Verizon FiOS and Comcast XFINITY are just a couple of the major giants that have provided reliable internet and TV service over the years. While Comcast is the nation's largest cable provider, Verizon FiOS is the country's largest fiber optic internet provider.
So just which of the two is most suited for your needs?
I aim to compare and contrast the two, which will allow you to make a proper, informative decision on which ISP will be best for you.
Comcast XFINITY vs Verizon FiOS - In This Guide
Verizon FiOS Overview
Unlike typical cable providers, Verizon offers television, internet, and telephone, utilizing a fiber optic 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 the internet for gaming or streaming videos and music
- Work from home and require stable connections
- Don't mind using a top-tier live TV streaming service such as Sling TV or PlayStation Vue or stream at 4K with one of these amazing video streaming programs
- Don't desire data caps, no matter how large
Verizon FiOS Coverage Map
Unfortunately, Verizon FiOS is available in only nine states with the most extensive coverage in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania; this means that the service 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, please 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 pricing. In fact, you're better off with any of Comcast's slower internet packages. The XFINITY X1 Box also offers an unparalleled DVR service. You can use Comcast's app to access or manage your recorded content on the go, and even watch programming on your mobile device.
Related: Comcast XFINITY Channel Lineup
Unfortunately, what is also tied to XFINITY's service is 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.
Concerning customer service, most customers rate the service as one of the poorest in the nation, with complaints leaning toward terrible products, price hikes, and abysmal service. Overall, Comcast's XFINITY service earned an ACSI score of 59, a full 14 points lower than Verizon's FiOS ACSI score. So who is the clear winner in the customer service bracket? Verizon FiOS.
Is Comcast XFINITY Right For You?
You should consider Comcast XFINITY if you:
- Are in love with DVR, as XFINITY offers the X1 TV Box, which allows you to pause and rewind live television
- Can't live without Comcast's cable television packages (or TV packages in general) and won't consider cord-cutting
- Desire insane internet speeds of up to 2000 Mbps
Comcast XFINITY Coverage Map
Plans & Prices
The lower-tiered options XFINITY offers are pretty pricey until you reach the 200 Mbps option, which is fortunately 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 FiOS' $269.99 500/500 Mbps option. Yet, it is difficult to justify purchasing such a hefty package for personal usage.
Although FiOS offers blazing fast download and upload speeds, their packages are a little expensive. This is a case of paying for the quality you're going to receive. Alongside the price of the plan you buy, you might also have to shell out an extra $10 per month rental fee for the router (though you can purchase a router from them for $149.99), set-up charges ($80), taxes, and more.
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|
When it comes to internet providers, pricing and value are important factors, but there are some other statistics to be aware of.
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 who you're going with as an internet provider, you'll be getting a bigger bang for your buck.
Which Is Better?
Between Comcast XFINITY and Verizon FiOS, it depends on what your needs are. If fast internet speeds and quality customer service is important to you, then Verizon FiOS is clearly the better option between the two.
How FiOS differs from XFINITY is that 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.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. 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, it is highly unlikely that you will take advantage of such a 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 FiOS and Comcast 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. To learn more about bundling and how it can save you money on your monthly Internet bill, go here.