Xfinity vs. AT&T Internet Review 2021
Debating between Xfinity and AT&T internet? We dug through all the fine print for pricing, contracts, and speed to help you figure out which of these two internet service providers (ISPs) is best for you.
Long story short: Xfinity is a great choice for low promotional prices, and you’re more likely to get its service since it covers a wider area. Xfinity’s speeds and prices make it a better value than AT&T’s DSL internet—but AT&T’s fiber plans give Xfinity a run for its money with excellent speeds for a low price, plus unlimited data. (You’ll just need to live in an AT&T Fiber–connected city to get it.)
Need to know more? Let’s dig in and shine a light on how these two ISPs stack up.
Xfinity vs. AT&T: Prices
AT&T Fiber’s gig plan steals the show with its value-packed price.
The only caveat to Xfinity’s prices is that the monthly cost changes depending on where you live. Here’s a quick peek at Xfinity promotional prices in the Central US.
|Plan||Price||Download speed||Data cap||Details|
|Performance Starter Plus||$30*||50 Mbps||1.2 TB||View Plan|
|Performance Select||$35*||100 Mbps||N/A||View Plan|
|Performance Pro Plus||$50*||200 Mbps||1.2 TB||View Plan|
|Extreme Pro||$60†||800 Mbps||1.2 TB||View Plan|
|Gigabit||$70†||1200 Mbps||1.2 TB||View Plan|
Some of Xfinity’s internet plans for the Central US used to come with no contract. But now you’ll find that plans with speeds up to 200 Mbps come with a one-year contract and the rest come with a two-year contract.
On the other hand, AT&T dropped its contract requirement, so that could be a win if you need the freedom to swap internet providers without paying a hefty early termination fee. Plus, AT&T’s promo prices are cheaper than what you’ll find with Xfinity.
|Plan||Price||Download speed||Data cap||Details|
|AT&T Internet up to 75 Mbps||$45/mo.||75 Mbps||1 TB||View Plan|
|AT&T Internet 100||$45/mo.||100 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
|AT&T Internet 300||$35/mo.||300 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
|AT&T Internet 500||$45/mo.||500 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
|AT&T Internet 1000||$60/mo.‡||940 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
AT&T Fiber offers some of the lowest prices out there, especially for its gig internet (940 Mbps) plan. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a lower price for similar speeds.
The only catch is, AT&T Fiber is limited to certain cities in the US only, which we’ll cover in just a second. So if you live in a suburban or rural area, you might be left with AT&T’s DSL plans.
AT&T’s DSL plans aren’t a horrible choice if you can get close to the max speed of 75 or 100 Mbps. But you won’t know what speed you can get until you give AT&T your address, so it’s kind of like winning the lottery. Or not.
Xfinity vs. AT&T: Availability
Xfinity’s internet service covers most of the US, meaning you’ll probably find it almost everywhere you live. But AT&T is available in only 21 states, and its fiber internet service is available only in major cities and their suburbs.
You can check the AT&T site for a full map of locations with AT&T Fiber service, but for now, here are some of the major US cities where AT&T Fiber is available.
AT&T Fiber cities
- Birmingham, AL
- Mobile, AL
- Little Rock, AR
- Los Angeles, CA
- San Diego, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- San Jose, CA
- Jacksonville, FL
- Miami, FL
- Orlando, FL
- Atlanta, GA
- Savannah, GA
- Chicago, IL
- Springfield, IL
- Bloomington, IN
- Indianapolis, IN
- Wichita, KS
- Bowling Green, KY
- Lexington, KY
- Baton Rouge, LA
- New Orleans, LA
- Shreveport, LA
- Detroit, MI
- Kansas City, MO
- Louis, MO
- Jackson, MS
- Charlotte, NC
- Reno, NV
- Columbus, OH
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Charleston, SC
- Nashville, TN
- Knoxville, TN
- Memphis, TN
- Austin, TX
- Dallas, TX
- El Paso, TX
- Houston, TX
- San Antonio, TX
- Milwaukee, WI
Take each city listing with a grain of salt, though. For example, my aunt lives in Burleson, Texas, which is listed as having AT&T Fiber service. But the fiber lines are still getting installed in her neighborhood.
The easiest way to check if AT&T Fiber or Xfinity is available in your area is to enter your zip code in our tool below. We’ll pull up all the ISPs available in your area—and it takes only a few seconds of your time.
Xfinity vs. AT&T: Internet speed
Xfinity internet speeds kept pace while AT&T lagged behind. But we bet AT&T Fiber speeds improve.
Sometimes it’s hard to gauge how much internet speed you need, but whatever your online activities are, both Xfinity and AT&T likely have a plan that keeps you connected.
We wouldn’t recommend Xfinity’s 50 Mbps internet plan unless you live alone and don’t need a fast internet speed to handle all your connected devices and online activities.
