Xfinity vs. Frontier

OVERVIEW: 

This was a close race, but Xfinity comes out ahead in all but one category. It offers fast internet and a great TV service.

Frontier also offers fast internet and good TV services, but it gets bogged down with too many choices. But it’s still our choice for affordable internet with a good selection of speeds. Let’s dig into why.

Overall winner: Xfinity

Xfinity vs. Frontier—overall comparison

XfinityFrontier
Monthly pricing$24.99–$164.99$20-200/mo.
Download speeds15–2000 Mbps1 Mbps-1 Gbps
Channels140–260+315-400+
DVR storage100 HD hours170 HD hours
DetailsView PlansView Plans

Data effective 9/16/18. Offers and availability varies by location and is subject to change.

Internet only—Xfinity vs. Frontier

Don’t feel the need for speed? Choose Frontier. But speed demons will find a better deal with Xfinity.

Xfinity offers more potential speed—up to 2 Gbps in some plans—but Frontier brings speeds that are fast enough for most with better pricing.

Frontier also offers two different types of internet service (DSL and fiber), and figuring out what you’re getting can be a little confusing. We wish Frontier would streamline its offerings a little, but we’ll do our best to help you figure them out.

Here’s how prices between the two break down.

Xfinity cable internet

PlansIntroductory priceDownload speedDataDetails
Performance Starter$29.99*15 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Performance 25$39.99*60 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Performance Pro$54.99*150 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Blast! Pro$69.99*250 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Gigabit$89.99*1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps)UnlimitedView Plan
Gigabit Pro$299.952 Gbps (2,000 Mbps)UnlimitedView Plan

Data effective 8/22/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*for the first 12 months w/a 1-yr agreement
†with a 2-yr agreement

Xfinity offers several different internet plans, but the exact speeds and packages you’ll have available depend on your location.

The variety is great—you have a solid budget option, and you can go up to 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) if you need it. However, you won’t get as much bang for your buck with Xfinity’s lower-tier plans. Frontier offers similar speeds for up to $10 less per month.

If you want more details on the service, check out our full review of Xfinity internet.

Frontier internet

PlansIntroductory price*Download speedDataDetails
Simply Broadband Core$20/mo.6 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
Simply Broadband Ultra$25/mo.12 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
Simply Broadband Plus$30/mo18 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
Simply Broadband Elite$35/mo25 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
Simply Broadband Power$40/mo45 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
Simply Broadband Extreme$50/mo90 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
Simply Broadband Velocity$60/mo115 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
FiOS 50/50$40/mo.50 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
FiOS 200/200$50/mo.200 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
FiOS 300/300$100/mo.300 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
FiOS 500/500$150/mo.500 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
FiOS 1G/1G$200/mo.1 GbpsUnlimitedView Plan

Data effective 9/16/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*for 24 mos. Equip., taxes & fees not included.

Frontier also offers a great selection, allowing you to fine-tune your speed to match your budget.

But heads-up—the cheaper (and slower) Simply Broadband plans are DSL, not fiber, so the performance isn’t going to be as good, especially with uploads. Make sure you double-check what type of service you’re getting before committing to a package.

Speaking of uploads, the weird names of the Frontier FiOS packages—50/50, 300/300—are meant to indicate that the upload and download speeds are equal. This is great for people who do a lot of media sharing because it makes uploading big batches of photos or videos much quicker, especially since normal upload speeds are about one tenth of download speeds.

So if you do a lot of uploading (we’re looking at you, YouTubers!), fiber internet is worth a serious look for this reason alone.

If you want even more details on what to expect from this service, check out our full review of Frontier internet.

Xfinity vs. Frontier—who does internet better?

For most people, we’d recommend Frontier. Why? Simply put, you get the right amount of speed speed at a lower price.

But there’s an exception to that suggestion: people who need more speed than Frontier can offer (like large families or people who download tons of movies)

If either of those are you, go with Xfinity. For everyone else, Frontier will save you a bunch of money and still get you plenty of speed.

Xfinity vs. Frontier internet-only summary:

  • Most people will be better off with Frontier’s lower prices for equivalent speed.
  • People who need superfast internet should go with one of Xfinity’s higher-end plans.
  • People who upload a lot of large media files should go with Frontier for the faster upload speeds.

TV only—Xfinity vs. Frontier

Xfinity takes it overall, but Frontier will appeal to channel surfers.

