If you are reading this, you might have both Verizon Internet and Xfinity Comcast operating in your area and need to decide which company you want to use for your internet. And this is an important decision, given that choosing the wrong provider can lead to frustration, slow and interrupted service, and many other things that can and will affect your day to day life. A little time researching now can save you time and money later, and fortunately, we have done most of the research for you.
Here is everything you need to know about Verizon Internet and Xfinity Comcast:
First, you should check to see what plans are available from both providers and at what cost. No matter how good you think Verizon Internet or Xfinity Comcast are in other areas, you cannot make an insufficient plan work for your household. Therefore, we encourage you to take a close look at the following tables and pick out a few to look out for:
There are quite a few similarities when looking at both charts except that Verizon also offers a few low-speed DSL options, and Xfinity has cable plans available. Both providers have high-speed fiber plans and a few moderately priced plans that can provide a household with a good connection while not the best available. Ultimately your decision will come down to what plans are available, what service type you would like, and other factors listed in this article.
Top Plans and Options
So, among the plans listed in the charts above by both providers, which ones are worth your greatest consideration, are the best, or provide the best value?
If you are looking for the maximum speed possible, or at least a connection that will allow multiple members of your household to do what they want whenever they want, then you will want either the Gigabit plan from Xfinity Comcast or the Fios Gigabit Connection plan from Verizon. There is the Gigabit Pro plan, but the cost is so high we do not recommend it unless you know exactly what you are doing with it.
If you're looking for a cheaper and more affordable option, or effectively just looking for basic access, either of the slower fiber plans from Verizon Internet are good options. Alternatively, any cable plan from Xfinity Comcast faster than 100 Mbps (pick what speed higher than that based on your needs and availability) will work for you. We do not recommend the DSL plans from Verizon due to their slow download speeds and other reasons we go into later, nor do we think the Performance Starter plan from Xfinity has enough kick to it.
From both providers, what are the additional fees and charges you can expect, on both a regular and a one-time basis? These fees add up, and they can come as a shock to the unprepared. Please look at the following, even if there are not too many additional charges with these providers.
Installation Fee: Verizon Fios usually charges up to $99 for professional installation, affected by a few factors. However, this fee might be waived depending on what plan or deal you are getting for your household.
Equipment Fees: If you want to lease your Verizon equipment, you can expect to pay up to $15 a month for Fios plans and up to $30 a month for DSL plans (although it is usually less than $30). You should check to see what is required in your area. You can also buy your equipment for $300 outright and lease or buy additional equipment if your network needs a range boost. You can use your own equipment, but this is not recommended for reasons we will get into later.
Installation Fee: Most ISPs have an installation fee, especially if the installation is done by a professional. For Xfinity Comcast, the fee will be between $60 and $90, and it could be cheaper if you order your service online. Alternatively, you can skip the professional installation and do it yourself if you are confident (and in our opinion, it is relatively easy). Self-installation is $15 or less, and you can get help with it if you need it.
Equipment Fees: Xfinity customers can rent their equipment (a modem and router) from the ISP for $11-$14 a month. In addition to this, there is other equipment available to rent to improve your network if you have a larger home or have other concerns. This equipment has its own set of costs.
Cancellation Fees: You will likely be signing a contract for service with Xfinity Comcast, and breaking it will come with a penalty. The exact amount you will pay will vary depending on your contract and how much time is left on it, so our recommendation is to read everything carefully before signing up.
Unlimited Data: While we will talk more about Xfinity Comcast's data caps in a later section, you should be aware that if you want to avoid the overage fees Xfinity charges, you will need to pay $50 a month for an unlimited data plan.
On top of all the common fees listed above for each provider, you can likely expect a few other fees and charges to show up on your bill. These can be taxes, regional fees, late fees (if you did not make your last payment on time), etc. However, we are not using these as a point of comparison between these two ISPs because these fees are unavoidable, generally inconsequential, and often regional in nature.
While we may compare the internet service providers excluding other services they offer, that doesn't mean you will be getting your services in a vacuum. You might very well be looking for a cable package on top of everything. In that case, you should consider bundling options, both in terms of your needs and in terms of what is available in the first place (getting several services separately can be expensive).
From Verizon Internet, you will not be getting a bundle in the traditional sense. Recently the company announced that they would be getting rid of bundles and instead focus on its digital voice and, more importantly, its Fios TV service. In many ways, this is like traditional TV but has a few more options and a different set of channels alongside what you might be used to. We recommend taking a look at what is available before signing up with them. Most interestingly, you can potentially bundle your Verizon Wireless service with your internet plan.
Meanwhile, Xfinity Comcast customers will be considering whether to pick up the X1 TV streaming service, which is pretty much digital cable with different channel packages. The channels will be mostly familiar and can range into the hundreds, but you should check to see if it meets your preferences, as packages start at $80 a month. Unfortunately, there are not many other bundling options, but you can check if there are outside offers and partnerships with other service providers.
Equipment and Setup
As with any ISP, with both of these companies, you will need to get and install equipment appropriate to the plan and get your connection set up. And while this is at most an hours-long process and any equipment you get from the company by design will be enough, it's essential to compare this. Poor or unreliable equipment or service here can cause problems.
Verizon Internet Customers will likely utilize Verizon's gear, and Fios customers can expect the Fios Home Router to meet their standards and provide an excellent home internet experience and connection. If the network is not large enough, you can also buy or rent a WiFi range extender from them. You can use other equipment, but you might not be able to get technical support for it, so this is not recommended.
