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CenturyLink vs. Xfinity Internet 2020

By Anna Ellison
August 13, 2020

So you’re in search of an internet service provider? Maybe you’ve done your research and found the providers available in your area, compared different plans and pricing options, but what about comparing internet providers head-to-head? In this post we’ll examine two popular high-speed internet options: CenturyLink and Xfinity by Comcast. Before we dive into these internet service providers (ISPs) and their availability, speeds, plans and pricing, keep in mind that all of these variables may differ based on your location. 

CenturyLink
Starting at $49/mo.
DSL and Fiber Internet
Available in 36 States
xfinity
Starting at $29.99/mo.
Cable and Fiber Internet
Available in 39 States

Labels aren’t always a good thing, but for the sake of this comparison, we’re going to call Xfinity internet the Fastest Internet Provider and give CenturyLink the title of Best Value Internet. Even though Xfinity offers a lower price for their starting speeds, CenturyLink’s Price for Life plans give you the same low, monthly price no matter what speed you choose. Xfinity’s high-speed internet uses cable and fiber technology, while CenturyLink offers slower DSL internet packages and fiber internet. Xfinity has better package variety than CenturyLink, and with faster speed options. 

Still not sure which ISP is best for you? Let’s look at these two broadband providers head-to-head.

Deep Dive: CenturyLink and Xfinity Internet 

  CenturyLink vs. Xfinity  
  CenturyLink Xfinity
Service Type DSL and Fiber Cable and Fiber
Price $49 - $65/mo. $29.99 - $299.95/mo.
Installation Fee

Self-installation: Free

Pro installation: $99, required for 80-100 Mbps plans

Self-installation: Starting at $15

Pro installation: $89.99

Download Speed 15 - 940 Mbps 25 - 2,000 Mbps
Data Cap 1 TB 1 TB or unlimited options available
WiFi Hotspot Not available

Over 18 million nationwide through Xfinity mobile

Contract None Required for most plans
Modem & Router Rental $10 - $15/mo. $14/mo.
Percentage of US Population Covered 16.40% 35.95%

Data sourced 8/6/2020. Offers and availability vary by location. Prices are subject to change and may require a contract. Services subject to availability and may be based on qualifications and applicable terms and conditions.

Location is key. Service availability, type, and price all vary by location. To find out what internet service providers and plans are available in your area, enter your zip code below!  

Enter your zipcode to see providers near you

 

CenturyLink vs. Xfinity: Pros & Cons

Both CenturyLink and Xfinity internet have their strengths and weaknesses. Check out some of the pros and cons for each.

CenturyLink Internet


Pros
Price for Life
Cheap fiber internet
Most plans are contract free

Cons
Price for Life doesn’t apply to fiber
Slower speeds

Xfinity Internet


Pros
More package variety
Faster speeds
Better tech with the xFi Advanced Gateway (modem/router combo)

Cons
Expensive fiber
Contract required with most plans

 

CenturyLink Internet Plans & Prices

  CenturyLink Packages   
Plan Price Speed
Price for Life 15 Mbps $49/mo.

Download: 15 Mbps

Upload: 1 Mbps

Price for Life 20 Mbps $49/mo.

Download: 20 Mbps

Upload: 2 Mbps

Price for Life 40 Mbps $49/mo.

Download: 40 Mbps

Upload: 3 Mbps

Price for Life 80 Mbps $49/mo.

Download: 80 Mbps

Upload: 5 Mbps

Price for Life 100 Mbps $49/mo.

Download: 100 Mbps

Upload: 30 Mbps

Fiber Internet $65/mo.

Download: 940 Mbps

Upload: 940 Mbps

Data sourced 8/6/2020. Offers and availability vary by location. Prices are subject to change and may require a contract. Services subject to availability and may be based on qualifications and applicable terms and conditions.

Xfinity Internet Plans & Prices 

  Xfinity Packages  
Plan Price Speed
Performance Starter $29.99/mo.

Download: 25 Mbps

Upload: 2 Mbps

Performance $34.99/mo.

Download: 75 Mbps

Upload: 5 Mbps

Performance Pro $49.99/mo.

Download: 200 Mbps

Upload: 5 Mbps

Performance Pro (no contract) $64.99/mo.

Download: 200 Mbps

Upload: 5 Mbps

Blast! Pro $64.99/mo.

Download: 300 Mbps

Upload: 10 Mbps

Blast! Pro (no contract) $79.99/mo.

Download: 300 Mbps

Upload: 10 Mbps

Extreme Pro $74.99/mo.

Download: 600 Mbps

Upload: 15 Mbps

Extreme Pro (no contract) $111.95/mo.

Download: 600 Mbps

Upload: 15 Mbps

Gigabit $84.99/mo.

Download: 1,000 Mbps

Upload: 35 Mbps

Gigabit Pro $299.95/mo.

Download: 2,000 Mbps

Upload: 2,000 Mbps

Data sourced 8/6/2020. Offers and availability vary by location. Prices are subject to change and may require a contract. Services subject to availability and may be based on qualifications and applicable terms and conditions.

Customer Satisfaction

There’s no better way to compare internet service providers than by the consumers who actually use them. The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) measures the satisfaction of consumers across the US and gives internet providers scores based on feedback from customers. This year, Xfinity received an ACSI score of 66 while CenturyLink was given a 63. Xfinity just barely comes out on top with an average ACSI score of 61.75 over the past four years, while CenturyLink reps a 59.75. 

Final Thoughts 

So, which is better: CenturyLink or Xfinity internet? That depends on you and your internet habits. The Fastest Internet Provider (Xfinity by Comcast) is great for those looking for a variety of reliable, high-speed package options, large families who love to stream, and if you can afford to spend a little extra. The Best Value Internet (CenturyLink) is ideal for people who enjoy basic internet functions like streaming and who don’t need extreme speeds. For fiber, CenturyLink has the better deal with comparable speeds to Xfinity at a fraction of the price. 

Providers, plans, and prices all vary by location, so click the button below to learn more about internet service providers in your area!

Written By
Anna Ellison

Anna is a writer for the HighSpeedOptions team focusing on streaming. She started her career as a content writer in 2017, working one year in the fintech industry before joining the mobile ad tech space with HighSpeedOptions’ parent company, AdAction. In the wild, you can find Anna hiking in the Rocky Mountains, or working on her hot dog travel blog.

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