Xfinity vs. Spectrum

  • Wide availability
  • Top-tier speeds
  • Variety of plans and speeds
  • Internet plans with no contracts
  • Variety of plans and speeds
  • Unlimited data at no extra charge

Bottom line

Choose Xfinity for wide availability and some of the fastest speeds on the market. With service in forty states and speeds up to 2 gigs in select areas, it’s hard to argue against Xfinity. If speed is what you need, Xfinity probably has an option where you live.

Choose Spectrum for a good selection of plans with no contracts or data caps. Spectrum goes toe-to-toe with Xfinity with a variety of plans for every Internet need and budget, but Spectrum also offers the flexibility of no contract plans that you can opt out of at any time for no charge. Spectrum also offers unlimited data at no additional charge—that’s perfect for heavy streamers or gamers.

Ready for new internet service? Enter your zip code to compare packages in your area.

 
Xfinity Spectrum

Type of Service

Cable, Fiber

Type of Service

Cable

Price

$29.99–$299.95 per month*

Introductory Price

$49.99 per month for 12 months*†

Contract

Up to 2 yrs. on some promotional offers; no-contract options available

Contract

None

Download Speeds

15 Mbps–2 Gbps

Download Speeds

Up to 940 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)

Equipment Fees

$13.00-14.00/mo.

Equipment Fees

Included in package price

Installation Fee

Up to $89.99 for professional installation.

Free self-installation option

Installation Fee

$49.95; waived with Triple Play bundle

Customer Satisfaction

3.88/5

Customer Satisfaction

3.81/5

View PlansView Plans
Xfinity

Type of Service

Cable, Fiber

Spectrum

Type of Service

Cable

Xfinity

Price

$29.99–$299.95 per month*

Spectrum

Introductory Price

$49.99 per month for 12 months*†

Xfinity

Contract

Up to 2 yrs. on some promotional offers; no-contract options available

Spectrum

Contract

None

Xfinity

Download Speeds

15 Mbps–2 Gbps

Spectrum

Download Speeds

Up to 940 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)

Xfinity

Equipment Fees

$13.00-14.00/mo.

Spectrum

Equipment Fees

Included in package price

Xfinity

Installation Fee

Up to $89.99 for professional installation.

Free self-installation option

Spectrum

Installation Fee

$49.95; waived with Triple Play bundle

Xfinity

Customer Satisfaction

3.88/5

Spectrum

Customer Satisfaction

3.81/5

Xfinity View Plans
Spectrum View Plans

Looking for Time Warner Cable, Charter or Bright House?

You’re in the right place! All three of these providers are now under one roof as Spectrum, thanks to a massive business merger. You may still see some references to these individual brands here and there, but they’re all the same now.

 

Packages and pricing

Xfinity and Spectrum could not be more different when it comes to package offerings. While Xfinity has a plan for every budget and need, Spectrum takes the simple route with just a single offering. Which path is the right one? Let’s find out.

Xfinity packages

PackagePriceSpeedInternet type
Performance Starter$20.00–$49.95/mo.*25 MbpsCable
Performance$40.00–$77.95/mo.*60–100 MbpsCable
Performance Pro$64.99/mo.*200 MbpsCable
Performance Pro Plus$49.99/mo.*200 MbpsCable
Blast!$49.99–$50.00/mo.*200–300 MbpsCable
Blast! Pro Plus$64.99/mo.*300 MbpsCable
Extreme Pro$69.99/mo.*600 MbpsCable
Extreme Pro Plus$74.99*600 MbpsCable
Gigabit$79.99–$84.99/mo.*1,000 MbpsCable
Gigabit Pro$299.95/mo.2,000 MbpsFiber
PackagePerformance Starter
Price$20.00–$49.95/mo.*
Speed25 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackagePerformance
Price$40.00–$77.95/mo.*
Speed60–100 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackagePerformance Pro
Price$64.99/mo.*
Speed200 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackagePerformance Pro Plus
Price$49.99/mo.*
Speed200 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageBlast!
Price$49.99–$50.00/mo.*
Speed200–300 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageBlast! Pro Plus
Price$64.99/mo.*
Speed300 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageExtreme Pro
Price$69.99/mo.*
Speed600 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageExtreme Pro Plus
Price$74.99*
Speed600 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageGigabit
Price$79.99–$84.99/mo.*
Speed1,000 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageGigabit Pro
Price$299.95/mo.
Speed2,000 Mbps
Internet typeFiber

