Verizon Fios vs. Xfinity
We looked at differences in price, plans, internet speeds, data caps, equipment, and customer satisfaction scores to determine which of these two brands provides a better better-bundlede for TV and internet. We’ll give you a brief overview before digging into specifics.
2-yr. and no-term contracts
1-yr., 2-yr., or no-term contracts
$99 (waived when you order online)
Up to 425+
|Max HD channels|
|Max HD channels|
Up to 200 HD hours
100 Mbps–Up to 940 Mbps
100 Mbps–Up to 880 Mbps
|View Plans||View Plans|
If it’s available to you, go with Verizon Fios
Verizon might be expensive, but you get a lot more for your money. That means more channels and great download/upload speeds where available.
Along with high channel counts, you get a better-than-average DVR setup and the option for custom TV. Verizon’s Fios TV service is better than most cable providers, but internet is where it excels.
Don’t worry about streaming two seasons of Friends a day (although we don’t recommend it). Your family can use every device, and you don’t have to lie and tell your friends you forgot the WiFi password—you’re free to use the web however you please.
Despite limited availability, Fios continues to receive glowing reviews. It’s also earned recognition for technological advancements and customer satisfaction. Simply put, fiber is the future.
Which costs the most, Fios or Xfinity?
The cost of Verizon Fios vs. Xfinity will vary based on where you live. Use our zip finder to find out what’s available in your area then compare price differences between Verizon bundles and Xfinity bundles. On average you’ll find that Verizon gives you more for your money, but Xfinity is more widely available across the U.S.
A quick tip on contracts
Fios vs. Xfinity — setup costs
Verizon Fios setup costs $99 if you have existing outlets. However, purchases made online will include a setup charge waiver. We recommend taking the day off when getting Fios set up as it may take longer than regular cable.
Xfinity has two options: professional installation for $89 or a self-installation kit for $15, but it costs $15 to ship. You can do a self-install kit only for a single television, so anyone with multiple TVs is going to pay for installation as well as additional receivers.
Xfinity compensates for late or missed technician appointments with a $20 credit to your account. You can track your technician via the web or with an app (with an interface like Uber) so you can plan accordingly.
Equipment and services cost
Your first TV set-top box with Verizon Fios is $12 per month, and every TV after costs $10 each per month. DVR service ranges from $12–$32, depending on what tier you subscribe to.
DVR service for Xfinity X1 is included with most packages, but they do charge a $10 HD technology fee. Similar to Fios, each additional TV is an extra $10 per month.
Fios vs. Xfinity — TV service comparison
Decide what TV channels are dealbreakers for you. Once you have that in mind, it’s much easier to pick between Fios and Xfinity, or at least between different packages.
Verizon is the only traditional provider to offer custom TV. With Fios custom TV, you won’t pay for a bunch of extra types of channels you don’t watch. Plus, it’s one of the lower-priced Fios TV services.
You can add sports, kids, or other channel packages with Xfinity, but those costs add up quickly, and there is less customization.
Verizon has higher channel counts than Xfinity. While we like high channel counts, keep in mind it’s more about having the channels you want. Paying for 500 channels doesn’t make sense if all you want to do is keep up with Kardashians or West World. But if you don’t get the channels you want, is it worth paying for cable in the first place?
We like the X1 DVR experience more, but is Fios better?
While the DVR should be somewhat of an afterthought, we do like the X1’s interface and overall experience more than Fios’s offerings, but it’s really not that different. Fios has four different DVR options available, but we’d go for the Multi-Room DVR Enhanced Service. Compared to the regular DVR from Fios, the X1 only offers 2 additional streams, so a solo user wouldn’t see more value.
Decide if you need service for more than one TV first, and then determine the appropriate amount of storage against cost. In our area, Enhanced service was only $8 more per month for four times the storage and four additional recording streams.
|Enhanced Service||Up to 6 recording & view streams||Up to 1 TB or 500 SD/100 HD hours|
|Premium Service||Up to 12 recording & view streams||Up to 2 TB or 1,000 SD/200 HD hours|
What’s the best DVR from Xfinity?
Xfinity has three DVR options. We highly recommend the X1 DVR, but the other DVRs from Xfinity aren’t inferior in basic terms: they have plenty of recording capacity, and two streams on one TV isn’t the worst. They just don’t have all the bells and whistles of the X1.
The voice control aspect of the X1 remote is a favorite. We hate typing individual letters. With the voice control remote, you hold down the microphone button and say what you want to watch, search by actors, directors, genres, sports leagues, etc. It’s the easiest way to find something on TV.
|X1 DVR||4 recording streams||500 GB or 300 SD/60 HD hours|
|HD DVR||2 recording streams||500 GB or 300 SD/60 HD hours|
|DVR service||2 recording streams||80 GB or 40 HD hours|
The verdict: Which TV service is better, and why?
