When buying Internet service for home or business, customers like to choose between these two major options – Charter cable Internet and satellite. Most of us are familiar with cable Internet but satellite Internet is somewhat less popular. However, satellite Internet is the only option in some rural or remote areas for fast Internet speed and connectivity.

How Does Charter Cable Internet and Satellite Internet Work?

Charter Internet is a service provided by Spectrum, a well-known telecommunication company that offers cable TV, high speed Internet, and home phone service. You can either choose a standalone Internet service or bundle it with home phone and cable TV. You are connected to the Internet via a modem that further connects to an incoming cable.

Satellite Internet, on the other hand, is offered by a satellite provider. The Internet connection on the land sends signals to the satellite in orbit located outside the earth. It transmits signals to a satellite dish installed at the home of the user.

A Detailed Comparison

To compare both services and figure out how Charter Internet is better, let’s review some of the factors below:

Internet Reliability

Generally, cable Internet is more reliable than satellite. Why? Because signals are transmitted via a physical cable directly. Satellite signals, on the other hand, are vulnerable to interruption. Weather conditions and even physical obstacles such as mountains and buildings can block signals.

However, there is a catch. If the cable TV service in your area suffers frequent interruption, your Internet service is likely to suffer. Charter Spectrum is a solid choice when it comes to reliability. There are no data caps limitations. The speed offered by their basic Internet plan starts at 100 Mbps which is sufficient enough to handle HD streaming. You can upgrade the speed by choosing from a variety of Spectrum packages.

Service Availability

Cable Internet is generally available in every location where cable TV service is available. Charter cable Internet is one of the widest providers in the United States. Their service is spread to over 102 million residents across 46 states which include New York, California, and Texas. After the acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, not only did their service expanded, but also their service standard.

Satellite Internet is almost available everywhere but it is still less-known even in those rural areas where cable access is limited. However, it’s still the lifeline for the rural communities where it’s the standard high-speed Internet option.

Internet Speed

Here’s the thing with cable Internet. You are sharing the bandwidth with the subscribers in your local area. Hence, your download speed is likely to decline at peak traffic hours. Generally, capable Internet download speed ranges from 20 to 100 Mbps. The latency of 100ms (milliseconds) is common among cable Internet. However, the average range is between 25 and 500ms.

Spectrum Charter offers a wide variety of Internet speeds starting from 100 Mbps to 940 Mbps. You can perform an Internet speed test to check your current download rate. As of September 2019, the national average download rate of Spectrum is 52.41 Mbps. The average latency is 105.72ms.

The table below shows cities where Spectrum Internet service is the fastest:

City Max. Download Speed Advertised (Mbps) User Speed Test (Mbps)
Milligan College, TN 400 414
New Preston Marble Dale, CT 940 391
El Segundo, CA 940 375
Howard Beach, NY 940 377
Granite Quarry, NC 940 405

Satellite Internet is, of course, slower than cable. Its download speed ranges from 1 to 12 Mbps. Latency falls in the range from 1000 to 2000ms. The speed it offers is only sufficient for web surfing and sending/receiving emails. If you want to stream HD content or play games using Satellite Internet, you will be out of luck.

Service Costs

Charter cable Internet is less expensive than satellite Internet. If you already have cable TV by Spectrum, you can reduce the cost of the service by bundling it with the Internet as well. Depending on the package, the monthly fee ranges from $25 to $100. These are your options when it comes to Charter Internet:

Type of Bundle Standalone Internet Bundle Cable TV and Internet Cable TV, Internet, Home Phone
Name of Bundle Charter Spectrum Internet Charter Spectrum Double Play Spectrum Triple Play Silver
Price $44.99/ month $89.98/ month $119.97/ month
Download Speed Up to 100 Mbps Up to 100 Mbps Up to 100 Mbps
Special Features No data caps 125+ HD channels 175+ HD channels

Apart from these bundles, the company provides lots of convenience to its users. For instance, they support the ability to pay Charter bill online.

When it comes to satellite Internet, you can expect to pay from $50 to $100 in monthly fees for 1 to 12 Mbps of the Internet. You will also have to bear the additional expense of purchasing a satellite dish along with an installation fee and other miscellaneous expenses.

Final Words

Cable Internet by Charter is way more reliable and economical than satellite. Unless you live in a rural area or an area where Spectrum service is not available, you shouldn’t think about settling for satellite Internet.


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