Comcast XFINITY Internet Review

Despite lackluster customer support, a wide range of plans and fast overall speeds make Xfinity from Comcast a suitable choice for internet service.

Xfinity best internet for streaming
Despite lackluster customer support, a wide range of plans and fast overall speeds make Xfinity from Comcast a suitable choice for internet service.
Overall Rating3 out of 5
99% actual-to-advertised download speed
Contract and no-contract service
Lackluster customer service

The quick and dirty on XFINITY internet

There’s no question XFINITY deserves some flack for its customer service, but believe it or not, XFINITY does actually deliver faster-than-most internet speeds. In fact, when compared to other large internet service providers (ISPs) such as Cox or Time Warner Cable, XFINITY deals in faster download and upload speeds and is more widely available. XFINITY just might be the go-to internet for most people—but be sure to practice deep breathing and think happy thoughts before making a phone call.

Comcast XFINITY prices and plans

Prices are all over the place, but at least you can choose if you want a contract or not.

We’ve listed XFINITY’s advertised prices for internet service, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to pricing. For starters, the advertised price is not the regular price, and pricing varies by location. Don’t worry though, we’ve already done the detective work.

PlanAdvertised price*Download speedLearn more
Performance Starter$19.99/mo.10 MbpsView Plan
Performance 25$39.99/mo.25 MbpsView Plan
Performance Pro$49.99/mo.100 MbpsView Plan
Blast! Pro$59.99/mo.200 MbpsView Plan

*Pricing varies by location.

Comcast pricing and contract options

The biggest factors in XFINITY pricing are location and whether you choose to enter into a contract or not.

If you live in the West region, you can land XFINITY’s Performance Starter plan for a sweet $19.99 per month. If you live in the Northeast, you’ll probably pay more than double the price for the same plan. It stinks, but there’s nothing to be done about it. You live where you live, and we’re sure there are reasons (good or not) for the price difference.

If you want to save money, you can consider entering a contract. We found that if you enter into a 12-month XFINITY contract, you can shave off around $10 a month. If you’re not going anywhere for 12 months, why not save $120 (12 months x $10)? We like no-contract service, but we like money more. It’s up to you to decide what to do, but if we’re sticking around, we’re going to go with the cheaper option.

Also, don’t forget to set a reminder to renegotiate your bill when the promotional price ends(we put it on the calendar!). It doesn’t matter if it’s contract or no-contract—the price will go up, and if you don’t call, you’ll have a not-so-nice surprise when you see your credit card or bank statement.

If you decide to take advantage of any specials or combine TV and internet service, you can probably save even more money, but be sure to double-check the fine print. We don’t like surprises, and if something sounds too good to be true, well, it probably is.

Recommendations

If you’re not sharing your internet service with anyone and you don’t do much more than keep up with shows on Hulu, then the Performance Starter plan may be the one for you. The plan costs as little as $20 per month, and download speed is around 10 Mbps. That’s not much speed, but it’s enough if you care more about saving money than waiting around for an iTunes rental to finish downloading. Again, we recommend this plan for the money-minded, patient person, and not for someone who wants to blaze through the internet.

The “it’s just me and I care more about money than speed” plan

PlanPriceSpeedDetails
Performance Starter$19.99/mo.10 MbpsView Plan

If you don’t want to bother with waiting, we say go with the goofily named Blast! Pro plan. It’s three times the price of the Performance Starter plan at $59.99 per month, but it boasts twenty times the speed (200 Mbps). That means the next time you download a movie, it will be ready to watch before the popcorn is done popping. If you share internet with roommates, family, etc., we doubt you’ll run into any problems. The Blast! Pro should be more than enough for everyone in your domicile to watch what they want on whatever device they choose.

The “I never want to see a buffering icon again” plan

PlanPriceSpeedDetails
Blast Pro!$59.99/mo.200 MbpsView Plan
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Heads up:

Heads up:

To watch online streaming video (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, etc.), we recommend a speed of at least 10 Mbps. (You can read up on the Best Internet for Streaming for more info.)

