When it comes to fast internet service, Spectrum doesn’t fall short. With over a decade in the telecommunications world, Charter Communications is a force to reckon with.
Their 2016 merger with Time Warner Cable gave birth to Spectrum, an internet service available to over 40 states in the US with about 31 million active users.
Although their internet speed is one of the best around, ranked among the top 10 in the States, they still fall short on the devices they give to their internet users.
After subscribing to Spectrum, you are often presented with the option to rent their router for $5 a month alongside the plan you subscribed to.
This offer may seem so good and cheap and often tempting, so before we talk about the best routers for Spectrum, let us first carry out some smart calculations and consider the services it renders to see if it’s preferable we stick to the routers Spectrum offers.
Is Spectrum WiFi router any good?
Let’s break down things so you can help decide a straightforward answer. Spectrum offers you a router for about $5 per month; when you punch how much you’ll spend in 2 years into your calculator, we are talking $120. Although they are routers worth over $120, there are still some worth less than $100.
Nevertheless, the $5 monthly fee will accumulate to $180 in three years and even more in 5 years. There are way compatible routers for less than this price that would likely last you up to six years.
Aside from the price, Spectrum bid for the lowest technology when preparing their routers for their customers. More often than not, price in these cases is somewhat synonymous with the quality of service the device itself offers.
When you consider this, you’ll realize you are spending $5 a month on a sub-par router which is often not built for the future. We have other points in the sections below.
However, the straightforward answer to the question above is No, Spectrum WiFi routers aren’t any good. Forum discussions such as this can confirm that they aren’t worth it.
Why You Should Have Your Router?
No doubt, renting a router from Spectrum has their own good sides, for a point, they’ll be responsible for upgrades and tackling issues that emanate in the course of using the router, however when you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of routers rented from Spectrum, you’ll realize it’s more advisable you purchase your router.
1. Save Money
We’ve broken this down up there, so we won’t be detailed here. However, $5 (monthly fee) * 60 (5 years) = $300; on our list of best routers for Spectrum internet, our most expensive router shouldn’t be worth this. So, if you buy your router, you could be saving from $20 upwards in the long run. We won’t also leave out the $9.99 setup fee that Spectrum charges to set up the rented router.
2. Quality Device
There’s little to no possibility of Spectrum offering you a suitable router for your needs. They often bid for low-standard devices to enable them to rent in bulk. Let’s look at this logically. They purchase thousands of routers for a figure then rent it out, assuming they spent $50 to get these routers; at $5 a month, it would take them almost a year to realize their capital.
Since price is often synonymous with quality, they likely purchased low-quality routers. High quality would entail them spending more, which would take a longer time to get back their capital.
So, you would be getting your money’s worth or something close when you buy your Spectrum compatible router.
3. Brand New Device
What’s the possibility you aren’t getting a router that has been used by over two users and within an extended period? It may appear new and presentable, but you don’t expect Spectrum to dispose of every router returned?
However, when you purchase your router, you are getting a brand new device. Some may even come with warranties spanning 12 months and above.
4. Ability to switch ISPs
When it comes to Internet Service Providers, there are countless options to pick from. Spectrum is quite reliable, but there are limitations like every other ISP. One obvious fact is, Spectrum isn’t available in all the states and globally.
So, suppose there’s ever a need to travel out or relocate. In that case, you can easily switch from Spectrum to another provider without worrying about starting another “renting” escapade with a new provider.
Most of us have dead zones in our houses; these spots are where our network can’t get to or penetrate through. Spectrum probably has no idea of how your home or office is; they have no details of the space it has or the number of rooms behind tick walls that often interfere with your network coverage.
So, when you go shopping for your router, you’ll have an idea of the router compatible with your household and surrounding.
If there’s a gamer in your household, you sure need a good router. If there’s also a chance that someone in your house would stream high-quality videos, you should go for a router that dishes out blazing speed. Routers provided by Spectrum may likely fall short in this aspect.
