AT&T vs. Xfinity: Which Is the Best Internet Service Provider?
HighSpeedInternet.com uses our proprietary data and expert insights to compare these internet service titans.
Speed: 100–940 Mbps
Internet type: Fiber, fixed wireless
Data cap:Unlimited (for fiber); 350 GB/mo. (fixed wireless); 1 TB for speeds 75 Mbps and under
Contract: Month to month
Speed: 25–2,000 Mbps
Internet type: Cable
Data cap: 1.2 TB
Contract: 1–2 years, month-to-month options
What can we say? We love fiber internet, so we think AT&T is the best option in this internet service provider (ISP) duel. AT&T’s fiber plans are fast and affordable, plus you get unlimited data. Xfinity still has some nice options, though, including lower-tier plans that won’t break the bank. Also, Xfinity is much more widely available than AT&T, so it’s a solid Plan B if you can’t get fiber in your area.
Pros and cons: AT&T vs. Xfinity
- Unlimited data on most plans
- Affordable fiber plans
- Excellent bundles with DIRECTV
- Limited fiber availability
- Limits on data use for fixed-wireless plans
- Top-tier speeds
- Wide availability
- High marks for reliability
- Higher prices than AT&T for similar speeds
- Limited availability on fastest plans
Compare AT&T and Xfinity head to head
Plans and pricing: AT&T vs. Spectrum
AT&T generally gives you faster speeds for how much you pay, and it also has a fixed-wireless option for rural customers. Xfinity has a much wider range of internet packages but prices and options vary depending on where you live.
AT&T plans and pricing
|AT&T Internet 100||$45.00/mo.*||Up to 100 Mbps||View Plan|
|AT&T Fiber Internet 300||$35.00/mo*||300 Mbps||View Plan|
|AT&T Fiber Internet 500||$45.00/mo.||500 Mbps||View Plan|
|AT&T Fiber Internet 1000||$60.00/mo.†||1,000 Mbps||View Plan|
|AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet||$59.99/mo.||~25 Mbps||View Plan|
*for 12 mos, plus taxes & equip fee. $10/mo. equip fee applies. Incl 1TB data/mo. overage chrgs apply.
†for 12 mos, plus taxes & equip fee. $10/mo. equip fee applies. Incl unlimited internet data allowance ($30 value)
It’s not easy to find fiber internet below $50 per month, but AT&T gives you just that. AT&T’s three fiber-optic internet packages all come at an excellent price. Even better, you get upload speeds that are just as fast as download speeds, making these plans perfect for upload-heavy activities like Zoom and hosting livestreams on Twitch.
AT&T’s fixed-wireless package is useful if you live in a rural area and want an alternative to satellite internet. It’s not as fast as the fiber plans, but it promises a minimum of 10 Mbps and gives you more data than you would get from expensive satellite plans.
Xfinity plans and pricing
|Performance Starter||$20.00/mo.*||25 Mbps||View Plan|
|Performance Starter Plus||$19.99–$49.95/mo.*||25 Mbps||View Plan|
|Performance Select||$34.99–$77.95/mo.*||100 Mbps||View Plan|
|Performance Pro Plus||$39.99–$50.00/mo.*||200 Mbps||View Plan|
|Blast!||$50.00–$59.99/mo.*||300–400 Mbps||View Plan|
|Blast! Pro Plus||$59.99/mo.*||400 Mbps||View Plan|
|Extreme Pro||$60.00/mo.*||600 Mbps||View Plan|
|Extreme Pro Plus||$69.99–$74.99/mo.*||600 Mbps||View Plan|
|Gigabit||$70.00–$89.99/mo.*||1,000 Mbps||View Plan|
|Gigabit Pro||$299.95/mo.||2,000 Mbps||View Plan|
For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
Xfinity’s prices and plans vary slightly depending on the region you’re in. But wherever you are, you’ll get fast speeds and a range of price options. You won’t get the excellent upload speeds of AT&T’s fiber plans, but you can still get great performance and save some money by springing for one of the cheaper plans.
But if you want some serious speed, Xfinity might cost you more. Its gigabit plan costs more than AT&T’s similar plan, and generally you could end up paying more for faster speeds on Xfinity.
