Should I Choose AT&T or Xfinity from Comcast as my High-Speed Internet Service Provider?

Side-by-Side Comparison

AT&T logoxfinity vs spectrum high speed internet

Type of Service

DSL hybrid, Fiber

Type of Service

Cable, Fiber

Download Speeds

5–75 Mbps (DSL), 100–1,000 Mbps (Fiber)

Download Speeds

25–250 Mbps (Cable), 1,000–2,000 Mbps (Fiber)

Price

$30–$80/month

Price

$29.99–$299.95 per month

Equipment Fees

Included

Equipment Fees

$10 per month

Installation Fee

Up to $99

Installation Fee

$59.99

Data Caps

Yes (1TB), but no data cap for Internet 1000

Data Caps

Yes (1 TB)

Customer Satisfaction

DSL: 3.48/5; Fiber: 3.71/5

Customer Satisfaction

3.37/5

AT&T logo

Type of Service

DSL hybrid, Fiber

Download Speeds

5–75 Mbps (DSL), 100–1,000 Mbps (Fiber)

Price

$30–$80/month

Equipment Fees

Included

Installation Fee

Up to $99

Data Caps

Yes (1TB), but no data cap for Internet 1000

Customer Satisfaction

DSL: 3.48/5; Fiber: 3.71/5

xfinity vs spectrum high speed internet

Type of Service

Cable, Fiber

Download Speeds

25–250 Mbps (Cable), 1,000–2,000 Mbps (Fiber)

Price

$29.99–$299.95 per month

Equipment Fees

$10 per month

Installation Fee

$59.99

Data Caps

Yes (1 TB)

Customer Satisfaction

3.37/5

Data effective 11/12/2017. Pricing and speeds are subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.

The Verdict

If you’ve got several internet users in your household and need a lot of speed, make AT&T’s fiber-optic internet your first option.

The bundle discounts and unlimited internet offered by AT&T are good news for internet lovers. If you live in a metropolitan area, you may have access to AT&T’s fiber-optic internet service, AT&T Fiber. This slick internet can reach up to 1,000 Mbps, which means HD movies will download in seconds.

In rural areas, you can still get AT&T’s DSL/fiber hybrid service, AT&T Internet. However, this service doesn’t quite live up to the lightning-fast speeds of pure fiber optics. But if AT&T Internet is the only option available to you from AT&T, you’ll find that Xfinity will probably get you more bang for your buck.

 

Xfinity from Comcast offers speeds and prices that compete with AT&T, but its equipment fees make it a bit more expensive.

Xfinity provides internet service to forty states, so it’s likely available in your area. If you’re looking for an affordable, flexible, and moderate-speed internet plan, consider Xfinity’s no-contract cable internet service. On the other hand, if you plan to live in one spot for a while, entering a one-year contract can save you another $10 per month.

If you’re in the market for Xfinity’s fiber internet service, Xfinity Gigabit, be prepared for fees. While Xfinity Gigabit’s pricing is similar to AT&T Fiber’s (about $80 per month for 1 Gbps), it charges equipment fees that push your bill up about another $10 every month. And whatever type of Xfinity internet you’re planning on, keep in mind that Xfinity scores among the lowest for customer service.

Find and compare AT&T and Xfinity plans and pricing in your area:

Coverage Area

AT&T and Xfinity share coverage over nineteen of the same states.

AT&T

AT&T covers much of the US, with the strongest presence in the Midwest and South. People in Illinois are most likely to have AT&T internet because AT&T serves almost 75% of the state.

AT&T Availability Map

Top 5 States:

  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • California
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas

Xfinity

Xfinity is widespread across the United States, available in a total of forty states. Most Utahans are familiar with Xfinity since the Beehive State is its top market.

Comcast Availability Map

Top 5 States:

  • Utah
  • Illinois
  • Colorado
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts

Customer Satisfaction Ratings

We offer customer satisfaction ratings from our 2016’s Best Internet Providers in Customer Satisfaction survey to give you a better idea of what your experience with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) might be. Our numbers come from polling thousands of high-speed internet customers across the nation. We then analyze these numbers to give each ISP a representative score to rank them alongside their competitors.

