Spectrum was formed through the merger of Time Warner and Charter Communications. Spectrum Internet is a well-established player in the home internet market with an expansive service territory.
Much like Comcast, Spectrum is often accused of monopolistic practices, including buying out competitors or briefly pricing competitors out of the market until they fail, only to then raise prices. For these reasons, among others, many people are interested in an alternative to Spectrum Internet.
Breezeline is the doing business as name in the United States for Cogeco Communications. Breezeline is considered the 8th largest cable operator in the United States. Breezeline is a multi-service operator which currently offers TV Service, Internet, and phone services using a modern coax fiber hybrid network architecture.
Breezeline Internet vs Spectrum: Comparison
Breezeline vs Spectrum Availability at Your Home Address
Breezeline is estimated to have approximately 700,000 broadband customers located in twelve different states: Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia, Florida, and South Carolina.
Spectrum has over 32 million customers across 41 states putting it solidly in 2nd place only behind Comcast in terms of the number of subscribers.
Many areas likely have Spectrum or Breezeline available but not both at the same service address. However, some areas, especially in the Columbus, Ohio, and Cleveland, Ohio, regions, do have access to both services. This is largely the area where Breezeline acquired the former WOW communications customers. Many of people in this area have access to both internet plans at their home address.
Breezeline vs Spectrum Internet Speed
Generally, Spectrum Internet is fast and reliable, with speeds of 1 Gbps available in most areas. Cable internet utilizing DOCSIS 3.1 technology is generally the next best thing to fiber-based internet. Spectrum and Breezeline both utilize the latest DOCSIS 3.1 technology.
If you happen to live in a Verizon Fios coverage region or have access to fiber-based internet from your local telco operator, that can also be a great choice. Generally, fiber internet has the absolutely lowest latency and the highest upload speeds. Spectrum upload speeds are a fraction of your download speeds but are generally fast enough for most people. Upload speeds with Spectrum currently max out at 35 Mbps.
Breezeline offers several internet plans in 2022 ranging from 100 Mbps up to 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps). I have personally used both their 200 Mbps plan and their gigabit plan. Both plans delivered the advertised bandwidth the vast majority of the time.
Of course, a gigabit internet plan really mazes out at about 945 Mbps of usable throughput. This is the same as with Spectrum or any other provider. This is a limitation of the gigabit ethernet standard itself and is not unique to any provider.
With the current gigabit plan, I consistently see speeds of between 920 and 945 Mbps. This includes during peak hours when many people are all online. Breezeline has done a decent job of limiting the number of connections per cable node, This is essential to getting the best performance out of any cable (DOCSIS) based internet connection.
Upload speeds are advertised as up to 50 Mbps on their gigabit plan. This is higher than what is currently offered by Spectrum, which maxes out at 35 Mbps.
Actual upload speeds (tested using speedtest.net) generally hover around 53 Mbps. This is actually slightly higher than what they are advertising.
Winner: Breezeline Due to Faster Upload Speeds
Breezeline vs Spectrum Internet Latency (Ping)
Latency is not generally an issue with Breezeline or Spectrum Internet. Both services offer a stable ping of 10 – 20 ms measured to Google’s (22.214.171.124) or to Cloudflare’s public DNS servers (126.96.36.199). This is very similar to what you can expect with a fiber-based internet connection. The stability of the ping is also very impressive, especially with Breezeline.
If you are a gamer, the stable low latency offered by Breezeline or Spectrum Internet is ideal. Generally, connections to popular game servers are 30 ms – 40 ms or less in latency. This is ideal for lag-free gaming.
Breezeline and Spectrum are also ideal for gaming because they do not use carrier-grade NAT (CGNAT) and instead give every customer a proper publicly routable IP address. This means no double NAT issues for gaming, and port forwarding is possible.
Breezeline vs Spectrum Pricing
Pricing with Breezeline during the promotional period, usually lasting 6 or 12 months, is excellent. Pricing ranges from about $19 per month up to $60 per month during the promotional period. This is cheaper than what is currently offered by Spectrum during the promo period.
After the promo rate expires, you can expect to see a substantial increase in monthly costs. The pricing generally ranges from $59 – $109 per month after the promotions run out. This is slightly above-average pricing for each speed tier.
The real kicker with Breezeline Internet is the modem rental fee. If you choose to rent their modem router combo unit, it will cost you an additional $14.99 per month.
Honestly, I would just pass on this anyways. It is generally preferable to purchase your own modem and router rather than renting. Not only can it save you money in the long run, but it also generally offers better performance.
When you buy, you know what you are getting and that it is new. When you rent a modem, you do not know what you are getting. ISPs have been known to take modems from one house to another without even testing them out thoroughly.
Spectrum offers slightly higher pricing during the promo period in exchange for slightly lower rates after the promo period ends. The approximate price you will pay during the promo period is $49.99- $89.99 per month, depending on the plan you choose.
One real advantage of Spectrum is that the modem and router are included with your monthly service. There is no rental fee. This is great if you do not wish to purchase your own equipment. For best results, you may still wish to use your own equipment with Spectrum.
