In 2016, Charter Communications acquired Time Warner Cable (TWC), leading to the company operating under the Spectrum brand name. Since then, it has expanded its services and now offers a traditional bundle of internet and television services in up to 44 states across the United States.
However, it’s not all roses and diamonds when it comes to Spectrum. The ISP is known for blocking users who like torrenting. It might also happen that your ISP will throttle your speed whenever you’re doing data-consuming activities or even collect your private data.
Luckily, there’s a simple solution – using a VPN service. It makes you anonymous by hiding your traffic and your IP address. This way, no one can know what you’re doing with your time online.
To help you pick the most suitable solution, we thoroughly tested and listed the best VPNs for Spectrum regarding security, privacy, and more.
Top 5 best Spectrum VPNs
- NordVPN – the best VPN for Spectrum
- Surfshark – inexpensive Spectrum VPN
- IPVanish – VPN with competitive speeds
- ExpressVPN – feature-rich VPN for Spectrum
- CyberGhost– reliable VPN to bypass geo-restrictions
Why do I need a VPN for Spectrum?
Getting a VPN for any ISP, including Spectrum, is crucial for privacy reasons. Here are some of the features to look for in Spectrum VPN:
|Privacy policies:||Audited no-logs policy, privacy-friendly jurisdiction|
|Speed and performance:||WireGuard tunneling protocol|
|Streaming features:||SmartDNS, streaming-optimized servers|
Here are the top benefits of investing in a VPN service for Spectrum:
- Prevent bandwidth throttling. Some ISPs limit your internet speed when large amounts of data are used, especially during such activities as gaming, streaming, or torrenting. Luckily, a VPN hides your traffic from the eyes of your ISP. So you can enjoy your browsing experience at full speed.
- Protect your data. ISP providers can easily see what you’re doing online. Some are also known to collect user data and sell it to third parties. With the use of a VPN, your online activity and data are encrypted in a way that ISP providers can't decrypt it. Therefore, your online activities are safe and anonymous.
- Bypass geo-restrictions. Because your IP address is visible, you cannot view content or websites that are geo-restricted. A VPN connection hides your IP address, meaning you can easily bypass restrictions and access content from anywhere.
The best VPNs for Spectrum – our detailed list:
To ensure a seamless browsing experience with an ISP provider like Spectrum, it’s crucial to have a reliable, secure, and private VPN service. To simplify the selection for you, we have tested and selected VPNs that incorporate necessary features, such as a kill switch. Here’s our curated VPN for Spectrum list:
1. NordVPN – best overall VPN for Spectrum
|Severs/countries:||5,900+ servers in 60 countries|
|Compatible with:||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥Cyber Monday! Get NordVPN with 69% OFF + 3 months FREE! 🔥|
NordVPN is one of the top choices for Spectrum because it’s all in one – secure, private, and affordable. Not to mention that it’s also great for bypassing geo-restrictions, torrenting, and other activities.
Performance. NordVPN stands out with its speeds, thanks to NordLynx protocol (an upgraded version of the popular WireGuard), an excellent combination of speed and security. During our tests, it worked without problems and didn’t cause visible speed drops.
Features. Besides the VPN essentials, NordVPN has a Threat Protection feature to secure your devices from malware, SmartPlay – an option that enables VPN on devices that don’t support it. NordVPN also offers powerful streaming and unblocking capabilities, a double VPN, and more useful features.
Compatibility. NordVPN is compatible with all major operating systems (Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux), browsers, and has easy-to-use apps and navigation.
NordVPN prices start from $2.99/month, letting you enjoy the best of the best for less. Android users can also get a free 7-day NordVPN trial. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
To find out more, visit our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark – affordable Spectrum VPN
|Based in:||The Netherlands|
|Severs/countries:||3,200+ servers in 100 countries|
|Compatible with:||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥 Cyber Monday! Get 80% OFF Surfshark + 5 months FREE 🔥|
Surfshark is another provider excellent for Spectrum because of its all-rounded security features, competitive pricing, and speeds.