AT&T

Overall Customer Rating

DSL: (3.5 / 5)

Fiber: (3.7 / 5)

Xfinity

Overall Customer Rating

(3.4 / 5)

Advantages

  • 1,000 Mbps speeds with fiber
  • AT&T internet widely available
  • Customer support available 24/7
  • Fiber plans with no data cap
  • Modem rental fee included
  • NFL SUNDAY TICKET offered with DIRECTV

Disadvantages

  • AT&T internet is slower
  • AT&T internet has a data cap at 1 TB
  • Fiber only offered in select areas
  • Installation fees go as high as $99

Advantages

  • 2,000 Mbps speeds with fiber
  • Cable internet is widely available
  • Customer support available 24/7
  • No-contract options
  • Superior DVR

Disadvantages

  • All plans have a data cap at 1 TB
  • Fiber only offered in select areas
  • Upload speeds are much lower than download speeds

Installation & Setup

AT&T

DSL: (3.8 / 5)
Fiber: (3.9 / 5)

With an installation fee of nearly $100, AT&T seems an unlikely candidate to rank so high in installation and setup satisfaction. Maybe customers are taking advantage of the free standard installation that comes from bundling with DIRECTV, or perhaps more people are trying out AT&T’s self-installation option.

Installation Fee: Up to $99

Skip the installation fee using our Self-Installation Guide

Xfinity

(3.6 / 5)

Xfinity has a lower installation fee than AT&T. However, there have been many complaints about technicians, whose skill and timeliness vary wildly. If your technician doesn’t show up in the two-hour appointment window, be sure to take advantage of the Xfinity Customer Commitment for a $20 credit.

Installation Fee: $59.99

Skip the installation fee using our Self-Installation Guide

Internet Speed

AT&T

DSL: (3.5 / 5)
Fiber: (3.9 / 5)

In terms of pure speed, AT&T trails Xfinity. AT&T ranks third on our list of “The Fastest Internet Providers of 2017.” Its fiber offering is a good deal at just $80 for 1,000 Mbps. While Xfinity’s top speed is twice as fast as that, it also costs three times as much, so it will disproportionately impact your wallet. However, aside from that top-tier package, the pricing and speeds of packages from these two providers are relatively similar.

Speed: 5 Mbps–75 Mbps (DSL), 100–1,000 Mbps (Fiber)

Xfinity

(3.6 / 5)

Xfinity sped to the top of our list of “The Fastest Internet Providers of 2017” due to its 2G fiber speeds. If you don’t need much speed and want a more affordable option, Xfinity’s cable internet service reaches a decent speed for most households and comes at a lower price.

Speed: 25–250 Mbps (Cable), 1,000–2,000 Mbps (Fiber)

Quick Tip: For fans of streaming video online through Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime Video, shoot for internet speeds of 10 Mbps or more. Use our simple tool to be sure exactly how much internet speed you need.

Reliability

AT&T

DSL: (3.6 / 5)
Fiber: (3.9 / 5)

AT&T Internet tends to maintain a steady speed, even when everyone in your neighborhood wants to stream videos at once. Still, that steady speed is relatively slow, so see if you can get your hands on AT&T Fiber if you’re frustrated by latency.

Type of Service: DSL, Fiber

Xfinity

(3.6 / 5)

Cable internet has a reputation for losing momentum if a lot of people are using it at once. But even at its lowest speed, it’s still faster than DSL. So while you may notice lag from time to time, you’ll probably be better off in the long run.

Type of Service: Cable, Fiber

Monthly Bill (Pricing)

AT&T

DSL: (3.1 / 5)
Fiber: (3.2 / 5)

AT&T and Xfinity have comparable internet prices, but Xfinity charges an extra $10 monthly equipment rental fee, while AT&T includes a modem rental in its pricing. Those monthly savings give AT&T the edge in the monthly bill category. Also, AT&T’s top-tier service, Internet 1000, comes without a data cap.

Price: $30–$80 per month

Xfinity

(2.7 / 5)

If you aren’t one to stay in the same place for long, Xfinity’s no-contract plans might be just the thing for you. But keep in mind you’ll pay about $10 more a month with Xfinity’s no-contract plans. For lower-speed plans, Xfinity outpaces AT&T and offers competitive rates. Keep an eye out for hidden fees, including data overages.