Xfinity offers a dazzling array of internet packages. These plans run the full range from your basic 25 Mbps starter package to the ridiculously fast (and equally expensive) Gigabit Pro fiber plan. Xfinity’s fiber package has limited availability though. At this time what Xfinity is hanging its hat on is cable internet offerings for any speed (and budget) you could possibly want.

Each package is clearly differentiated and makes sense in the lineup, and the pricing is reasonable for what you get. Our big gripe with Xfinity is inconsistency in packages among different locations. Prices, available plans, and speeds often vary widely from place to place. While this is normal behavior for Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Xfinity is even more all over the map than some of the others.

If you want to add TV or phone service, Xfinity has plenty of bundling options available. The cream of the crop is the Premier XF Triple Play, which gets you 400 Mbps internet, 260+ channels, and unlimited nationwide calling. You’ll also get HBO®, STARZ®, CINEMAX®, and SHOWTIME® included at no additional charge, which is quite valuable on its own.

Spectrum packages

PackagePriceSpeed
Spectrum Internet Assist**$14.99/mo. for qualifying householdsUp to 30 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)
Spectrum Internet®$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.*Up to 100 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)
Spectrum Internet Ultra$69.99/mo. for 12 mos.*400 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)
Spectrum Internet Gig$109.99/mo. for 12 mos.*940 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)
PackageSpectrum Internet Assist**
Price$14.99/mo. for qualifying households
SpeedUp to 30 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)
PackageSpectrum Internet®
Price$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.*
SpeedUp to 100 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)
PackageSpectrum Internet Ultra
Price$69.99/mo. for 12 mos.*
Speed400 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)
PackageSpectrum Internet Gig
Price$109.99/mo. for 12 mos.*
Speed940 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)

Spectrum’s Internet Ultra plan is a nice option since up to 400 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) for $69.99 per month for 12 months is plenty of speed for the vast majority of households. Many folks would be just fine with Spectrum Internet® with speeds up to 100 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) for $49.99 per month for 12 months. If you qualify for the Spectrum Internet Assist plan with speeds up to 30 Mpbs (wireless speeds may vary) for $14.99 per month for 12 months, it’s a great price for basic Internet too.

Spectrum’s prices are competitive with Xfinity for the most part, though if you’re dead set on getting gig speeds, the Spectrum pricing is on the high side and you’d be better off going with Xfinity. But the big thing Spectrum has going for it is the flexibility of no contract plans, as well as unlimited data included in all its Internet offerings. The freedom of a no contract plan may very well be worth your paying a couple bucks extra a month so you don’t get stuck paying big fees if you end up wanting to change your Internet plan.

 

Important features

Speed

Both Spectrum and Xfinity offer a range of plans at varying speeds. Xfinity really goes all-in with the number of options it offers for prices and speeds, while Spectrum has a more streamlined menu with options that should be suitable to most anyone. If it’s gigabit Internet you’re after, you can get that from Spectrum but the Xfinity price is significantly better. Comcast technically offers a two gigabit fiber internet plan, though the availability is pretty low and all that speed is way more than most people will need, especially for the elevated price.

The Spectrum Internet Ultra plan is appealing, since up to 400 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) for $69.99 per month for 12 months is more than enough speed for most households and lacks the hefty price tag of the gigabit plans.

If you’re not sure how much speed is enough for your household, use our How Much Speed Do I Need? tool to find out.

How much internet speed you need button

Internet type

Both Xfinity and Spectrum use coaxial cables to transmit data, TV, and phone signals. Cable Internet tends to be fast, reliable, and easily accessible, and both Xfinity and Spectrum live up to that reputation. Xfinity does technically have a fiber Internet offering for its 2 gig plan, but it has very limited availability.

