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Xfinity vs. AT&T Internet

Xfinity has the speediest internet plans available, but AT&T has the best fiber pricing on the block. Find out which one is right for you with our expert review.

Best overall

Price: $35.00–$60.00/mo.
Max download speeds: 100–940 Mbps
Data caps: 1,024 GB–unlimited

Fastest

Price: $19.99–$299.95/mo.
Max download speeds: 25–2,000 Mbps
Data caps: 1,229 GB–unlimited

*For 12 mos, plus taxes & equip. fee. $10/mo equip. fee applies. Includes 1TB data/mo. overage chrges apply.

When the competition is AT&T Fiber vs. Xfinity Internet, we say AT&T is better than Xfinity. While our recent customer satisfaction survey put AT&T Fiber and Xfinity Internet on equal footing for reliability, we think you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck if you go with AT&T Fiber.

However, a lot of AT&T’s legacy network is DSL (though it’s no longer accepting new DSL internet customers). If you’ve got both AT&T and Xfinity in your area, make sure you can get AT&T Fiber internet before you try to sign up.

Xfinity vs. AT&T Internet pros and cons

Xfinity

  • Pro: Fast speeds
  • Pro: Wide availability
  • Con: Terrible customer service reputation

AT&T

  • Pro: Excellent customer satisfaction
  • Pro: Wide availability
  • Con: Limited fiber coverage

Deals and promotions

Xfinity offers various discounted internet/TV bundles, some of which include HBO®, SHOWTIME®, and even Netflix service in the price for the length of the initial two-year contract.

How are Xfinity vs. AT&T different?

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ProviderXfinityAT&T
Type of serviceCable, fiberFiber
Download speeds50 Mbps–2,000 Mbps300 Mbps–940 Mbps
Data cap1 TBUnlimited
Contract1–2 yrs.1 yr.
Installation fee$60+$99
Customer satisfaction4.03/54.09/5
More infoView plansView plans

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

 

On most fronts, Xfinity internet and AT&T internet aren’t drastically different. Xfinity’s speed range is higher thanks to its legacy coaxial cable lines, but its promise of 2,000 Mbps fiber comes with several caveats regarding availability and required equipment.

AT&T’s 1,000 Mbps connection—known as AT&T Fiber—is closer to the fiber norm, which would put both providers on equal footing once complete US fiber coverage happens. That’s still years away, though—by then, we could have bioengineered telepathic internet. Those could be some wild service reviews: stay tuned.

Get the hookup

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Xfinity vs. AT&T prices and plans

Xfinity pricing and plans

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PlanPriceMax download speedConnection type
Performance Starter Plus$19.99/mo.50 MbpsCable
Performance Select$34.99/mo.100 MbpsCable
Performance Pro Plus$49.99/mo.200 MbpsCable
Blast! Pro Plus$64.99/mo.400 MbpsCable
Gigabit$70.00/mo.1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps)Cable
X1 Gigabit Pro$299.95/mo.2,000 Mbps (2 Gbps)Cable

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.

Not all of Xfinity’s plans are available in all service areas. Being fiber-based, the insanely fast (and expensive) X1 Gigabit Pro will be the most difficult to get. You’d also need the gear to keep up with it—your five-year-old laptop probably won’t be able to achieve 2,000 Mbps, as Xfinity lays out.

The rest of the plans are cable internet, ranging from the aptly named Performance Starter Plus (50 Mbps) to the impressive-for-cable Gigabit (1,000 Mbps). For the average user, we like middle plans Performance Select (100 Mbps) and Performance Pro Plus (200 Mbps), both of which offer plenty of speed at a manageable price.

Editor’s note

“I personally have the Xfinity Performance Plus plan. I chose it based on the price-to-download-speed ratio. It’s only $29.99 per month in my area and generally performs well. But I do get some buffering when I’m streaming Netflix and Hulu in the evening, which is probably because I share bandwidth with the other Xfinity customers in my building.

Other than that, the price makes it worth it, especially since I haven’t had any customer service problems like other online reviewers have experienced.”

—Mike Strayer, Managing Editor

If you’re running a home business where speed really counts, Blast! Pro (400 Mbps) or Gigabit might be a smarter option. Keep in mind that cable (and DSL) internet download speeds don’t mean equal upload speeds: for example, 100 Mbps download will get you only about 5 Mbps upload.

AT&T pricing and plans

Plan
Internet 300
Internet 500
Internet 1000
Price* Max download speed Type
$35.00/mo. 300 Mbps Fiber
$45.00/mo. 500 Mbps Fiber
$60.00/mo. 940 Mbps Fiber

* for 12 mos, plus taxes & equip. fee $10/mo equip. fee applies.

Fiber is a more uniform internet experience than cable and DSL, in more ways than one. Fiber internet’s upload speeds mirror its download speeds—which means no more waiting for an hour for the latest episode of your Typography Talk podcast to upload.

Plus, AT&T Fiber comes with no data caps, so you don’t have to worry about going over your monthly data allowance and being slapped with a fine you would with an Xfinity plan.

Any of AT&T’s fiber plans, compared to what you get with Xfinity, are a great deal price-to-speed-wise. If fiber is available in your neighborhood, we say jump on it.

Xfinity vs. AT&T fees and extra charges

 

Xfinity fees and extra charges

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FeesAmountMore info
Pro installation$60Learn more
Self-installation$29.95Learn more
Modem/router rental$11/mo.Learn more
Data overage fee$10 per 50 GB over 1 TBLearn more
Reactivation fee$6Learn more
Late payment fee$10Learn more
Taxes and surchargesVary by areaLearn more

Data effective as of post date.