After going through the features of the device you wish to buy, you’ll surely make the best decision. If you have subscribed to high and fast internet plans, like the 100mbps, you will need the best router for the Spectrum 100mbps plan.
There’s every possibility that the router you rented from Spectrum isn’t adequately secured. You wouldn’t want to risk your privacy, especially with the number of cybersecurity breaches happening these days.
Suppose you access your private data like bank accounts, social media accounts, emails, and much more with your Spectrum Internet. In that case, you should get a router that ensures adequate security. When you go shopping, you are sure of purchasing a router that offers you security features such as VPN abilities.
8. Control/More features.
The chances of getting a Spectrum rented router that offers additional features like parental control, Firewalls, MU-MIMO, and other excellent features are pretty slim.
Aside from these, you seldom have total control over your router. Although Spectrum sends out the necessary updates to routers they rent out, and updates are meant to be great, they are also times updates are total disasters.
So, with your router, you have full control of how your device operates.
What You Should Look Out for When Picking a Spectrum Router?
A simple search on your search engine or a popular e-store like Amazon would present you with countless options to pick from. As attractive as these options may look, it is often counterproductive to pick routers at random.
They may seem great and save you that recurring payment; they may also lack those features you need in a good router. So, when looking out for routers compatible with Spectrum, you should consider at least 70% of the points stated below and make sure they fit your needs.
A router that isn’t compatible with Spectrum is as good as not having one. So, make sure you have a closer look at the router before clicking the Check Out button. Although Spectrum is quite popular, some routers still don’t meet Spectrum routers’ requirements, or they aren’t prepared for Spectrum.
What good is a router if it isn’t fast enough? If you or someone in your household would stream HQ videos or play games, you should go for a fast router. If you’ll likely or have already purchased the 100mbps Spectrum plan, you will also need a router that is perfect for that.
You need to consider your location and other household items then buy along. Not all routers can cover large distances. Also, some household items could affect your internet network, for example, metal surfaces, stone walls, mirrors, washing machines, microwaves, and many others.
4. Multi-core processor
Your router connects to countless devices. You are likely to connect your router to your smartphones, desktops, laptops, pads, printers, and so many other gadgets in an average home. To avoid overworking or network congestions, you should go for routers with more than one core processor. Also, look out for routers with at least 128MB RAM space.
5. Number of bands
Gone are those days where we were stuck with single-band routers. These days, dual-bands or more are obtainable for a good router.
Yes, the 2GHz band is compatible with old wireless standards; you should still go for routers with dual bands that often have the famous 5GHz band. This is way faster, especially over a short distance.
6. USB port
You should go for routers with a USB port, preferably a USB 3.0. We have numerous devices that need USB ports to function, so that you may look out for this.
7. Mobile app
You can also consider routers that offer mobile applications. These apps often give you extra abilities like remote control from miles away, more security, and much more.
These days anybody can hack into your private network provided your router isn’t secure. When you go shopping, you should pay close attention to the router’s security. It’s advisable to go for routers that have the renowned WPA/WPA2 security protocol.
It may be impossible to find routers that tick all these boxes; nevertheless, we have carried out our research bid, read other reviews, tested these devices, and further down, we would give you a comprehensive buy guide on the best routers to use with Spectrum.
What Routers Would Work With Spectrum?
Unlike most ISPs out there, Spectrum doesn’t have a list of recommended approved routers; however, after carrying out enough research, routers that work with Spectrum are 802.11ac and dual-band routers.
It would be best if you also looked out for routers that are compatible with your modem.
Best Routers For Spectrum
7. Google WiFi System – Wide range
I was a bit surprised and skeptical when I first came in contact with this router system a few years ago. However, after experiencing this device awesomeness, I must say it is worth it. You can always count on Google to deliver every product they put out, and the Google WiFi system can attest to that.
This device (or should I say devices) is specifically built to help eliminate dead zones in your home, covering about 4500 sq feet (1500 per one). Its Network Assist technology makes sure your network is fast and always precise, passing it through the best channels.