Price: $29.99–$299.95 per month

Technical Support and Customer Service

AT&T

DSL: (3.5 / 5)
Fiber: (3.7 / 5)

AT&T touts its 24/7 support, and it has plenty of articles in its online database to answer your questions. While there’s a difference in customer satisfaction between DSL hybrid and fiber customers, AT&T has the same help methods in place for both. The problem here could be DSL hybrid users’ frustration with slow speeds, which even hundreds of calls to tech support can’t do anything to fix.

Xfinity

(3.3 / 5)

Instead of waiting on the phone, you can tell Xfinity’s customer service to call you. You can also use its online support tools, including online chat and help articles. But Xfinity still has a bad reputation for customer service, so we recommend you take some deep breaths, grab a snack, and get comfy before you call.

Equipment

Rental fee: Included

Looking for a way to avoid that $99 installation fee? Try setting up your modem on your own with self-installation.

Rental fee: $10 per month

Xfinity encourages you rent the Xfinity xFi Gateway model, but it also offers a list of compatible equipment if you prefer to purchase. Be sure to pick a model that’s compatible with your internet speed, or you won’t be reap the benefits of the high-speed internet that you’re paying for.

You don’t have to rely on a technician to set up your modem. We have instructions to help you self-install your Xfinity internet.

TV Service

Note: AT&T provides AT&T U-verse in select areas and DIRECTV nationwide.

AT&T U-verse

Satisfaction Rating:

(3.5 / 5)
  • Cost: $35–$110 per month (Includes $5 auto-pay discount)
  • Channels: 550+/200+ HD
  • DVR: AT&T Total Home DVR
  • Contract Length: 1 year

DIRECTV

Satisfaction Rating:

(3.4 / 5)
  • Cost: $35–$110 per month (Includes auto-pay discount)
  • Channels: 325+/200+ HD
  • DVR: Genie (HR-44)
  • Contract Length: 2 years

Xfinity TV

Satisfaction Rating:

(3.3 / 5)
  • $29.99–$124.99 per month
  • 260+ channels/130 HD
  • No contract
  • Xfinity X1 DVR

What You Should Consider When Choosing an Internet Provider

DSL vs. Cable vs. Fiber

The clearest indicator of potential internet speed and reliability is service type. Between AT&T and Xfinity, you’ll find a number of DSL/fiber hybrid, fiber, and cable plans available, so your options vary widely. Let’s take a closer look at how each service works so you can make an informed decision.

DSL, or digital subscriber line, brings high-bandwidth information into your home through telephone lines. This is normally a slow process, but AT&T boosts it with a fiber-hybrid system. Connecting a large fiber-optic backbone with local DSL nodes provides faster speeds than DSL-only providers. This a good choice for smaller households with few internet users.

Fiber transmits information so quickly because it sends data in the form of light through glass or plastic fiber-optic cables. Unlike DSL/fiber hybrids, purely fiber internet service brings these cables directly to your home. If you choose this option, make sure you get a modem capable of handling high internet speeds or you won’t reap the full benefits of fiber.

Finally, cable internet uses coaxial cables. Most homes already have these wired in for cable television service. These cables transmit data faster than DSL and can do the job for two or three people accessing the internet on multiple devices. But if you have a larger household, you may want to consider fiber options for a better internet experience.

About the Providers

AT&T logo

According to Forbes, AT&T is the largest telecommunications company in the world by revenue. Perhaps best known for being the second-largest mobile telephone provider, AT&T also provides television, internet, and home security. Back in 2015, AT&T bought DIRECTV, which is known for its incredible sports lineup, including the famous NFL SUNDAY TICKET. This multinational company calls Dallas, Texas, home.

Find out more about AT&T

xfinity vs spectrum high speed internet

Comcast Corporation is a global telecommunications conglomerate based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The largest cable television provider in the United States, Comcast offers telephone, internet, television, and home security services under the name Xfinity from Comcast. Additionally, Comcast has a wide variety of ventures and owns NBCUniversal, DreamWorks Animation, and over thirty sports arenas.

Find out more about Xfinity from Comcast

At HighSpeedInternet.com, we know choosing an internet provider can be a complex process. If you want more information on AT&T or Xfinity from Comcast before you make your choice, consult our in-depth reviews of each company. You’ll see more about company packages, learn what issues customers have had historically, and discover all you need to know about installation, equipment, fees, and more.

Find and compare high-speed internet providers in your area: