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Are you looking to change internet service providers? Looking for something to better suit the rapidly changing technology around you? There are now tons of internet services available, all of which have something a little different to offer.
Two of the most prominent internet services on the market today are Verizon Fios and Charter Spectrum. Both brands carry their own advantages, but also their own downsides as well.
Fios may be a little more technologically advanced than Spectrum, but doesn’t have as big a coverage area. On the other hand, Spectrum has a huge coverage area, but doesn’t offer quite the same speed overall.
So which internet provider is the overall best? Let’s compare, shall we?
What is the Faster Option?
When it comes to speed, both Fios and Spectrum are reasonable. You shouldn’t have any problem streaming and completing other online tasks with either one of these internet types. That doesn’t mean, however, that there isn’t a difference. There most certainly is.
To put it simply, on the whole, Fios is faster than Spectrum. Even for the same advertised speeds, you’ll typically get faster actual speeds with Fios. However, the actual speed you get has a lot to do with where you live.
In some areas, the average Fios speeds are almost twice the speeds of the average Spectrum speeds. In other areas they’re just slightly faster. And in rare areas, Spectrum is actually a bit faster than Fios. The point is that there’s a lot of variation in terms of geography.
The reason that Fios is, in general, faster than Spectrum is because of the technology that it makes use of. Fios is a fiber optic option. Fiber optic technology is specifically designed to accommodate digital data, and so will allow for some fairly tremendous speeds.
Charter Spectrum, on the other hand, makes use of cable technology; this technology involves the use of coaxial cables. While cable technology can handle digital data, it is not specifically designed to accommodate it. Because of this, it will always limit overall operation speeds.
In essence, if you dig maximum speed, and if you’ve got it in your area, you should opt for Fios internet over Spectrum. It is more than likely the much faster option.
In terms of price, there isn’t a huge difference between Fios and Spectrum. They both have prices which fall somewhere between $40.00 and around $90.00. There is, however, some difference in what these prices entail.
Namely, Fios wil add more speed for the same price. And in many cases, it’s a lot more speed. They do, however, both provide excellent triple play bundle options. Triple play bundles include internet, phone, and television.
The cheapest plan available with Fios is $40.00, and provides only internet at 100 Mbps. Compared to most internet packages, this is a lot of bang for your buck. Spectrum’s cheapest plan for just internet is available for $45.00, and provides only 60 Mbps of internet. In essence, it pales in comparison to Verizon Fios.
When it comes to triple play bundles, both providers are around the same price: $90.00 a month. The difference is that, with Fios triple play, you’ll get 150 Mbps internet, and with Spectrum triple play, you’ll get 100 Mbps internet.
If you’re in an area where you can get Fios gigabit triple play, you can receive 940 Mbps internet for just $80.00. This is, to put it simply, a great deal. It should be noted though that Fios gigabit internet is only available in very limited areas.
In conclusion, Verizon Fios is around the same price as Spectrum, but provides more speed for those prices.
What About Their Coverage Areas?
In terms of coverage areas, there isn’t really even a comparison. Charter Spectrum blows Verizon Fios away; at least for now.
Charter Spectrum can be obtained in most parts of the country. The only states which don’t have access to Spectrum are Delaware, Arkansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah. It should be noted though that not every part of every state will have access. Remote areas, in particular, will be limited as to what type of internets they have access to.
When it comes to Fios, there’s a very limited coverage area. At the present time, it’s only available in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Virginia. Again, remote areas in these states will likely not have access.
So, for most of you, you won’t even have an option between the two providers. Spectrum is the only one of the two which is available to you.
We already delved into plan variety quite a bit above in the price section, but let’s get into a little more right here. Both providers have quite a few different plans, providing everything from basic internet, to tv and internet, to triple play bundles including tv, phone, and internet.
The basic Fios fiber plan includes just internet for $40.00, providing speeds of up to 100 Mbps. You can also get Fios without gigabit internet for $50.00. This, however, will only provide you with speeds of up to 50 Mbps. You can also spend double that price and get gigabit internet that moves at speeds of up to 940 Mbps.
Fios has a variety of triple play and tv/internet options. These provide excellent internet speeds, and are available for under $90.00 a month.
Spectrum’s most basic internet plan provides 60 Mbps internet at $45.00. You can also add television and get 100 Mbps internet for $90.00.
So basically, in terms of plan variety, Fios and Spectrum are identical. It’s just the quality of those packages where you’ll see the difference. In other words, Fios packages are much better than Spectrum packages.
How Do Their Installations Compare?
Now let’s discuss the installations of both Fios and Spectrum. Installation isn’t a huge deal as it happens only once, but it’s still something that might affect your choice.
Both internets come with tacked on installation fees. Because Fios makes use of complex wiring, it requires some additional hardware to install. This hardware is an expense that you will not get with Spectrum.
In the case of both internets, you will have to have a router. With Spectrum you can rent a router or buy your own. It’s typically cheaper over time to just buy your own, but you won’t experience any trouble with a rented router. With Fios, you can do the same. However, buying your own router will make the installation even more complicated.
In essence, Spectrum is much easier to install. It will typically only take between 30 minutes and an hour. Fios, on the other hand, can take up to 6 hours to install if you don’t have the proper hardware in place.
Who is Verizon Fios Best For?
Truthfully, Verizon Fios is best for anyone who has access to it. It’s much faster than Spectrum and has bundle packages which are priced at almost the same price as Spectrum’s.
This isn’t to say that Spectrum is bad. It’s respectable and stands up favorably when it comes to many other internet types. But in this particular comparison, it’s just not even in the same stratosphere.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a techie, avid streamer, or just general internet user. Fios is priced reasonably enough to justify its purchase.
Who is Charter Spectrum Best For?
Whereas Fios is best for anyone who has access to it, Charter Spectrum is best for anyone who doesn’t have access to Fios; that is to say, most of the United States.
At the present time, Fios is only available in limited states in the northeast. Everyone else will have to opt for Charter Spectrum or some other internet provider.
But again, Spectrum is not a bad provider. It provides enough speed to comfortably stream videos, watch television, and surf the net. It just won’t move quite at the same speeds as Fios internet.
What is the Better Option Overall?
As we discussed above, in terms of sheer quality, Verizon Fios obliterates Charter Spectrum. It provides double the speeds for around the same price.
While Fios isn’t necessarily better than Spectrum when it comes to bundle packages, it’s not necessarily worse either. Both packages off tons of channels, with Fios allowing you to select which channels you wish and providing more channels overall.
Spectrum, however, does allow you to record and store around 300 hours of media content. Fios does not allow for this. If this is something that you deeply desire, you’ll have to choose Spectrum.
So, if you’re opting for just internet, and you’ve got it in your area, opt for Fios. If you’re opting for everything, you’ll be well-suited by both providers, but will probably enjoy a better experience with Fios.
It should be noted, however, that both are reputable providers. They both have their problems, but are ultimately redeemed by their benefits.