Data caps

Here’s an area where Spectrum has a clear edge. Spectrum offers unlimited data. Period. End of story. No fine print. There’s no cap, there’s no fee for additional use, and there’s no add-on subscription to worry about. If your household uses a ton of data and has a plan that suits your speed and budget, this is a big advantage for Spectrum.

Xfinity gives users 1.2 TB of data each month. That’s still a lot, and most will never reach that cap. But if you do happen to hit it, Xfinity will give you one free courtesy month with no additional charge no matter how much you go over the limit. After that, each month in which you exceed the data cap you’ll pay $10.00 for each additional 50 GB used. Xfinity also gives the option of purchasing unlimited data for an extra $30.00 per month with any plan, which could be better than paying for overages if you consistently exceed the cap by more than 150 GB.

Find out which internet service providers have data caps.

 

Equipment

There’s one big difference between the way Xfinity and Spectrum approach equipment: Xfinity charges you an additional fee and Spectrum doesn’t. Both providers allow you to use your own modem or router if you prefer. And since they’re cable providers, there are plenty of options to choose from. We even have a whole article about the best routers and modems to use with your Xfinity internet.

When should you use the equipment provided by your ISP?

For most people, it makes sense to stick with what the provider gives you. This is especially true if the rental price is already included in your package, like with Spectrum. There are several benefits to sticking with ISP-provided equipment:

  1. You’ll get guaranteed compatibility with your service, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally buying the wrong product.
  2. You’ll get easier tech support if something goes wrong since your provider is familiar with the equipment.

When should you purchase your own equipment?

On the other hand, sometimes the ISP-provided modem or router just doesn’t get the job done, or you don’t want to pay the rental fee for years to come. Here are some reasons to consider picking up your own router:

  • You need more WiFi coverage. If you live in a larger-than-average home, you might need more range from your router.
  • You have a lot of devices online at once. If your network is especially crowded, try a router with special tech like beamforming to get the signal to your devices and prioritize traffic.
  • You need more speed. If you need to maximize your wireless speed for streaming or gaming, purchasing your own router is probably the best way to do that.

If you’re thinking about buying your own equipment, we’ve got several recommendations depending on what you’re looking for.

 

Customer experience

How do Xfinity and Spectrum stack up when it comes to using them in the real world? Pretty well, it turns out. Customer reviews of both Xfinity and Spectrum point toward a positive experience.

Installation

ProviderInstallation feeType of installation
XfinityStarts at $60.00Self-install or professionalView Xfinity plans
SpectrumVaries with package choiceSelf-install or professionalView Spectrum plans
ProviderXfinity
Installation feeStarts at $60.00
Type of installationSelf-install or professional
View Xfinity plans
ProviderSpectrum
Installation feeVaries with package choice
Type of installationSelf-install or professional
View Spectrum plans

Customer service

Xfinity
 

Overall Customer Service Rating:

(3.88/5)

Spectrum
 

Overall Customer Service Rating:

(3.81/5)

How a provider treats its customers can be just as important as how fast its Internet is or how many channels it offers. Our 2020 Internet Provider Customer Satisfaction Survey ranks providers in a number of categories to find out which ones provide the best customer experience.

Both Xfinity and Spectrum sit toward the top of the list, in fifth and seventh places, with Xfinity beating Spectrum. Xfinity scores especially well in speed, tech support, and customer service, while Spectrum does well in most categories but consistently ranks lower than Xfinity.

We’d expect both providers to offer a pleasant experience overall. You really can’t go wrong with either when it comes to speed and reliability.

 

Other features

Hotspots

Both Xfinity and Spectrum offer access to a large hotspot network when you sign up for service. Xfinity takes it a step further by including a hotspot in every router it provides. This allows guests to sign into the Xfinity WiFi network and be online in a snap—just as long as they are also Xfinity customers and have access to the hotspot network.

