Xfinity vs. CenturyLink

Xfinity’s reliable speed and bundling deals are the way to go—unless you’re looking for a budget option. Then choose CenturyLink.
BEST FOR MOST
Advertised Price
$39.99$299.95
Download speeds
602000 Mbps
BEST VALUE
Advertised Price
$45$85
Download speeds
201000 Mbps

Overview

Sometimes picking an internet plan is like you’re standing in front of Door #1 and Door #2. You have to decide which door hides a million bucks and which one hides a surprise IRS tax audit.

This is how I felt when I finally finished unpacking my moving boxes and had to choose an internet service provider (ISP). For me, it came down to a choice between Xfinity and CenturyLink.

I ended up going with Xfinity—and I don’t regret it. Here’s why.

Xfinity vs. CenturyLink comparison

XfinityCenturyLink
Price$29.99–$299.95/mo.*$45–$85/mo.
Speeds15–2,000 Mbps20–1,000 Mbps
Data cap1 TB1 TB
Connection typeCableFiber, DSL
Learn moreView plansView plans

Data effective 9/11/2018. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Prices listed are for the first 12 months with a 1- or 2-year agreement.

CenturyLink vs. Xfinity internet price comparison

Xfinity prices are confusing—so CenturyLink’s Price for Life guarantee makes it a clear winner.

Prices for Xfinity’s internet plans start out much lower than CenturyLink’s, but boy do those prices skyrocket. Of course, you’re getting some pretty zippy speeds—but still.

One thing CenturyLink has going for it that Xfinity doesn’t is a Price for Life guarantee. That’s right—the price you sign up for is the price you’ll pay forever. Now that’s refreshingly straightforward—and it made us look twice at CenturyLink.

Xfinity prices and plans

PlanPriceSpeedLearn more
Performance Starter$34.99/mo.*25 MbpsView plan
Performance$44.99/mo.*60 MbpsView plan
Blast!$54.99/mo.*100 MbpsView plan
Extreme 250$64.99/mo.*250 MbpsView plan
Gigabit$69.99/mo.†1,000 MbpsView plan
Gigabit Pro$299.95/mo.**2,000 MbpsView plan

Data effective 9/11/2018. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months with a 1- or 2-year agreement.
† For the first 24 months with a 2-year agreement.
** Requires a 2-year agreement.

Speaking of straightforwardness, Xfinity internet prices are not.

Price and even speed will change based on where you live, which makes pricing out or even comparing an Xfinity plan way too complicated. We dig into this more in our full Xfinity review, if you want to get a better idea of how prices fluctuate.

Price Tag icon

Should you pay more for more Mbps?

Not sure what speed you need? Check out our handy guide to Mbps and internet speeds here.

But even at the highest prices, most Xfinity internet plans either match or aren’t much more expensive than CenturyLink. Some, depending on where you live, are even cheaper.

CenturyLink prices and plans

PlanPriceSpeedLearn more
Price for Life 20$45/mo.20 MbpsView plan
Price for Life 80$55/mo.80 MbpsView plan
Price for Life 100$65/mo.100 MbpsView plan
Price for Life 1 Gig$85/mo.1,000 MbpsView plan

Data effective 9/11/2018. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

We already mentioned CenturyLink’s Price for Life guarantee, but it’s worth repeating. The price you see in the table above will stick with you as long as you keep your CenturyLink service.

Notice we didn’t say “contract” there. That’s because CenturyLink’s plans don’t force you into one. Sure, Xfinity does offer no-contract plans, but they’ll cost you about $10 more per month.

Xfinity vs. CenturyLink speeds

There’s no tortoise and the hare story here—Xfinity wins the race.

If you’re counting on reliably fast internet, there’s only one choice here: Xfinity.

Sadly, CenturyLink just can’t keep up in Netflix’s ISP leaderboard rankings.1 Despite offering fiber connections along with good ol’ DSL, it ranks far behind Xfinity’s cable connection.

CenturyLink vs. Xfinity speed

XfinityCenturyLink
August 2018 Netflix rank1st10th

Xfinity also offers a lot more choices when it comes to speed, while CenturyLink only offers four speeds. Not to mention CenturyLink speeds top out at 1,000 Mbps, while Xfinity gets up to 2,000 Mbps. You can almost feel the g-forces while surfing the interwebs.

