From the depths of the earth to the heights of the sky, blue and green are dominating the nation’s residential internet market. Spectrum’s corporate blue is blanketing millions of American households with calmness through its low-cost, ultrafast, and reliable internet service. While CenturyLink is adding a blast of freshness with its hues of green. CenturyLink’s widespread DSL internet coverage in rural America and exciting bundle deals revitalize the digital landscape. 

So, green or blue? Who will you pick as your trusted internet provider? Decide after you have read our Spectrum vs. CenturyLink comparison. 


The history of Spectrum internet dates back to the late 1940s. The post-war era brought with it an increased focus on telecommunications services. Now more Americans wanted to be connected to domestic and international political and social movements. As the world braced itself for a struggling economy rife with rebuilding and restoration efforts, in the USA, people were focusing on mass-scale industrialization. Historians label this period as the Golden Age of Capitalism. 

Charter Communications began as a single cable that ran from a hilltop in the South, through the entire town, and delivered cable TV service to individual homes. Over the years the company slowly grew in size through several acquisitions, and in 1993, it was officially dubbed Charter Communications Inc. 

In 2016, Charter acquired the expansive cable network of Time Warner Cable company and decided to enter the lucrative broadband market. The company rebranded its internet service and other associated services as Spectrum Charter, commonly known as Spectrum. Today, the vast portfolio of Spectrum includes high-speed internet service, cable TV service, cellular phone service, telephone service, and data security for residential and business customers. 

Spectrum Charter offers coverage to 32 million customers in 41 states of the USA. Its cable network spans over 750,000 miles, carrying high-frequency data at the download speeds of 1000 megabits per second (wireless speeds may vary).

In a short time of just six years, Spectrum has become the nation’s fifth-best Internet service provider. The Spectrum Internet service is neither interrupted by the limited availability of fiber-optic networks nor are the internet speeds reduced to 100 Mbps as in the case of most DSL internet services. Spectrum uses a dual internet transmission system that combines the capabilities of fiber-optic cables and coaxial cables to deliver consistent internet speeds over long distances. 

Currently, Spectrum is focused on upgrading and expanding its fiber internet network and hopes that by 2030, it will be able to deliver 100 Gbps internet speeds throughout the country.


  • Consistent internet speeds throughout its 41-state footprint
  • A hybrid fiber-coaxial cable network
  • No-contract service
  • Affordable internet plans
  • Bundle deals are available
  • Exciting giveaways and perks
  • Comparatively larger coverage area


  • Price hikes after the first 12 months of service
  • Additional charges for equipment rental and installation
  • Only existing Spectrum Internet customers can use the Spectrum Mobile™ service
  • Poor customer service
  • Speed throttling during peak hours


Just like Spectrum, CenturyLink’s corporate story takes us back to the 1930s. CenturyLink, which rebranded as Lumen Technologies in 2020 but still retains the name to sell DSL internet, was founded as a regional telecommunications company in Monroe, Louisiana. Back then, it was known as the Oak Ridge Telephone Company, serving three states with over 10,000 telephone access lines.

By 2008, under the CenturyLink banner, the parent company had expanded its coverage area to 23 states for telephone and DSL internet services. Over the years, through various acquisitions, mergers, and partnerships, CenturyLink evolved into a prominent internet service provider in nearly 36 states. However, the brand now serves 16 states in the USA after selling its incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) operations in 20 states to Apollo Global Management.

CenturyLink offers DSL service for residential and small business customers. In contrast, Lumen uses a different brand, called Quantum Fiber, to deliver fiber internet. Currently, CenturyLink has around 4.6 million broadband subscribers, many of whom also use the company’s telephone, VoIP, and live TV streaming services (provided in partnership with DirecTV and DISH). In most areas, it offers low-cost DSL internet plans with speeds of up to 100 Mbps for a flat rate of $55 per month. CenturyLink has earned recognition as one of the most accessible and reliable internet service providers for rural communities.

While CenturyLink has a good reputation for its professional customer service, subscribers have often expressed their dissatisfaction with fluctuating internet speeds across its 16-state footprint. But the most significant advantage of choosing CenturyLink as your internet service provider is that you won’t have to worry about unexpected price increases after 6 or 12 months on your internet plans.


  • Reliable DSL internet coverage in rural areas
  • No-contract service
  • Affordable internet plans
  • Bundle deals are available
  • Exciting giveaways and perks


  • Internet speeds vary throughout its coverage area
  • DSL internet speeds are slower than coaxial cable
  • Doesn’t offer a cable TV service

Confused Between Spectrum and CenturyLink?

