum a B+, based on aggregates of customer reviews. The BBB notes that, for Spectrum, “Patterns of complaints primarily allege poor customer service, billing errors, or misleading advertising.” Spectrum also stumbled from two 2017 lawsuits, one from the government alleging the company lied about internet speeds, and another from a lawyer claiming Spectrum violated no-call and telemarketing laws. (The former lawsuit was settled out of court.)4
  • J.D. Power: Across all three business segments reviewed by J.D. Power in 2017, Spectrum scored poorly. The ISP ranked fifth place out of six for “very small” businesses,5 third place out of six for “small and midsize” businesses,6 and last place out of five for “large enterprise” businesses.7 J.D. Power gave Spectrum poor marks in overall satisfaction, communication, cost, sales reps, customer service, and performance/reliability. Customers specifically noted problems stemming from the switch from Time Warner Cable.

To be fair, most internet companies have a poor reputation in the United States, but you should consider Spectrum’s often below-average ratings in your decision.

The fine print: Fees, contracts, and equipment

Before signing up with any provider, make sure you understand any costs and other details beyond the sticker price. Up next is a breakdown of Spectrum’s fees, contracts, and equipment.

Fees

Spectrum charges a one-time activation fee of $99 for its cable internet service, which is lower than several competitors we’ve reviewed.

No contracts for Spectrum business internet means no early termination fees. You can cancel anytime—no extra costs incurred.

What’s more, no contracts for Spectrum business internet means no early termination fees. You can cancel anytime—no extra costs incurred. This may attract you if you’re wary of locking yourself into a certain price with a business internet service provider. You can keep your options open!

Contracts

It bears repeating: Spectrum business class is contract-free. The only other business ISP we reviewed that offers no-contract business internet is AT&T, which offers the perk only for fiber plans.

What’s more, Spectrum will “buy out your contract”—up to $500—with your current provider, making the switch to a no-contract solution even easier.8

You also have 30 days to try out Spectrum business internet. If you’re not satisfied, just contact Spectrum before those 30 days are up, return your equipment, and you’ll get a refund for the plan charges. However, the refund doesn’t include the $99 installation fee.

Equipment

Unlike most business internet service providers, Spectrum will lease you a cable modem for free. This may make up for the fact that the company doesn’t allow you to use your own modem.

Wondering if Spectrum allows self-installation? Read our FAQ section below.

FAQs about Spectrum business internet

You might still have questions about business internet from Spectrum. Maybe our research will help answer your concerns.

What’s the difference between Charter, Spectrum, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House?

Spectrum is the brand name Charter Communications uses for its broadband communications services, including phone, TV, and internet. In 2016, Charter made two big acquisitions for approximately $71 billion: Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. With this mega-merger, Charter grew its customer base to 25 million, expanding its footprint to 41 states and earning it second place in the US broadband internet market share.9

As part of the FCC’s approval of the merger, Charter made a seven-year agreement not to cap data usage on its plans or charge customers more for certain types of content.10 However, the FCC’s 2017 repeal of net neutrality rules may change things—and Charter has already made moves that could worry net neutrality supporters and Charter customers alike.11

Can I install Spectrum internet myself?

If you’re looking to shave off some up-front costs, you may want to consider self-installation. Spectrum advises you to take the following steps to install your own business internet:

  • Contact Spectrum to find out if your plan is eligible for self-installation. Ask whether there’s a fee to install your own connection.
  • Order a self-installation kit, which includes a welcome and installation guide plus a modem, power cord, coax cable, ethernet cable, and splitter. You may also pick up your kit at a Spectrum store.
  • Once your service is active, connect your equipment following the details in your welcome kit or this online installation guide with video.

Cable vs. DSL internet: Which is better?

Depending on your business’s area, you may have the option to choose between a cable business internet service provider—like Spectrum—or one that offers high-speed internet via digital subscriber line (DSL).

The truth is that neither internet type is better—each has its advantages and disadvantages. The better choice is whichever offers the best solution for you and your business’s needs.

Cable internet uses coaxial cables, just like the ones used to deliver cable television to millions of customers and connect to your business using a cable modem.

Keep your customers entertained and your employees connected—online and on the phone—with this affordable, contract-free bundle priced at $99.97 per month.

Cable advantages:

  • Doesn’t use phone lines or dial-up connections, which means your connection is always on
  • Is less affected by your physical distance from the connection’s origin than with DSL
  • Has faster speeds than dial-up and satellite and often faster speeds than DSL

Cable disadvantages:

  • Has slower speeds than fiber internet
  • Shares your connection with other users, risking slowdowns during peak hours
  • Costs more than dial-up and satellite and often more than DSL
  • Has limited availability in rural areas

DSL internet is provided over the same copper wires used to provide phone lines. But unlike dial-up internet, DSL doesn’t interfere with phone service.