When it comes to TV, Frontier offers more channels, but at a higher price for two out of its three packages.

Xfinity, on the other hand, still offers plenty of channels at a lower price—until you compare its Digital Premier package to Frontier’s FiOS TV Ultimate HD package.

Xfinity TV

PackagesIntroductory priceChannels*DVR storageDetails
Digital Starter TV$49.99/mo*140+100 HD hrs.View Plan
Digital Preferred$59.99/mo*220+100 HD hrs.View Plan
Digital Premier$104.99/mo*260+100 HD hrs.View Plan

Data effective 8/22/18. Offers and availability varies by location and is subject to change.
*for the first 12 months with a 1-yr agreement

Just like with internet plans, the exact TV packages you’ll have available to you will depend on where you live and what Xfinity feels like promoting at the time.

Digital Premier is the top-tier plan and offers 260+ channels, which is good but not great. It also costs more per month than Frontier’s top-tier plan, so the Digital Starter or Digital Preferred packages might be a better choice for you and your wallet since they ring up under what you’ll pay for Frontier.

If you want to learn more about that, though, you can check out our full review of Xfinity TV and the Xfinity X1 system.

Frontier TV

PackagesIntroductory price*ChannelsDVR storageDetails
FiOS TV Prime HD$94/mo.315+170 HD hrs.View Plan
FiOS TV Extreme HD$99/mo.375+170 HD hrs.View Plan
FiOS TV Ultimate HD$110/mo.400+170 HD hrs. View Plan

Data effective 9/16/18. Offers and availability varies by location and is subject to change.
*TV equipment charges apply.

Frontier’s TV offerings can be a little confusing. That’s because there is not one, not two, but three different services offered depending on where you live.

If you live in California, Florida, or Texas, chances are you’ll see Frontier Fios service. In non-Fios areas where Frontier provides fiber service, you may get Frontier Vantage instead. If that wasn’t confusing enough, Frontier offers DISH satellite TV service.

So, how does Frontier stack up? The channel selection is good, with 300+ channels in every plan, which is more than Xfinity offers even in its top-tier plan.

The prices are high for the two lower-tier plans when you compare them to Xfinity’s comparable plans, though. And Frontier does have more limited availability.

Check out our review of Frontier Vantage TV here.

Xfinity vs. Frontier—which TV service is better?

Overall, we have to give the nod to Xfinity. Prices are lower, the choices are less convoluted, and it’s more widely available.

Frontier does offer more channels and its top-tier package is cheaper, though, so if your viewing habits drift a little far from the mainstream, it might be worth having a look at the channel listings.

Xfinity vs. Frontier TV-only summary:

  • Most people will be better off with Xfinity for the lower prices and wider availability.
  • Viewers who like variety or watch a lot of niche channels might be better off with Frontier’s larger selection.

TV + internet—Xfinity vs. Frontier

Xfinity slides ahead once again, though Frontier isn’t far behind.

Comparing service bundles, we see Xfinity cement its victory with simpler, more affordable, and more well-rounded package options. Frontier adds a third TV option when bundling (no, we’re not kidding), making it even more complex than before.

Xfinity TV + internet

PackagesIntroductory priceDownload speedsChannelsDetails
Preferred XF Double Play$114.99/mo*150 Mbps220+View Plan
Starter XF Triple Play$99/mo†150 Mbps140+View Plan
HD Premier XF Triple Play$159.99/mo­‡250 Mbps260+View Plan

Data effective 8/22/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*for the first 12 months w/a 1-yr agreement.
†for the first 12 months w/a 2-yr agreement. $124.99/mo your 2nd year.
‡for the first 24 months w/a 2-yr agreement.

 

Xfinity bundles offer a lot for the price. For example, the Starter XF Triple Play package gets you 150 Mbps internet, 140+ channels, and unlimited phone. Or you can go for 150 Mbps internet, 220+ channels, and unlimited phone with the Preferred XF Triple Play package. Your choice.

The upper-end packages can get fairly pricey, but if you don’t need superfast internet, you can save some money and still get great speed. (Let’s face it—150 Mbps is plenty for most people and small families.)

Data effective 9/16/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*For 24 months with a 2-year contract and eAutoPay. Add’l equip., taxes, & fees apply.
†For 24 mos. Equip., taxes & fees not included.

You’ll notice there are a lot of package options with Frontier because it offers so many different types of services.

