Xfinity vs. Frontier

Best for consistency
  • Fast download speeds
  • Reliable connections
  • Impractical fiber plan

Plans start at $35.00/mo.

View Plans for Xfinity

Best for fiber plans
  • High-speed fiber plans
  • Availability in rural areas
  • Inconsistent plan availability

Plans start at $37.99/mo.

View Plans for Frontier

Bottom line

Frontier is great if you’re in an area where it offers fiber connections. However, in areas where Frontier offers only DSL connections, Xfinity’s reliable cable network is the clear winner.

Update on Frontier:

On April 14, 2020, Frontier Communications filed for bankruptcy. The company is continuing operations and has said that Frontier’s customers won’t face any service interruptions. If you want to know more about the situation, read our full guide on what Frontier’s bankruptcy means for customers.

Xfinity vs. Frontier internet

Xfinity Frontier

Type of service

Cable

Type of service

Fiber, DSL

Price

$24.99–$84.99/mo*

Price

$27.99–$199.99/mo.

Contract

Up to 2 yrs.

Contract

Up to 2 yrs.

Download speeds

25–1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps)*

Download speeds

6–1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps)

Equipment fees

Up to $14.00/mo.

Equipment fees

$10.00/mo.

Installation fee

$89.99

Installation fee

Up to $75.00

Customer satisfaction

(3.5/5)

Customer satisfaction

(N/A)

View Xfinity plansView Frontier plans
Xfinity

Type of service

Cable

Frontier

Type of service

Fiber, DSL

Xfinity

Price

$24.99–$84.99/mo*

Frontier

Price

$27.99–$199.99/mo.

Xfinity

Contract

Up to 2 yrs.

Frontier

Contract

Up to 2 yrs.

Xfinity

Download speeds

25–1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps)*

Frontier

Download speeds

6–1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps)

Xfinity

Equipment fees

Up to $14.00/mo.

Frontier

Equipment fees

$10.00/mo.

Xfinity

Installation fee

$89.99

Frontier

Installation fee

Up to $75.00

Xfinity

Customer satisfaction

(3.5/5)

Frontier

Customer satisfaction

(N/A)

Xfinity View Xfinity plans
Frontier View Frontier plans

Xfinity vs. Frontier packages and pricing

Xfinity has a wide selection of plans that generally offer higher speeds and lower prices than Frontier’s DSL plans. The exception is Frontier’s FiberOptic internet plans. Although they aren’t as widely available, these plans can go toe-to-toe with Xfinity’s cable plans in terms of speed and even manage to edge them out in terms of price.

Xfinity packages

PackagePrice fromDownload speeds up toInternet type
Performance Starter$20.00–$49.95/mo.*25 MbpsCable
Performance Select$34.99/mo.*100 MbpsCable
Performance$40.00–$77.95/mo.*60–100 MbpsCable
Performance Pro$39.99/mo.*200 MbpsCable
Performance Pro Plus$49.99/mo.*200 MbpsCable
Blast!$50.00–$59.99/mo.*200–300 MbpsCable
Extreme$60.00/mo.*300 MbpsCable
Extreme Pro$69.99–$70.00/mo.*600 MbpsCable
Extreme Pro Plus$74.99/mo.*600 MbpsCable
Gigabit$79.99–$84.99/mo.*1,000 MbpsCable
Gigabit Pro$299.95/mo.2,000 MbpsFiber
PackagePerformance Starter
Price from$20.00–$49.95/mo.*
Download speeds up to25 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackagePerformance Select
Price from$34.99/mo.*
Download speeds up to100 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackagePerformance
Price from$40.00–$77.95/mo.*
Download speeds up to60–100 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackagePerformance Pro
Price from$39.99/mo.*
Download speeds up to200 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackagePerformance Pro Plus
Price from$49.99/mo.*
Download speeds up to200 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageBlast!
Price from$50.00–$59.99/mo.*
Download speeds up to200–300 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageExtreme
Price from$60.00/mo.*
Download speeds up to300 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageExtreme Pro
Price from$69.99–$70.00/mo.*
Download speeds up to600 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageExtreme Pro Plus
Price from$74.99/mo.*
Download speeds up to600 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageGigabit
Price from$79.99–$84.99/mo.*
Download speeds up to1,000 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageGigabit Pro
Price from$299.95/mo.
Download speeds up to2,000 Mbps
Internet typeFiber

Xfinity boasts one of the largest cable internet networks in the nation, which means it can offer consistent and reliable connections throughout its service area. Although not all of these plans are available in all areas, you don’t have to worry about being outside the reach of Xfinity’s high-speed cable network.

Xfinity technically offers one fiber plan: the Gigabit Pro plan. But this plan is very limited in availability, serving only 0.02% of Xfinity customers.1 This, combined with its prohibitively high cost, makes it a less appealing choice than Xfinity’s cable plans or more accessible fiber options from other providers.