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Internet Service Comparison – Spectrum vs CenturyLink

Looking at the two internet service providers from a bird’s-eye view may lead you to conclude that Spectrum and CenturyLink are entirely different internet providers with different networks, prices, and speeds. So, why is there a need for comparison? It is necessary because their coverage overlaps in many areas, and a detailed analysis can help many people decide the best option for their homes.

In the table below, we have listed a few differences between Spectrum and CenturyLink’s internet service.

Type of InternetHybrid fiber-coaxial cablesDSL
Internet Plans31
Internet SpeedUp to 1000 Mbps (Up to 35 Mbps upload speed)Up to 100 Mbps (Up to 12 Mbps upload speed)
Price Range$49.99 to $89.99/mo. for 12 mos.$55.00/mo.
Additional Costs$5 per month for router rental$15 per month for gateway
$30.00 for self-installation$15 for standard installation
$4.99 for service reconnection$3.99/mo. for internet cost recovery fee ($1.99 in WA)
$65.00 for professional installation & activation (including taxes)$129 for professional installation
Bundle DealsAvailableAvailable
Customer Service4 out of 5 stars4.1 out of 5 stars
Coverage Area41 states of the USA16 states of the USA
Contact ProviderCall 8774103834 Now!Call 8773955851 Now!

Internet Plans

Most of the leading internet providers in the USA bill in advance for providing broadband service throughout the month. It means that as soon as you subscribe to an internet plan and have completed the installation and activation process, the provider will send you a bill, charging you for the connection for that month. It is a lot like your prepaid mobile phone plans. This type of billing method ensures that there are no outstanding payments at the end of the month. It helps internet providers prevent losses as customers cannot use the service for an entire month and be a no-show when it is time to pay the bills. 

Spectrum and CenturyLink, too, charge their internet customers in advance. However Spectrum gives you three options, and CenturyLink only one. Additionally, Spectrum’s internet service has a cheaper starting price, but CenturyLink provides real value with its regular price that doesn’t expire after a year.

The internet plans include exciting giveaways such as free equipment and installation fee waivers.

Spectrum Internet Plans 

PlanPriceSpeedData Caps
Internet$49.99/mo.300 MbpsNone
Internet Ultra$69.99/mo.500 MbpsNone
Internet Gig$89.99/mo.1000 MbpsNone
*price after $5 Auto Pay discount. 
**Regular rates will apply after the first 12 months
***Actual speeds, including wireless may vary and are not guaranteed.

Get a Free Mobile Line with all Spectrum Internet Plans

Internet Plans Start as Low as $49.99/mo.

Call 877-410-3834 Now!

CenturyLink Internet Plans 

PlanPriceSpeedData Caps
Simply Unlimited Internet$55.00/ mo.Up to 100 MbpsNone
*price is $50/mo. in MT, ND, and WA.
**Speed varies per location and some areas can get up to 140 Mbps.
***Paperless billing is required. Additional taxes, fees & surcharges apply.

Subscribe to CenturyLink Fiber Internet Plans

Plans Start as Low as $30/mo.

Call 877-395-5851 Now!

Internet Speed

Spectrum beats CenturyLink in terms of maximum download and upload speeds. While CenturyLink’s upload and download speeds peak at 12 and 100 Mbps, with only a few locations reaching 140 Mbps, Spectrum offers up to 1000 Mbps download and 35 Mbps upload speeds on its top-tier plan. There is also a notable difference among these providers when it comes to maintaining consistency in internet speeds. Spectrum’s Internet speeds are known to be fairly consistent throughout their coverage area. Users can rest knowing that they will get the speeds they are paying for.

But in the case of CenturyLink, the internet speeds fluctuate frequently and even within the same city. At one moment, users could be getting 100 Mbps, and after a few minutes, the speeds could drop down to just 75 Mbps. CenturyLink uses high-traffic congestion on the network as an excuse for unexpected speed throttling. The good news is that the company takes these complaints seriously and its technical staff is readily available to fix the problem.

Bundle Deals

It can be very stressful when at the end of the month, there is a huge stack of bills on the mantle, waiting for your attention. You can now avoid the hassle of paying two or three separate bills for all your Spectrum-related services by combining them under one convenient and discounted plan. 

Spectrum bundle deals are available for all Spectrum Internet users. You can stack the cable TV service and home phone lines on your Internet connection for as low as $124.97 per month

CenturyLink offers similar benefits to its valued customers. CenturyLink partners with both DirecTV and DISH to offer satellite TV services along with its DSL Internet plans for as low as $119.99 per month

Spectrum and CenturyLink Internet subscribers can customize their bundle deals by adding or subtracting services from their bundle plans and paying accordingly.

