Starlink Internet vs Spectrum – Which is the Better Internet Service

Starlink Internet vs Spectrum is a longstanding debate, as both are incredible ISPs with excellent services. 

So, picking the best one is always a tough call, especially if you live where both have good coverage. 

In today’s guide, we aim to demystify the two in a side-by-side comparison. We’ll help you pick the best one as per your needs. 

Starlink Internet vs. Spectrum: Definition

What is Spectrum

Spectrum is a US-based internet company renowned for using a Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial (HFC) system in internet transmission. 

The unique mode involves transmitting data via the fiber cables and then shifting to coaxial cables. 

The latter wires are useful in delivering internet to the end user, while fiber cables aid in long-distance transmissions. 

The result of this setup is a strong internet with speeds matching those of renowned companies like Verizon and Xfinity. 

What is Starlink Internet

Installing Starlink Internet. 

Installing Starlink Internet. 

Starlink, on the contrary, doesn’t use fiber and coaxial cables as it’s a satellite internet firm. 

Its satellites in the low earth orbit (LEO) receive network from ground towers and distribute it to users. 

This transmission mode means the internet signal is weaker than for ISPs using fiber. 

However, due to the location of the satellites in the LEO, the signal is better than for satellite ISPs like HughesNet.

 Starlink also has worldwide coverage and supplies internet even to remote areas where no other internet service is available. 

Starlink Internet vs Spectrum: Compare

Let’s see how the two interest services compare in different aspects. 


Spectrum is only available in the US. 

Spectrum is only available in the US. 

Spectrum is US-based, and this is only where its service is available. Its coverage is limited to 41 states, especially in the south, midwest, and northeast areas. 

But Starlink is just the best internet company in terms of coverage as it’s virtually available on all continents. 

Winner: Starlink Internet. 

Network Performance

Illustrating the fast internet concept.

Illustrating the fast internet concept.

Here’s how Starlink compares to Spectrum regarding latency, internet speed, and data caps.  

Internet Speed

The fundamental difference between Starlink and Spectrum is that one supplies satellite internet while the other is cable internet. Hence, Starlink internet speed is relatively slower than Spectrum. 

The average Starlink download speeds are between 250 and 500 Mbps, while Spectrum can be as high as 940 Mbps. 

But notably, the speed you get depends on the internet package. Check out the various internet speeds. 

Spectrum Internet PlanUpload SpeedDownload Speed
Spectrum Internet Basic Package10 Mbps 300 Mbps
Spectrum Internet Ultra20 Mbps500 Mbps
Spectrum Internet Gig35 Mbps 940 Mbps
Starlink Internet PlanUpload SpeedDownload Speed 
Starlink Residential5 Mbps250 Mbps
Starlink Business 25 Mbps 500 Mbps
Starlink RV15 Mbps250 Mbps

Winner: Spectrum


Online Gaming. 

Online Gaming. 

Starlink has a relatively higher latency than Spectrum. The average latency of Starlink is between 40 ms and 70 ms, which is high but still stable for low internet use activities. 

Spectrum’s latency is lower, ranging between 20ms and 30ms. It is, therefore, the ideal internet for video gaming, VoIP calls, and conferencing. 

Winner: Spectrum

Data Caps

Spectrum has an unlimited data plan, which only applies up to 1TB. Users who use the internet beyond this monthly threshold will experience throttled speeds. 

Starlink users don’t have to worry about data caps, as the company recently discarded plans to impose a hard data cap on users. 

However, Starlink deprioritizes users who use more than 250GB per month during peak hours. 

But you may not even note the drop in speeds with Starlink as you would experience with Spectrum. 

Winner: Starlink

For Gaming

An online gamer. 

An online gamer. 

You can use both internet services for gaming, but Starlink doesn’t guarantee stability, especially during peak hours. 

Its ping rates are much higher than fiber/5G. It is not ideal for gaming, especially if you have better alternatives. 

But Spectrum is stable during gaming, as evidenced by its relatively low latency.

 Spectrum may sometimes give a higher latency than Xfinity and other fiber networks. But overall, it’s better than Starlink. 

Winner: Spectrum

Customer Service

A Customer Service Agent. 

A Customer Service Agent. 

Spectrum has an active customer service available from Monday to Friday during normal office working hours. But you can still reach them from 5 pm to 10 pm ET. 

Their billing support and technical assistance are even better as they are available 24/7, even during weekends. 

They also feature a contact number you can reach them through during their service hours. 

Starlink is not easy to contact as they have no call/message number on their website or app

But subscribers can create query tickets, and although their response is not prompt, they’ll still help you solve your issue. 

Winner: Spectrum


A young couple browsing. 

A young couple browsing. 

Starlink is expensive, especially during installation, as users pay $599 and $2,500 for Residential and Business packages, respectively.

 The kit cost for Starlink RV is the same as for the residential packages. 

The monthly fees are also high at $110, $135, and $500 for Starlink Residential, RV, and Business packages, respectively. 

On the contrary, Spectrum is cheap, although there are installation fees as per the table below: 

Spectrum Fee TypeFee Amount (in $)
Professional Installation Fee59.99
Self-Installation Activation Fee24.99
Modem FeeFree
Reconnection Fee4.99
Home WiFi Equipment Rental Fee5.00 per Month
Late Payment Penalty8.95

After installation, the subscriber will pay $110, $135, and $500 monthly fees for the Standard, Ultra, and Gig packages, respectively. 

Winner: Spectrum

Pros and Cons

A Starlink Internet Dish. 

A Starlink Internet Dish. 

Starlink Pros Starlink Cons
It’s available on all continents and covers rural and underserved areasIt’s pretty expensive to install, especially given the high cost of its equipment. Starlink’s monthly fees are also high compared to other companies. 
It is self-installing, so you don’t incur the installation fees Its latency is high compared to Spectrum, thus not fit for gaming and video conferencing. 
Starlink is arguably the fastest internet available in rural areasReaching out to Starlink’s customer service is pretty hectic. 
Spectrum ProsSpectrum Cons
It has a relatively low latency and is among the best internet services for gaming. It’s only available in the US and does not even cover some States. 
Spectrum is fast and pretty cheap to install. It also doesn’t require subscribers to sign a contract when opting in. 
They have excellent customer service. 

Starlink Internet vs Spectrum: Which One is Better?

A Couple Enjoys Using the Internet. 

A Couple Enjoys Using the Internet. 

Spectrum beats not only Starlink but even other ISPs. 

Only internet services with pure fiber networks, such as AT&T and Verizon FiOS, are better than Spectrum. 

But if Spectrum is not within reach and you’re in a rural area where Starlink is the only option, go for it. It’s better than Satellite internet ISPs such as HughesNet and Viasat. 

But you will always encounter downtimes fundamentally because Starlink is affected by stormy weather. 


That’s all on the two internet service providers. In the post, we have covered all the critical details and answered all the questions you’ve had about them. 

Choose the most ideal one depending on your location and availability.