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Xfinity vs. Spectrum

Xfinity and Spectrum are the nation’s biggest cable internet providers, but which one offers the best plans for you?

  • Best for speed
    • Customer rating: 3.9
    • Price: $20.00–$120.00/mo.
    • Max speed: 75–2,000Mbps
    • Internet type: Cable, fiber
    • Data cap: 1.2 TB, No data cap
    • Contract: Contract-free and contract-based plans
  • Best for availability
    • Customer rating: 3.7
    • Price: $24.99–$79.99/mo.
    • Max speed: Up to 50–1,000Mbps* (wireless speeds may vary)
    • Internet type: Cable, fiber
    • Data cap: No cap
    • Contract: No contract

Compare Xfinity and Spectrum head to head

Xfinity and Spectrum are both cable internet providers, so they’re pretty similar. You can’t go wrong with either one.

But there’s one big dividing line that separates the two like the Grand Canyon: data caps. Spectrum doesn’t have data caps, but its introductory prices are slightly higher than Xfinity’s. You get more for your money with Xfinity at the start, but your monthly cost goes up if you want unlimited data like Spectrum.

We’ll dig more into the details of each so you can decide which service is best for your needs.

 

Pros and cons: Xfinity vs. Spectrum

Pros:

  • Wide availability
  • Reliable connections

Cons:

  • Extra monthly fee for unlimited data
  • Monthly equipment rental
  • Price hikes after 1–2 years

Pros:

  • Good performance
  • Simplified list of plans
  • No modem rental fee

Cons:

  • Price hikes after 1–2 years
  • Extra charge for WiFi

Is Xfinity or Spectrum available where you live?

Enter your zip code below to see what services and plans are provided in your area.

Plans and pricing: Xfinity vs. Spectrum

Xfinity has a wider variety of plans than Spectrum. It also has the fastest plan of the two, with speeds of up to 2,000Mbps. Xfinity also offers fiber internet, but you’re lucky if you can find it.

Xfinity plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedDetails
Connect$20.00/mo.*150MbpsView Plan
Connect More$35.00/mo.**200MbpsView Plan
Fast$55.00/mo.#400MbpsView Plan
Superfast$70.00/mo.#800MbpsView Plan
Gigabit$80.00/mo.#1,000MbpsView Plan
Gigabit Extra$85.00/mo.**1,200MbpsView Plan
Gigabit X2$120.00/mo.2,000MbpsView Plan

Xfinity provides a lot of variety to fit your budget. The plan names and pricing depend on your region—we list the Central region in the chart above—but you should expect to see multiple tiers to meet your speed requirement.

Overall, Xfinity appears to have a better megabit-per-dollar value than Spectrum. The problem is Xfinity’s prices increase after the first or second year, depending on the plan and your location. And if you want unlimited data, the price goes up even higher.

Spectrum plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedDetails
Spectrum Internet® Assist$24.99/mo.*Up to 50Mbps
(wireless speeds may vary)
View Plan
Spectrum Internet® 100$29.99/mo.*Up to 100Mbps
(wireless speeds may vary)
View Plan
Spectrum Internet®$39.99–$49.99/mo.
for 12 mos.
Up to 300Mbps
(wireless speeds may vary)
View Plan
Spectrum Internet® Ultra$49.99-$69.99/mo.
for 24 mos.
Up to 500Mbps
(wireless speeds may vary)
View Plan
Spectrum Internet® Gig$59.99-$79.99/mo.
for 24 mos.
Up to 1,000Mbps°
(wireless speeds may vary)
View Plan

Spectrum keeps the choices simple, and that’s what we like. There’s no confusion about various plans at different prices, all offering the same maximum speed. Plus, Spectrum has extra perks like unlimited data and a rent-free modem or gateway.

What you never hear about is Spectrum’s fiber internet. It’s a real thing and is only available in “green” markets not claimed by other fiber internet providers, like in new neighborhoods. You’ll see the same three main plans, only your fiber upload and download speeds are identical, unlike Spectrum’s cable internet.

HSI badge deals

Deals & promotions: Xfinity vs. Spectrum

 

Xfinity
Get one line of Unlimited from Xfinity Mobile and get one FREE for a year.

Get the Deal
Spectrum
Sign up for Spectrum One and get Spectrum internet with speeds up to 300Mbps, free Advanced Wifi, and one Unlimited Mobile line free for 12 months.