Although this device can act as a bridge between other routers and your device, there are still some limitations, so it’s advisable you make it your #1 router because more juicy features come if you use it this way. It is relatively easy to set up and very affordable, offering fantastic features like traffic prioritization, this feature enables you to focus the majority of the router’s resources on those internet processes or activities you feel need the most bandwidth. It is a Quad-Core router (710 MHz each) and provides 512MB RAM and 4GB storage space.
Frequency band – 2.4GHz and 5GHz | Security Features – WPA2-PSK | Range – 4500 square feet | Number of devices – Multiple | Ethernet Ports – 2 | Max Transfer Rate – 1200Mbps
Price: Around $230
- Easy to setup
- Awesome design
- Wide range
- Enough storage space
- Limited customization
- Low AC rating
6. ASUS RT-AX68U – Free internet security
In the computer world, ASUS is one name that can’t be left out. Their RT-AX68U router is one great device to look out for. Dishing out a speed of up to 2700Mbps, this beauty comes six on our list of best routers for Spectrum.
The device features a lifetime free ASUS AirProtection Pro, which Trend Micro powers. We are probably used to WPA/WPA2 security; this device, however, offers a WPA3 which is still rolling out on many other routers, simply put, this is maximum protection.
Frequency band – 2GHz and 5GHz| Security Features – WPA3, Parental Control, Adaptive QoS, ASUS AirProtection| Range – 1600+ square feet| Number of devices – 12+| Ethernet Ports – 2| Max Transfer Rate – WiFi 6 (1200Mbps)
Price: Around $200
- Life-long internet security
- User-friendly mobile app
- 2 Ethernet ports only
- It might fall easily
5. Synology RT2600ac – Best Security
Speed and protection are two features every user would love to have in their router. If you need a single device that possesses these two qualities, then Synology RT2600 is right for you. With a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, this device would offer you super speed without compromising its performance.
It is equipped to cover a whopping 3000 square feet while dishing out up to 2.53Gbps of wireless speed.
It offers the industry-standard MU-MIMO with a Smart Connect feature to maximize its speed range. You will quickly notice its four high-gain antennas, which you can move around in the search for a good signal.
It’s a known notion that horizontal routers are often prone to overheat. Still, the Synology RT2600 isn’t part of that fold since its makers made it position properly to receive adequate ventilation.
Unlike routers we are used to, this beauty offers 5 Ethernet ports which is more than enough in an average household.
It gives state-of-the-art security features to combat Malware and other cyber threats. It also features renowned denial-of-service protection and much more security apparatus; in a nutshell, this device is the epitome of speed and security.
Frequency band – 2.4GHz and 5GHz| Security Features – Synology Router Management console, DoS protection| Range – 3000 square feet| Number of devices – 15+ | Ethernet Ports – 5 | Max Transfer Rate – 2.53Gbps
Price: There are three versions in this series ranging from $140 to $340
- It offers MU-MIMO data streaming
- Awesome security features
- Easy to setup
- Long range
- May come off pricy
- its mobile app isn’t too presentable
4. NETGEAR Nighthawk XR500 – Best for Gamers
Generally, online games consume a considerable amount of bandwidth; if by chance you have more than one online gamer in your household, then the NetGear XR500 is perfect for you as it would aid the gamers to have fun with low latency.
This is one Spectrum-compatible router that is perfect for resource-intensive online activities.
It is build to stay horizontal, and it’s sleek and black. Aside from its rugged look, you will quickly notice its four amplified antennas. Although it doesn’t have a fan, this device wouldn’t get worryingly warm despite exposing it to serious work.
It has visible LED lights for indicating essential features. It can easily be turned off with a switch from behind. NETGEAR equipped it with 4 LAN ports that can dish out Gigabit speed which is perfect for online gaming.
It has a 1.7GHz dual-core processor with a 512MB and 256MB storage space memory, making it one of the best routers for Spectrum, and many other network providers such as Cox and Xfinity.