And yes, Xfinity gets bragging rights for having the 2,000 Mbps Gigabit Pro plan—tying with Google Fiber’s 2 Gig plan for the fastest home internet plan in America. But, well, it also costs nearly $300 a month, plus a massive activation and installation fee, and we’re not even sure where you can get it. Availability is highly limited.
Extra fees: AT&T vs. Xfinity
|Package||Equipment Fee||Installation Fee||Other Fees|
|AT&T||$10/mo.||Up to $99 (professional installation); $35 (self-install kit)||$15/mo. (early termination, contract plans only), $10 per 50 GB of data you go over on data cap, $5 (late payment)|
|Xfinity||$14.00/mo.||$39.99; starts at no cost for self-install||$10/mo. (early termination), $10 per 50 GB of data you go over on data cap, $10 (late payment)|
Data as of 4/21/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
Most internet providers tack extra fees onto your bill. You’ll get charged extra for exceeding your data cap or for canceling your contract early, but both AT&T and Xfinity give you options for waiving fees or reducing them. If you’re late on payments, each has a grace period where you can have extra time to cover your bill before your service is shut off.
Customer ratings: AT&T vs. Xfinity
AT&T and Xfinity are practically neck and neck in our 2020 customer satisfaction survey, with AT&T trailing behind Xfinity by one-tenth of a point in most categories. Both providers get middle-to-upper rankings, beating out a lot of other major providers in important categories like reliability, customer service, and overall customer satisfaction.
Not surprisingly, Xfinity wins out on speed, coming in first place among the 15 providers surveyed, thanks to its 2,000 Mbps plan. However, both providers get low rankings when it comes to billing, likely because they have seasonal price hikes and equipment charges baked into their monthly fees.
Want to see if AT&T or Xfinity are available in your area? Enter your zip code below to find out.
Best TV and internet bundles
|Package||Internet speed||TV channels||Price||Details|
|AT&T Internet + DIRECTV CHOICE||Up to 940 Mbps||185+|
$104.99/mo. for 12 mos.
|AT&T Internet + DIRECTV ULTIMATE||Up to 940 Mbps||250+||$109.99/mo. for 12 mos.||View Plans|
|Xfinity SELECT+||Up to 400 Mbps||205+||$89.99/mo.†||View Plans|
|Xfinity SIGNATURE+||Up to 800 Mbps||210+||$119.99/mo.†||View Plans|
*for 12 months plus taxes & internet equip. fee w/ 24-mo. TV agmt & combined bill. Autopay & Paperless bill req’d. Prices higher in 2nd year. $10/mo. internet equip. fee applies*
†For the first 24 months with a 2-year agreement.
Although AT&T isn’t a cable company, you can still bundle your internet with AT&T TV (the company’s own TV service) or with satellite TV company DIRECTV. We like the Internet + DIRECTV CHOICE the most because it’s not too expensive and comes with NFL SUNDAY TICKET, the go-to channel for NFL action.
Since Xfinity is a cable provider, we’re not surprised that it has lower prices and way more options for bundle packages. We think the SELECT+ plan is pretty groovy because it starts at less than $100 per month, gives you an excellent internet speed, and comes with 20 hours of DVR storage.
Both of these providers also let you do triple-play bundles that include internet, TV, and landline phone service if you need it.
Internet connection types: AT&T vs. Xfinity
AT&T plans are mostly fiber. A fiber connection gives you excellent speeds for both uploads and downloads, making this internet type ideal for high-bandwidth users who spend a lot of time streaming, gaming, or attending Zoom meetings (or doing all of the above simultaneously). The one disadvantage of fiber is that it’s not as commonly available as other internet types.
AT&T also has a fixed-wireless internet package. Fixed-wireless internet is geared towards customers who live in places with limited internet infrastructure. It’s especially useful for rural areas where satellite internet is the only other option since you can get faster speeds and more data over a fixed-wireless connection.
Want to know more about fixed-wireless internet? Take a look at speeds, pricing, and plans in our fixed-wireless internet guide.