Location, location, location

We mentioned how location can affect pricing, but there’s more that might change based on where you live. For example, we recommended the Blast! Pro plan, but some areas don’t offer it (we recommend the Blast! plan if you can’t get the Blast! Pro). It’s ridiculous that plans and prices change depending on location, but it is what it is. Even installation fees can vary, but we’ll cover more of that next.

Comcast XFINITY service fees

XFINITY fees somehow manage to be both confusing and bothersome, much like they are with every ISP. Here are some fees to watch out for.

  • Installation: The installation fee depends on the plan you choose and where you live, but we think it’s something that can be negotiated. We say try and get the price lowered as much as possible. You could even mention a competitor’s free installation, as long as there is such a thing.
  • One-time fees: Watch out for one-time fees like activation fees, pro-install fees, and more. You don’t pay for these fees when you order your service, but they appear on your first monthly bill. Make sure you understand what one-time fees you’re subject to before you order. As always, we recommend negotiating lower fees for these one-time charges.
  • Early termination fee: There’s a 30-day period to cancel after signing up for a 12-month plan, but after that you can expect a serious termination fee if you cancel early. Comcast doesn’t list an exact fee, but you pay the no-contract rate for the existing months of the service contract (yikes!).

Equipment fees

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Heads up

Heads up

Don’t waste your money renting a modem from XFINITY. Get your own.

XFINITY is more than happy to rent you a cable modem, but it will cost you an extra $10 per month. Most of XFINITY’s modems include a router, so you won’t need to worry about connecting to Wi-Fi. However, considering you can get a good-to-excellent modem/router for close to $100, we think it’s worth forking out the cash and buying a modem/router outright. It will pay for itself in 10 months, and it’s hands down the easiest way to save money on your internet bill.

Be sure to check with XFINITY that the modem you want is compatible with the internet plan you’re getting. You can check online, but we recommend calling and speaking with a representative as well. Customer service can be pretty difficult to deal with, but if you just have questions about modem compatibility, it shouldn’t be a long phone call.

Comcast XFINITY speed and data

We hear so much about how terrible Comcast’s customer service is that we thought it might be because of internet speed, but as it turns out, the majority of people get the speed they pay for. At least, that’s what the research says.

XFINITY’s actual speed vs. advertised speed

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) determined that the majority of XFINITY customers get the speeds they paid for, and that’s actually a big deal for an ISP. To be specific, 80% of XFINITY customers get 99% actual-to-advertised download speeds—in other words, you pay for 10 Mbps, you get 9.99 MBps.1 That may seem like backhanded compliment, but consider this: CenturyLink delivers only 45% of actual-to-advertised download speeds.2 That’s half the percentage of Comcast’s XFINITY service.

It’s crazy to think there’s such a difference in actual speed between ISPs. To be fair, though, we’re talking about the majority of customers. No matter the ISP, there are going to be customers who don’t get the internet speeds they deserve (just take a look at our comments section). Still, we can’t argue with hard data, and the FCC’s research involves tens of thousands of internet users.

What’s XFINITY’s data limit?

Almost every XFINITY plan has a 1 TB (1,000 GB) data limit. We find it kind of hilarious that XFINITY has made a lot of effort to communicate that 1 TB is “an enormous amount of data,”3 going so far as to say that 1 TB is enough to stream “between 600 and 700 hours of HD video in a month,” and “enough [data] to power 12,000 hours of online gaming.”4 We get it—a terabyte is HUGE. We’d rather have no data limit, but XFINITY doesn’t think it’s a big deal because “99% of its customers” don’t even use that much data.5

We hate to admit it, but for most people, 1 TB is more data than you need in a month. But the data limit will interest those who have binge-watching families or share bandwidth with data-hungry roommates—like that one roommate rewatching every season of Game of Thrones before the season seven premiere.