This device is perfect for homes with thick walls. It has a geo-filtering feature that would help connect gamers to the nearest servers.
Frequency band – 2GHz and 5GHz | Security Features – VPN ability, Network real-time monitor, QoS| Range – 3500 square feet | Number of devices – | Ethernet Ports – 4 | Max Transfer Rate – 2.6Gbps
Price: It offers about three versions in this series ranging from $148 to $350
- Works with Alexa Voice Control
- Optimized for gamers
- Geo filtering
- Speed reaching 2.6Gbps
- VPN server capabilities
- Can only stay horizontally
- Maybe too pricey
3. Linksys EA7500 – Best for the 100Mbps plan
The people behind this may not be as famous as NETGEAR or Motorola, but they sure know how to make quality routers, and their EA7500 can attest to that. This device is the best router for the Spectrum 100Mbps plan.
If you ever plan on playing resource-intensive online games or streaming in 4K, then the EA7500 is your best bet. This beauty can dish out a speed comparable to 10 wireless devices while giving room for wired connection through 4 Gigabit ports.
It won’t cost you much time to set up, especially with the Linksys app. We can’t leave out the MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output) features. It can distribute its network across multiple devices simultaneously instead of sequentially.
From our test, we didn’t experience any bandwidth degradation.
The EA7500 has plenty of I/O ports that are correctly distributed and carefully selected. with a bandwidth that can go up to 600Mbps on a 2GHz band and reach up to 1300Mbps on its 5GHz band.
This device’s antennas are detachable while also making room for two USB ports (3.0 and 2.0).
Frequency band – 2GHz and 5GHz | Security Features – WPA2, WEP, Parental Control, Guest Access, Mac filtering, Firewall, Media Prioritization | Range – 1000 square feet | Number of devices – 12+| Ethernet Ports – 4 | Max Transfer Rate – 1900Mbps
- Media Prioritization
- Dual band (2GHz and 5GHz)
- Two USB ports (3.0 and 2.0)
- Very fast
- Setup could be complicated for most users
- Might be too expensive for most users
2. TP-Link AC1750 (Archer A7) – Affordable Quality
These days, device names are often hype. However, the Archer A7 isn’t just a name. This router features a machine perfect for gamers and streaming high-definition videos. You’ll first notice the powerful 5dBi non-removable antennas, which dishes out excellent 5GHz internet capabilities.
The other three internal antennas give one of the fastest 2GHz speeds this band frequency can offer. The makers of this beauty added a collection of LED activity indicators for power, radio bands, internet, LAN ports, USB, and WPS.
This router won the JD Power Award for the highest customer satisfaction for wireless routers in 2017 and 2019; with over 40k positive reviews, it’s quite obvious why they won this.
This device has a simplistic design; although it is horizontal, it won’t still inconvenience you that much.
It is an exceptional device that is perfect for large spaces and homes. It is compatible with TP-Link OneMesh devices and Amazon Alexa for Smart Home. It also gives room for a USB 2.0 port and offers many other features.
Frequency band – 2GHz and 5GHz| Security Features – WEB, WPA/WPA2-PSK, Parental Control, VPN support, Firewall | Range – 2500 square feet | Number of devices – 50+ | Ethernet Ports – 4 | Max Transfer Rate – 1750mbps
- Remote management
- 2 years warranty (if gotten from the official seller)
- It is easy to set up
- 2GHz and 5GHz
- Amazon Alexa for Smart Home
- Quite affordable
- Doesn’t support MU-MIMO
- USB 2.0 (gradually getting out of date)
- Rumoured to have a poor customer care rep after a while
1. NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000 – Editors Choice
The Nighthawk R7000 takes the number one spot. With over 50k positive reviews to its name on Amazon alone, this router goes down as one of the best routers for Spectrum.
It is designed to lay horizontally while making its three powerful antennas visible. With these antennas, you can position your router to give the best signal in any direction of your choice.
