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One keeps it hassle-free, while one likes to keep it simple.

EarthLink and Spectrum, both providers have been around for long time. EarthLink once led the internet landscape with its dial-up service that was available to an estimated 98 cities. It was the first one to offer unlimited dial-up internet access for a flat rate.

Spectrum does not stray much far from EarthLink. Though it entered the market after EarthLink, but it quickly ended up becoming a top choice for cable broadband all over the U.S.. You could say that EarthLink and Spectrum possess many similar traits, for both are internet service providers. However, there are several differences that set them apart.

If EarthLink and Spectrum are among the top providers in your ZIP code, and you’re not sure which one to invest in, then we got you. We’ll give you an in-depth, side-by-side comparison so that you’re fully aware of the prices, plans, hidden costs, and every underlying aspect that you must be know of before subscribing to a new provider.

EarthLink VS Spectrum – A Quick Comparison





Connection Type

DSL & Fiber

Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial


12 Mbps – 1 Gbps

200 Mbps – 1 Gbps

Price Range

$49.95/mo. – $99.95/mo.
(for 12 months)

$49.99/mo. – $89.99/mo.
(for 12 months)

Data Cap



Equipment Fee

EarthLink VS Spectrum – Internet



EarthLink is a cheap internet service without phone line or TV subscription. It primarily presents its customers with fiber-optic and DSL internet plans. Customers in the fiber-optic markets enjoy symmetrical download and upload speeds, whereas customers in the DSL market would have to check for the available EarthLink speeds in their area before settling for one.

To give you a better overview, these are EarthLink internet plans that customers get to choose from:

Plans Connection Type

EarthLink Internet 12 Mbps


EarthLink Internet 18 Mbps

EarthLink Internet 24 Mbps

EarthLink Internet 30 Mbps

EarthLink Internet 75 Mbps

EarthLink Internet 50 Mbps



EarthLink Internet 100 Mbps

EarthLink Internet 200 Mbps

EarthLink Internet 1 Gbps


On the other hand, Spectrum offers three internet plans. In its serviceable areas, Spectrum internet speeds max out at 1000 Mbps for downloads. Spectrum does not enforce data restrictions on its customers, just like EarthLink. Albeit, users may not be able to access symmetrical speeds. However, with its large availability rate and reliable speeds, Spectrum will continue to be a considerable bet.

Here are the top internet plans that Spectrum offers:


Connection Type

Spectrum Internet®

200 Mbps


Spectrum Internet® Ultra

400 Mbps

Spectrum Internet® GIG



EarthLink offers a transparent pricing approach. Customers pay the same price even after the first year of service. Most ISPs increase their price after the end of the promotional term, but luckily that’s not the case with EarthLink because there are no promo offers. Also, EarthLink has rather flexible service terms. For the price of your plan, there are absolutely no data caps getting in the way of your activities.

Once again, allow us to give you a better insight into EarthLink Internet prices:

EarthLink Internet Plans Max. Download/Upload Speeds Starting Price

12 Mbps (DSL)

12 Mbps download,

1 Mbps upload


(for 12 months)

18 Mbps (DSL)

18 Mbps download,

1.5 Mbps upload


(for 12 months)

24 Mbps (DSL)

24 Mbps download,

3 Mbps upload


(for 12 months)

30 Mbps (DSL)

30 Mbps download,

3 Mbps upload


(for 12 months)

75 Mbps (DSL)

75 Mbps download,

8 Mbps upload


(for 12 months)

50 Mbps (Fiber)

50 Mbps download

50 Mbps upload


(for 12 months)

100 Mbps (Fiber)

100 Mbps download

100 Mbps upload


(for 12 months)

200 Mbps (Fiber)

200 Mbps download

200 Mbps upload


(for 12 months)

1 Gbps (Fiber)

1 Gbps download

1 Gbps Mbps upload


(for 12 months)

Prices may seem a bit steep to you. But don’t worry, these aren’t promotional prices. EarthLink sticks with transparent rates right from the get-go. What you’re paying in the first year, is likely to stick around in the second of your service as well.


Spectrum’s pricing methodology is rather easy. There are 3 speed tiers. The higher you go in terms of download speeds, the more value you get, with a better speed to cost ratio. And it’s not like you’d have to break your bank for it. The price is likely to increase after the first year of service. But, with unlimited monthly data and other benefits such as no term agreements and free internet equipment, 2nd-year price-hike only sounds fair to us.

Spectrum Internet Plans Max. Download/Upload Speeds Starting Price

Spectrum Internet®

200 Mbps download

10 Mbps upload

for 12 months

Spectrum Internet® Ultra

400 Mbps download

20 Mbps upload

for 12 months

Spectrum Internet® GIG

940 Mbps download

35 Mbps upload

for 12 months


Data Caps


EarthLink customers enjoy unlimited monthly data every month. Whether you’re a DSL subscriber or a fiber internet one, your monthly data usage remains uncapped. You can enjoy freedom with data usage and not have to worry about throttled speed.


Spectrum and data caps don’t quite see eye to eye. That’s why, whether you’ve subscribed to the basic internet plan or the highest tier, no data caps will ever get in your way. This feature makes both of these providers a suitable bet.



