It can be a tough call. Each service provider has its own strengths: Comcast is the nation's largest cable provider, while Verizon FiOS is the country's largest fiber optic internet provider.
So just which of these two is best suited for your needs?
I aim to compare and contrast Verizon and Comcast, which will allow you to make an informed decision on which internet service provider is best for you.
In This Guide
Verizon FiOS vs Comcast XFINITY Comparison
|Data Points||Verizon FiOS||Comcast XFINITY|
|Fastest Speed Available||Up to 500 Mbps||Up to 150 Mbps|
|ACSI Customer Service Rating (2016)||73/99||59/99|
|Connection Type||Fiber Optic||Cable|
Verizon FiOS Overview
Verizon offers cable TV, the internet, and phone service, utilizing a fiber optic cable communications network. This network provides upload speeds that are up to five times faster than the upload speeds delivered from cable, all for a reasonable price. Fiber optic internet is also more reliable compared to typical copper coaxial cable, boasting lower latency.
Best of all, Verizon FiOS features no data cap, meaning that you can download and upload whatever you'd like at blazing speeds.
Customer service-wise, FiOS is the best in the industry, as indicated by 2016 American Customer Satisfaction Index. It flaunts a score of 73 points, achieving the highest customer satisfaction score ever in the industry.
Is Verizon FiOS Right For You?
You should opt for Verizon FiOS internet if you:
- Rely heavily on internet access for gaming or streaming videos and music
- Work from home and require stable connections
- Use a top-tier live TV streaming service such as Sling TV or PlayStation Vue or streaming at 4K with one of these amazing video streaming programs
- Don't desire data caps, no matter how large
Unfortunately, Verizon FiOS is available in only nine states with the most extensive coverage in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania; this means that their internet connectivity is quite limited.
With that being said, the provider is currently more accessible than Google Fiber. So before you have your heart set on Verizon FiOS, make sure that it is available in your area by using our provider locator tool.
Comcast XFINITY Overview
Comcast's XFINITY service is the largest in the nation, covering most states. That doesn't mean that it is the best service in the nation, however. While XFINITY isn't generally one of the fastest internet providers, it does offer a speed package that's currently faster than any other major provider available in the United States: 2000 Mbps.
That's an impressive speed, but it's a speed that most people wouldn't take advantage of due to its $299.95 price point. You'll get the lowest price on XFINITY internet if you choose a lower-tier package.
If you want to bundle your cable internet access with TV service, the XFINITY X1 HD Entertainment Operating System is unparalleled in the cable television industry. You can use Comcast's app to access or manage your recorded content on the go, and even watch XFINITY TV on your mobile device.
Related: Comcast XFINITY Channel Lineup
Unfortunately, XFINITY internet does come with a data cap. Recently, XFINITY has allowed customers to use up to 1TB of data each month. However, if you use more than 1TB with your high-speed internet plan, then Comcast will add 50GB at $10 for each increment.
However, you will only be charged a maximum of $200 extra, no matter how much data you use by the end of the month. Furthermore, the service has granted customers with two courtesy months where they can exceed the terabyte without being charged.
When it comes to customer care, most customers rate the service as one of the poorest in the nation, with complaints leaning toward terrible products, price hikes, and horrible customer service. Comcast customers give the cable provider an ACSI score of 59, a full 14 points lower than Verizon's FiOS ACSI score.
So if your decision between XFINITY and Verizon comes down to customer service rather than getting the lowest price for your high-speed internet, Verizon FiOS might be the service provider for you.
Pro Tip: Verizon and Comcast both offer internet via fiber optics, although most of Comcast's network is still run through coaxial cable. The cable giant's 2000 Mbps fiber optic cable internet is called Gigabit Pro, and is currently available in roughly 30 locations across the country, with more being rolled out as we speak.
Is Comcast XFINITY Right For You?
You should consider becoming a Comcast customer if you:
- Are in love with DVR, as XFINITY offers the X1 TV Box, which allows you to pause and rewind live XFINITY TV
- Can't live without Comcast's cable television packages (like the Triple Play package with XFINITY Voice), and won't consider cord-cutting
- Desire insane internet speeds of up to 2000 Mbps
Plans & Prices
The lower-tiered options XFINITY offers are pretty pricey until you reach the 200 Mbps option, which is reasonably priced at $82.95. Sadly, what lies between the 200 Mbps and the 2000 Mbps option, which is available at $299.95, is absolutely nothing.
That being said, the 2000 Mbps option is a better value than the $269.99 500/500 Mbps Verizon plan. Yet, it is difficult to justify purchasing such a hefty package for personal usage.
Although FiOS offers blazing fast download and upload speeds via fiber optic technology, their packages are a little expensive. This is a case of paying for the quality you're going to receive.
Along with the price of the Verizon plan you buy, you might also have to shell out an extra $10 per month rental fee for the FiOS router (though you can purchase a FiOS router from them for $149.99), set-up charges ($80), taxes, and more.
When it comes to internet providers, pricing and value are important factors, but there are some other statistics to be aware of when it comes to both XFINITY and Verizon.
To clarify on the actual speed versus advertised speed section noted at the beginning of this comparison, referring to a December 2015 FCC study dubbed "2015 Measuring Broadband America Fixed Report," the advertised download speed for Verizon FiOS was 50 Mbps. The actual speed? 54.4, which is 8.9 percent more than the advertised speed.
The same goes for the other tiers - customers are receiving more than what they are paying for. So if the statistics remain true, then customers are receiving more than they are paying for, no matter the tier.
As for Comcast's XFINITY service? Let's refer to XFINITY's 50 Mbps internet tier as an example. XFINITY advertises 50 Mbps, but the actual speeds run up to 54.7 Mbps, a whopping 9.4 percent increase in speed. No matter whom you're going with as an internet service provider, you'll be getting a bigger bang for your buck.
Which Is Better?
In the end, as far as Comcast XFINITY vs Verizon FiOS, the best choice depends on your needs. If blazing internet connectivity and quality customer service are important to you, then Verizon FiOS is clearly the better option between the two, especially if other fiber optics providers like Google Fiber aren't available in your area yet.
Verizon and XFINITY are both solid. The biggest difference between the two is that with Verizon, you receive internet speeds that are fast enough to handle your most demanding online tasks--its upload speeds are as fast as its download speeds due to its fiber optic technology.
That means you can share content just as fast as you download it. This is an enormous benefit for anyone running a website or eager to share family pictures quickly, as well as for business owners. At the time of this writing, no other provider in the industry offers a service like FiOS.
These speeds are fantastic for streaming videos and playing video games. Not to mention the service is - most of the time - quite stable and reliable. Though there is no 2000 Mbps option like XFINITY, the vast majority of residential customers have no need for that kind of speed. Quite honestly, the 100/100 Mbps tier is speedy enough for most internet needs. When it comes down to the quality of the service for the cost, I choose Verizon FiOS.
Verizon and XFINITY aren't the only internet providers out there. You can see our top picks in our buyer's guide to Internet providers here. You can also save on Internet service by bundling. XFINITY by Comcast provides bundles like the Triple Play package, which comes with XFINITY Voice phone service, cable TV, and cable internet.
To learn more about bundling and how it can save you money on your monthly internet bill, go here. You'll get the lowdown on the best ways to combine your telecommunications services together, including phone service and, in the case of XFINITY by Comcast, even home security
Optimum competes with Verizon FiOS in roughly the same territory, offering competitive packages. To see how the two stack up, check out our comparative guide on Verizon FiOS vs Optimum. You can also see how FiOS compares vs Time Warner Cable (now Spectrum).