This sold us on Xfinity over CenturyLink. Personally, I like to have more options, and want my internet speed to be reliable since I game and regularly stream Netflix. #SorryNotSorry

CenturyLink vs. Xfinity bundles

Xfinity bundles save you money, but CenturyLink bundles with DIRECTV.

Remember how confusing Xfinity’s internet prices were?

Well, the trend continues with its bundles. The bundles change based on your location—heck, even the names change. We can’t figure out why, and it sure makes comparison shopping frustrating.

Xfinity bundle prices

PlanPriceSpeedChannelLearn more
Economy Double Play$49.99/mo.100 Mbps100+View plan
X1 Preferred Double Play$114.99/mo.150 Mbps220+View plan
HD Premier + Blast! Double Play$154.99/mo.100 Mbps260+View plan

Data effective 9/11/2018. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 24 months with a 2-year agreement.

The good news is you’ll save a bit of cash by bundling Xfinity’s TV service with your internet plan. I did this with mine and grabbed HBO as well. Gotta get my Game of Thrones and Westworld on.

CenturyLink bundle prices

PlanPrice*SpeedChannelsLearn more
DIRECTV SELECT™ + 80 Mbps$90/mo.80 Mbps155+View plan
DIRECTV CHOICE™ + 100 Mbps$110/mo.100 Mbps185+View plan
DIRECTV PREMIER™ + 100 Mbps$175/mo.100 Mbps330+View plan

Data effective 9/11/2018. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*For 12 months with a 2-yr TV contract, paperless bill, & autopay. DIRECTV Price increases for months 13-24.

We can’t say the same thing for bundling with CenturyLink, though. You’ll be spending the same amount on your internet and TV as if you bought them separately. What a shame.

But since CenturyLink got rid of its Prism TV service, it’s now bundling internet with DIRECTV satellite TV service.

Those DIRECTV packages offer up more channels than the Xfinity TV packages too.

CenturyLink vs. Xfinity customer service

Both CenturyLink and Xfinity have lots of room to improve, customer service–wise.

Customer service is a touchy issue for ISPs, and we don’t need to tell you why. You’ve been there.

Xfinity vs. CenturyLink customer service ratings

XfinityCenturyLink
ACSI rating60 out of 10058 out of 100

But if we had to rate them, we’d go by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) scores. And the ACSI says both Xfinity and CenturyLink score a very mediocre 60 and 58 out of 100, respectively.2

That’s even below the average score for all ISPs in the US, which is 62. Yikes.

Recap—CenturyLink vs. Xfinity

Xfinity is our pick—but CenturyLink provides value that budgeters and DIRECTV lovers would appreciate.

Best overall—XfinityBest value—CenturyLink
Centurylink
View plansView plans

Here’s a recap of why we ended up choosing Xfinity.

  • Internet pricing: Prices seem pretty even between CenturyLink and Xfinity, but we have to give it to CenturyLink for its straightforward approach and Price for Life guarantee. That said, Xfinity prices can be cheaper.
  • TV + internet bundles: Bundling is a better deal with Xfinity, money-wise. But bundling with CenturyLink means you’ll get the glorious DIRECTV experience.
  • Speed: Xfinity wins, hands down. With more speeds to choose from, including a top speed of 2,000 Mbps, Xfinity also ranks first in Netflix’s ISP leaderboard.
  • Customer service: Neither? Both Xfinity and CenturyLink are neck-and-neck when it comes to customer service, and both could (and should) improve.

Want to learn more about these ISPs? Check out our full Xfinity review and our full CenturyLink review.

Have you used Xfinity or CenturyLink before? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

  • derek

    For online gamers it’s especially important to get some latency measurements, if available, from bandwidth testing services (ex. Ookla). I was forced to switch from Xfinity to CenturyLink because Xfinity had heavily oversubscribed my area. As any gamer knows high latency usually gets you kicked from the game you’re playing. Browsing the web or watching Netflix might work where latency is high but not while you’re playing online.