If you do somehow manage to exceed the 1 TB limit, you can expect to pay $10 for each additional 50 GB. However, you do get two get-out-of-jail free cards for the first two months you go over. If you’re a serious internet hound, you could always go with the Unlimited Data Option, but it will cost you an additional $50 per month (based on the calendar month, not the 30-day billing cycle). Still, it’s nice to know such an option exists.

Comcast XFINITY customer service

XFINITY’s supposedly no longer the worst in customer service, but it’s still bad. We checked the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and found that “Comcast no longer occupies the bottom” for customer satisfaction for ISPs,6 since XFINITY scored a 59 on a 100-point scale for 2016 (up from 56 in 2015). Compared to other ISPs, it tied for third to last—Windstream (59), Mediacom (57), and Frontier Communications (56) filled out the bottom. The industry average for ISPs is 64 out of 100, so the bar is set very, very low—and XFINITY is below that. At least it’s not the absolute worst.

How to handle XFINITY customer service

When we contacted Comcast support, we didn’t get much help—representatives talked past us and constantly tried to upsell us. However, we remained cool and calm, remembering that the individual on the other side of the phone is a human being, even if they are speaking on behalf of a cold-blooded corporate entity. Knowing it’s going to be bad helps, but there are plenty of things you can do to deal with XFINITY service besides lowering your expectations.

We recommend snagging your headphones and finding a comfortable chair, so you can handle the long holds and multiple transfers that come with terrible customer service. We’ll usually put on a movie or show and grab a beverage and snack before we make the phone call. You’ll need something—anything—to comfort you while you call, or else you may risk losing your sanity.

If you’re a new customer, the XFINITY representative will likely be much more helpful (they are trying to make a sale, after all). Just make sure you cover any one-time fees, deals, and terms of the service. It never hurts to ask the same question twice and get the details of the contract emailed to you. If you happen to need help with existing service, prepare for a much longer phone call.

In general, it helps to be laid back when calling customer service, and we highly recommend the same kind of approach for the installation process.

Take an installation holiday

If the Comcast representative says it only takes an hour or two, it will take all day. If the installer says they will be done before noon, it will take all day. Recognize the pattern? Installation will take all day.

We say take the day off of work and get to that home project that’s been nagging you for months, or pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read, or finally ask to borrow your friend’s DVDs (or Blu-rays) of The Wire and binge-watch it. The installation doesn’t require anything of you except for you to be there. Figuring out how to relish the day off from work is basically making lemonade out of installation lemons, and hey, you deserve a holiday, and also you really need to re-caulk your bathroom.

XFINITY is “not-bad” internet, despite its terrible service

Overall recommendation

XFINITY is the most widely available cable internet, and it delivers the speeds it advertises. It’s internet service that does what it should—lets us watch How I Met Your Mother* without interruption—even though we’d like to ask more of its customer service.

We’ve already provided some advice on dealing with the installation process, but remember that XFINITY representatives aren’t the best at explaining the ins and outs of its service. Be sure to ask plenty of questions, and if you can, double-check the details of any specials, discount pricing, etc.

*We just started—don’t spoil the end.

FAQs About Comcast XFINITY

Q: What modem does XFINITY use?

It depends on the plan, but XFINITY is promoting its Wireless Gateway modem. There are various models of the Wireless Gateway, but all the information you’ll need on XFINITY’s modems can be found on this support page.

Q: What router should I use with XFINITY?

One of the highest recommended routers around is TP-Link’s AC1750. If you’re looking for a modem and Wi-Fi router combination, we suggest the ARRIS SURFboard. If you don’t need a router or already have one, you can go sans router with the cable modem. We always recommend double-checking compatibility with a Comcast representative just to be sure.

If you’re already an XFINITY customer, you can check compatible equipment here.

Q: How can I check my speed with XFINITY?