Frontier packages

PackagePrice fromDownload speeds up toInternet type
Frontier Internet$27.99/mo.6 MbpsDSL
Frontier Preferred Internet$34.99/mo.25 MbpsDSL
Frontier Premium Internet$44.99/mo.45 MbpsDSL
Frontier FiberOptic 50 Mbps Internet$29.99/mo.50 MbpsFiber
Frontier FiberOptic 500 Mbps Internet$39.99/mo.500 MbpsFiber
Frontier FiberOptic Gig Internet$74.99/mo.1,000 MbpsFiber
PackageFrontier Internet
Price from$27.99/mo.
Download speeds up to6 Mbps
Internet typeDSL
PackageFrontier Preferred Internet
Price from$34.99/mo.
Download speeds up to25 Mbps
Internet typeDSL
PackageFrontier Premium Internet
Price from$44.99/mo.
Download speeds up to45 Mbps
Internet typeDSL
PackageFrontier FiberOptic 50 Mbps Internet
Price from$29.99/mo.
Download speeds up to50 Mbps
Internet typeFiber
PackageFrontier FiberOptic 500 Mbps Internet
Price from$39.99/mo.
Download speeds up to500 Mbps
Internet typeFiber
PackageFrontier FiberOptic Gig Internet
Price from$74.99/mo.
Download speeds up to1,000 Mbps
Internet typeFiber

With Frontier plans, there’s a stark divide between fiber and DSL. Frontier’s fiber plans offer blazing fast speeds for the same price as its slower DSL connections. Although fiber is the clear choice, it’s currently available in only about a third of Frontier’s total service area.1

Xfinity vs. Frontier internet speeds

Internet speeds

If you’re looking for a provider that offers ultrafast download speeds, Xfinity comes out on top. Its high-speed cable plans are available throughout its nationwide network, giving speeds up to 1 Gbps, which is on par with the download speeds you can get from fiber plans.

In most of its service area, Frontier comes in at a distant second in terms of speed. Its fastest DSL plan can barely keep up with some of Xfinity’s slower cable offerings. This changes in areas where Frontier can offer fiber. Fiber not only matches cable in pure download speed, but also offers a few other advantages that make it the better choice. We’ll dive more into what those advantages are in the next section.

Test your speed:

How does your current internet connection measure up compared to other available internet plans? Try our speed test tool to find out.

Internet types

When comparing the plans available from Xfinity and Frontier, you’re really comparing three different types of internet: cable, fiber, and DSL.

Cable

Xfinity’s internet plans (with the exception of Gigabit Pro, which uses fiber) all rely on cable connections. Cable has a lot of advantages over other types of connections, especially in terms of download speeds, which can reach up to 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps).

Upload speeds, however, are much slower on a cable connection, which can be a problem for people who make video calls or who want to livestream. Cable connections can also slow down during peak hours due to local traffic, which can be frustrating when you just want to sit down and watch Netflix after work.

DSL

DSL suffers from many of the same issues that cable does but without the same fast download speeds. Upload speeds are also slower on a DSL connection, and while DSL doesn’t slow down due to local traffic, it does slow down the farther you get from your provider’s local office.

Fiber

Fiber is the game changer in terms of connection types. Fiber offers synchronous upload and download speeds, which means that if you can download data at 1 Gbps, you can upload it at that speed too. Fiber connections are also immune to the kinds of slowing you get on cable and DSL connections, so you can trust your connection speed to be consistent.

Xfinity vs. Frontier fees and contracts

Both Xfinity and Frontier have some additional fees that you could run into, so let’s take a closer look.

Internet fees

FeesAmount
Equipment rental feeUp to $25.00/mo.
Professional installationUp to $89.99
Self-installation kit shipping and handlingUp to $15.00
Late fee$10.00 per missed payment
Data overage fee$10.00 per 50 GB
Early termination fee$10.00 per mo. left on contract

Xfinity’s fees are pretty standard, though they do vary a bit depending on the plan you sign up for. You can avoid some of them if you’re willing to buy your own equipment or try your hand at self-installation (as long as it’s an option for the plan you choose).

FeesAmount
Equipment delivery and handling$9.99
Installation fee$75.00
Late feeVaries by location
Early termination feeUp to $150

Frontier’s fees also vary by location and by plan, so make sure that you read the fine print to make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up for. Frontier’s website avoids giving actual prices up front, which makes this process even more difficult. The prices are there, but you have to do a bit of digging. Information on fees can be found on Frontier’s installation appointment page and help center.

Internet contracts

All of Xfinity’s standard plans require signing a long-term contract. However, if you really don’t want to be tied down to a contract, sign up for Xfinity Prepaid Internet*. This plan is both slower and more expensive than the plans you can get with a contract, but it’s not too bad when compared with other no-contract internet plans.

Frontier has a lot more options than Xfinity for contract-free plans. All of Frontier’s DSL plans are available month-to-month; however, if you want their Frontier FiberOptic plans, these require a two-year contract, which is a fairly big commitment.