Security and privacy. The market-standard AES 256-bit encryption ensures top-level protection of your traffic. And if your VPN runs into issues, Surfshark’s kill switch will shut down your internet connection. Even though Surfshark’s base belongs to the 9-Eyes alliance,its no-logs policy has been independently audited, so you don’t have to worry about Spectrum getting its hands on your data.
Performance. Surfshark is one of the fastest VPNs on the market – thanks to the modern WireGuard protocol. With this provider, you can be sure of a throttle-free experience even with Spectrum.
Features. Netflix, Max, Hulu, YouTube TV – these are only some of the platforms it can unblock. As for torrenting, you won’t be disappointed either – the servers are fully P2P optimized. Other features include an antivirus, server obfuscation, split tunneling, and beyond.
Compatibility. Surfshark has modern apps for all major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux, as well as browser extensions. It offers a smart and modern interface and all-rounded functionality.
With subscription prices starting from $1.99/month, Surfshark is definitely on the cheaper scale. Android and iOS users can claim the free Surfshark 7-day trial. After that, there’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
3. IPVanish – speedy VPN service
|Based in:||United States|
|Severs/countries:||2,200+ servers in 52 countries|
|Compatible with:||Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥 Cyber Monday! Get 81% OFF IPVanish + 3 months free! 🔥|
When it comes to IPVanish, it’s very competitive in terms of speeds – a great way to break through Spectrum’s speed throttling.
Security and privacy. The 256-bit encryption and customizable kill switch combo ensures an unbreakable layer of protection. It’s virtually impossible for Spectrum to take a peek at what you’re doing online. Also, provider respects your data and provides an independently audited no-logs policy.
Performance. Because of the WireGuard protocol implementation, the provider is now competing with the fastest providers on the market. Our tests showed very little speed drops, which is a big plus for the provider.
Features. Whether you’re a Netflix subscriber or prefer BBC iPlayer or YouTube TV – IPVanish will let you unblock global content on all of them. And although it doesn’t offer specialized P2P servers, we still had no issues with torrenting. You get a free SOCKS5 proxy, too. There’s also split tunneling and server obfuscation.
Compatibility. Regarding device coverage, IPVanish works with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS operating systems. You can also set it on smart TVs.
While there’s no free IPVanish trial, the provider does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s a great way to test the service out without an instant long-term commitment. The 1-year plan will cost you $2.49/month.
Find out all there is to know about this provider in our IPVanish review.
4. ExpressVPN – feature-rich VPN for Spectrum
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Severs/countries:||3,000+ in 105 countries|
|Compatible with:||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥Cyber Monday! Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
ExpressVPN is another top-performing VPN service that offers fast connection speeds, a robust security suite, and multiple server locations across the world. It’s more than suitable for torrenting, streaming, and other tasks.
Security and privacy. This VPN comes with advanced security features such as AES-256 encryption, a reliable kill switch, and split tunneling, which ensures that users' traffic and IP addresses are always protected. ExpressVPN also follows a strict no-logs policy, which means it doesn’t keep any records of users' browsing activity. It also prevents your ISP from inspecting the data packets, efficiently preventing bandwidth throttling.
Performance. When it comes to speed, Express VPN has a trick up its sleeve – a proprietary Lightway protocol that provided excellent speeds during tests. Built in-house, this lightweight protocol is fast and efficient. It’s also excellent for mobile devices since it doesn't drain the battery.
Features. Besides VPN essentials, ExpressVPN has a router applet to configure your port forwarding settings, a Threat Manager to block online threats, MediaStreamer, and more.
Compatibility. This VPN is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux devices. It has beginner-friendly apps and easy navigation.
ExpressVPN pricing plans start at $6.67/month. The provider also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for those looking for a risk-free option.
Check our ExpressVPN review to learn more or compare to find the best VPN for you.
5. CyberGhost – reliable VPN to bypass geo-restrictions
|Severs/countries:||10,200+ servers in 100 countries|
|Compatible with:||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥Cyber Monday! Get CyberGhost VPN, now 84% + 4 months FREE!🔥|
CyberGhost is a versatile and reliable VPN that doesn’t budge to other leading providers. It offers an excellent experience when you need to avoid Spectrum’s bandwidth throttling.
