WiFi fee removal Compatable modems/routers Included WiFi models Why charge?
It’s common for cable companies to offer a WiFi modem and router lease as part of your internet service, and Spectrum is no exception.
Spectrum makes it a bit complicated by offering the modem “free,” but adding on a $5 WiFi line item at the end of the checkout process. This allows them to advertise $49.99 internet, but ultimately charge $84.99 once the WiFi fee is added and new-customer promotions time out.
Thankfully, Spectrum does allow customers to use their own router and modem if they prefer. Aside from getting rid of the $5 WiFi fee on your bill, using your own equipment can provide better performance for your home internet, provided you select a good replacement and configure it properly.
A quick note for non-techies:
- Modem: the device that hooks into your cable jack and connects you to the internet. Spectrum provides this free with all plans.
- Router: the device that plugs into your modem and broadcasts WiFi for your home. Spectrum charges $5/month for this on most plans.
It's common for the modem and router to be sold as one piece of hardware, but Spectrum keeps them separate.
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How to remove the Spectrum in-home Wi-Fi fee
Keep in mind that if you are planning to move in the next year, it might make sense to lease the Spectrum router rather than buy. It only adds up to $60/year in fees. This is high if you’re a long-time customer, but pretty reasonable if you’re renting an apartment short-term and just need a quick and easy internet hookup.
Also keep in mind that Spectrum may decline to provide free service calls if you use your own modem or router. It’s common for them to blame your equipment if you call in with issues, so it’s not recomended to use your own equipment if you aren’t able to troubleshoot basic WiFi issues on your own.
Purchasing your own router and/or modem is going to cost anywhere from $50–200, depending on what hardware you get.
I’ll run through some suggestions below, but for now, here’s a quick rundown on how the WiFi fee adds up so you can understand how long it’ll take for the equipment investment to pay off:
|Plan Name||Price with WiFi fee||Price with WiFi fee removed||Wifi Fee||WiFi fee annualized|
|Spectrum Internet (300 Mbps)||$84.99 ($54.99 first 12 months)||$79.99 ($49.99 first 12 months)||$5/mo.||$60/yr.|
|Spectrum Internet Ultra (500 Mbps)||$104.99 ($74.99 first 12 months)||$99.99 ($69.99 first 12 months)||$5/mo.||$60/yr.|
The only Spectrum plan that does not have a WiFi fee is the GIG 1,000 Mbps plan. The GIG plan includes the modem and router for free, because they want you to use a specific make/model in order to get the best performance out of the gigabit download connection.
They previously provided Internet Ultra equipment for free as well, but started to charge for it again last year.
Regardless of plan tier, you can confirm that you are, in fact, paying a WiFi fee by checking the second page of your billing here:
While the WiFi fee is annoying, it’s actually much lower than the industry norm.
Most cable and telecom companies charge $10–25 per month and require you to lease the modem as well as the router. In some cases, such as with common , they even decline to remove the fee from your bill, even if you’re using your own hardware.
Here’s how Spectrum’s fees compare with the other major internet providers:
|Internet Provider||Monthly Base WiFi Fee||Annual cost of WiFi equipment lease||Service type|
Modems and routers compatible with Spectrum
You have two basic options for replacing your Spectrum WiFi equipment:
- Purchase a standalone router, and continue using the free standard-issue Spectrum modem.
- Purchase both a modem and router, to give yourself complete control of the network hardware.
As a Spectrum customer here in Los Angeles, I personally use my own modem and router. Owning both pieces lets me swap out as needed when they get outdated, and saves me the hassle of visiting a Spectrum store or being on the hook for equipment returns when I eventually move and cancel service.
I’ve had no major issues for several years using this cheap setup. Meanwhile, my neighbors regularly complain about blinking red light errors, speed issues, and range issues.
If we lived in a larger home, I would probably opt for a mesh WiFi system like Eero or Google Nest, to distribute WiFi evenly around obstacles and larger areas. For a 2–3 bedroom apartement, a single basic router is plenty.
However, using their modem and purchasing the router is the absolute cheapest option. You can get a decent router for just $40–80, which you’ll pay back within the first year of saved WiFi fees.