Custom TV is awesome, especially since it’s Verizon’s base package. We like that customers can get what they want without having to pay for a bunch of extra channels. Although we’d say that Verizon Fios has a better TV service as a whole, we really like Xfinity’s X1 DVR. It’s what we use at home, and it’s the easiest interface we’ve come across. Xfinity also has more on-demand titles and an easy-access live sports app.
Our advice: in terms of pure TV, you won’t go wrong with either provider, but Fios has more options which means a better individual customer experience.
Verizon vs. Xfinity — internet speed comparison
Xfinity may have the fastest internet available in the premium tier at 2 Gbps, but Verizon’s plans start with faster download and upload speeds, and its speeds are higher across the board when you consider their Gigabit Connection service with speeds up to 940/880 Mbps.
While Xfinity advertises as the “fastest internet in America,” it’s only technically true if you’re looking at its fastest speeds, which happens to be the Gigabit internet.
While 2 Gbps internet is one of the faster speeds we’ve seen, it’s not available for most people—even Xfinity’s 1 Gbps internet is still making its way into the market.
Regarding upload and download speed differences
Equality is everything: Fios and Xfinity have very different upload speeds. Verizon not only delivers faster download speeds in nearly every tier, but it also has symmetrical upload speeds (except with Fios Gigabit connection). This is a big deal for people who work from home, upload HD media, and make video calls.
Download and upload speeds go up to its 500/500 Mbps with Verizon Fios.
With most Fios speed tiers, you won’t notice a difference between uploads or downloads. Verizon has symmetrical speeds: whatever your download speed is, your upload speed will match it. If you upload vacation pictures or family videos to Facebook, or if you’re a musician putting your songs up on Soundcloud, you’ll appreciate having a provider who cares about upload speeds.
Xfinity’s upload speeds can be as little as 1/10th of its download speeds.
For example, Xfinity’s Extreme 250 has download speeds of 250 Mbps, but the upload speed is only 25 Mbps. Your selfie won’t take forever to upload, but that HD photo shoot could take a while.
Quick internet speed highlights:
- Netflix ranked both Xfinity and Fios as the top ISPs in its Speed Index.3
- Xfinity measured at 3.87 Mbps
- Verizon Fios measured at 3.84 Mbps.
- Verizon has the highest median download speeds, according to the FCC Measuring Broadband Report (2016).4
- The FCC’s 80/80 consistent download speed test showed both Fios and Xfinity deliver actual speeds higher than advertised speeds.5
- Verizon’s fiber internet service averaged 127.9% of its advertised speed. In other words, you may get speeds faster than what you paid for.
Internet equipment: Should you rent or buy a router/modem?
Verizon Fios internet equipment:
Renting a router from Fios costs $240 over two years ($360 for the router with tech support). Buying a router costs $150 once. The only reason not to buy a router is if you don’t plan on sticking with Verizon for longer than 15 months.
Xfinity internet equipment:
Xfinity leases wireless gateways for a decent price at $10 per month, but there’s a catch: your gateway is set up as a Wi-Fi hotspot for Xfinity users. Neighbors might (accidentally) be using your Wi-Fi, thus dragging down your speeds.
We recommend sticking with the provided equipment. If you’re worried about it, follow these steps to remove your gateway as a hotspot. If you’d rather use your own equipment, we suggest the all-in-one gateway by Netgear.
Internet verdict: Which one is better Verizon Fios or Xfinity?
Verizon Fios makes more sense for users. Verizon’s fiber is reliable and fast, and you and everyone in the house won’t complain about speeds. You’ll have more than enough for checking Facebook, watching Netflix, or playing Warcraft.
Xfinity is more than fine in terms of capabilities, but you face a 1 TB data cap and a greatly reduced upload speed. Xfinity internet ends up posing a greater cost risk than Verizon Fios. Still, it’s a very fluid experience going from Xfinity TV to internet with the X1.
Our advice: if you can sign up for fiber internet from Verizon Fios, it’s a smart move. Xfinity has reliable internet with some fast speeds, but we don’t like the idea of reduced upload speeds.
Verizon Fios Custom TV + Internet 150 Mbps
At $79.99 per month, this package includes more than enough for an average TV and internet user.
An average household with multiple users and devices won’t have trouble streaming or downloading. Fiber technology makes data easier to deliver, so even if it’s peak hours, you shouldn’t see much (if any) loss in your speed.
While this option is a little light on what we’d consider to be valuable television, you can find plenty to watch with on demand and the internet.
Xfinity’s Preferred, Preferred Plus, or Premier Packages
Xfinity claims the most live sports, and not just football and basketball. While you still may run into blackout games (NFL licensing agreements), you’ll catch most sports on TV.
