Verizon Fios vs. Comcast XFINITY

Fios’s fiber is great for digesting everything on the internet, but consumers may want to take their TV experience to XFINITY (and beyond).

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Verizon Fios vs. Comcast XFINITY

Product Recommended Rating
Verizon Fios Wordmark Best Overall 4 / 5
Xfinity Better TV and DVR 3.4 / 5

Verizon Fios and Comcast XFINITY fight for a lot of the same customers. Between Fios’s fiber-optic technology and XFINITY’s massive cable network, users expect consistent and cutting-edge service.

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 bundled service for TV and internet. We’ll give you a brief overview before digging into specifics.

Verizon Fios vs. Comcast XFINITY comparison

Xfinity logo large
Monthly price
$54.99–$124.99
Monthly price
$70–$140
Contract terms
2-yr. and no-term contracts
Contract terms
1-yr., 2-yr., or no-term contracts
Setup
$99 (waived w/ online purchase)
Installation
$89.99 (waived)
Channels
Up to 425+
Channels
45–260+
Max HD channels
160+
Max HD channels
130+
On-demand titles
140,000+
On-demand titles
64,000+
DVR storage
Up to 200 HD hours
DVR storage
300 HD
Download speeds
Up to 100–940 Mbps
Download speeds
25–250 Mbps
Upload speeds
Up to 100–880 Mbps
Upload speeds
50–750 Mbps
Availability
10 states
Availability
40+ states
View PlansView Plans

If it’s available to you, go with Verizon Fios

Verizon Fios comes with better internet speeds across the board—plus you can customize your TV channels and avoid the fluff.

Verizon might be expensive, but you get a lot more for your money. That means more channels and the best download/upload speeds 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.

Find out if Verizon or Comcast are available near you.

Which costs the most, Fios or XFINITY?

The cost of Verizon Fios vs. Comcast 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 Comcast 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.

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A quick tip on contracts

A quick tip on contracts

Most TV and internet providers require a contract that includes Early Termination Fees, or ETFs. That way if you bail, the company still gets paid. Paying month-to-month is nice for avoiding ETFs, but your price may (and will) fluctuate, usually in the provider’s favor.

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.

Comcast 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.

Comcast 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.

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Fun fact:

Fun fact:

The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Verizon Fios #1 in HD picture quality and signal reliability.1

You can add sports, kids, or other channel packages with Comcast, but those costs add up quickly, and there is less customization.

Verizon has higher channel counts than Comcast. 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.

Verizon Fios DVR options

Simultaneous recordingsStorage
Enhanced ServiceUp to 6 recording & view streamsUp to 1 TB or 500 SD/100 HD hours
Premium ServiceUp to 12 recording & view streamsUp 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 Comcast 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.

Comcast XFINITY DVR options

Simultaneous recordingsStorage
X1 DVR4 recording streams500 GB or 300 SD/60 HD hours
HD DVR2 recording streams 500 GB or 300 SD/60 HD hours
DVR service2 recording streams80 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. Comcast — internet speed comparison

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Heads up:

Heads up:

The National Advertising Division ruled that Comcast can no longer advertise that it has “America’s fastest internet” or “fastest in-home Wi-Fi” because it’s simply not true in all tiers of service.6

Comcast 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.

While Comcast 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. 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 Fios, 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.

Comcast’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 Comcast and Fios as the top ISPs in its Speed Index.7
  • Comcast 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).8
  • The FCC’s 80/80 consistent download speed test showed both Fios and Comcast deliver actual speeds higher than advertised speeds.8
    • 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.

Verizon requires that you have either the Actiontec MI424WR router or Verizon’s proprietary Fios Quantum Gateway Model G1100 for full compatibility.

Comcast XFINITY internet equipment: 

Comcast 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 Comcast 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.

Comcast 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 Comcast TV to internet with the X1.

Our advice: if you can sign up for fiber internet from Verizon Fios, it’s a smart move. Comcast XFINITY has reliable internet with some fast speeds, but we don’t like the idea of reduced upload speeds.

Package recommendations

Verizon Fios TV Local + Internet 100 Mbps

At $54.99 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.

Comcast’s Preferred, Preferred Plus, or Premier Packages

Xfinity best internet for streaming
  • 150+ sports channels
  • $10 sports add-on
  • All ESPN Feeds

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.