EarthLink rents internet equipment to its customers for a monthly fee of $8.95 a month. You can either opt for that, or you can purchase the equipment upfront. But you must use an EarthLink-provided device for your connection.

When you decide to call off your subscription to EarthLink Internet, you would have to return the equipment or the provider would charge you an additional fee.


Spectrum Internet offers free internet modem with all of its plans. Customers considering to commit with Spectrum for a longer term can go down the BYOD route. If you use the FREE wireless modem, there is a $5/mo. fee for the WiFi setup.

EarthLink VS Spectrum – TV


EarthLink does not offer a TV service. Instead, the provider has placed all of its focus towards delivering high-speed internet connections.


Spectrum offers quite a remarkable TV service known as Spectrum TV®. Spectrum TV offers a great base level plan i.e. Spectrum TV Select. It starts at just $49.99 a month. You can incorporate add-on mini packs with entertainment and sports networks or à la carte premium networks, and enjoy the perks of a fully-customized TV plan.

There is also a base level plan, called Mi Plan Latino, that’s exclusively available for Spanish speakers. Whichever plan you choose, you can include the following add-ons:

  1. Entertainment View
  2. Sports View
  3. Latino View
  4. International Programming
  5. Premium Networks

EarthLink VS Spectrum – Phone Service


EarthLink does not offer a home phone service.


Spectrum offers a home phone service and it’s marketed as Spectrum Voice®. When bundled with TV or Spectrum internet, Spectrum Voice costs only $14.99 a month. Spectrum Voice enables its users to make unlimited phone calls in the U.S., and to Canada and Mexico. Customers incur no hidden charges and there are several perks included with the service.

Spectrum VS EarthLink– Contracts, and Extra Costs


EarthLink internet plans come with a 12-month contract. Even if you feel forced to complete your tenure for whatever reason, there’s a peace of mind that EarthLink would not shock you with quarterly or half-yearly price revisions. Failure to complete the 12-month contract tenure would result in an early termination fee up to $200.

If you want to keep yourself motivated to stick with EarthLink’s term agreement, think of the price that will remain the same. Moreover, while most providers increase their prices in the second year of service, EarthLink refrains. So, even if you plan to renew your contract and lock the price for another year, you’d be in a good place.

As for extra costs, EarthLink internet equipment comes for a rental fee which is around $9 a month. If you’re an EarthLink fiber internet subscriber, then you would have to opt for professional installation of the equipment, which would cost you an upfront fee of around $80. Whereas, EarthLink DSL subscribers can opt to self-install the equipment for less than $20.


Spectrum gets an edge over its competitors for not implying stubborn term obligations. That means, whichever the internet plan or bundle that you choose, there’ll be no contracts, and absolutely no fear of incurring ETFs upon cancellation. Another great thing - Spectrum provides great flexibility to its new users with the 30-day money-back guarantee.

As for extra costs implemented by Spectrum, customers are expected to pay $5 a month to use the WiFi feature on the FREE Spectrum Internet modem.

When it comes to the installation, Spectrum allows both self and professional-installation. Internet-only customers can avoid the installation fee of $49.99, and opt to self-install the equipment. However, self installation has a one-time fee of $19.99 attached to it, so it may just be better to go with the pro install, if you don’t mind dishing out those extra bucks. For video + internet subscribers, professional installation is the better way to go as it makes things less complicated.

Spectrum VS EarthLink– Customer Experience & Rating


EarthLink customer service rating has seen quite a substantial improvement in the past few years. Most of the queries that the EarthLink team receives are regarding speeds, ETF, equipment charges, bill-related ambiguities, and internet outages.

EarthLink customer service representatives often take it to their social media handles to address the concerns of their customers. All in all, EarthLink is on its way to redeem itself in front of its customers that once complained about unsatisfactory customer support. Now, as per the official press-release by EarthLink, “EarthLink internet customers are the happiest.”


In 2021, the American Customer Satisfaction Index gave Spectrum a score of 63 out of 100. Whereas in the ‘Internet Equipment’ category, Spectrum fared better with a score of 69/100.

Spectrum boasts having an excellent customer support team that’s always present to help customers in distress. Spectrum tackles a variety of issues related to TV, Internet and Voice services. Plus, new customers who are seeking guidance regarding the Contract Buyout process, or any other thing; they get thorough help through the entire process by the customer service team.

Summing Everything Up

EarthLink and Spectrum both have been prominent residential internet providers since quite a while now. If you reside where EarthLink and Spectrum are the two leading choices in the area, then hopefully, this thorough comparison will help you pick the right one. Still, in case there’s a question regarding anything, feel free to dial 1-855-349-9328.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is EarthLink the same as Spectrum?

EarthLink and Spectrum are two completely different residential ISPs. EarthLink primarily offers DSL and Fiber internet-only plans. While Spectrum offers cable broadband, TV and home phone services.

What is cheaper – EarthLink or Spectrum?

To determine which one is cheaper, EarthLink or Spectrum, there are a few important factors that one would have to consider, including: pricing, promotional rates, and hidden costs.

Who has unlimited data – EarthLink or Spectrum?

EarthLink and Spectrum both offer unlimited data with their internet plans.

Who offers contract-free plans – EarthLink or Spectrum?

Spectrum offers contract-free internet plans and bundles. Whereas EarthLink requires its subscribers to sign a 12-month contract.