How does Spectrum compare to Google Fiber internet?
In today’s world, life can come to a screeching halt when your internet starts to falter. Emails might not get sent, videos might stop loading, or a conference call might get cut short, causing you to miss valuable information. That’s why it’s so important to find quality internet service that will keep you connected at all times. If you’re searching for a reliable internet provider, you may find that internet packages from Spectrum and Google Fiber meet your needs. But what’s the difference between the two? And which one should you choose?
While Spectrum is known for its coverage and pricing, Google Fiber offers unbelievably high speeds and seamless fiber optic connectivity. To help you make the right decision, we have compiled this comprehensive summary of the two internet service providers (ISPs).
Who Spectrum and Google Fiber internet are for
Spectrum’s internet plans offer a minimum download speed of 200Mbps, which is sufficient for most smaller households. However, it only allows for connecting a few devices at a time. Spectrum internet starts at $49.99/month and delivers 200Mbps for your internet surfing needs. This plan may be a great fit for basic internet users who engage in casual video streaming and video calls.
If you work from home, like to stream videos, or play games online simultaneously, then you can opt for Spectrum Internet Ultra or Spectrum Internet Gig. These plans are much faster and offer speeds up to 1000Mbps, enabling you to work and enjoy entertainment options without lag or downtime.
With Google Fiber, you get a fast fiber optic internet connection that’s suitable for all your internet needs, including watching videos or collaborating with clients and colleagues online. Although its plans are generally more expensive than Spectrum’s, Google Fiber provides a minimum internet speed of 1000Mbps, which is sufficient for a wide range of purposes.
The Google Fiber 1 Gig plan is priced at $70/month, and delivers speed fast enough to download an HD movie in under a minute. If you have more advanced needs, then you can opt for the Google Fiber 2 Gig plan, which costs $100/month.*
Comparison of internet services
Apart from their pricing and internet speeds, there are a couple of other things to consider when comparing Spectrum and Google Fiber internet.
Spectrum charges $49.99 for professional installation and $19.99 for self-installation. In comparison, Google Fiber doesn’t charge any installation fees. However, you may have to pay a $300 construction fee which will be disclosed during the sign up process, if it’s applicable to your service plan.
When you get a Spectrum plan other than Spectrum’s Internet Gig plan, you’ll have to pay a Wi-Fi equipment rental fee of $5/month. On the other hand, Google Fiber does not charge any fee for the equipment required for your service, such as a router, fiber jack, or network box.
Data overage fees
Both Spectrum and Google Fiber offer unlimited data to their customers. That means there are no data caps for any of their packages and you won’t have to worry about pushing past a data limit.
Early termination fees
Neither Spectrum nor Google Fiber require you to sign a contract when you opt for their services. So, you won’t have to pay a termination fee if you choose to cancel the internet service. With Spectrum, however, new customers can qualify to have subscription service refunded or credited if they are not fully satisfied with the service.
Non-return equipment fees
With Spectrum, you’re expected to pay the entire replacement cost for any equipment you don’t return after terminating your account. With Google Fiber, the non-return equipment fee starts around $70 but can increase from there depending on the specific device(s) you have.
Prices after 12 months
Spectrum offers promotional pricing for the first 12 months. After that, prices increase by 18-40% for internet-only packages. On the other hand, Google Fiber’s pricing remains the same after 12 months.
What others say about Spectrum and Google Fiber internet
Both Spectrum and Google Fiber receive high marks from reviewers, scoring top spots based on results from surveys and studies.
On the U.S. News Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 list, Spectrum internet ranked fourth and was named the best internet service provider for rural areas. Spectrum also secured fourth place in the West region on J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study. It was also listed among the top 5 ISPs in the East, South, and North Central regions.
According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) survey, Spectrum is considered to be one of the most reliable ISPs with a score of 63 out of 100 in 2020 and 2021. It also has some of the most affordable plans, as well as the highest nationwide coverage with 41 states.
According to CNET, Google Fiber is one of the best options when it comes to ISPs that offer Gigabit internet service. The review noted that Google Fiber’s $100/month price tag for their 2000Mbps service is roughly one third the price you’d pay for similar speeds with an ISP like Xfinity. And if $100/month is a bit outside of your budget, the price of $70/month for 1000Mbps is right on par with many other major ISPs.
Also, the most recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) data revealed that Google Fiber’s customer base grew by 100% from 2016 to 2020, a rate higher and faster than any other ISP.
How do Spectrum and Google Fiber internet packages compare?
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*Pricing varies by location and availability. Speeds may vary. All prices subject to change; for current pricing and availability visit our internet service page. Prices as of 3/11/22.
Disclosure | Updater articles are based on our own data and research, independent from partner relationships. We are not compensated by partners for information and opinions presented here. Our Editorial Terms of Service can be found here.