In a Nutshell
- Transparent pricing
- No contracts
- 24/7 free tech support
- Stingy data caps
- No security software options
Sparklight at a Glance
Best for: Families,students
Starting Price: $39/month
Connection Type: Cable, Fiber
Download Speeds: 100-940Mbps
Money-back Guarantee: 30 days
What Services and Features Does Sparklight Offer?
Sparklight is the rebranded residential high-speed internet service from Cable One. Sparklight also sells phone and cable TV packages.
The Sparklight Business division offers a similar set of products but includes enterprise-focused features like a 99.99% uptime guarantee, dedicated IP addresses, and symmetrical speeds.
Prices, Plans, and Value for Money
Sparklight has refreshingly simple pricing. The Starter 100 Plus plan has an introductory rate for the first 6 months, whereas all other plans don't. And there aren't any nasty surprises in the form of additional mandatory fees like the ones many other ISPs slip into your bill.
Ease of Use, Hardware and Setup
Sparklight supplies a self-installation kit with an install guide, modem, power cords, ethernet cable, and coaxial cable. Plug in your modem to the cable outlet to connect your computer, tablet, or phone to the modem's network.
You will be directed to a modem activation page. Once the modem activation is complete, you can connect all your other devices to Wi-Fi using the default Wi-Fi settings found on a sticker on the bottom of the modem.
The installation shouldn't take more than an hour in most cases, as it's pretty straightforward. There are video guides on completing the installation on the Sparklight website.
Unlike most ISPs, Sparklight doesn't offer any form of security add-on for your internet service.
Since most ISPs essentially resell third-party antivirus, firewall, and malware scanning software at an inflated price, we don't particularly hold this against Sparklight. If you want security software from the likes of McAfee, Norton, Bitdefender, or Kaspersky, you can always purchase your choice directly from the software publisher.
Sparklight's internet speeds fare well against most of the competition. In the areas Sparklight is available, it usually offers the fastest upload speeds of all residential cable operators. And in states like New Mexico and North Dakota, Sparklight had the fastest average download speed of all providers during Q2 2021, according to independent speed tests from Ookla.
However, Sparklight has data caps unless you're willing to pay an additional $40/month to remove them. While lots of ISPs have data caps, Sparklight’s caps are particularly low. On the Starter 100 Plus plan, you only get 350GB of data usage for free, and you'll pay an additional $10 for every additional 100GB, up to $50/month.
The average family uses more than 350GB data in a month, so you should carefully consider which Sparklight plan to choose and whether the $40/month for unlimited data might make sense for you.
Sparklight Customer Service
You can contact Sparklight through multiple channels. Live chat is available Monday to Friday 6am-6pm and Saturday to Sunday 8am-4pm (MST). Technical support over the phone is available 24/7.
There's a well-stocked knowledge base online with articles on videos on how to use your Sparklight internet service.
Sparklight also has over 100 local offices in the states it serves, so you may be able to talk with someone in person.
Is Sparklight the same as NewWave?
Cable One and NewWave were consolidated and rebranded as Sparklight in 2020.
What is Sparklight's internet speed?
Sparklight has a download speed of up to 1Gbps where available. Upload speeds are significantly slower than download speeds, with a maximum of 50Mbps.
Does Sparklight throttle the internet?
Sparklight supports net neutrality, so it does not block or throttle any lawful websites. Additionally, it has no "fast lanes" for preferential treatment of specific websites.
Sparklight is a compelling choice for its simple pricing, good speeds, and comprehensive customer support options. Our only problem lies with the tight data caps that require a $40/month payment to lift.
Whether Sparklight is the best option for you mainly depends on your location. Where fiber is readily available, Sparklight has more competition and isn’t always the speediest option. But if fiber internet isn't common in your area, there’s a good chance Sparklight is the fastest and best value ISP you'll find.