Xfinity vs. Frontier equipment

Renting a modem and router

You can rent a modem and router (usually combined into one device called a gateway) from both Xfinity and Frontier. The advantage of renting is that first, it’s more convenient, and second, you know that your equipment won’t have compatibility issues. Xfinity in particular has some fairly nice equipment available to rent for its higher-tier plans.

Buying a modem and router

Buying your own equipment can save you some money if you plan to stick with your provider for a while. But more importantly, it gives you a lot more options. For example, if you have a large house and want better Wi-Fi coverage or if you want a router with better security, buying a third-party modem and router might be your best bet.

But dealing with third-party equipment can be a hassle since you have to make sure your equipment is compatible with your ISP. Xfinity makes it as easy as possible by providing customers with a detailed user guide for both Xfinity gateways and third-party devices.

Pro tip:

Buying your equipment can save you some money in the long run, but if you upgrade your equipment every few years, the savings is usually pretty minimal. However, buying your own modem and router gives you the flexibility to find a device that works best for your needs.

Xfinity vs. Frontier customer service

Although Frontier wasn’t included in our customer survey this year, Xfinity ranked toward the bottom of the ISPs surveyed.

Installation and setup

Xfinity

Installation fee: $89.99

Installation type: Pro and self-install

 

Schedule an installation

Frontier

Installation fee: Up to $75.00

Installation type: Pro and self-install

 

Schedule an installation

Xfinity is one of the easiest internet services to self-install. It offers a companion app that can scan codes on your equipment and give you step-by-step instructions throughout the whole process.

Frontier doesn’t have a fancy app to walk you through the installation process, but its website does feature a video gallery with tutorials, which is still a step above many other providers.

Customer satisfaction

Xfinity

Overall customer satisfaction rating:

(3.5/5)

Frontier

Overall customer satisfaction rating:

(N/A)

Xfinity had a low ranking in overall customer satisfaction in our annual survey. It came in eleventh place nationwide. It’s highest customer ranking was in internet speed, where it came in ninth place, beating out Optimum, Spectrum, and CenturyLink.

Xfinity vs. Frontier availability

Xfinity top 5 states:

  1. New Jersey
  2. Maryland
  3. Delaware
  4. Vermont
  5. Massachusetts

Frontier top 5 states:

  1. Connecticut
  2. West Virginia
  3. Illinois
  4. Indiana
  5. Ohio

Xfinity is one of the most widely available networks in the US, with coverage in 40 states. Frontier has a much smaller service area but has almost total coverage in states like Connecticut and West Virginia—even in rural areas.

It’s important to point out that while Frontier’s DSL service is available throughout its service area, only about a third of these areas have access to its high-speed fiber network.1

Get your plan options: Are you fortunate enough to live in an area with access to fiber? Enter your zip code below to find out:

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Consistent availability
  • Lots of plan options
  • Fast download speeds

Cons

  • Limited no-contract options
  • Impractical fiber option

Pros

  • Fast fiber plans
  • No-contract options
  • DSL availability in rural areas

Cons

  • Limited fiber availability
  • Lower customer satisfaction scores

Our verdict

Although Xfinity is the more well-rounded service provider and outclasses Frontier in almost every area, it still can’t compete in terms of speed when it comes to Frontier’s high-speed fiber plans.

If you have access to the Frontier FiberOptic plans, take advantage of them. If the choice is between Xfinity and Frontier DSL, definitely go with Xfinity.

See what providers are available in your area:

Xfinity vs. Frontier FAQ

H3: What’s the difference between gigabit cable and gigabit fiber?

The difference between gigabit cable and gigabit fiber comes down to reliability and versatility. Xfinity’s gigabit cable plan and Frontier’s gigabit fiber plan both give you download speeds of 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps). However, fiber has symmetrical upload and download speeds, which means that with gigabit fiber, you also get upload speeds of 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps). Additionally, fiber connections have the advantage of not slowing down at peak usage hours, which means that you hit those top speeds more consistently than you will with cable.

H3: Can new customers sign up for Frontier internet after the company declared bankruptcy?

Yes, Frontier is still operating its internet services and signing up new customers, even after its bankruptcy. Although some of its network in the Pacific Northwest was sold to other internet companies who now serve those customers, the bankruptcy allowed Frontier to restructure its debts and continue operating as it did before.

For more information, check out our guide on what the Frontier bankruptcy means for customers.

  1. Federal Communications Commission, “Fixed Broadband Deployment,” Map layer based on FCC Form 477. Accessed September 3, 2020.

Author -

Peter Christiansen writes about satellite internet, rural connectivity, livestreaming, and parental controls for HighSpeedInternet.com. Peter holds a PhD in communication from the University of Utah and has been working in tech for over 15 years as a computer programmer, game developer, filmmaker, and writer. His writing has been praised by outlets like Wired, Digital Humanities Now, and the New Statesman.

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.

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