This is the router I personally use. I previously had a fancier Nighthawk router, and oddly I found the range on this mid-range model to outperform, especially on the 5G network. I've used this one with both Xfinity and Spectrum cable internet, both plans in the 300–500 Mbps download range, with no issues.
It has dual-band, gigabit ports, and everything else you need to run a basic smarthome and home office. In my opinion, 99% of internet users don't benefit from all the bells and whistles of more expensive models, and are best served by a reliable basic router like this one.
If ease of use is your priority, the Arris Surfboard is a strong choice that is extremely easy to use: it combines the modem and WiFi router in one device, so you can just plug it in and get online with little configuration.
This has the same basic features as the TP-Link router above, but since it includes the modem you can start using it immediately rather than waiting for Spectrum to send you their modem.
If you have a large home or an unusual floorplan that leads to WiFi dead spots, mesh setups like the Eero are worth a look. These products work by spreading multiple devices around your home, which communicate wirelessly to relay coverage evenly from room to room.
Mesh networks also can react to the location and needs of your devices, effectively increasing signal in areas where it's more needed. They also have easy-to-use apps that make it simple to manage your network, keep tabs on kids' internet use, prioritize specific devices, and monitor your data usage.
They run from $150–300, so it's an investement compared to a basic router. However if you work from home or have a large floorplan, it's well worth it and will last you 5–10 years. Unlike most routers and modems, these are easily compatible with all the major providers, including Spectrum.
What modem and router does Spectrum internet come with?
Aside from the monthly leasing cost, another issue with using Spectrum’s standard-issue equipment is that you don’t have much control over what make and models they give you.
I’ve personally had the experience of being given a model not meant for my plan tier, simply because they didn’t have the right one in stock at the store when I happened to sign up.
As of 2023, Spectrum most commonly use Hitron hardware with Spectrum branding, which is known for having issues because of a faulty chip (Intel Puma). So, if you’re having issues with your Spectrum WiFi, check that the make and model doesn’t include the Puma chip. Arris brand equipment is also commonly provided with Spectrum plans, particularly the Ultra plan.
Why does Spectrum charge for WiFi?
Spectrum charges leasing fees for WiFi because, at the end of the day, they have to purchase and maintain the hardware producing WiFi service. When WiFi first came onto the consumer market, internet was already being sold as a modem-only wired service. So, it made sense to tack on WiFi as a separate line item.
Since WiFi has become a standard expectation for home internet service at this point, most providers have gone one of two routes:
- Roll the WiFi fee into the cost of internet.
- Include extra features to make the fee more palatable, such as mesh routers or network monitoring.
It’s likely that Spectrum will go one of these routes in the near future, since the current scheme produces less incrimental revenue compared with equipment fees from other cable providers, and gives no upgrade options for customers who might want a more premium home WiFi experience. Xfinity’s $25 per month mesh unlimited plan is a good example of a premium offering built on top of a basic monthly WiFi router lease.
Summary: budget $5/month for Spectrum WiFi, or buy your own router
In summary, most customers can save $60 per year by purchasing their own router, particularly if they plan to use Spectrum service for multiple years.
Spectrum charges the $5 per month WiFi fee on all plans except the highest-cost GIG plan. As of 2023, they even charge $5 per month for WiFi on their low-income plans for struggling households, making the total cost of their low-income plans around twice what other ISPs offer.
Spectrum WiFi fees summary
- Spectrum Internet (300 Mbps plan): $5/mo.
- Spectrum Internet Ultra (500 Mbps plan): $5/mo.
- Spectrum Internet GIG (1000 Mbps plan): $5/mo.
TV bundle WiFi fees
- TV Select + Internet (300 Mbps plan): $5/mo.
- TV Ultra + Internet Ultra (500 Mbps plan): $5/mo.
- Mi Plan latino + Internet (300 Mbps plan): $5/mo.
- Mi Plan latino + Internet Ultra (500 Mbps plan): $5/mo.
This page is based on a database of Spectrum plan pricing maintained by ConnectCalifornia. This page updates automatically as we update the database on a monthly basis. The last modification was made in January 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does Spectrum charge a WiFi fee?
Spectrum charges a $5 per month fee if you want to lease a router for your home WiFi, to cover the cost of the router and equipment maintenance. Customers can buy their own router if they would prefer not to pay the fee.
How much does Spectrum charge for WiFi and internet?
Spectrum charges $5 per month to lease a WiFi router, and the internet service itself starts at $49.99 and goes up to around $100 per month depending on the plan speed.
What is the Spectrum WiFi fee?
Spectrum charges $5 per month for leasing a WiFi router for their basic 100–300 Mbps internet plan, as well as their mid-tier Internet Ultra plan. The router is included for free with the more expensive 1,000 Mbps GIG plan.
Does Spectrum charge a WiFi fee on their low-income plans?
Spectrum offers a low-cost $17.99 per month internet-only plan for low-income households. This plan has an incrimental $5 per month WiFi fee, bringing the total cost to $22.99 per month for 30 Mbps internet with no data cap.
What is the replacement fee for a Spectrum router?
Spectrum charges about $200 for customers who do not return the modem and router when they cancel Spectrum internet service. However, the fee varies based on the specific model provided with the plan. The cost is higher for gigabit plans, since they require a higher-end gateway device for WiFi.
- Spectrum charges a $5 WiFi fee on all internet-only plans except for the gigabit 'GIG' plan.
- Using your own equipment is permitted for Spectrum customers, and removes the fee from your bill.
- Using your own modem or router may void customer support for home WiFi issues related to non-Spectrum issued hardware.
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Last Update: January 06, 2023
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With Spectrum One, Spectrum Advanced WiFi and an Unlimited Mobile line are included at no extra charge. When bundled with Spectrum Internet, Spectrum WiFi is just $5 a month. Learn how existing customers can get a FREE Unlimited Mobile line.Do you have to pay extra for WiFi with Spectrum? ›
With Spectrum One, Spectrum Advanced WiFi and an Unlimited Mobile line are included at no extra charge. When bundled with Spectrum Internet, Spectrum WiFi is just $5 a month. Learn how existing customers can get a FREE Unlimited Mobile line.How do I remove WiFi from my Spectrum? ›
Submit your disconnect request online via this Web Form which will provide an acknowledgement of receipt of your request upon submission. This self-service web form is available 24/7 for submission. Call Spectrum Enterprise Client Services at 888-812-2591, then select option 3.How much does Spectrum charge for a WiFi router? ›
|Equipment Fee||$5.00/mo. for WiFi (no charge with Internet Gig plan) $3.00/mo. per Spectrum WiFi Pod No charge for modem or gateway|
|Installation Fee||$59.99 for pro install $24.99 for self-install and service activation $49.99 for WiFi Pod install|
Does Spectrum charge for a modem? Spectrum's modem comes included with your internet plan, but if you want Spectrum to provide Wi-Fi service, you'll need to pay $5 more a month. Or you can buy a Wi-Fi router instead.Why is Spectrum charging a WiFi fee? ›
Why does Spectrum charge a WiFi fee? Spectrum charges a $5 per month fee if you want to lease a router for your home WiFi, to cover the cost of the router and equipment maintenance. Customers can buy their own router if they would prefer not to pay the fee.What happens if you don't pay Spectrum WiFi bill? ›
Failure to pay charges by the due date on the billing statement (including checks returned for insufficient funds) may result in suspension or disconnection of all Services, the removal of all Equipment and/or imposition of a late payment or service charge.What happens if you cancel Spectrum? ›
Does Spectrum charge early termination fees? Spectrum does not require customers to have contracts, so there is no early termination fee associated with canceling. If you've been a customer for fewer than 30 days, you can get the entire cost of service refunded.Do I have to return Spectrum modem? ›
You're responsible for returning modems, routers, Spectrum receivers and any auxiliary equipment provided by Spectrum. You're not required to return any remotes, splitters or cables that came with your equipment.Do I need to pay for WiFi if I have a router? ›
Many cable and DSL modems actually have a wireless router built in. (Combo units like that eliminate the need for two separate devices.) To get an internet signal, you always need to pay for that--no getting around that part.