Security and privacy. The provider puts security at the forefront. It utilizes AES-256 encryption, ensuring no one can get your data easily. Additionally, CyberGhost has IP & DNS leak protection and a solid kill switch. CyberGhost has a strict zero-logs policy and releases quarterly transparency reports to show how serious it is about privacy.
Performance. When we tested CyberGhost, we were pleasantly surprised by the connection speed it provides. Powered with the high-tech WireGuard protocol, the provider delivers speed with no expense to security.
Features. One of the key benefits of CyberGhost is its specialized servers. The provider offers P2P servers for torrenting, gaming, and streaming. These are great at bypassing geo-restricted content on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Max, and more. Additionally, CyberGhost has specialized NoSpy servers that ensure maximum security.
Compatibility. Whichever OS you’d be using – CyberGhost has an app for it, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux, as well as browser extensions.
You can get the benefits provided by CyberGhost for $2.04/month. Alternatively, try it out with a 45-day money-back guarantee that comes with the plan.
Check out our CyberGhost review to explore more features
6. PrivateVPN – very secure VPN for Spectrum
|Severs/countries:||200+ servers in 63 countries|
|Compatible with:||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get PrivateVPN, now 85% OFF! 🔥|
A secure VPN for everyday use that can also boast affordable pricing – PrivateVPN is every Spectrum client’s dream. Even if you’re looking for a VPN solution for streaming or torrenting, the provider is an optimal option.
Security and privacy. PrivateVPN’s next-gen encryption is customizable, meaning you can set the level of protection yourself. And what’s a reputable VPN without a kill switch? This provider is no exception – it offers one to help you avoid accidental traffic leakage. The provider also promises to keep no logs of your online activity.
Performance. When it comes to performance, PrivateVPN offers consistent speeds. While you shouldn’t expect the unbeatable WireGuard, the OpenVPN protocol provided us with good and stable speeds. If Spectrum decides to throttle your speeds, you’ll be better off with PrivateVPN.
Features. PrivateVPN can unblock such streaming services as BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and even Netflix. And good news – the service has dedicated P2P servers. However, PrivateVPN doesn’t offer SmartDNS as the top providers do.
Compatibility. PrivateVPN covers devices that run on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS operating systems.
Getting PrivateVPN won’t lighten your wallet, as prices start at $2.00/month. On top of that, you can make use of their free 7-day trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
To learn more about this VPN provider, you can visit our PrivateVPN review.
7. Atlas VPN – fast and inexpensive VPN
|Based in:||United States|
|Servers/countries:||1,000+ servers in 42 countries|
|Compatible with:||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Android TV, Amazon Fire Stick|
|Current deal:||🔥 Cyber Monday! Get Atlas VPN, now 86% OFF + 6 months FREE! 🔥|
Due to its top-notch protection and attractive deals, Atlas VPN is another great pick for Spectrum clients.
Security and privacy. Atlas VPN also comes with market-leading AES-256 encryption and a functional kill switch that will prohibit any data leaks if your VPN connection accidentally drops. Based in Sweden, the headquarters of Atlas VPN aren’t in an ideal location. Yet, they do have a no-logs policy, ensuring your data is in safe hands.
Performance. The WireGuard protocol does miracles, and Atlas VPN is proof of that. Because of the protocol’s implementation, performance will be the least of a Spectrum user’s concerns.
Features. Atlas VPN can unblock several streaming services, such as Netflix, YouTube, and BBC iPlayer. So if you’re having a movie shortage, this provider will come in handy. And although specialized P2P servers aren’t available, torrenting still works with Atlas VPN.
Compatibility. While Atlas VPN has apps for desktop devices, they are not the strongest (Atlas VPN is more mobile-focused). Still, you can find an app compatible with your OS worry-free.
Atlas VPN premium plans start from $1.64/month, with a free version available. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee you can make use of.
If you want to learn about additional features, read our full Atlas VPN review.
How we picked these Spectrum VPNs
When choosing the best VPNs to use with an ISP provider, one thing is clear – privacy and security are the top priorities. So, here are the factors we took into consideration when picking these VPN services:
- Security. Because a lot of ISPs are known to collect your data, online security is crucial. We looked for VPNs that provide you with a functional kill switch and strong encryption.