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A quick word about bundling with Fios and XFINITY

A quick word about bundling with Fios and XFINITY

Verizon’s bundles are solid—even their lowest tier package is worth recommending. They also allow you to customize your bundle by selecting the internet and TV plans separately, so you’re not confined to pre-built bundles.

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.

Verizon vs. Comcast — customer satisfaction

Verizon is one of the top-rated TV and internet service providers. Period. XFINITY, on the other hand … we’ll say it’s working to improve its relationship with customers. Comcast spent hundreds of millions of dollars on improvements, but it still has a long way to go. If customer service is a pain point for you, we’d steer you toward Verizon Fios.

Verizon Fios

ASCI scores* for Verizon Fios

ACSI
TV score68/100
Internet score70/100

*Source: American Customer Satisfaction Index®, “Benchmarks By Company (Verizon Fios TV)

Since 2010, Verizon ranks higher than most cable, satellite, or fiber television providers. 1 In 2018, Verizon was highest in ISP customer satisfaction in the East. Overall, Fios ranks well anywhere it serves.2

Comcast XFINITY

ASCI scores for Comcast XFINITY

ASCI
TV score57/100
Internet score60/100

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.3 This isn’t to say Comcast hasn’t made efforts to improve, but the current state of customer satisfaction leaves something to be desired.4

Our advice: Verizon’s technical staff isn’t contracted; Fios sends its own experts for installation and technical issues. Other cable companies often contract out technicians, who may be less familiar. Most customers have claimed no major outages. Overall, Fios seems like the most reliable company for customers.

Check your availability

Chances are if you’re comparing these two providers, you know both are available in your location. That being said, Comcast 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.

Find out what providers are available in your area.

Comcast XFINITY vs. Verizon Fios summary

Two of the biggest internet and TV competitors, Verizon Fios and Comcast XFINITY are more-than-capable choices for every level of user. Verizon Fios takes the advantage in most areas (like speed, contract terms, and data), but Comcast 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. Comcast 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. The names are often used interchangeably.

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 Comcast 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!

Sources

1.      American Customer Satisfaction Index®, “Benchmarks By Company (Verizon Fios TV)

2.      American Customer Satisfaction Index®, “Benchmarks By Company (Verizon Fios internet)”  

3.      American Customer Satisfaction Index®, “Benchmarks By Company (XFINITY by Comcast TV)”  

4.      American Customer Satisfaction Index®, “Benchmarks By Company (XFINITY by Comcast Internet)

5.      ASRCReviews.org. “NAD Recommends Comcast Discontinue ‘Fastest Internet’ Claims, ‘Fastest … In-Home Wi-Fi’ Claims in Certain Contexts; Comcast to Appeal

6.      Netflix, “The Netflix ISP Speed Index

7.      Federal Communications Commission:, “Measuring Fixed Broadband Report – 2016

  • Tony Hoffman

    The MAJORITY of verizon’s HD channel are the same station but different coasts…so you will have STATION-E, STATION-C, STATION-MT, STATION-W. The ONLY time that is beneficial is if you miss a show and want to catch ti from another timezone…but that’s what DVR and On Demand is for. If you do not count repetitive channels, Xfinity has MORE HD CHANNELS than Verizon. Verizon is a bust and not worth the money!!!

  • Fredrik Jonsson

    The uplink information in the table is incorrect for Comcast/Xfinity (it should say 6-30Mbit) which makes them very slow compared to Fios symmetrical (50-750mbit) connections. Can be important if you work from home over VPN or if you’re a serious gamer.