There are two options with DISH, two with FiOS TV, and two with Vantage TV. And this is just a small sample of what’s available—which is both a blessing and a curse since it can leave you with a lot of questions: What type of service do you want? Are you in a FiOS market? Is that better?

Frontier doesn’t make it easy to find the answers to those questions. The website isn’t much help, either, if we’re being honest.

If you’re looking for answers, you can check out our reviews of Vantage and DISH. You can also hit the internet and look for user communities—you can almost always find someone who’s had the same problem as you and who’s shared the solution online.

As for the packages themselves, Frontier’s fiber bundle options are both pretty competitive. You get a lot of channels, fast internet, and cheap phone service.

While we prefer Frontier’s matching download and upload speeds, Xfinity internet is still solid. It can get you as much download speed as Frontier’s FiOS packages, and most Xfinity internet packages offer more than enough speed to stream Orange Is the New Black on Netflix.

If you prefer to binge-watch TV the old-fashioned way, we think DISH is a better bet than Xfinity TV. Even though you get more channels with the FiOS plans, we still recommend the DISH plans if you love to channel surf and don’t need a lot of internet speed.

If you’re trying to decide whether a DISH bundle meets your need, we recommend checking out our full review of DISH satellite TV.

Xfinity vs. Frontier—who bundles better?

Here’s the quick recap on who reigns supreme when it comes to bundling.

Xfinity vs. Frontier + internet summary:

  • Xfinity is the best option for most.
  • Frontier makes a great bundling option if you want DISH TV service and don’t mind slower internet.
  • If you simply must have fiber, FiOS is the better service.

Xfinity vs. Frontier recap

  • Internet: Frontier’s prices are better for anyone who doesn’t need a zippy internet connection, but Xfinity offers better pricing and more speed for the money. We think Frontier is better for most people’s needs
  • TV: Xfinity brings an all-around great service, with solid pricing and reasonable channel selection. Frontier offers more channels but is more expensive—unless you’re choosing its top-tier plan. The number of Frontier options can also be confusing. Overall, we give the edge to Xfinity.
  • Bundling TV and internet: Xfinity takes the final spot as well, with reasonably priced bundles that offer fast internet and hefty channel counts. Frontier makes a good alternative if Xfinity doesn’t have your favorite channels, though, thanks to its greater selection. But beware those slow internet speeds paired with Frontier’s DISH TV packages.

Xfinity wins two out of three categories, but it was a close race.

As always, leave us a comment and let us know if we missed anything!

Find the best internet providers in your area.

FAQs

Where is Xfinity available?

Xfinity is available in 40 states. Top coverage areas include Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, and Illinois.1

What type of internet connection is Comcast?

Xfinity is a cable service.

Where is Frontier available?

Frontier serves twenty-nine states, primarily in Connecticut, West Virginia, and Illinois.2

How fast is Frontier High Speed Internet?

Frontier High Speed Internet ranges from 1 Mbps to 24 Mbps.

How fast is Frontier Fios internet?

Frontier Fios speeds range from 30 Mbps up to 500 Mbps.

What’s the difference between Frontier Vantage and Frontier Fios?

Frontier Fios is the service Frontier provides in areas where it took over Verizon’s Fios services—mainly Florida, Texas, and California. It kept the name and service the same to avoid confusion for customers. Frontier Vantage is the name used for Frontier’s fiber services in other markets.

What’s the difference between Frontier Fios and Verizon Fios?

The only real difference between Frontier Fios and Verizon Fios is the name on the bill. When Frontier took over Verizon’s fiber lines in California, Florida, and Texas, it kept the service and name the same to avoid confusion for customers. Verizon Fios is still available in other states.

What are Mbps?

Mbps is short for “Megabits per second” and refers to how much data an internet connection can move in one second. A Megabit is one million bits. Most internet connections these days are measured in Mbps, though some providers are starting to offer Gigabit internet speeds, starting at one Gigabit—which is a billion bits, or a thousand Megabits—per second. In case you’re wondering, that’s fast.

How much internet speed do I need to stream?

For typical HD video content, you would want around 5–10 Mbps for a single user. Netflix recommends a minimum of 5 Mbps for HD content and 25 Mbps for 4K content.3 If you have more than one person streaming at once it will increase the speed you need, so consider your family’s viewing habits before committing to a plan.

Sources

1. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), “Fixed Broadband Deployment
2. FCC, “Fixed Broadband Deployment
3. Netflix, “Internet Connection Speed Recommendations