Xfinity vs. AT&T 2022 | internet provider

Popular Internet Service Providers

score

Monthly Cost

$45.00 and Up $55.00 and Up

Tied for first and ranked third in our Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 rating, AT&T and Comcast’s Xfinity service offer good to excellent download speeds across much of the US But AT&T provides significantly faster uploads, especially on the fiber optic network that does not connect as many people as its slower, hybrid-fiber service. Being able to send a file as fast as you can receive it is a major benefit for work-at-home types. AT&T also has dispensed with equipment-rental fees and contracts for new service, and only its slower hybrid-fiber plans still feature a data cap.
Xfinity’s chief strength is its vast coverage, which in many markets, makes it the only viable provider. It also offers fiber-to-the-home service with matched upload and download speeds, but this only exists in a tiny part of its footprint and comes at a steep price of $299.95 a month. Xfinity also continues to enforce a 1.25 terabyte (TB) data cap across most of its network, but it’s holding off on imposing that limit in the Northeast after coming under severe public pressure. That may seem like a lot of data, but a houseful of data-hungry devices can cross those lines surprisingly quickly. And keeping track of which gadgets, apps, and services pushed you over is difficult in that scenario. The only way out of the cap is paying $50 extra or signing up for that rare 3 gigabits per second (Gbps) fiber service at $299.95 a month. Hence Xfinity’s lagging customer-satisfaction scores in outside surveys.

If you want a traditional bundle of internet, TV, and phone, Xfinity will work better than AT&T. It still promotes those deals. Sometimes Xfinity ties internet rates to getting TV service (meaning cord-cutters pay more for the same broadband speeds) but it doesn’t show some broadband plans to internet-only shoppers at its site. AT&T, however, has essentially left the bundle business since spinning off its video services to outside investors. Its site no longer even suggests internet and streaming combinations.

Xfinity Internet

Internet plan Monthly Cost ConnectionType Download Speed Upload Speed datacap Contract
Prepaid Starting at $45 Cable Up to 50Mbps 5Mbps 1.2TB 30 days
Connect $60.00 ($29.99 – $44.99 for first 2 years) Cable Up to 50Mbps 5Mbps 1.2TB 12 months
Performance Starter $65.00 Cable Up to 50Mbps 5Mbps 1.2TB No Contract
Performance $80.95 ($29.99 for first year) Cable Up to 100Mbps 5Mbps 1.2TB 12 months
Performance Pro $95.95 ($34.99 – $44.99 for first 2 years) Cable Up to 200Mbps 5Mbps – 10Mbps 1.2TB 12 months
Blast! $100.95 ($59.99 – $69.99 for first 2 years) Cable Up to 400Mbps 10Mbps 1.2TB 12 months
Extreme Pro $105.95 ($69.99 – $79.99 for first 2 years) Cable Up to 800Mbps 15Mbps – 20Mbps 1.2TB 12 months
Gigabit $110.95 ($79.99 – $89.99 for first 2 years) Fiber Up to 1200Mbps 35Mbps 1.2TB 24 months
gigabit pro Starting at $299.95 Fiber Up to 2000Mbps 2,000Mbps 1.2TB 24 months

AT&T Internet

Internet plan Monthly Cost ConnectionType Download Speed Upload Speed datacap Contract
Internet 300 $55.00 Fiber 300Mbps 100Mbps 1TB 12 months
Internet 500 $65.00 Fiber 500Mbps 300Mbps 1TB 12 months
internet 1000 $80.00 Fiber 1 gig 1 gig Unlimited Data 12 months

Xfinity’s prices can beat AT&T’s, but not for long – the cheap first-year rates advertised on its site can more than double after the promotional periods expire. Those bold-face numbers also leave out the $14 fee to rent an Xfinity modem, although you can avoid that surcharge by buying your own modem. Xfinity customers outside the Northeast also have to factor in the odds of exceeding Xfinity’s 1.2 TB data cap and paying a $10 overage fee for each fraction of 50 GB that you use.