Get the Deal

Extra fees: Xfinity vs. Spectrum

Equipment FeeInstallation FeeOther Fees
Xfinity
  • $14.00/mo.
  • $39.99 for pro install
  • Free for self-install with standard shipping
  • $10.00 late payment fee
  • $10.00/50 GB overage fee
  • $30.00/mo. for unlimited data
  • Spectrum
  • $7.00/mo. for WiFi (no charge with Internet Gig plan)
  • $3.00/mo. per Spectrum WiFi Pod
  • No charge for modem or gateway
  • $59.99 for pro install
  • $24.99 for self-install and service activation
  • $49.99 for WiFi Pod install
  • $9.99 service activation fee
  • $8.95 late payment fee (after 21 days)
  • $25.00 insufficient funds fee
  • $5.00 phone payment processing fee
  • $9.99 reconnection fee (internet)
  • $4.99 reconnection fee (TV)
  • $19.99 equipment upgrade fee to Internet Gig plan
  • Outside of the obvious installation and equipment fee differences, the big contrast between the two is Xfinity’s charge for unlimited data. While Xfinity imposes a data cap by default, customers can opt for unlimited data for an additional $30 per month. Spectrum doesn’t charge extra for unlimited data—you won’t even have a data cap.

    Customer ratings: Xfinity vs. Spectrum

    Overall ReliabilityCustomer ServiceSpeedPrice
    Xfinity 3.93.93.74.03.5
    Spectrum 3.73.73.73.93.3

    Both Xfinity and Spectrum received good feedback in our annual customer satisfaction survey, but Xfinity scored higher in all categories except customer service. Xfinity’s biggest win was receiving the highest speed ratings for the second year in a row, even besting several fiber providers. According to the survey, 93% of Xfinity customers said their internet speeds “always” or “usually” meet their needs.

    Xfinity customers also gave higher price satisfaction ratings. Xfinity tends to pack in a lot of speed for the money, while Spectrum plans come with unlimited data.

    Looking for the best-rated provider you can get?

    Enter your zip code below to see if Xfinity or Spectrum are in your area.

    Best TV and internet bundles

    PackageInternet speedTV channelsPriceDetails
    Xfinity Superfast Internet + Popular TVUp to 800Mbps125+$149.60/mo.*View Plans
    Xfinity Gigabit Extra Internet + Popular TVUp to 1,200Mbps185+$164.60/mo.*View Plans
    Spectrum Internet + TV SelectUp to 300Mbps
    (wireless speeds may vary)
    155+$119.98/mo.
    for 12 mos.
    View Plans
    Spectrum Internet Ultra + TV SelectUp to 500Mbps
    (wireless speeds may vary)
    155+$139.98/mo.
    for 12 mos.
    View Plans

    The Xfinity Superfast Internet + Popular TV combo includes a decent download speed and 125+ channels for $150. If you want a little more, the Gigabit Extra package doubles your speed for an extra $15 per month. There are other bundles giving you even more channels, too—up to 185+ through the Ultimate TV service.

    Spectrum doesn’t offer a discount when you bundle TV with internet. Instead, you can pair its TV service with any one of its three cable internet plans. Both services have discounted pricing for the first 12 months, but all premium channels are extra. You’ll also see a broadcast TV service charge of up to $21 per month that’s not included in the discounted pricing.

    Xfinity has a broadcast TV surcharge each month, too, costing you an additional $17. In both cases, the surcharge covers the fees imposed by broadcast TV stations on cable companies.

    Internet types: Xfinity vs. Spectrum

    Internet typeDetails
    Xfinity CableView Plans
    Spectrum Cable, fiberView Plans

    Xfinity and Spectrum are mainly cable internet providers. Coaxial cable has been around for decades and is installed in most homes. It relies on unused cable TV channels to deliver internet, so it’s a bit more limited in speed than fiber.

    Xfinity’s maximum residential cable speed is 1,200Mbps, while Spectrum maxes out at 1,000Mbps. If you don’t need a connection faster than a gigabit, then the plans offered by these two companies should suffice.

    Spectrum also has some fiber-to-the-home internet in “green” markets where other fiber internet providers haven’t claimed, like in new neighborhoods. Fiber is more reliable than cable and supports symmetrical download and upload speeds—it’s used in the backbone of the internet, after all. Both providers offer fiber to enterprise customers.