Spectrum Bundle Deals – Internet and Cable TV 

DealPriceInternet SpeedTV Channels
Internet + TV Select Signature$109.98/mo.*300 Mbps150+
Internet Ultra + TV Select Signature$129.98/mo.*500 Mbps150+
Internet Gig + TV Select Signature$149.98/mo.*1000 Mbps150+
*for 12 mos* with Auto Pay

Spectrum Bundle Deals – Internet, Cable TV, and Home Phone

DealPriceInternet SpeedTV ChannelsHome Phone
Internet + TV Select Signature + Voice$124.97/mo.*300 Mbps150+Unlimited Nationwide Calling
Internet Ultra + TV Select Signature + Voice$144.97/mo.*500 Mbps150+Unlimited Nationwide Calling
Internet Gig + TV Select Signature + Voice$164.97/mo.*1000 Mbps150+Unlimited Nationwide Calling
*for 12 mos. with Auto Pay
**Actual speeds (including wireless) may vary

CenturyLink Bundle Deals- Internet and Home Phone 

With the CenturyLink home phone and DSL internet bundle deals, you can save up to $10 per month.

DealPriceInternetHome Phone
Simply Unlimited Internet + Home Phone Unlimited$95.00/mo.Up to 100 MbpsUnlimited calls nationwide
*Paperless billing required. Taxes and fees apply. 
**Speed may not be available in your area.

CenturyLink Bundle Deals – Internet and TV

DealStarting PriceInternetTV Channels
Simply Unlimited Internet + DirecTV$119.99/mo.Up to 100 MbpsMore than 150 channels
Simply Unlimited Internet + DirecTV Stream$119.99/mo.Up to 100 Mbps ofMore than 150 channels
Simply Unlimited Internet + DISH$134.99/mo.Up to 100 MbpsMore than 190 TV channels

Additional Costs

Fortunately, Spectrum and CenturyLink are transparent with the pricing. We have listed some of the common extra charges associated with each provider.

Additional Costs for Spectrum Internet Service

Service Additional Cost 
Professional Internet Installation One-time $59.99 charge 
Self-Installation KitOne-time $24.99 charge
Service ReconnectionOne-time $4.99 charge 
WiFi Router Rental$5.00 per month
Late Payment Fee$8.95 per month 
Taxes$7.82 per month 
Surcharges At least $6.05 per month 

Additional Costs for CenturyLink Internet Service 

ServiceAdditional Costs
Standard InstallationOne-time $15 charge
Professional Internet InstallationOne-time $129 charge
Modem Rental$15 per month
Internet Cost Recovery Fee$3.99 per month
Late Payment Fee$5 per month
TaxesUp to $10 per month
SurchargesUp to $5 per month

The taxes and surcharges for Spectrum and CenturyLink internet service vary from state to state. Each state has its specific policy for taxing internet service providers. In some states like Delaware and New Hampshire, the state government does not impose general sales tax on goods and services. Therefore, you could be paying as little as $0.50 in taxes. Whereas, in some states like Washington and Seattle, the federal government subsidizes the internet service. 

Overall, the consolidated amount for your taxes and surcharges should not exceed $15 per month. 

Type of Internet

Spectrum’s dual internet transmission system allows it to harness the potential of fiber-optic cables and coaxial cables. In the first leg of their journey, the data signals are carried inside fiber-optic cables and travel at lightning-fast speeds. At the end of each fiber optic cable, there is a fiber node. Inside this node, the data signals are converted from light photons into analog signals and transmitted via coaxial cables to the recipients’ homes. Coaxial cables have higher bandwidths as compared to DSL cables. They can distribute data at the speed of 1000 megabits per second.

Using this bi-cable transmission model allows Spectrum to deliver gigabit speeds across the country, even in the absence of a large fiber-optic cable network. The second biggest advantage is that the internet speeds remain consistent as coaxial cables are known to be great carriers. Moreover, nearly 90 percent of the homes in the USA have coaxial cable wiring due to cable TV accessibility. So, it allows Spectrum to continue expanding its coverage throughout the country. 

In comparison, CenturyLink relies on copper-based wires for DSL internet distribution. Although DSL’s network is available to over 84 percent of the U.S. population, its slow internet speed is the main discouraging factor that leads to service avoidance. As a result, CenturyLink can only deliver up to 100 Mbps download speed within the majority of its coverage area in 16 states, while only a small portion of its customers get up to 140 Mbps speeds.

CenturyLink’s DSL internet service makes it a popular broadband provider in rural America where fiber-optic capabilities are nil. 


Companies frequently introduce attractive discounts and promotions on their goods and services. It helps the companies to stay on top of the competition and secure more sales. Spectrum and CenturyLink offer great savings on their internet plans by including freebies and discounts for the first few months of service.  

