Call for the Best Cable, Phone and Internet Deals: 855-349-9328
Call For Best Deals: 855-349-9328
One keeps it hassle-free, while one likes to keep it simple.

EarthLink and Spectrum, both providers have been around for a 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 far from EarthLink. Though it entered the market after EarthLink, 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 know of before subscribing to a new provider.

EarthLink vs. Spectrum - A Quick Comparison!

Category Providers
EarthLink Spectrum
Connection Type DSL & Fiber Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial
Speeds 12 Mbps - 5 Gbps 300 Mbps - 1 Gbps
Price Range $49.95/mo. - $189.95/mo. (for 12 months) $49.99/mo. - $89.99/mo. (for 12 months)
Data Cap Unlimited Unlimited
Equipment Fee
  • Rental fee - $14.95/mo.
  • Upfront payment option available
  • Free internet modem
  • $5/mo. for Spectrum in-home WiFi

EarthLink vs. Spectrum - Availability


EarthLink currently offers its services in 26 states of the U.S. As the provider mainly relies on DSL and fiber-optic technologies, its availability may be limited in certain areas.


Spectrum is one of the largest cable internet providers in the U.S., and it has a relatively widespread coverage area as it offers unmatched telecom services in 42 U.S. states. To confirm the availability of Spectrum at your address, consider reaching out to Spectrum Sales Support representative at 844-481-5997. It’s important to note that Spectrum services offered and internet speeds may vary by location.

EarthLink vs. Spectrum - Internet Type

EarthLink Internet

EarthLink is a cheap internet service without a 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 types that customers get to choose from:

  • Fiber-optic
  • Copper-based DSL
  • Wireless Home Internet
  • Satellite

Spectrum Internet

On the other hand, Spectrum offers fiber-powered cable internet over an advanced hybrid Fiber-Coaxial network that can support speeds up to 1 Gbps. 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.

EarthLink vs. Spectrum Price & Plans

EarthLink Prices

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 some of the most popular EarthLink internet plans & pricing:

Fiber 300

  • 300 Mbps symmetrical speeds
  • Unlimited data
  • No speed throttling

for 12 months

Fiber 500

  • 500 Mbps symmetrical speeds
  • Unlimited data
  • No speed throttling

for 12 months

Fiber 1 Gig

  • 1000 Mbps symmetrical speeds
  • Unlimited data
  • No speed throttling

for 12 months

*Data effective as of published date. For more information about plans and pricing, call EarthLink customer service.

Spectrum Prices

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 Standard

  • Access to download speeds up to 300 Mbps and upload speeds up to 10 Mbps
  • Unlimited data
  • 5 devices can be connected simultaneously

for 12 months with Auto Pay

Spectrum Internet Ultra

  • Access to download speeds up to 500 Mbps and upload speeds up to 20 Mbps
  • Unlimited data
  • 8 devices can be connected simultaneously

for 12 months with Auto Pay

Spectrum Internet Gig

  • Access to download speeds up to 1,000 Mbps and upload speeds up to 35 Mbps
  • Unlimited data
  • Multiple devices can be connected simultaneously

for 12 months with Auto Pay

Discover Spectrum Internet Offers in Your Area

Call 844-481-5997

*Data effective as of published date. For more information about plans and pricing, call Spectrum Sales Support at 844-481-5997.

EarthLink vs. Spectrum - Data Caps

EarthLink Internet

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 Internet

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 vs. Spectrum - Pros and Cons

Bear in mind that the pros and cons may vary depending on your unique needs and your address. This is why it’s crucial to research the availability and plans where you live and consider taking care of some important aspects before you make a buying decision.