Setup for Xfinity Comcast is easy, and you will have the xFI gateway, a top model, and an excellent all-around option for a modem and router. You can also get additional options and functionality from the device, and there is little else to say except for good things about the service.
Customer service is a vital part of any telecommunications provider. Still, unfortunately, ISPs and cable companies have historically dropped the ball, whether due to incompetence or because many of them know they have little competition. Nonetheless, some departments are clearly better than others, so you should know which ISPs do it best and whether Verizon Internet and Xfinity Comcast are up to par.
To start with, Xfinity Comcast is most certainly not up to the customer service par one should expect and demand from their service providers. Most complaints that could be lodged against it have been lodged against it, and it simply has one of the worst reputations in the industry. They are taking measures to improve, but they still have some ways to go.
Verizon Internet, on the other hand, is more mixed. While Fios customers could not find enough good things to say about Verizon, DSL customers were generally displeased. It is almost as though there were completely different teams at work.
Customer Satisfaction and Reviews
Customer satisfaction is key to nearly any business, and that includes ISPs. Yet how can you determine levels of customer satisfaction from internet service users, and what are customers focusing on? To answer this, we looked into customer reviews online, weeded out the unhelpful ones, and noticed and noted the following trends:
· Verizon Fios customers were extremely happy with the quality of their service, and there was a large contingent of reviews just complimenting the speed and service. While this is not the most helpful of information, we also understand that any issues would be quickly brought up if they existed.
· Conversely, and following a theme of mostly any Verizon Internet review, DSL customers were primarily unhappy with their service, or at least not nearly as enthusiastic about Verizon as Fios customers.
· For those mostly interested in a service bundle, you should know that quite a few customers were generally unhappy with Verizon's channel or programming options. You may want to look into an alternative or budget for a few extra streaming services.
· Customer service was the top complaint, and problems with customer service (and getting to it in the first place) were the main theme of the reviews left for Xfinity Comcast. People complained of being unable to get their problems fixed, being outright ignored at times, and finding difficulties talking to a human.
· Customers often complained about the price hike after the first year that is common to Xfinity plans. We strongly recommend that you carefully go over all the details of a plan before agreeing to it, so that you do not run into such a surprise.
Data Caps, Limitations, and Potential Problems
Data caps are a concern with many users, as are other limitations. The thought of only using your internet connection unrestricted until you reach 1TB of data used (the usual standard for data caps) is a frustrating one for power users and frequent downloaders. And since many ISPs handle things differently, it is essential to know what you might deal with from both Verizon and Xfinity.
With Xfinity Comcast, you may or may not encounter it based on your area. You might find a 1TB data cap on their plans, which is deeply concerning to those households that use the internet constantly (and we know there are many of them). After you hit this data cap, you can expect to be hit with overage fees or a severe throttling of your connection.
Verizon, in complete contrast, has absolutely no data caps on any of its plans and holds true to its promises of unlimited data. This is a clear advantage in any comparison between Verizon and any other provider. That fact that there is no data cap even on gigabit plans is special indeed.
Additional Important Information
Availability: Before going into the minor details and further information on either of these providers, you should use this site to check to see which of them are available in your area (if you haven't already). Then check which plans are available from each of them, as that is just as important. You may also want to check on other providers and any restrictions on any of the plans available from either ISP.
Limited-time deals: While there are bundles and special offers that might be available as part of the standard selection, there are also occasions that will let you get a deal or offer that you normally would not be able to, leading to prices below what you see above. While these are rare (with some ISPs, they just never happen) and you should read the fine print in all cases, you absolutely should try to take advantage of such offers and weigh them accordingly.
Service Types: The type of service (whether DSL, cable, or fiber optic) you receive matters more than just about anything else. It will determine your download speed, whether a fast upload speed is a possibility, and the consistency of your connection, both in terms of general speed and if the service might drop out. Therefore, we think it is important to know the following about each service type.
DSL service utilizes phone lines to connect users to the internet. As phone lines are practically everywhere across the United States (and the world), DSL service is widely available and offered in most areas, even where other service types are not. Unfortunately, DSL technology simply does not allow as fast a connection as cable and fiber service, and upload speeds will be poor.
Cable service utilizes cable lines and is capable of fast speeds. However, upload speeds are still usually poor for cable internet customers, and service consistency does not match fiber. Additionally, if there are many cable customers in your area or neighborhood using the internet simultaneously, you might experience a slowdown.
Fiber service uses fiber-optic wires to transmit information rapidly and is, without a doubt, capable of the fastest and most consistent connections available to consumers. Unfortunately, unlike cable and DSL service, it is generally only available in heavily populated areas due to the infrastructure involved.
You Should Work with Verizon Internet if:
· You are looking for the most value from your connection.
· You do not want to have to worry about a data cap with your internet service plan.
· You are interested in bundling your mobile plan with your internet service plan.
· You are looking for a better customer service experience.
You Should Work with Xfinity Comcast if:
· Verizon Internet only has DSL service available in your area, and Xfinity is offering just about any other plan.
· You are interested in using your own equipment, even if the default to rent is excellent.
Of course, these recommendations should not be taken in a vacuum, and your household might have mixed priorities that make the equation a bit more complicated. Whatever your situation, carefully consider what you need, what you use and plan on using, and what would frustrate your household. With careful thought and the right information, you cannot possibly go wrong.
While your thoughts on the final results of this comparison will vary greatly depending on your household's specific needs and what plans and other service providers are in your area, we hope that this article has given you a better idea of what aspects of an ISP to pay attention to. We wish you the best with your search and decision and invite you to return to this page and site to review the information and compare it to your priorities.