Spectrum One Bundle Deal for New Spectrum Internet Customers 

In October, Spectrum rolled out the market disruptive Spectrum One bundle deal. New Spectrum Internet customers will now get a free Spectrum Mobile™ Unlimited line and an Advanced Home WiFi system with their Spectrum Internet®, Internet Ultra, and Internet Gig plans. The Spectrum One promo deal lasts for the first 12 months of service, after which subscribers are charged regular rates for all three services.

ServicesSpectrum One PriceRegular Price Total Yearly Savings 
Internet 300 + Spectrum Mobile™ Unlimited + Advanced Home WiFi$49.99/ month $84.98/month $419.88
Internet Ultra 500 + Spectrum Mobile™ Unlimited + Advanced Home WiFi$69.99/ month $104.98/ month $419.88
Internet Gig 1000 + Spectrum Mobile™ Unlimited + Advanced Home WiFi$89.99/ month $124.98/ month $419.88
*wireless speeds may vary. *Regular rates will apply after the first 12 months

CenturyLink Promo Deals for New Home Internet Customers

Promotion OfferPriceWhat You Get
Simply Unlimited Internet$55.00/mo.Fast and reliable internet connection without any contract
Internet + TV Streaming$119.99/mo.Access to all the popular streaming apps and premium TV channels with DirecTV
Internet + Bark$69.00/mo.Complete network and device security. Including web monitoring and parental controls for 20% off

Customer Service

Forbes Home Magazine has written detailed reviews on Spectrum and CenturyLink’s internet service. In their article, they rated CenturyLink’s customer service 0.1 stars better than Spectrum’s customer service. CenturyLink was given 4.1 stars out of 5 because its online customer reviews indicate a slightly better focus on delivering customer satisfaction.

However, the J.D. Power US Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study for 2023 shows mixed results. While Spectrum is ranked in every region, CenturyLink is only evaluated in the West and North Central regions, with scores of 687 and 709, respectively. CenturyLink’s score is above the industry average in the North Central region but falls short in the West by 23 points. On the other hand, Spectrum’s performance falls below the industry average in every region, with scores of 686 in the East, 691 in North Central, 728 in the South, and 705 in the West.

Both CenturyLink and Spectrum also display poor results in the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s report for 2023, ranking 3rd and 4th from the bottom in the ACSI’s Non-fiber Internet Service Providers category, with scores of 62 and 64, respectively.

ACSI RankingsCenturyLinkSpectrumIndustry Average

Coverage Area

Spectrum and CenturyLink cover most of the populous cities and towns in the USA. Their internet footprint overlap in many cities and towns.

Spectrum Internet is available in the following 41 states across the USA:

CaliforniaKentuckyNebraskaSouth Carolina
ConnecticutMaineNew HampshireTexas
FloridaMarylandNew JerseyVermont
GeorgiaMassachusettsNew MexicoVirginia
HawaiiMichiganNew YorkWashington
IdahoMinnesotaNorth CarolinaWest Virginia

CenturyLink provides direct internet coverage in the following 16 states:

Arizona Minnesota  North Dakota 
Colorado Montana  Oregon 
Florida  Nebraska  South Dakota 
Idaho Nevada  Utah 
Iowa New Mexico Washington 

Best Internet for Gaming

Professional gaming is becoming a popular career choice for many around the globe. On average, professional gamers can earn up to $5,000 per month. Platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Vimeo allow pro gamers to stream their gameplay and get millions of subscribers on their channels. There are three things that pro gamers are mindful of when choosing the best internet service for gaming. They need a high-speed internet connection with minimum download speeds of 25 Mbps. The lag time should not be more than 5 milliseconds and the lower the latency, the better the performance output. 

Spectrum’s unfluctuating gigabit speed makes it the best internet carrier for online gaming. On average, Spectrum Internet’s ping ranges between 20ms and 30ms. Its service reliability of 99.9 percent ensures an interrupted and lag-free competitive gaming experience. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Spectrum Internet has been ranked the “No.1 destination for gamers”. 

In contrast, CenturyLink’s DSL internet service can provide fast connection, but its inconsistent internet speeds across its coverage area result in increased lag time and ping, which can be frustrating for professional gamers attempting to live stream and upload their gameplay.

Final Verdict

CenturyLink and Spectrum together cover more than 75 percent of the country with their reliable broadband connections. However, due to their different network technologies, with Spectrum mainly relying on a hybrid fiber-coaxial network and CenturyLink being a DSL internet provider, their maximum speeds and prices differ significantly.

But if you are still wondering who comes out on top in the Spectrum vs. CenturyLink comparison, the simple answer is Spectrum. Spectrum has a larger coverage area, offers a wider range of internet plans, maintains consistent speeds, and is renowned for its network reliability, attractive bundle deals, and professional gaming experience. In contrast, CenturyLink is a better choice for rural communities.