Aside from its 2,000 Mbps Gigabit Pro plan, Xfinity primarily delivers cable internet. Cable is fast and reliable, much like fiber, although it can’t hit the same top speeds for uploading that fiber can. Cable is also more widely available than fiber, making it the go-to option for most internet users who need high-speed service.
Data caps: AT&T vs. Xfinity
|AT&T||Unlimited for fiber plans; 1 TB for speeds up to 75 Mbps; 350 GB for fixed wireless||View Plans|
|Xfinity||1.2 TB||View Plans|
AT&T’s fiber internet plans all come with unlimited data, so you can enjoy smooth connections and fast speeds without worries of exceeding a monthly limit. Non-fiber plans with speeds below 75 Mbps have a 1 TB monthly cap, which is still plenty. For rural customers, AT&T’s fixed-wireless internet plan does have a data cap of 350 GB. If you go over your data for the month, you’ll be billed $10 for every 50 GB of data you use.
Xfinity packages all come with 1.2 TB caps. That includes the Gigabit and Gigabit Pro plans, which is kind of a bummer since a lot of providers offer unlimited data with gigabit plans. You’ll need to pay $10 for every 50 GB that exceeds your cap. Or you can spring for unlimited data for an extra $30 per month.
Contracts: AT&T vs. Xfinity
|Xfinity||1–2 yrs.; month-to-month options for $10 more per month||View Plans|
AT&T doesn’t require an annual contract when you sign up—its service runs month to month, and you can cancel any time without paying a penalty fee.
On most of its plans, Xfinity lets you choose between signing up for an annual term agreement or opting for a no-contract option. If you decide to skip the contract, you’ll need to pay $10 more per month. The Gigabit and Gigabit Pro plans have two-year contracts, while most other plans have one-year contracts.
Installation: AT&T vs. Xfinity
|AT&T||Up to $99; $35 for self-installation||View Plans|
|Xfinity||$39.99 for professional installation; starts at no cost for self-install||View Plans|
AT&T and Xfinity both have affordable options for installation. AT&T’s professional installation officially costs $99, but the provider will waive the fee if you put in an order online. If you’re ordering over the phone, you can probably haggle with customer service to do away with the installation fee.
Xfinity will mail you a self-installation kit at no extra cost. But if you pay $29.99, you can have it sent to you in priority shipping, so it will arrive after 1–2 business days instead of 3–5. You can also pay $39.99 for the “Self Install Plus” option, in which a professional technician will come over with your self-installation kit to set it all up and make sure it’s working.
Availability: AT&T vs. Xfinity
AT&T and Xfinity are both major internet providers in the US, with huge footprints across the country. With a network that can cover as many as 148 million people, AT&T is available mostly in California, Texas, the South, and the Midwest. Xfinity has a big presence in the East Coast, South, and Midwest, reaching potentially around 130 million people.
Are either of these providers available in your area? You can find out by entering your zip code into our tool below.
Final call: AT&T vs. Xfinity
AT&T is a perfect choice for customers who want fast speeds, fair prices, and fabulous fiber-optic performance. Xfinity, a cable provider, is also excellent when it comes to speed—boasting a 2,000 Mbps plan. And it has a much wider coverage area and plenty of options for cheap internet, but you’ll generally pay more money for the faster plans than you would for AT&T.
Our HighSpeedInternet.com editorial team bases our analyses on customer input from our annual customer satisfaction survey, results from our speed test tool, and proprietary internet provider data on speeds and pricing. To strengthen our research, we look closely at provider contracts to get hard-to-find information on price hikes, data caps, and extra fees, and we keep tabs on the latest news reports and online reviews. When applicable, we also rely on our personal experiences testing these services.
Author - Peter Holslin
Peter Holslin has more than a decade of experience working as a writer and freelance journalist. He graduated with a BA in liberal arts and journalism from New York City’s The New School University in 2008 and went on to contribute to publications like Rolling Stone, VICE, BuzzFeed, and countless others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on covering 5G, nerding out about frequency bands and virtual RAN, and producing reviews on emerging services like 5G home internet. He also writes about internet providers and packages, hotspots, VPNs, and Wi-Fi troubleshooting.
Editor - Cara Haynes
Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for HighSpeedInternet.com for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.