- Xfinity – Best availability. Up to 200 Mbps for $25.00/mo.* ...
- Spectrum – Low equipment costs. Up to 300 Mbps for $49.99/mo.* ...
- Mediacom – Cheapest internet plan. Up to 100 Mbps for $19.99/mo.* ...
- WOW! – Runner-up cheapest plan. ...
- AT&T – Cheapest fiber plans. Up to 300 Mbps for $55.00/mo.*
Taxes or fees in your area may have changed. Video On Demand and Pay-Per-View purchases, as well as long-distance calls made without a Spectrum Business Voice International Calling Plan, can change your amount due each month.Is Spectrum modem and router free? ›
Spectrum includes a modem with Internet or Voice at no extra cost. Spectrum also provides a compatible router for your service for a low monthly fee.What happens if you don't return Spectrum router? ›
If you fail to return all rented or leased equipment to Spectrum after you cancel or downgrade your services, an unreturned equipment fee may be charged to your account. This fee will be included in your total account balance.Can I just buy a modem and have internet? ›
Most Internet providers allow you to purchase your own modem and router separately, or a device that contains both—it's up to you. Both options connect you to the Internet. Keep in mind that if you purchase a combined device, if one part breaks (i.e., the router or the modem) you will have to replace the entire system.Why is my Spectrum bill $200? ›
Charter/Spectrum has become increasingly intransigent about that $200 fee, which the company claims is necessary to verify your home connection is suitable for faster internet speeds.Why is Spectrum internet 80 dollars a month? ›
"The price for Spectrum Internet reflects the cost of delivering the best value in broadband for your family: 300Mbps starting speeds with no modem fees, data caps or contracts," the company said. Charter also said this is its first price increase on standalone broadband since December 2020.How to reduce Spectrum bill after 12 months? ›
The best way to reduce your Spectrum bill is to pick up a promotional offer. Just ask the customer service representative if there are any ways you can save money on your bill. They will then look at their system to see if it will allow them to give you a discount.How long does Spectrum give you to pay WiFi? ›
Current charges are due within 21 days of delivery. Any past-due balance is due immediately. Your payment is considered past due if not received by the date specified on the bill. A late fee may be assessed on any past-due balance each month.Is it hard to cancel Spectrum internet? ›
Is Spectrum easy to cancel? Spectrum is fairly easy to cancel because the provider doesn't have contracts with early termination fees. But you'll need to return any rental equipment to avoid penalty fees and Spectrum doesn't offer prorated refunds if you cancel after your first month of service.
Spectrum typically allows 50–90 days between payment due date and service shutoff.How do I turn off Wi-Fi enable? ›
- Click the Windows button (Start) and Settings.
- Select Network & Internet.
- Select Wi-Fi.
- Slide Wi-Fi On, then available networks will be listed. Click Connect. Disable/Enable Wi-Fi.
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Spectrum - Contract Buyout - We will buy out your contract up to $500. To qualify for Spectrum's contract buyout program, customers must order and install a combination of qualifying Video and Internet and/or Voice services ("Qualifying Service"). Spectrum's Mobile Services are not eligbile for the buyout program.How do I cancel my Spectrum payment? ›
Open the My Spectrum app and select the Billing tab. Choose Manage Auto Pay. Choose Cancel Auto Pay.Does Spectrum charge you if you don't return equipment? ›
If you fail to return all rented or leased equipment to Spectrum after you cancel or downgrade your services, an unreturned equipment fee may be charged to your account. This fee will be included in your total account balance.How much is the Spectrum fee for not returning equipment? ›
|Standard One Time Charges|
|Unreturned Equipment Fee|
|Modem (wired & wireless)6||$59.00|
Return via UPS
If you don't have a Spectrum store nearby, look for authorized UPS Stores. Spectrum has a tie-up with UPS to keep the return of Spectrum equipment easy for customers. Take your spectrum devices to the UPS store. Note not all UPS locations are stores.
