Spectrum vs. Verizon Fios Internet

If you’re looking for a new internet service provider, you may have come across Spectrum and Verizon Fios. Both are heavyweights in the internet industry, and at first glance, they may seem similar. Here’s what you should know.

Hand with tablet

A subsidiary of Charter Communications, founded in 1993, Spectrum is one of the largest internet providers today. The company has more than 28 million customers and 98,000 employees across 41 states. Spectrum provides cable internet with speeds ranging from 100 Mbps to 940 Mbps. All plans include a free modem and, in a move that is rather unusual for cable internet providers, there are no data caps, contracts or overage charges.

Verizon, formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE in the year 2000, is a massive player in the telecommunications space. Fios is the name of its high-speed fiber-optic internet service, with speeds ranging from 200 Mbps to 940 Mbps. The company often provides perks for new subscribers such as free equipment or streaming services, and sometimes even Visa gift cards.

So which one should you choose? Here’s a deeper look at Spectrum vs. Verizon Fios internet.

Overall performance of Verizon Fios & Spectrum

Verizon Fios

Verizon Fios has been ranked number one in customer satisfaction seven years in a row in select areas by J.D. Power. The company is known for its reliability and fast upload, as well as download speeds.

Spectrum

Spectrum is a workhorse among cable internet providers with a massive subscriber base. The company is known for its perks, such as a free modem and lack of data caps, as well as its high-speed offerings. If you’re currently in a contract with another internet service provider, Spectrum will buy it out ($500 max).

Verizon Fios & Spectrum installation

Verizon Fios installation

Verizon Fios runs on fiber-optic lines rather than traditional cables. If your address has never had fiber-optic service, you may need a professional installer to run lines to your home. Likewise, if you need additional wiring inside or are uncomfortable setting up your equipment, professional installation may be required. In addition to typical internet connection equipment such as a modem and router, Verizon Fios also requires a specialized piece of equipment known as an Optical Network Terminal (ONT).

Verizon Fios offers a self-install option for homes where existing fiber-optic lines and an ONT are present. When you place your order, you will be notified whether your home qualifies for self-installation.

Spectrum installation

Spectrum internet runs on traditional coaxial cable lines. Self-installation is relatively simple and may be the right choice for those who are comfortable hooking up basic equipment. If you have never had cable service to your home, though, you will need a professional installer to run the lines. Professional installation is also an option for those who are uncomfortable connecting equipment themselves.

Contracts

Verizon Fios contracts

Verizon Fios typically requires no contract. However, to qualify for certain perks or bundle savings, you may be required to sign a one-year or two-year agreement. When signing up for service, make sure you carefully read the fine print to see if there is a contract expiration period.

Spectrum contracts

Spectrum does not require a contract.

ProviderType of internetSpeedsStarting package price
Spectrum logoCable internet100 - 940 MBPS$44.99/mo for 12 months
Verizon logoDSL & Fios Internet5 - 1,000 MBPS$39.99/mo for monthsView deals

Fees

Verizon Fios fees

Setup fees are waived if you order online. Taxes and equipment charges are extra. If you want security and tech support, you’ll need to pay for it as a separate monthly fee. If you are on a plan that requires a contract, you may need to pay an early termination fee to break it. Read the fine print carefully before you sign.

Spectrum fees

Taxes and related fees are extra. Introductory pricing is only valid for 12 months.

Data caps

A data cap is the amount of data that your internet service provider allows you to use each month. Everything you do online uses a certain amount of data, but gaming and streaming video use the most.

Verizon Fios data caps

Verizon Fios has no data caps.

Spectrum data caps

Spectrum has no data caps.

Coverage & availability

Verizon Fios coverage and availability

Verizon Fios is available in just eight states (Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia), as well as the District of Columbia. Within those states, coverage is generally limited to large metro areas. Use our zip code tool to see if Verizon Fios is available to you. 

Spectrum coverage and availability

Spectrum is widely available, with extensive coverage across 41 states. Use our zip code tool to see if Spectrum is available to you. 

Internet packages

Verizon Fios internet packages

200 Mbps

This package offers 200 Mbps connection speed. Router rental, as well as various taxes and fees, are extra. As of March 6, 2020, this package also includes a $50 Visa gift card and 12 months of Disney+ streaming.

400 Mbps

Well suited for households with higher internet usage, this package provides 400 Mbps connection speed. Router rental, taxes and fees, are not included in the price. As of March 6, 2020, 12 months of Disney+ streaming and a $50 Visa card are included.

Gigabit Connection

Verizon Fios’ fastest internet package is its Gigabit Connection, with speeds of 940 Mbps. Router rental is included in the monthly fee, though taxes and related charges are not. As of March 6, 2020, this package provides 12 months of Disney+ streaming and your choice of a $100 gift card or Stadia Premiere Edition.

Spectrum Internet packages

Internet

Spectrum’s basic Internet package includes 100 Mbps speed. Your modem is included, though other equipment such as a router, as well as taxes and fees, are extra.

Internet Ultra

The Internet Ultra package provides 400 Mbps speed. A modem is included. Additional equipment, taxes and fees are separately priced.

Internet Gig

With 940 Mbps speed, Internet Gig is Spectrum’s fastest plan. It includes a modem and anti-virus software. Taxes, fees and additional equipment cost extra.

Deals

Verizon Fios internet deals

Verizon Fios lets you build your own bundle. Choose your internet speed and TV package, then add extras such as a home phone if desired. Bundle savings depend on which elements you select.

Spectrum internet deals

Spectrum offers highly customizable Double Play (internet and TV) and Triple Play (internet, TV and home phone) bundles, allowing you to choose what works for you. Bundle savings vary depending on the selections you make.

In your area

Call now to learn more about Verizon Fios and Spectrum internet deals in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Both offer truly unlimited data, with no data caps or overage charges.

Verizon Fios upload speeds are faster, due to the nature of fiber-optic versus cable internet. Both offer download speeds of 940 Mbps.

Verizon Fios is more affordable between the two.

Spectrum is more widely available, with coverage across 41 states. Verizon Fios is available in just eight states and is mostly confined to large urban areas within those states.

Both companies offer customized bundles that let you choose exactly what you need.