Overall pricing with Spectrum or Breezeline is roughly on par with each other and will vary depending on any current promotions available when you sign up. If you want to use your own modem and router, Breezeline may be slightly cheaper, and if you plan to rent the equipment, Spectrum may be slightly less expensive.
On the plus side, both Spectrum and Breezeline currently offer unlimited data on all service plans. However, there has recently been some discussion about whether Spectrum might be looking at implementing data caps in the future.
Breezeline vs Spectrum Customer Support
Customer support is a common criticism of virtually all internet service providers. Breezeline and Spectrum are no exception. The support offered by both providers is about average within the industry. There is certainly better, but there is also much worse.
Generally, with Breezeline and Spectrum, the wait times for technical support are the longest during the evening hours. If you are able to call off hours, you will generally get through to a support agent much faster. Breezeline and Spectrum both also have the option of using the live chat support feature on their website. Getting through to technical support is generally a waiting game with both services. Breezeline was slightly better on some occasions.
Billing and account support appear to usually have shorter wait times. The wait to get through to an account representative is usually minimal. The spectrum appears to be slightly faster on average, yet Breezeline appears to be slightly easier to work with.
Once again, the support is about average. Nothing to write home about, but good enough to get the job done. This is the case with both services.
The best thing about the support with both Breezeline and Spectrum not needing them very often at all. Generally, everything works as it is supposed to, bills can be paid online, and generally, there is no need to reach out to customer service. Both have an online guide with frequently asked questions about common issues and how to fix them. Spectrum makes troubleshooting your modem and restarting your modem online simple.
If you do, be prepared for a lengthy wait, especially for technical issues during peak hours.
Winner: Breezeline (Slightly)
What Others Have to Say About Breezeline and Spectrum
Generally, reviews for most internet service providers you find online are pretty negative overall. As expected, this is the case for both Breezeline and Spectrum. Yelp reviews for both Breezeline and Spectrum average less than 2 stars, and the complaints are numerous.
Entire Reddit threads are dedicated to issues faced with both Breezeline and Spectrum.
Much of the complaints regarding Breezeline stem from the Ohio region, where they experienced a rougher-than-expected transition over from WOW communications. According to Breezeline’s CFO Patrice Ouimet, they lost more than 14,000 customers in Ohio. While Breezeline losing customers is a reality in Ohio, they are also gaining customers in other regions at a rapid pace.
Breezeline acknowledges that customer management and billing platform transition issues, as well as poorly-timed service outages, were partially to blame for some of the lost customers in the Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio, regions.
Spectrum also has some very harsh criticism, including the difficulty of getting support for technical-related issues. Spectrum, along with Xfinity, frequently makes lists of the most hated companies in the United States of America.
Alternatives to Breezeline or Spectrum Internet
Depending on where you live, you may have several alternatives available to you for internet service in addition to Breezeline or Spectrum. Comcast (Xfinity) and Cox are also big players in the cable internet space.
Generally, most Breezeline or Spectrum areas are not served by one of these other cable giants. However, that is not always the case. Learn more about Breezeline vs Xfinity Internet. Xfinity is a decent alternative if it is available in your area.
Fiber internet may be available to you depending on your location. These are often services such as Verizon Fios or AT&T Fiber, additional local options may be available. If fiber internet is available to you, it is worth consideration, especially for the ultra-fast upload speeds and low latency.
5G home internet from companies such as T-Mobile and Verizon are also expanding in footprint. At this time, I would hesitate to recommend 5G home internet if you have access to anything better.
Breezeline and Spectrum are definitely superior options to 5G home internet at this time. Starlink, similar to 5G, is also an option in many places but lags behind cable and fiber internet both in terms of speed and stability. If you have access to either Spectrum or Breezeline, skip the 5g or Starlink, at least for the time being.
Check out some of our internet service comparisons to learn more about other options.
Conclusion: Breezeline Home Internet or Spectrum Home Internet
Breezeline vs Spectrum Internet, which is better?
Breezeline and Spectrum both offer very similar services at very similar price points. Most areas do not have access to both services. If you happen to have access to both. You will be well served by going with either. Despite Breezeline and Spectrum both having harsh reviews, I did not find any significant issues with either internet service that would deter me from subscribing.
If we had to declare a winner, it would be Breezeline due to the faster upload speeds and slightly better customer service. Breezeline Internet has been solid in my day-to-day workflow, and reliability has been at least 99.85% of the time. This is pretty solid for residential internet service.
However, if you wish to rent your modem/router from your ISP, Spectrum includes it in the monthly cost, whereas Breezeline charges $14.99 for the rental. For some people, this might shift the needle in favor of Spectrum a bit. However, using your own modem and router is highly recommended by most experts, regardless of whether a free modem is included in your monthly bill or not.
It is also understandable why Ohio customers may be a bit biased against Breezeline. Breezeline reviews in Columbus, Ohio, are largely negative due to a poor experience with the transition over from WOW communications. However, Breezeline service in the state of Ohio is now much better than it was even a few months ago.