- Privacy. We don’t want to throw you from one evil to another, therefore, we only picked out VPNs that ensure a reliable no-logs policy.
- Speed. Knowing that some ISPs tend to throttle your internet speed, we made sure that the VPNs we offer won’t negatively affect your device's performance. We used the VPN speed test comparison tool to determine the top ones.
- Torrenting. If you torrent quite often, your ISP might throttle your speed for this reason. Torrenting with a VPN lets you do at full capacity.
- Streaming. Because VPNs are popularly used for streaming, we made sure that the ones we picked out can bypass geo-restrictions on the most popular streaming platforms.
- Price. The most expensive service doesn’t equal the best. Our list consists of high-quality yet wallet-friendly or even cheap VPNs.
Router vs device VPN setup
There are multiple ways you can set up a VPN for Spectrum – by installing a VPN app on the device on which you plan to access the internet or by installing a VPN on Spectrum router or your own router.
Each method has its own set of pros and cons, and it's important to understand them before deciding which one is the best fit for your needs.
- Installing VPN on the device. This is probably the easiest way to secure your connection from Spectrum’s throttling. All you have to do is install a VPN app on the device you’re using for browsing or streaming. Then, you can share the VPN connection to protect other devices too. However, it has its cons as well – if your selected provider has a simultaneous device cap, not all of your devices can be protected.
- Setting up a VPN on Spectrum router. Given the limitations and potential complexities of router-based VPN setups on Spectrum, you should consider using your own router if you wish to set up a VPN. Notably, popular VPN services like NordVPN may not be compatible with most Spectrum routers. This limitation can significantly restrict the choice of VPN providers for Spectrum users.
- Setting up a VPN on your own router. While setting up a VPN on your router can secure your whole network (and all devices connected to it) simultaneously, it still has some disadvantages. Configuring a VPN on a router might require technical knowledge and can be more challenging than setting up a VPN on individual devices. This complexity could pose a barrier for less tech-savvy users.
How to configure VPN on the router?
Configuring a VPN on a router can vary depending on the VPN provider and the specific model of your router, as different routers have different firmware and settings.
Please note that the steps may differ slightly for your specific router, so it's important to refer to your router's user manual or consult the manufacturer's support documentation for precise instructions. Here is a short guide on how to configure a VPN on your router using NordVPN:
- Access your router's administration panel. You may find the IP address on the back of your router or in the user manual.
- Log in to the router's admin interface. Enter the username and password for your router's admin panel. These credentials are often printed on the router itself or provided in the user manual. If you don't have them, you may need to contact your router's manufacturer.
- Locate the VPN settings. Once logged in, navigate to the router's settings or configuration page – the location of this option can vary depending on the router's firmware.
- Set up the NordVPN connection. In the VPN settings, you'll typically find fields to enter the VPN server address, username, and password. These details are specific to the VPN provider you are using, so you'll need to refer to NordVPN's documentation or support resources for the exact information to enter.
- Save and activate the VPN configuration. After entering the necessary VPN details, save the configuration settings. Some routers may require a restart to apply the changes.
- That’s it. You can now test your VPN connection and enjoy anonymous traffic.
For more in-depth instructions, head to our guide on how to set up NordVPN on your router.
Using Spectrum with a VPN
While some users need internet access for casual browsing, others delve into entertainment activities, including streaming and torrenting. Using Spectrum with a VPN lets you bypass restrictions and enjoy your favorite activities to the fullest.
Bypass Spectrum TV restrictions
Spectrum TV only works for people who are in the United States. If you’re located elsewhere, you won’t be able to access content on the platform due to distribution and licensing agreements. If you try, you’ll receive an error message like this:
Luckily, international users can make use of the best VPNs for streaming to bypass Spectrum TV restrictions. All it takes is connecting to a United States server which will give you an IP address of that country.
Torrenting with Spectrum
Torrenting on the Spectrum network is not an easy task. Multiple users have reported that Spectrum blocks internet access for users who do it. In fact, it’s even possible to get notices and fines for it.
Yet, torrenting is not impossible with Spectrum. You can still safely do it with the help of a VPN. Since it encrypts your data, no one, not even your ISP, can see your online activities. Just make sure that you pick a trustworthy VPN for torrenting. Also, always have the kill switch feature on to avoid accidental data leaks.