DSL advantages:

  • May be more secure than cable due to the ability to create discrete network connections
  • Is more commonly available than cable in many rural areas
  • Has faster speeds than dial-up and satellite

DSL disadvantages:

  • Has slower speeds than fiber internet and often slower speeds than cable
  • Is prone to slowdowns the farther you are from the connection origin
  • May require purchasing phone services to lower rates

How do I set up Wi-Fi for my business?

Spectrum offers two Wi-Fi options for business customers. The first is free and allows you to set-up a basic Wi-Fi network for employees and customers. However, this connection isn’t monitored by Spectrum and is less secure than managed Wi-Fi.

The other option is managed Wi-Fi for business, which Spectrum offers for a fee. This service lets you set up a secure wireless network that your customers and employees log in to. Spectrum technicians—available 24/7—monitor your managed Wi-Fi hotspots for security and performance. The service can also scale to fit the physical size of your buildings.

The takeaway

Unless poor customer satisfaction ratings are a deal breaker, Spectrum is an affordable, fast, and no-contract option for your small business.

Lagging customer reviews are worth thinking twice about before you sign up your business for Spectrum internet. But because these plans are contract-free, if you experience serious trouble, you can simply cancel.

To recap, these are our favorite Spectrum small business internet plans:

  • Our pick for best overall plan is Internet Max. It’s a bit pricey at $139.99 per month, but with download speeds up to 300 Mbps, you can easily connect over a dozen employees for large-file downloading and video streaming with little interference.
  • The basic-budget option is Internet Plus for just $44.99 a month. Speeds up to 100 downstream and upstream give you room to connect several connected users and devices for moderate online processing.
  • For bars, restaurants, offices, or any business that needs to entertain its customers, consider the Triple Play bundle. Pay $99.97 per month to get 100 Mbps internet, phone with free long-distance calls, and 45+ channel TV—a package that should keep your business running smoothly and customers waiting happily.

If you have your own Spectrum business internet opinions, connect with us! Leave a review, or ask a question below.

Disclaimers

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don’t guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Sources

1. California Cable & Telecommunications Association, “History of Cable
2. CNN, “Bye, Bye Time Warner Cable. Hello Charter
3. ACSI, “Benchmarks By Industry: Internet Service Providers
4. Better Business Bureau, “BBB Business Profile: Charter Spectrum
5. J.D. Power, “Business Wireline Satisfaction Study (2017): Very Small Business
6. J.D. Power, “Business Wireline Satisfaction Study (2017): Small and Midsize Business
7. J.D. Power, “Business Wireline Satisfaction Study (2017): Large Enterprise
8. Charter Communications, “Switch to Spectrum Business without Paying a Penalty
9. LA Times, “Charter Completes Purchase of Time Warner Cable, Bright House
10. DSLReports.com, “FCC To Approve Charter Merger, Conditions Ban Caps For 7 Years
11. The Hollywood Reporter, “Charter Points to FCC’s Net Neutrality Repeal in Lawsuit Alleging Netflix Throttling

  • DonCentTX

    Spectrum. Best advice: Don’t!!! If you have an alternative, take it! Internet is intermittent, often
    disappears. TV pixilates and fluctuates. Overpriced! Advertising is misleading. Negative advertising says a lot about the company!

  • Mark Martin

    If you need reliable service, don’t do it. Multiple days of multi hour outages. My business needs it’s phones and internet to function. I am not a fan of AT&T, but with them, at least they worked. Moving my phones asap. Thanks to T-Mobile unlimited data on my phone, I can still get some internet, but doesn’t do anything for my phones. All I get from Spectrum is we like your money, but we are sorry, we won’t give you what you paid for it. If you do it, good luck and hopefully you don’t need reliability, because it isn’t here.

  • Gerard Lunow

    So my internet was up and down for a day say Friday. I called and they would schedule service. They logged into my modem and saw that there were issues with signal. I called them again on Saturday where I found out that they logged under my SIP account and canceled the call. You know, you don’t involve the customer, just cancel the call. I then get an automated call asking me if I still had the issue was resolved (Press #1) or not (Press #2). I pressed #2. The same message came and thus pressed #2 again and then again and then the phone call was terminated by Spectrum. Calling them again resulted them coming to my HOUSE and not the business for which they clearly knew the address. Finally they came to the office and determined that an amplifier was bad, and I could tell by the signal level. Well now, that meant another guy had to come, unscrew the two coax and replace them. For that I needed another appointment. That appointment never came. Nobody contacted me with a resolution. By Wednesday, the internet worked with outages here and there. My cable in the building is the longest and thus nobody else complained but me. Now THIS Sunday a week later I get a call that there was a technician at the business and nobody was there. SUNDAY!!!!, on Labor day Weekend. Since I was not there they could not replace the amp which is outside the building and was told before that I did not need top be there for them to replace it. The level of incompetence was ridiculous. I was supposed to get a call back with what they did. THAT is never going to happen. This is called Business class?

  • Franklin Crofutt

    Our business phones were down all day yesterday and are in and out today it is a poor choice for a business in the Charlotte NC area as Nancy Reagan said just say NO!