M-Lab’s speed test will tell you your download and upload speeds and latency. (We linked to HighSpeedInternet.com’s speed test page that’s powered by the M-Lab tool.)

Q: Are Comcast and XFINITY the same thing?

Essentially, yes. The two names are often used interchangeably, but XFINITY is specific to Comcast’s TV/Internet/Voice services, whereas Comcast can refer to the global conglomerate, Comcast Corporation.

Q: Which Comcast plan is best for gaming?

Go with the Blast! Pro or Blast! Either plan should offer plenty of speed to get your game on.

Q: Can I bundle my internet plan with TV?

Yes. There are quite a few ways to get internet and TV together with XFINITY. We recommend the Preferred XF Double Play, despite the convoluted name.

Sources

1.  Federal Communications Commission, Measuring Broadband in America Report
2.  Federal Communications Commission, Measuring Broadband in America Report
3.  XFINITY, Data Usage Center
4.  XFINITY, Data Usage Center
5.  XFINITY, Data Usage Center
6.  American Customer Satisfaction Index, About ACSI

Have questions? Ask us.

Do you have questions about XFINITY’s internet service that we didn’t answer? Check out our FAQs or ask your own question in the comments below.

Have a complaint? Make it count and tell the FCC.

If you want to help an ISP improve its service, tell the FCC. The FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center is the best place to let your voice be heard.

  • Hector Robles

    Worst service ever as a new customer wasn’t sastified on how long it took to get internet . Than false information got told about having internet . Should of just stayed with century link they at least take care of there customers.

  • monia

    Comcast wants money for doing nothing. They charge us 29$ for speed up to 25 and we have 5-7 speed, they charged for the bill 10$ so we pay 40$ for 5-7 speed, they told us when we buy new modem its going to be fast, 100$ for new modem and nothing. I wish att was here. comcast is the worst

  • Ashlan Birkett

    I have had Comcast for 5 years now, every year when my 12months is up and my bill for just internet skyrockets I dread calling. This year was the worst so far. Accidentally hung up on twice, transferred around to people I really didn’t need to talk to, on hold forever. Every year I down grade and down grade our service and I still end up paying more. Now I’m paying twice as much for my initial service and have 3x slower internet. If you have another option go with a different company.

  • CV

    horrible!!!, te tratan mal, te cobran dinero que no se supone debes pagar, los empleados trabajan por trabajar, no es un buen servicio, pésimo pésimo.

  • Doobian

    your info is out of date.

    • http://www.reviews.org Scott T.

      We’ll update it soon! Stay tuned.