As with any provider, most one-time fees are unavoidable—but you can purchase your own modem/router to use with Xfinity internet, which eventually saves you money over renting month to month. Just be prepared to do most of your own troubleshooting.

If you somehow surpass Xfinity’s monthly internet data cap (1 TB), you’ll be charged $10 for every 50 GB you go over. How much is a TB (terabyte) of data? You’d have to stream over 11 hours of Hulu shows every day for a month to hit it. (We’d be willing to put Letterkenny on a perpetual loop to test this, btw.)

 

AT&T internet fees and extra charges

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FeesAmountMore info
Pro installation$99*Learn more
Self-installation$35Learn more
Modem/router rentalIncludedLearn more
Data overage fee$10 per 50 GB over 1 TBLearn more
Reactivation fee$35Learn more
Late payment fee$10Learn more
Taxes and surchargesVary by areaLearn more

Pro installation will be $99 for all plans 768k – 1000M. Effective as of post date.

Unlike Xfinity, AT&T doesn’t have a rental option for its modems/routers: you either take the company equipment (included with install price) or shop for your own. Either way, you own it.

With the exception of the $35 reactivation fee (ouch), AT&T’s extra fees aren’t much different than Xfinity’s—including the 1 TB data cap. Our Letterkenny challenge still stands.

Installation

Provider
Installation fee
Type of installation
More info
Xfinity AT&T
$29.95–$60 $99
Self-installation/pro Self-installation/pro
Schedule an installation Schedule an installation

Pro installation will be $99 for all plans 768k – 1000M. Effective as of post date.

Both Xfinity and AT&T can mail kits to your home for self-installation, which is a cheaper route if you’re looking at a simple setup. You shouldn’t need a technician to connect to a previously-installed cable or DSL line, since most what you’ll need is already in place.

From-scratch installation in a home or office with no existing internet hookup, on the other hand, will likely need a professional’s touch. The same goes for a new fiber installation, which uses different lines and equipment than cable or DSL. If you don’t know, call a pro.

Important note: Xfinity offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on its service, whereas AT&T allows only a 14-day trial period.

Equipment

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Modem/router model Xfinity
xFi Wireless Gateway
AT&T
ADSL Wi-Fi Gateway
Monthly price$11$10
StandardDOCSIS 3.0ADSL
Ethernet ports24
More infoView plansView plans

Xfinity and AT&T make their own modem/routers available for new customers, which can be helpful. Both providers offer 24/7 support and regular software updates.

If you don’t want to use the company gear and would rather buy your own third-party modem/router, there are several alternatives available for Xfinity and AT&T service.

Customer satisfaction

Overall Customer Rating
(4.03 /5)

Overall Customer Rating
(4.09 /5)

CableTV.com’s 2019 Internet Provider Customer Satisfaction Survey places Xfinity and AT&T near the top in overall rankings, with AT&T holding a slight edge. But when the numbers are broken down, each has its strong (and weak) points.

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XfinityAT&T
Overall score: 4.03/5Overall score: 4.09/5
Pros

  • High speeds
  • Excellent modem/router
  • Pros

  • Strong customer service reputation
  • Included Wi-Fi gateway
  • No data cap on Internet 1,000
  • Cons

  • Weak customer support
  • High prices
  • Cons

  • Limited fiber availability
  • 1-year contract
  • Low DSL speeds in some areas
  • View Xfinity plansView AT&T plans

    Bundling with TV

    Need TV service to go with your internet? Not a problem: Xfinity was a cable TV company long before it was an internet provider, and AT&T owns DIRECTV. We’ve reviewed them head-to-head, and we like both TV services for different reasons—either could complete a cool bundle.

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    Find your service

    Need to know more? Enter your ZIP code, and we’ll let you know if Xfinity and AT&T service your part of the country.

     

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    Our final take

    Xfinity offers more speed in more places, plain and simple. Its cables cover a good chunk of the US, and cable internet has upped its tech considerably in recent years to keep up with fiber. But more speed and more availability costs more money.

    AT&T’s DSL internet, while not as fast as Xfinity’s, still hits decent speeds that an average household could make use of and more easily afford. AT&T Fiber is an especially great deal, if you can get it—since it’s rolling out aggressively, it could be available near you sooner than Xfinity’s fiber alternative. AT&T customers also seem to be happier—and you can’t put a price on that.

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    Xfinity vs. AT&T FAQ

    Is AT&T better than Xfinity?

    It’s safe to say AT&T Fiber is better than Xfinity Internet. AT&T Fiber gives you better download speeds for your dollar than Xfinity. And AT&T Fiber gives you faster upload speeds and no data caps. Right on.

    Is Xfinity Internet any good?

    Xfinity Internet isn’t bad—it offers fast download speeds and data caps with plenty of breathing room. Plus, it’s gotten a lot better at customer service over the years. We don’t think it’s quite as good as AT&T, but it’s not a bad service overall.

    What’s the difference between DSL, cable, and fiber internet?

    DSL (digital subscriber line) uses telephone wires, while cable internet is delivered through cable TV lines. Fiber, the newest (and least available) internet upgrade, uses fiber-optic glass strands to transfer data as bursts of light. It’s the fastest and most efficient internet connection there is in 2019, but the infrastructure hasn’t yet caught up to the demand.

    How do I find out if Xfinity or AT&T is available in my area?

    You can use CableTV.com’s handy Availability Map to see if Xfinity or AT&T (or another internet provider) services your ZIP code.

    Is AT&T owned by Comcast?

    AT&T is the world’s largest telecommunications company, and Comcast is the second-largest, so nah, Comcast doesn’t own AT&T. Comcast does own Xfinity, though, which is why you may sometimes see it referred to as Xfinity from Comcast.