VPN not working with Spectrum: what to do?
If you have a VPN service but it’s not working with Spectrum as it’s supposed to, there could be a few possible reasons. Perhaps your VPN service is unreliable and is leaking your IP address. It’s also possible that the cookies that are left on your device give away your location.
But don’t worry – there are several things you can try to fix your VPN connection, including:
- Connect to a different VPN server (or server location)
- Try using another browser or incognito mode
- Try changing the tunneling protocol
- Delete the cookies and cache on your device
- Reach out to your VPN’s customer support
If you end up trying everything but nothing seems to work, you should pick a different reliable VPN service.
Can I use a free VPN for Spectrum?
Generally, no. In short, a free VPN is unsuitable for long-term use to combat ISP throttling. Besides, there are more reasons why free VPNs are not our recommended options:
- Data limits. Unlike paid VPNs, free ones give you only a certain amount of data for a month. If you use it up faster, you’re not going to be able to use the VPN until the next month.
- Small server fleet. While paid VPN services provide you with a wide range of servers, free ones give you only a few server locations.
- Speed. Free VPNs have a small selection of servers, and since they’re, well… free, the servers will most likely be overcrowded. This can negatively affect your device speed.
If you still choose to use free VPN services, it's advisable to opt for a reputable freemium provider. Alternatively, we highly recommend switching to premium plans of VPN services like NordVPN or Surfshark to ensure a top-notch experience.
Knowing that ISPs are often unreliable, it’s crucial to get a VPN for Spectrum. ISPs are known to throttle users' internet speed and even sell data for third parties. With the help of a VPN, you can avoid that.
VPN services ensure first-class protection by hiding your IP address and encrypting your data. In this article, we picked out several VPNs that are best for Spectrum. NordVPN was nominated as the winner, followed by Surfshark and IPVanish.
More VPN guides from Cybernews:
What's the best VPN for Spectrum?
The best VPN for Spectrum is NordVPN because it’s very versatile. It offers blazing-fast speeds, which are helpful when your ISP throttles your internet speed. Second, its first-rate protection and privacy features ensure that your data stays for your eyes only. Not to mention that NordVPN provides you with excellent streaming and torrenting capabilities.
Can I use a VPN with Spectrum?
Yes, you can definitely use a VPN with Spectrum, and you should. Many ISP providers sell or trade customer data or throttle your internet speed. And because VPNs hide your traffic, you become immune to your ISP’s limitations.
Is Spectrum blocking my VPN?
No, Spectrum shouldn’t block your VPN because it’s completely legal to use one. But if you run into issues when using a VPN with Spectrum, refer to our troubleshooting guide.
Can I install a VPN on the Spectrum router?
Yes, you can install a VPN on your Spectrum router. Setting up a VPN on your router is a straightforward process, but it will depend on your router manufacturer.
Should I port forward Spectrum routers?
If you need to maintain a stable connection with external game servers, access remote desktop applications, or allow incoming traffic to specific devices, you can consider port forwarding on Spectrum routers. You can follow a systematic step-by-step guide provided by Spectrum to open ports easily. Otherwise, if these needs don't apply, port forwarding may not be necessary for you.
Does a VPN cause slower internet speeds?
Yes, using a VPN can potentially result in slower internet speeds due to the encryption and routing processes involved. However, reputable VPN services like NordVPN or Surfshark offer fast speeds, and any perceived slowdown is usually minimal. Free VPNs may have limited resources, leading to slower speeds compared to premium VPNs.
Does Spectrum throttle VPN connections?
No, Spectrum doesn’t explicitly throttle VPN connections. However, the speed of VPN connections can be influenced by factors such as the VPN server's location, encryption protocols used, overall network congestion, or limitations of free VPN services. These factors may impact the performance of your VPN connection.
Does Spectrum offer a VPN?
No, Spectrum doesn’t have a VPN. It’s a telecommunications company providing Internet, TV, and phone service. Spectrum primarily focuses on providing internet connectivity and related services to its customers. You can use a third-party VPN service to use with Spectrum.