  • Jack Fiamingo

    All of the info offered here is interesting and needs to be considered BUT the User Experience is the ultimate test. It’s all about FUNCTIONALITY for me.
    The following examples are issues with xFinity that ARE NOT issues with Verizon FIOS. It is also the reason that if FIOS ever becomes available at my current location OR if I relocate somewhere that FIOS is available… I will be an ex-Comcast customer. The features (or should I say, LACK OF features) are very important to me and seem to be correctable by Software Update. Is the technology not robust enough to provide basic features that were available to me as a FIOS customer? So, should I assume that there is a financial reason that we don’t get the functionality? I suppose that if I was never a user of FIOS services I wouldn’t know the difference. I was and I am.
    Buffer Issue #1:
    You have been watching a program live from its beginning. TEN minutes into the program you decide you want to record it. Let say that you think your spouse would appreciate the program and you want them to see it. You set it to record. IT DOESN’T MATTER that the buffer has the last half hour (or whatever) your recording begins TEN minutes into the program.
    Buffer Issue #2:
    You were watching live TV in the family room. You decide to go to the bedroom to finish the program. You are not recording the program. You turn off the TV (NOT the xFinity box). You turn on the TV in the bed room. THERE IS NOTHING in the buffer.
    Buffer Issue #3:
    With FIOS, if you have 3 viewing locations with boxed (clients and main unit), ALL maintain whatever channel you are currently watching AND/OR were previously watching ARE AVAILABLE at any other location and are RETAINED so that you can go to ANY location and select ANY of the channels (whether the location are active or not) and you will have NINETY MINUTES of buffer available for EACH and EVERY channel.
    Remote Function:
    SKIP FORWARD. No time programmable Skip Forward button. Forget about programmable. There NO BUTTON for this purpose at all. XFinity might say, but you can just use the Fast Forward button. Here is the deal. I program the (non-existent) Skip Forward button for (let’s say) 30 seconds. The program I am watching has 6 – 30 second commercials for each break. I don’t need to stand there tending the remote while watching the TV screen poised to hit the button to catch the return of the show from the break. I JUST HIT THAT BUTTON 6 times and… boom! We are back to the show. I didn’t need to even look at the screen.
    There are several other issues and annoyances but those are my biggest complaints. They just make the experience frustrating.

  • Szuwarski Ziom

    is anyone mentioning the saaaaad fact that even the fastest COMCAST data plan slows down to a 5-7 meg creep during evening hours when your whole neighborhood is on Netflix/Hulu/YouTube or other data heavy domain. additionally Comcast/Xfinity could give me free TODAY internet and i still would not want it!
    internet access is as good as it’s availability – every Comcast customer knows how to reboot their gateway/router as they are inherently PO-PO DEVICES – ask Fios customer – most have never ONCE rebooted their router/gateway.

    you can guess i was Comcast customer before. for 12 Y and i thought this is how internet supposed to be – then this miracle happened 7 Y ago Fios came to my neighborhood and – HOLY MOTHER OF GOD –
    i have since switched router 2 times once to get gigabit and second time to get rid of it – i now run my own router. (this is the only issue i have with Verizon they access/spy everything on the router from WIFI password to logs/traffic to Q&A port forwarding to occasional modem reset/update logon to your account and 10 minutes after u changed your WiFi password they will display it on your account page)

    I’m OTA type a person (50$ antena in the attic + silicon dust tuner and 150$ Mini PC do all my DVR) so i only have internet service from fios 50/50 (they throw in free 75/75 upgrade) meg service 40$
    after 2 year contract the price hikes but i just switch service to my wife and we’re back on the 40$ plan!
    I can do this for as long as it takes. I’m on the 4th switch.

    i’ve been with both and hands down Comcast don’t stand in the same room as FIOS!
    although when u call u cant listen to advises from sales people as they will tell u that if u have more than 5 devices u need gigabit –
    most businesses have 50-100 workstations running fine on 100 meg service ping gives you speed and 100 meg bandwidth is plenty sufficient for 30 device (which household has 8 devices streaming hd video at once
    MPEG-4 AVC Video at 18000 kbps for 1080p — 18megs
    MPEG-4 AVC Video at 8000 kbps for 720p — 8megs
    HEVC 4K video at 25000-40000 4K — 25-40 megs

    so 100 Mbps bandwidth gives u
    5 streams of 1080p
    10 streams of 720p
    2 streams of 4K streams
    easy peasy for 100Mbps service
    if u game 20 meg bandwidth with ping under 20 will do wonders (fios generally gets ping 6-17 ms – milliseconds on 50Mbps service and above)

    there u go who needs gigabit which they are pushing
    40$V plan suffices for 99% of EVERYONE

    I should’ve wrote this article and paint Comcast for the disaster that they are
    but then this domain would NOT post it as COMCAST would probably sue them!

  • Jay Gerard

    I had Fios for 4 years. Internet only. Used a digital tv antenna. Comcast offered a tv (local) plus internet for about what I currently pay Verizon. I called Verizon to see if they could come close, they cannot as an existing customer.
    I don’t upload, No Facebook. No Netflix, Hulu etc. Very little TV and only on 1 set. I do not record. I do use a Roku mainly for music and Podcasts. I am not a gamer and I do not download music etc.
    Would Comcast, offering my local tv and internet be a good buy to replace Verizon internet only (at a higher price).

    BTW, my phone is thru OOMA.

    Any suggestions?