Internet security features

Both providers also offer Internet security as part of your service. Xfinity partners with Norton Internet Security to protect up to five devices at no extra charge, and you can upgrade to a higher-tier product for an additional cost. Spectrum provides security software for up to ten computers.

Apps

Xfinity and Spectrum both offer mobile Apps for managing your accounts and services.

Xfinity My Account
xfinity my account logo

  • Google Play Rating: 3.7/5
  • Apple Store Rating: 3.1/5
  • Compatible Devices: Android, iOS

My Spectrum

 
  • Google Play Rating: 4/5
  • Apple Store Rating: 5/5
  • Compatible Devices: Android, iOS

Compared to many provider Apps, these Apps actually have pretty decent ratings. In any case, while these Apps might not be the most exciting things in the world, they’re always convenient to have.

 

Availability and coverage

Both Xfinity and Spectrum offer coverage across the country, with the highest availability on the East Coast and Great Lakes region. Xfinity offers coverage in 40 states total, while Spectrum claims availability in 29. Overall, Spectrum coverage tends to be more clustered in certain areas, while Xfinity is a bit more spread out.

Xfinity Internet

Top 5 states:

  1. Washington, DC
  2. Utah
  3. Illinois
  4. Colorado
  5. Maryland

Spectrum Internet

Top 5 states:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Ohio
  3. Kentucky
  4. North Carolina
  5. New York

Enter your zip code to see all the Internet plans available in your area.

 

Pros and cons

We’ve highlighted the important stuff in the chart below, but explore our 2020 Internet Provider Customer Satisfaction Survey for more details and scores.

Advantages

  • Fast speeds
  • Wide availability
  • Contract-free options
  • High scores for speed and reliability

Disadvantages

  • Unlimited data option costs extra

Advantages

  • Wide availability
  • Included equipment
  • No contracts
  • Unlimited data

Disadvantages

  • Fewer plan options than Xfinity
 

Bundle Xfinity and Spectrum with TV

xfinity bundles

It makes sense to get your internet and TV service from the same provider. You’ll get reduced prices and extra features, and it’s one less bill to worry about. Check out each provider’s bundle options below.

Our verdict

Both Spectrum and Xfinity offer great service, have great reputations, and a variety of cable Internet option. If you want gigabit speeds, Xfinity is a better choice for price. But if the freedom of Internet without a contract or a data cap is important to you, Spectrum is the better option.

Xfinity was the highest-rated provider for speeds in our 2020 customer satisfaction survey, which means it does a great job of delivering on its advertised speeds. Plus, Xfinity has a significantly better price than Spectrum for gigabit plans.

If speed is the most important factor in your choice, go with Xfinity. Xfinity offers top-rated speeds at a price that’s hard to beat, so it’s really a no-brainer if that’s your top priority.

View Xfinity plans

If you’re more concerned about flexibility, Spectrum’s no contract plans are the better choice. The freedom of Internet with no contracts is a big plus. And Spectrum offers some extra perks—like unlimited data and equipment at no additional charge—that make it more enticing for people who don’t need gigabit speeds.

View Spectrum plans
 

FAQ about Xfinity and Spectrum

What happened to Time Warner Cable/Charter/Bright House?

In 2016, Charter acquired Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks and merged all three brands under the Spectrum roof. There are still a few lingering references to Charter Spectrum, Time Warner Cable or Bright House floating around, but it shouldn’t be long until everything is smoothed over.

What’s the difference between Comcast and Xfinity?

In practice, there is no difference. Comcast is the company, and Xfinity is the brand it uses for its consumer Internet and TV services.

What is gigabit Internet?

Gigabit Internet is Internet service with speeds of 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps). Many providers refer to these plans as “1 Gig” plans. Gigabit speeds are about as fast as they come. For some context, you could download an entire movie in less than two minutes on a gigabit connection.

Check out our complete guide to gigabit Internet.

Author -

Dave has written professionally for tech companies and consumer technology sites for nearly five years, with a special focus on TV and internet. He uses his industry expertise to help readers at HighSpeedInternet.com get the most out of their services. No matter the project, he prefers his coffee black (the stronger, the better).

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