    Data caps: Xfinity vs. Spectrum

    Data CapDetails
    Xfinity
  • 1.2 TB data cap
  • Unlimited data for $30.00/mo.
  • View Plans
    Spectrum
  • No cap
  • View Plans

    Spectrum reigns king when it comes to data, as all plans have unlimited data by default. With Xfinity, unlimited data is an optional service, costing an extra $30 per month.

    Xfinity customers who go over their monthly 1.2TB data allotment will see a $10 charge for every 50 GB over until they reach $100 for the month. If you’re worried about going over, Xfinity will give you a one-time courtesy credit the first time you go over.

    Unlimited data is not available to Internet Essentials and Internet Essentials Partnership Program subscribers.

    Contracts: Xfinity vs. Spectrum

    Contract lengthDetails
    Xfinity
  • 1–2 yrs.
  • No contract
  • View Plans
    Spectrum
  • No contract
  • View Plans

    Spectrum does not have contracts. Instead, Spectrum applies a temporary promotional rate upon activation. There are no cancellation penalties.

    Xfinity also applies a temporary promotional rate upon activation, locking prices for up to two years. But you must enroll in autopay and paperless billing to keep the discounted price during that time—otherwise, add $10 to the monthly bill. Afterward, your price can increase significantly, even more so if you add unlimited data.

    Installation: Xfinity vs. Spectrum

    Installation optionsDetails
    Xfinity
  • $39.99 for pro install
  • Free for self-install with standard shipping
  • View Plans
    Spectrum
  • $59.99 for pro install
  • $24.99 for self-install and service activation
  • $49.99 for WiFi Pod install
  • View Plans

    If you’re switching services and don’t need to relocate the modem, the self-installation kits are your cheaper option. Take this route if you think you can handle the setup process independently.

    Of the two, Spectrum still performs pro installations, while Xfinity’s Self Install Plus option has a technician deliver your Getting Started Kit and verify that all connections to your home are working correctly.

    Availability: Xfinity vs. Spectrum

    Xfinity and Spectrum command the largest chunks of the cable internet market in the US, but you probably won’t see them both where you live. There are some areas where their services overlap, like in Massachusetts, Florida, and Georgia, but they mostly border each other mainly from Texas and going east.

    Xfinity has a slightly larger portion of the cable internet market than Spectrum, but its plan naming and pricing are different across regions. Xfinity’s market primarily resides in Maine, Virginia; Washington, DC; Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Georgia (mainly the Atlanta area), Florida, Indiana, and California. A good chunk of the coverage also revolves around specific cities rather than statewide coverage, including Seattle, Portland, Tucson, Las Vegas, Houston, and Chicago.

    Most of Spectrum’s market resides in North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, New York, and Maine. There are scattered chunks of coverage in California, Texas, Florida, and several other states. Overall, Spectrum commands a decent market in the Eastern and Central time zones. Its coverage is more regional than what you’ll get with Xfinity.

    Ready to switch to Xfinity or Spectrum?

    Enter your zip code below to see if Xfinity or Spectrum are available where you live.

    Final call: Xfinity vs. Spectrum

    You’ll probably never need to compare Xfinity’s plans and prices with Spectrum’s, but if you live in an area where their cable internet overlaps, Xfinity is your better choice based on our latest customer satisfaction survey. The readers have spoken, and Xfinity outranks Spectrum in every category, including speed.

    But here’s the thing: Spectrum has unlimited data. That in itself should give you a reason to pause before you sign up with Xfinity. You can get unlimited data with Xfinity, but it’ll cost you $30 more a month. On the flip side, Xfinity has a wider plan variety and speeds of up to 1,200Mbps—Spectrum stops at 1,000Mbps.

    The decision you make ultimately depends on the speed you need and the amount of data you require to burn through each month.

    View Xfinity Plans

    View Spectrum Plans

    Methodology

    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 -

    Kevin Parrish has more than a decade of experience working as a writer, editor, and product tester. He began writing about computer hardware and soon branched out to other devices and services such as networking equipment, phones and tablets, game consoles, and other internet-connected devices. His work has appeared in Tom’s Hardware, Tom's Guide, Maximum PC, Digital Trends, Android Authority, How-To Geek, Lifewire, and others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on network equipment testing and review.

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