Xfinity built sports into its interface. Most on-screen guides show you who’s playing when, but with the X1 you’ll access player stats and follow your favorite teams (go Jazz!) through the season.
Just press the “C” button on your remote to get the sports dashboard. It’s like having on-demand ESPN stats for every game you watch.
We’d say unless you need additional the tennis channels from the Premier package, you’ll get all the sports you need with the Preferred or Preferred Plus packages from Xfinity.
A quick word about bundling with Fios and XFINITY
XFINITY from Comcast has pre-built bundles, but you can tailor your services to be more internet or TV heavy, or work out a perfect balance of each. With Comcast, most bundles will save you quite a bit more money than if you ordered the two services separately. Some bundles cost only $10 more to add TV to the internet plan.
But who has the cheapest bundle?
If you need the absolute cheapest internet and access to local channels, Internet Plus 25 from Xfinity is the way to go. It even includes HBO.
Other cost concerns include the extra $10 per month for a modem if you don’t supply your own. You will also be charged a one-time fee of $15 for a self-installation kit or $99 for professional installation. It’s important to note the kit will cost $15 to deliver, so if you want to save even more, drive to your local Xfinity store.
Other than that, this package is inexpensive and capable of streaming Netflix or downloading music just fine. The TV selection leaves a bit to be desired, but you can always add on specialized packages for the channels you want.
Xfinity — customer satisfaction
Xfinity doesn’t necessarily score high, but Xfinity is not ranked well in any region—in fact, it consistently has some of the lowest scores.1 This isn’t to say Xfinity hasn’t made efforts to improve, but the current state of customer satisfaction leaves something to be desired. 2
Check your availability
Chances are if you’re comparing these two providers, you know both are available in your location. That being said, Xfinity is the nation’s largest cable internet and TV provider, whereas Verizon Fios is the largest provider of fiber broadband. If you’re not sure what providers serve your area, put your location into our ZIP finder.
Xfinity vs. Verizon Fios summary
Two of the biggest internet and TV competitors, Verizon Fios and Xfinity are more-than-capable choices for every level of user. Verizon Fios takes the advantage in most areas (like speed and contract terms), but Xfinity has one of our favorite DVRs with the X1, plus it serves a larger part of the country and has more bundling options.
If it were us, we’d spend the little bit of extra money on Verizon Fios to make sure we get what we want. Verizon Fios has more TV channels and faster speeds (with symmetrical upload speeds).
FAQ on Verizon Fios vs. Xfinity
What are Early Termination Fees (ETFs)?
Verizon Fios will not charge early termination fees if you select a no-term contract option. Comcast may charge up to $480 in early termination fees.
What’s the difference between fiber and cable TV and internet?
Fiber has a faster and more reliable signal than cable, but it’s costly to set up. This means it’s less available and more expensive to install, but we think it’s worth it.
Are Comcast and Xfinity the same thing?
Comcast brands its television, internet, and other services as Xfinity. In the past, the names were often used interchangeably. Today, the company prefers to be called Xfinity.
Are Verizon and Fios the same thing?
Verizon owns Fios, but Fios is the name given to the fiber optic network. Frontier also owns part of the Fios network, specifically based in the West and in parts of Florida.
Who has more Wi-Fi hotspot access?
If Wi-Fi hotspots are a concern, then Xfinity is your winner. Xfinity has over 15 million hotspots nationwide compared to Verizon’s 5,700+.
With Comcast, more hotspots means less data drained and more connectivity and support throughout the country. Verizon won’t charge you for your data use, but you may prefer having more easy-access points if you travel frequently.
What is Verizon’s HD STB charge?
Verizon’s $12 HD STB charge is their High Definition Set Top Box Fee. This is your equipment rental price for the receiver.
Who is more reliable, Verizon Fios or Xfinity?
Fiber technology is more reliable and faster than cable. While a thunderstorm may disrupt a cable connection, fiber should operate fine as long as your house still has power.
Do Fios or Xfinity offer trial periods?
Both Fios and Xfinity give you 30 days to cancel your service without incurring an Early Termination Fee.
Who has better video quality?
Fios wins here. Fast internet speeds deliver streaming content with less latency and pixelation.
What else do you need to know about Fios and XFINITY?
If you have a question that we didn’t answer, let us know in the comments how we can help!
1. American Customer Satisfaction Index®, “Benchmarks By Company (XFINITY by Comcast TV)”
2. American Customer Satisfaction Index®, “Benchmarks By Company (XFINITY by Comcast Internet)”
3. Netflix, “The Netflix ISP Speed Index”
4. Federal Communications Commission:, “Measuring Fixed Broadband Report – 2016”
5. Federal Communications Commission:, “Measuring Fixed Broadband Report – 2016”