  • Stanley Chamblain

    I have been a customer on and off for a number of years. Most recently, I have been with Comcast the past 15 months. During this time, I have had no issues with cable/internet service and customer service/support has been relatively great. However, this past week has been the most frustrating experience I’ve ever had with any major company. On the 22nd of May, I requested a cancel of service because I was moving . The representative that I dealt with was helpful and convinced me to stay with Comcast after initially requesting to cancel my service. At the conclusion of the phone call, he confirmed with me that my appointment to move my service was for the upcoming Saturday (May 27th) and that a technician would be at my new residence between the hours of 1-4pm. The 27th arrived and 1 oclock finally approach. I was still in the process of moving, but made it a point to be at the new residence at 1pm to let the tech in to do their job. 4:30pm approaches and I received no phone call or update of my appointment. I contacted Comcast and was hung up on twice (person failed to call back) before finally speaking to someone. She said I would have to wait for a phone call from a technician 15 minutes before arrival. She asked me what time it was where I was located and I told her that it was 4:40 which is 40 mins past the time the suggested they would be here. She then switched her story (after reviewing her notes) and proceeeded to tell me that I had set my appointment for the 30th (not the 27th) between the hours of 10am-12pm. After explaining to her how there was no possible way that I could set an appointment out that far out on a day that nobody would be at the house, she proceeded to tell me that whatever was in the system was in fact correct information and in a professional way, insinuated that I was lying. She forwarded me to customer support because there was “nothing she could do”. The next rep seemed genuinely caring, however she stated that she’d have a supervisor contact me asap to assist me with the matter. She asked for the best contact and said I’d be receiving a call shortly. Two hours later, still no phone call. I decide to call back (again) and ask the rep if I can speak to a supervisor immediately. The rep informed me that a supervisor was not available and that I would have to wait for a phone call later on the day. At this point, it was 6:30pm and I explained to him detail for detail my experience that day with customer service and customer support. After sharing my frustration, it honestly felt like he did not care and continued to tell me that I couldn’t speak to a supervisor because they were unavailable. As a “valued” customer, I think I’ve earned my right to speak to a supervisor after dealing with the day I experienced. I simply asked to speak to someone who could give me a better explanation of my situation. I understand that the call volume was “extremely high” but if a “valued customer” is unsatisfied with your company, it’s common curtesy that you do anything in your power to keep the customer satisfied. The gentlemen then told me that he reviewed his notes and it shows that a supervisor in fact called me hours ago at a number on my file but the number was out of service. I asked the gentleman to read that number back to me and he repeated the number to my cellphone that I was calling him from. Finally after 30mins of pleading to speak to a supervisor, a call came in on the other line and it was THE SUPERVISOR. She was absolutely no help whatsoever and stated that the department that I actually needed was closed. She said I would have to wait until Monday (dept closed on Sunday) to speak to someone to assist me with my matter. No apologies, no help, no direction no nothing. Overall, this was one of the poorest customer service experience I have ever dealt with. I was inconvenienced by wasting 4 hours of my day waiting for a technician that never came, another 2 hours dealing with a rep that told me I was a liar and dealt with a supervisor who had a horrible attitude and showed no sympathy for me at all. The situation in its entirety still makes no sense. You cut my cable off at my previous residence the day before my expected installation date but I’m being told I instead set the appointment out 5 days from that cutoff day? So now, I have no cable service in my home for 4 days on a holiday weekend where I have family flying into town.

  • Steven Faass

    Comcast can change their name but hasn’t changed their tactics – on returning to my vacation home, my TV service was working and my internet was down. I called the help line after initial troubleshooting, only to be told “my purchased surfboard router” was the problem. The options presented to me were 1) buy a new router, 2) come down to Comcast to rent on of theirs or 3) schedule a service call which they would charge me for if it was my equipment. Humm… you say, well I called the Router company who troubleshot the router, determined it was online and that Comcast likely knocked if off line with recent system updates.
    It seems the Router folks had many similar calls a few months back. When I called Comcast back, they insisted the router was dead, but they reactivated it at my insistence and we were back on line.

    I wonder how many customers threw out perfectly good routers and are now renting Comcast routers? Now that’s you use customer service to make a profit!!!!

  • Leslie Aaren

    Tempted to go without – at least after reading the reviews I know I’m not crazy – First the good – when you get someone on the phone they are very nice & polite, as was the service professional when I had service started. I have had service for a year and have had no problems with connections even during snow, hail, etc etc. $60 monthly for internet service seems reasonable to me. My negative experience started during the last heavy snow when my neighbor’s tree branch pulled the phone line down. I still had connection but was unable to successfully get someone on the phone to make a simple service appointment. I gave up until today when a salesperson called me because my plan is going to expire soon, and felt bad because I was quite rude in saying – hey you guys need to fix my phone line – and I hung up on him. After taking a closer look at my plan and reading these reviews, I can see I’ll probably end up paying more money for the same service. I live in Pueblo, Colorado and Xfinity is the only provider unless I want dish, but I don’t watch TV, all I need is internet.
    I can understand long wait times in a service area that is relatively remote, but having trouble getting people on the phone for a simple appointment and paying more than reasonable amounts for service is really inexcusable. Prompted by the nice salesperson, I called customer service again to make a service appointment and am awaiting a call back – I’ll keep you posted…..

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