The same goes for AT&T’s DSL plans: If you end up with slower speeds below 75 Mbps, you’ll have a hard time keeping your Zoom calls connected or streaming Shadow and Bone while your housemate downloads a video game.
Sure, you might see speeds of 3 Mbps required for streaming Netflix, but that required speed doesn’t take into account your other connected devices or other people using your internet.
Instead, both the AT&T Internet 100 plan and Xfinity’s 200 Mbps plan are great places to start. And, luckily, both of those plans come at a pretty good intro price.
|Provider||Download speeds||Upload speeds|
|Xfinity Internet||50–1200 Mbps||3–50 Mbps|
|AT&T Internet||75–100 Mbps||8–100 Mbps|
|AT&T Fiber||300–940 Mbps||300–880 Mbps|
We also looked at actual internet speed performance in our latest report on the fastest ISPs.
After looking at thousands of internet speed tests from 2019, we found that Xfinity speeds stayed zippy while AT&T lagged behind. Of course, part of the reason AT&T scored much lower than Xfinity is because of its DSL internet performance. (DSL technology is just slower than cable or fiber internet, there’s no getting around it.)
However, because fiber internet is a newer and typically faster technology, we bet you’ll see reliably fast download and upload speeds from AT&T Fiber.
|Provider||Reviews.org weighted score||Overall rank|
|Xfinity||46.6 out of 100||7th out of 38 ISPs|
|AT&T||33.8 out of 100||15th out of 38 ISPs|
Data effective 1/4/2021.
Just a quick note: those weighted scores aren’t actual download speeds.
Rather, they’re a combination of the average download speeds, upload speeds, and latency. And to put things in perspective, our top-scoring ISP, Google Fiber, earned a score of 75.6 out of 100.
Xfinity vs. AT&T: Data caps
If data caps make you cringe, AT&T Fiber is your best bet. It offers unlimited data on all of its plans. But AT&T’s DSL plans up to 75 Mbps are still stuck with a 1 TB data cap, unfortunately.
Xfinity also seats you on the struggle bus with its 1.2 TB data cap.
Xfinity vs. AT&T: Contracts and fees
AT&T rules the roost with no contracts on any of its internet plans.
AT&T recently changed course and got rid of its contracts, but Unfortunately, Xfinity still requires you to sign a contract to get internet service. Xfinity’s internet contracts range from one to two years, depending on which plan you choose.
What a contract means is that, if you need to cancel your Xfinity internet service before the contract is up, you’ll pay an early termination fee (ETF).
Xfinity doesn’t list exact amounts, but you can expect to at least pay the monthly price for the time remaining on your contract. (Early termination fees are typically prorated by a certain amount depending on how many months you’ve already paid for service.)
Xfinity vs. AT&T: Customer service
Neither Xfinity nor AT&T amaze us with customer service, but AT&T is better by a slim margin.
Let’s face it: internet service providers aren’t known for exceptional customer service experiences. And, sadly, Xfinity and AT&T aren’t an exception to this unwritten rule.
In the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report, both AT&T and Xfinity scored slightly higher than the internet industry as a whole.1 But neither scores would be considered a passing grade if these two ISPs wanted to graduate the school of customer service.
- Xfinity: 66 (61 in 2019)
- AT&T: 68 (69 in 2019)
- Industry overall: 65 (62 in 2019)
|ACSI 2019–2020||66 out of 100||68 out of 100|
It’s nice to see that both Xfinity and AT&T improved their scores from the last ACSI report. But if that doesn’t make you feel better about calling either ISP, here are a few tips for dealing with internet customer service.
Recap: Which is better, Xfinity or AT&T?
That’s not to say Xfinity doesn’t bring a few perks to the table too. It offers fast internet speeds and low prices that make it an easy choice over AT&T’s DSL internet service. Plus, the chances that Xfinity is available in your neighborhood are high since this ISP almost blankets the whole US with internet service.
- Pricing: Both Xfinity and AT&T offer low promotional prices to new customers. But if you need gig speeds, go with AT&T Fiber. Its Fiber Internet 1,000 plan is one of the lowest-priced gig-speed plans we’ve seen.
- Internet speed: Xfinity internet speeds hold up better than AT&T’s speeds, but we bet AT&T’s DSL internet plans are to blame. That said, we think AT&T Fiber internet speeds might leave Xfinity in the dust. (And AT&T Fiber offers unlimited data, while Xfinity and AT&T DSL plans offer about 1 TB of data each month.)
- Contracts: AT&T internet comes with no contract, a clear win over Xfinity’s one- to two-year contracts.
- Customer service: AT&T. Neither company is outstanding, but slightly higher customer satisfaction scores make us lean toward AT&T.