The router may come off as bulky, but you would agree it deserves this size with the work it gives out. NETGEAR is renowned for making excellent routers, and they didn’t disappoint with this beauty.
This device offers outstanding services like Beamforming which would boost your network signal to reach those dark parts of your house.
It also has a Smart Connect feature plus a mobile app. Use any Amazon device in your household. You won’t have a hard time with this router as it is equipped with Amazon Alexa Voice Controls and much more features.
R7000 ventilation outlets are entirely built to get as much ventilation as the location it is in permits. We can’t leave out its industry-standard USB 3.0 and other excellent features like the VPN, DoS, Guest WiFi access, and many other features.
This is one fantastic router you should look out for.
Frequency band – 2.5GHz and 5GHz | Security Features – WPA/WPA2, Double firewall protection, DoS attack prevention, Parental control, BitDefender | Range – 1800 square feet | Number of devices – 30 | Ethernet Ports – 4 | Max Transfer Rate – 1900mbps
Price: They are about six versions of this series, with prices ranging from $96 – $190.
- Easy to setup
- Its stability is top-notch
- Dual-band 2GHz and GHz
- Awesome security features
- It May be bulky to most users
- Most versions may be pricy
How to connect Spectrum Router to a modem?
Follow these steps to connect your router to a modem. Unless it’s a Gateway device, your router needs a modem to work. You’ll also need a working Ethernet cable. When all these are ready and you’ve purchased the Spectrum plan, follow the guide below. The setup steps may vary with most devices; however, these are the usual steps.
Step 1: Disconnect your modem from your computer or any device it is connected to.
Step 2: Plug in your modem and power it on.
Step 3: Connect both your modem and router together using a suitable Ethernet cable. The ports are usually located behind each device.
Step 4: Power on your router and ensure it is entirely on. Most routers show a green indicator when they are ready to be used.
Step 5: Connect your devices; Voila. Preferably, you can make use of the guide that comes with the router.
Q. How can I boost my Spectrum WiFi signal?
Although Spectrum offers an excellent WiFi signal, there are still conditions that could slow our signal down. There is no official way to boost your WiFi signal; however, they are best practices to follow.
1. Make use of a WiFi extender.
2. Make sure your router is dual-band, then try using the 5GHz band.
3. Stay close to your WiFi
4. Make sure you are using the latest firmware update.
5. Turn off devices you aren’t using so they don’t sap your WiFi signal
6. Make use of wired connection for places your WiFi signal cannot reach or penetrate
Q. Does NetGear Nighthawk work with Spectrum?
There are different routers in the Nighthawk series; however, many routers in this series work perfectly fine with Spectrum. In fact, on this list, we have two Nighthawk routers that have done an excellent job with Spectrum.
Nevertheless, you should visit the manufacturer’s site to check with them if that specific Nighthawk router would work with Spectrum. You can also search for that particular Nighthawk router on this list of Spectrum recommended routers.
Q. Can I have two routers with Spectrum?
In the bid to widen our network coverage using two routers with Spectrum is possible. You can manually set this up with a split coax line or via an Ethernet connection. The straightforward steps are as follows.
Step 1: Get your two routers ready and decide which would be the Primary and the Secondary router.
Step 2: Both routers should be placed side by side.
Step 3: You are then to choose between LAN-to-LAN or LAN-to-WAN connections.
Step 4: Boot both routers and correctly set them up, then carry out their configuration.
Q. Does Spectrum charge for the router?
Suppose you mean their rental routers, then yes. It goes for—$ 5 per month with a $9.99 setup fee. If you purchased the router yourself, they wouldn’t charge a dime. However, all updates and setup would be done by you.
There are countless routers available; nevertheless, we carried out in-depth research and documented this list of the best router for Spectrum. When you go shopping for routers, especially those you’ll use with a particular service provider, you need to be sure it is compatible with the service provider. Aside from this, you should check out the router’s range, speed, processor, number of bands, and other features listed in this guide. Thank you for stopping by; share your comments below.