Centurylink vs. Xfinity 2022 |: Internet Providers:

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CenturyLink and Comcast’s Xfinity are two internet providers with large footprints in the US. CenturyLink is available in 36 states, while Xfinity is available in 40 states. Both providers have a different availability footprint that overlaps in many cases, making them direct competitors. In our Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 rating, Xfinity places third with a 4.2 score, while CenturyLink ties for eighth with a 3.6. We take a closer look at these two providers so that you can make the best decision for your internet service needs.

Score:

Monthly Cost:

$50.00 and Up $45.00 and Up

CenturyLink and Xfinity provide internet services in different ways to customers. CenturyLink offers both digital subscriber line (DSL) and fiber solutions in two plans, the CenturyLink Internet, which uses DSL lines, and the Fiber Gigabit plan, which uses faster fiber solutions. Xfinity has ten plans, with eight being cable services of varying speeds and two being high-speed fiber plans.

CenturyLink’s DSL plan does not offer the fastest internet services that you can find – just 100 Mbps. This means that if you are not in an area where CenturyLink has fiber lines, you could be spending a lot of time waiting for your downloads. Xfinity, on the other hand, has a wide range of options for cable speeds, starting at the slow 50 Mbps and moving up as high as 800 Mbps for download speeds. When it comes to fiber, both providers have exceptional speeds, with CenturyLink providing 940 Mbps and Xfinity having between 1,200 and 3,000 Mbps.

Keep in mind that you’ll pay for the difference. The CenturyLink fiber plan starts at $65 per month with no contract. Prices do vary depending on your location and availability. This is a far better deal than Xfinity, with their lower-tier fiber Gigabit plan starting with the introductory price of $89.99 per month. The highest tier Gigabit Pro plan starts at $299.95 per month. For someone not wanting to spend that kind of money on internet services, you can opt for one of the cable plans. The Extreme Pro plan with Xfinity offers downloads up to 800 Mbps with introductory prices starting at $69.99 per month.

Subscribers should also be aware of the data cap on these internet plans. CenturyLink’s Fiber Gigabit plan is the only unlimited plan between the two providers. The CenturyLink Internet DSL plan allows 1 TB of data downloaded per month, whereas all of the Xfinity plans cap out at 1.2 TB of data per month unless you live in the Northeast where the data cap currently does not apply. Xfinity gives you one month of grace if you exceed the data and then charges you $10 per 50 GB of data capped at $100 per month. This is more than CenturyLink’s average charge of $10 per 50 GB of added storage capped at $50 per month.

CenturyLink Internet:

Internet Plan: Monthly Cost: Connection Type: Download Speed: Upload Speed: Data Cap: Contract:
CenturyLink Internet: Starting at $50 DSL: 100 Mbps N/A 1 TB No
Fiber Gigabit Starting at $65 Fiber: 940 Mbps N/A Unlimited Data: No

Xfinity Internet:

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

CenturyLink and Xfinity offer different pricing options depending on how fast you want your internet and whether or not the service is fiber or not. CenturyLink is affordable with two plans. Neither plan requires a contract, thus you can enjoy the service’s great rates without any long-term commitment. The CenturyLink Internet plan is a DSL plan using a phone line with download speeds up to 100 Mbps starting at $50 per month. The Fiber Gigabit plan starts at $65 per month with download speeds up to 800 Mbps. Rates do vary depending on where you live.

Many Xfinity plans come with a one to two-year service agreement to get preferred pricing. They do have a reasonably priced plan starting at $45 per month, but this is a prepaid cable plan with only 50 Mbps download speeds. Because this is prepaid, it only has a 30-day commitment. If you like the service, you may want to lock in a one-year contract with the Connect plan, which normally starts at $60 per month. That’s the one good thing about Xfinity pricing, while it is more expensive overall, it does have promotional pricing for those willing to lock in contracts for one to two years. Rates go up incrementally with Xfinity as the download speed increases. While their Gigabit Pro fiber plan starts at $299.95 per month, it is one of the fastest plans on the market with 3,000 Mbps internet speeds.

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Both CenturyLink and Xfinity have a presence in the majority of the contiguous United States. CenturyLink is available in 36 states, with more locations getting activated regularly. You can check for availability by visiting CenturyLink and entering your zip code. Xfinity has a slightly wider coverage range of 40 states. You can check the coverage map by visiting Xfinity. Keep in mind that having coverage in the state does not guarantee that your location offers coverage.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Average customer service rating:

  • Slow download speeds most available

Customers who are looking for a low-cost solution without any contract will like CenturyLink’s structure. It is a simple setup with only two plans. However, you won’t be able to bundle these plans with cable or phone. Those who live in the fiber coverage zone will enjoy unlimited and fast downloads. However, these coverage zones are still few and far between. The coverage map for its DSL plan is much more extensive than its fiber plan, and while the coverage map is constantly growing, many customers complain about slow download speeds. If there’s a problem, expect customer service to range from fair to poor in some cases, which is normal for most ISPs in the industry.

Xfinity Internet: »

Xfinity Internet:855-574-0478

Best Cable ISP:

Monthly Cost:

$45.00 and Up

Connection Type:
Fiber, Cable

Download Speed:
50 Mbps – 2,000 Mbps

Bundles:
Internet, TV, Phone or Home Security

Pros:

  • Bundled services available

  • Introductory pricing helps reduce costs

Cons:

  • High-speed plans are expensive

  • Most plans require contracts

  • Limited fiber availability

Xfinity works hard to provide a plan that can serve any customer’s internet needs. With ten plans that have different price points and download speeds, most customers can find a plan that works for them. On top of it, Xfinity allows you to save even more with introductory rates that you can lock in for two years and allows you to bundle services with other home services, including cable TV service and telephone.

The problem is that you need every discount available to make Xfinity reasonably priced. While their top-tier plan is one of the fastest download speeds you can find, it is expensive at $299.95 per month. That’s just for the internet and doesn’t include the cost of cable or phone. While extremely fast fiber is exciting, most customers will still be on a cable network since the fiber network is limited at this time.

When choosing between CenturyLink and Xfinity, the choice comes down to cost versus speed. CenturyLink provides a better cost experience with reasonable rates that do not require a lengthy contract. However, even its fastest fiber network cannot compete with the fastest network of Xfinity. Xfinity wins for those who are willing to pay a little more (or bundle services) so that they can get the fastest download speeds possible.

Of course, the choice will also depend on where you live and what network options are available. Xfinity is available in more states and rapidly expanding. CenturyLink does lag behind on availability and has a lot of space to make up to compete with the expanding high-speed network of Xfinity.

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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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