The FCC Lifeline program can provide reduced-cost or even no-cost internet access. You can go to the Lifeline Support site to check your eligibility and to apply to the program. You can also check out our in-depth analysis of government programs for free and low-cost internet.Do I need both internet and WiFi? ›
Wireless devices can be connected using WiFi but these devices has access to internet is not necessary. WiFi is not needed for all the computers to be connected on the Internet. In WiFi, DSL devices and routers are required for connection. Modem, routers, switches are needed to connect to internet or LAN servers.
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|Spectrum Internet®||$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.*||View Plan|
|Spectrum Internet® Ultra||$69.99/mo. for 12 mos.*||View Plan|
|Spectrum Internet® Gig||$89.99/mo. for 12 mos.‡||View Plan|
|Connection type||Average monthly cost in 2021||Download speed range|
|All connection types||$61||3–2,000 Mbps|
Comcast & Spectrum Lost Over 2.6 Million TV Customers in 2022 & Its Speeding Up In 2023. 2022 was not kind to cable TV companies as Comcast and Spectrum lost a combined 2.6 million TV customers in 2022.Did Spectrum prices go up 2023? ›
After 12 months, the average Spectrum bill goes up 45% (a 14 percentage point increase over last year), in a range of 33–60% for internet-only packages. Standard rates are between $79.99–119.99 per month before equipment fees in 2023. As of 2023, Spectrum offers lower prices for qualifying customers based on income.Why does Spectrum cost more? ›
The retransmission consent fees, fees that cable providers have to pay local TV stations for the right to retransmit their signal to customers, “are the single greatest factor in customer's escalating cable TV prices,” the spokesperson said.Can I buy a router instead of renting from Spectrum? ›
Spectrum Internet customers are required to use an authorized modem to connect to the Spectrum network. For a monthly fee, Spectrum will provide a pre-configured WiFi router. Customers may also choose to use or purchase their own router. Learn more about in-home WiFi and routers.Can I replace my Spectrum router with my own? ›
Note: If you'd like to install your own modem and/or router, please check our authorized equipment list to make sure your device is supported on our network. If your device is supported, you can add and activate it at spectrum.net/selfinstall. You'll need to enter your device's MAC address.Do I need to return the router to my Internet provider after I have cancelled my service? ›
Confirm the Details of Your Terminated Contract
However, you will likely need to show proof of your new address outside of the service area, and you must return any leased equipment, like your router. Keep in mind all is not lost if you do have to pay an early termination fee.
You may also be eligible to bring your own device. Learn more. When you add a new line of service, a one-time $10 activation fee per device will be applied to your order during purchase. Before switching to Spectrum Mobile, ensure that you back up your old device to avoid losing your contacts, photos or other data.
A modem is a box that connects your home network to your internet service provider, or ISP. A router is a box that lets all of your wired and wireless devices use that internet connection at once and allows them to talk to one another directly.Can I use a modem instead of WiFi? ›
Your modem gives you a reliable, wired Internet connection. But if you want to connect multiple devices, or you want to use your devices wirelessly (WiFi), then you will need both a modem and a router.Why do I need a router if I have a modem? ›
Do I need a modem and a router? A modem and router are both essential components of most home networks, especially for those who have a home office and work remotely. The modem is responsible for sending and receiving signals from the ISP, while the router disperses the signal to devices on the network.Does Spectrum Internet include WiFi? ›
Spectrum Mobile and Internet customers get free, unlimited access to nationwide out-of-home WiFi in over 500,000 public locations.How does Spectrum WiFi billing work? ›
Your billing cycle starts the day you activate your first line of service or seven days after the device is shipped, whichever comes first. The billing cycle ends 30 days later and your monthly payment is charged 20 days after that.What does Spectrum Internet cost? ›
|Spectrum Internet||Starting at $49.99/mo. for 12 mos.||Up to 300 Mbps|
|Spectrum Internet® Ultra||Starting at $69.99/mo. for 12 mos.||Up to 500 Mbps|
|Spectrum Internet Gig||Starting at $89.99/mo. for 12 mos.||Up to 1,000 Mbps|
When you sign up for Spectrum's internet service, you have the choice of either professional installation or self-installation. If you opt for self-installation, you can pick up your kit in-store, or Spectrum will mail the kit to you at no extra charge.