Thousands of internet service providers in the US, but there are only a few that manage to stand out in the haze of the industry chaos. TDS telecom and Spectrum are two of the many internet service providers in the US. And two of the much better-known providers out there. They function on different service types, even different regions, and have varying modes of operation.
However, is Spectrum the better service with its years of internet provision experience? Or, does the much more recent TDS internet have an edge on Spectrum with newer technologies? In this article, we have talked about some of the main differences between TDS telecom service and that which Spectrum provides. We hope that these will assist you in deciding what you want to get in 2022.
TDS vs Spectrum: Service Type
TDS internet is one of the largest service providers in the industry when we talk about DSL. It has a widespread copper-wire network from the era of telephones, which helps it establish a wide DSL network. But DSL internet is not the only thing TDS provides. TDS has evolved with time to go with the flow of bigger providers in the market, including cable and fiber internet in its service type too. Albeit that services of the latter are limited as of now, but the commitment TDS puts into its work, it is bound to start increasing soon.
On the other hand, Spectrum is more of a cable and fiber internet service provider. Due to the high availability of mainly cable and fiber internet services with Spectrum, you are in for great speeds as advertised. With Spectrum, the service is impeccable and everything you imagine it to be.
TDS vs Spectrum: Coverage Area
TDS internet is available to an estimated 2.2 million people across the US, which is quite a decent number. Some of the greatest coverage areas that receive TDS internet include the states of Michigan, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin — a total of 31 states that do receive its services. With TDS internet that is fiber-based, we do see a little sprinkle here and there on the map, but not entire states at the moment.
Spectrum internet is one of the second largest cable internet providers in the US and hence, available to over 100 million people in 44 states. The heaviest coverage areas with Spectrum internet are California, Texas, New York, and Illinois. Spectrum fiber plans are also available in some cities but not everywhere and usually for business clients rather than residential ones.
TDS vs Spectrum: Speeds
TDS internet is mainly DSL, hence the speed tiers are not very advanced although higher speeds are available with cable and fiber plans. Generally speaking, TDS internet speeds range between 25 Mbps for its most basic DSL plans to 1000 Mbps for its fastest fiber plans. The fiber plans do have symmetrical upload and download speeds but are not available everywhere.
Spectrum Internet, however, does have faster speeds than TDS, thanks to the wide cable and fiver coverage it has. Internet speed with Spectrum ranges between 200 Mbps to 1000 Mbps for the cable plans. There is a lot you can do with the high internet speed that Spectrum promises and delivers to its customers.
TDS vs Spectrum: Pricing Plans
TDS internet has DSL plans that fall in the more affordable category of internet plans. Pricing for most TDS internet plans ranges from $29.95 to $74.95 per month, although pricing does vary a lot between states and even zip codes. So you will have to check out the pricing at your address before you decide to get the service.
Spectrum is a little high-end on its pricing plans, but their packages are market-competitive nonetheless. Pricing for Spectrum internet plans s from $49.99 to $89.99 per month at promo pricing and stays constant for about a year. Autopay paperless billing discount applies to this form of billing.
TDS vs Spectrum: Installation Costs
TDS internet comes with an option of both professional installation and self-installation. However, the latter version is only available if your home is already wired for the service, the absence of which qualifies you for a professional installation. The professional installation comes at a charge of $49.95 as a one-time fee. If you want to go for self-install and can actually do it, there is only a $15 activation fee for your service. There is also a processing fee worth $100 but depending on your plan, you can have it waived off, under some conditions.
Spectrum internet is quite similar in terms of installation costs. You can go for self-install or professional installation. The fee for professional installation typically is $49.95 which is quite less than what other providers charge for the same service. You can also opt for self-install in which scenario you will only have to pay an activation fee of $9.99 once. The self-install feature is quite handy since it comes with an instructions manual and you can find to-do guides on the official Spectrum website too.
TDS vs Spectrum: Equipment fees
TDS internet plans come with an equipment fee of $10 per month. This is for the modem device, which is necessary with your internet connection.
Spectrum Internet is known for its free modem policy, which they sign you up for when you get a new service. Their modem device comes with zero rental fees and is a great option to consider if you are trying to save some money,
TDS vs Spectrum: Data allowance and Caps
TDS internet plans do come with data caps, especially their DSL plans. There is a data cap in some locations at 250 GB or 350 GBs and had an overage charge of $20 for each extra 250 GB of internet used. However, with most TDS cable and fiber plans, there are no data caps, and the data allowance is unlimited so there are no data overage fees or charges to worry about.
Spectrum on the other hand is the champion of unlimited data allowance. All Spectrum plans come with unlimited data and zero data caps. So if you have heavy internet use and looking for something unlimited – Spectrum may be the answer for you.
TDS vs Spectrum: Contracts and the Fine Print
TDS internet comes with a contract of either one or two years. If you decide to cancel the service before your contract ends, you have to pay early termination fees. This is equal to fifty percent of your total unpaid balance left for the rest of your contract period plus the entire equipment fee. ETFs hence vary by location, contract lengths, and more. If you do find yourself in such a situation, it can get sticky very quickly.
Spectrum internet alternatively, has a much more relaxed aura. There are no contracts, hence no expectation for you to fulfill. You can simply go month to month, paying the essentials only, and cancel at a moment’s notice. There are no termination fees although you do get promo pricing for a year so you can enjoy that fully before thinking to cancel.
Verdict: Is Spectrum better than TDS internet?
Spectrum internet does perform a lot better than TDS telecom on quite a few levels. It comes with zero contracts, it has no equipment fee because the modem is free and the speeds are rather great. TDS internet plans are slightly different in this manner. They do have contracts and early termination fees, data caps, and even equipment fees. However, TDS does offer decent services in most available states.
It is more a matter of personal preference what you go for since both of these service providers rank amongst the top ones in the industry.