EarthLink Service

Pros Cons
  • Varied Internet Options: EarthLink offers four types of internet technologies, including wireless home internet, DSL, fiber-optic, and satellite. This allows internet users to opt for the perfect fit for their connectivity needs.
  • No Data Caps: Internet plans from EarthLink typically have no data caps, providing unlimited data usage to internet subscribers.
  • High-Quality Customer Service: EarthLink offers top-of-the-line customer service, with knowledgeable support around the clock.
  • No Contracts: Many EarthLink plans lock in your monthly bill for 12 months. This simply implies that there’s no change in what you pay for one year.
  • Limited Availability: EarthLink internet availability is more limited as compared to Spectrum, which means customers may not be able to access the service in all areas.
  • Slower Speeds in Some Areas: EarthLink may only offer slower DSL internet in specific areas. Such speeds may not be best for those seeking blazing-fast speeds.
  • Pricing: EarthLink's pricing for high-speed internet is relatively higher than large providers like Spectrum. As a result, EarthLink might not be cost-effective for all subscribers.
  • Spectrum Service

    Pros Cons
  • Widespread Availability: Spectrum service is available in 42 states across the U.S., making it accessible to a large customer base.
  • Blazing-Fast Internet: Spectrum offers high-speed internet with up to 1 Gbps with no data caps, making it an ideal choice for heavy internet users.
  • Bundled Services: Spectrum allows you to bundle internet, cable TV, and home phone services into a single bill. Bundling multiple services may lead to cost savings and streamlined experience.
  • No Contracts: Most Spectrum plans do not come with long-term contracts, giving customers much-needed flexibility.
  • Regional Variability: Spectrum Internet speeds and plans may vary by location. This means that not all customers may have access to the same services offered by the provider.
  • EarthLink vs. Spectrum - Equipment


    EarthLink rents internet equipment to its customers for a monthly fee of $14.95 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 a 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 Wi-Fi setup.

    EarthLink vs. Spectrum - TV


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


    Spectrum offers quite a remarkable TV service known as Spectrum TV Select Signature and Spectrum TV Select Plus. Spectrum TV plans start at just $59.99 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:

    • Entertainment View
    • Sports View
    • Latino View
    • International Programming
    • 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 can be a cost-effective plan for your connectivity needs. 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.

    EarthLink vs. Spectrum - 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 peace of mind that EarthLink will 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 of 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.


    Spectrum gets an edge over its competitors for not implying stubborn term obligations. That means, whichever internet plan or bundle 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 Wi-Fi 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, and opt to self-install the equipment. However, self-installation has a one-time fee 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.

    EarthLink vs. Spectrum - Customer Experience & Rating


    EarthLink's 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 who once complained about unsatisfactory customer support. Now, as per the official press release by EarthLink, “EarthLink internet customers are the happiest.”


    Spectrum boasts of having an excellent customer support team that’s always present to help customers in distress. In 2023, the American Customer Satisfaction Index gave Spectrum a score of 64 out of 100. Spectrum tackles a variety of issues related to TV, Internet, and Voice services. Plus, new customers who are seeking guidance regarding Spectrum offerings get thorough help through the entire process from the customer service team.

    Summing Everything Up

    Now that you know everything about Spectrum vs. EarthLink, you will be able to make your decision wisely. Both EarthLink and Spectrum have been prominent residential internet providers for 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.

    To sign up for the top deals from the best internet providers in your area, get in touch with our experts at 855-349-9328.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    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 vs Spectrum price?

    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 Internet vs Spectrum?

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

    Who offers contract-free plans – Spectrum vs EarthLink?

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

    Does Spectrum have fiber?

    Spectrum Internet Gig uses a fiber-rich network which is also known as a hybrid fiber-coaxial network. This plan offers internet speeds up to 1,000 Mbps.

    Is EarthLink a good internet provider?

    EarthLink offers Fiber Internet with download speeds reaching up to 5 Gbps. The provider’s fiber-based plans start from $59.95 a month, which is a bit expensive compared to other Fiber internet options.


    Working closely with AT&T and DIRECTV over the years, Nathan has provided readers with insightful and informative content that allowed them to make informed choices for themselves. He has years of experience with content marketing, creating valuable content for internet users. He has worked for other major telecom service providers in the country, including Mediacom, Optimum, and Spectrum. His keen interest to stay atop all the provider news updates allows our readers to find quick and easy fixes for their internet, TV, and phone needs.