Meanwhile, at AT&T, the advertised price really is the price, thanks to this company electing to streamline its rates in early 2022. Equipment-rental fees and contracts are no more, and the old 1 TB data cap is now confined to slower hybrid- fiber plans, on which it’s much less likely for a customer to burn through that much data in a month. As you get into faster speeds, AT&T represents an increasingly better deal than Xfinity. For example, its $180 rate for 5-gigabit fiber against Xfinity’s $299.95 charge for 3-gig fiber.

Available in:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District Of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • new Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District Of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • new Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

See all

AT&T offers wired broadband in parts of 21 states while Xfinity provides cable service in 35 states and the District of Columbia; Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin appear on both of their lists. Xfinity offers a more consistent service footprint, with the same range of cable speeds available almost everywhere outside of a tiny service area for its 3-Gbps fiber offering.

AT&T’s fiber connectivity, however, is confined to some urban areas in those 21 states (with multi-gigabit service only available in parts of those markets), a footprint that the company says covers 15 million residences. People living in the rest of the company’s service area can only get much slower service via its hybrid-fiber service – unless they’re in territory only covered by the slow DSL service that AT&T no longer sells to new customers. As always, you should not assume that either company can connect a possible new residence just because neighbors use it. Plug the address into the company’s site to check for yourself.

Xfinity Internet »

Best Cable ISP

Monthly Cost

$45.00 and Up

ConnectionType
Fiber, Cable

Download Speed
50Mbps – 2,000Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV, Phone or Home Security

Pros:

  • Can bundle internet, TV, and phone service

Cons:

  • Rates escalate after first year

The nation’s largest internet provider and ranked third in our Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 ratings, Xfinity is often the only broadband provider at a given address. But while choosing Xfinity may be obvious in those cases, its pricing is anything but. Potential customers will have to factor in rates that can more than double after a year or two compared to the advertised, promotional rates. After a $14 modem-rental charge combined with the risks of exceeding the 1.2 TB data cap Xfinity enforces in most of its service area and its history of rate hikes, your plan’s pricing may be higher than originally anticipated.

Xfinity has also steadily increased its download speeds, but its cable architecture continues to limit its upload speeds to a tiny fraction of downloads outside of its small but growing fiber-to-the-home network. And although it now has almost twice as many broadband subscribers as video subscribers, it continues to price and market its services as if shoppers still want a traditional bundle of internet and TV, which can further complicate the math here. On the other hand, bundle-minded shoppers may find extra value here, as can those willing to move their wireless service to Xfinity Mobile (based on Verizon’s network).

Pros:

  • Extremely fast fiber connections

  • No data caps on most plans

Cons:

  • Slow or no service in rural areas

Tied for first in our rating of the Best Internet Providers of 2022, AT&T can offer exceptional value if you can get its fiber-optic broadband. Fiber speeds start at 300 Mbps for both downloads and uploads, which should appeal to work-from-home types. It costs $55, a figure that doesn’t hide extra modem-rental costs or second-year rate increases. But outside a fiber footprint that AT&T says now covers 15 million residences, the company only offers a slower hybrid-fiber system that tops out at 100 Mbps. And below that speed, it still imposes a data cap of 1 TB a month.

Since AT&T separated its on demand video and streaming business – both the DirecTV satellite service and the DirecTV Stream streaming service – it has ceased trying to market bundles of TV and broadband. That further simplifies its pricing, but customers looking for a bundle may miss the chances of saving money by putting both services on the same bill.

If you have a choice between AT&T fiber and Xfinity cable, you may wish to go with AT&T unless you have a particular fondness for Xfinity’s cable-TV service. You’ll get a much faster connection at a simpler, cheaper price. But if AT&T can only sell you a hybrid-fiber connection (branded as “AT&T Internet” instead of “AT&T Fiber”), Xfinity should be able to deliver much faster downloads. Its pricing should also be cheaper for at least the first year. Just remember to do the math on second- or third-year costs, and don’t forget that you can save money over the longer term by buying your own modem.

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At US News & World Report, we rank the Best Hospitals, Best Colleges, and Best Cars to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. Our 360 Reviews team draws on this same unbiased approach to rate the products that you use every day. To build our ratings, we researched more than 25 internet service providers and analyzed 13 reviews. Our 360 Reviews team does not take samples, gifts, or loans of products or services we review. All sample products provided for review are donated after review. In addition, we maintain a separate business team that has no influence over our methodology or recommendations.

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