CenturyLink vs. Xfinity

A Side-by-Side Comparison of CenturyLink and Xfinity Internet Service in 2022

CenturyLink and Xfinity Service in 2022:

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CenturyLink and Xfinity are both widely available across the U.S., and they both offer bundle options for internet, home phone, and/or cable TV. CenturyLink gives you the choice to sign up with either DISH or DIRECTV, while Xfinity has true cable with more than 200 channels. Xfinity may be the better choice because it offers both more channels with a base plan and a bundle discount. If you just want internet, CenturyLink is cheaper and its upper-tier plans use a faster fiber connection.

CenturyLink vs Xfinity Overall Comparison

CenturyLink vs Xfinity Overall Comparison

  • Speed

    100 Mbps -940 Mbps

  • Pricing

    $50-65/mo.

  • Service Type

    DSL, Fiber, Copper, Fixed Wireless

  • Equipment Fee

    $15 a month

  • Data Cap

    Unlimited Data

  • Speed

    50 Mbps -3 Gbps

  • Pricing

    $39.99-299.95/mo.

  • Service Type

    Cable, Fiber

  • Equipment Fee

    $14 a month

  • Data Cap

    Unlimited Data

CenturyLink has a strong fiber network, but the primary issue with its connection is limited availability. If you live in an area where it’s available, then you’ll get upload speeds equally as fast as your download speeds. CenturyLink has two plans that work on a fiber network. Xfinity’s only fiber plan offers up to 3 Gbps, but few people can take advantage of it because of its high price tag: $299.95 per month and an $89.99 professional installation fee — all in addition to its limited availability.

If you don’t have access to CenturyLink Fiber, Xfinity is likely your best option for internet service. Xfinity’s cable internet service offers a few plans with better pricing than CenturyLink’s DSL plan, one of which provides speeds of up to 300 Mbps for $39.99 per month.

CenturyLink vs Xfinity: Best Deals

Internet Deals

Pros and Cons By Provider

Pros and Cons By Provider

CenturyLink Pros

  • No data caps
  • Symmetrical speeds on most plans
  • Unlimited data
  • No-contract plans

CenturyLink Cons

  • Limited plan options
  • Limited bundle options

Xfinity Pros

  • Multiple bundle options
  • Millions of Wi-Fi hotspot locations
  • More internet package options
  • Mobile phone service add-on

Xfinity Cons

  • Requires a contract to get the best deals
  • Base plan has a 1.2 TB data cap and charges an extra fee for no data cap

One area in which Xfinity triumphs over CenturyLink is public Wi-Fi hotspots. Xfinity has millions of Wi-Fi access points across the nation, and CenturyLink doesn’t yet offer this benefit. New customers who’re eligible for promotional pricing must sign up for AutoPay or paperless billing for both Xfinity and CenturyLink. Other online-only promotions cycle constantly with the month or season.

CenturyLink doesn’t employ data caps nor requires a contract on any of their plans unlike Xfinity. In order to get the best deals at Xfinity, you need to sign a long-term agreement.

CenturyLink and Xfinity Bundles Compared

The primary difference between CenturyLink and Xfinity bundles is that CenturyLink customers can choose among DIRECTV, DIRECTV STREAM, and DISH. That can be both a positive and a negative. You’ll have a choice of providers and more channel options with CenturyLink, but each option is external from CenturyLink. Xfinity has its own cable network, so everything remains in-house.

If you’re shopping for an internet and TV bundle, then you may want to consider Xfinity first. With six internet speeds, three cable options, home and mobile phone service, and two home security options, you’ll have plenty of services to suit your family’s surfing and streaming needs. If channel selection is high on your priority list, however, then you may want to consider CenturyLink. Its upper-tier plans have over 290 channels with DISH and 330 with DIRECTV, while Xfinity offers over 200 channels.

CenturyLink vs Xfinity: Extra Fees and Contracts

Installation

CenturyLink offers customers standard installation for $15 where a technician performs work outside of your location and you just have to install the modem inside your home, or professional installation for up to $149. For homes that have not been wired with fiber, a skilled technician from CenturyLink will install the necessary wires that will run from the outside in.

Xfinity’s professional installation typically costs $89.99, but it varies by location; it’s a must for homes that have never been wired for Xfinity services. Returning Xfinity customers have the convenient option of self-installing the internet on their own terms.

Contracts, Equipment Fees & Fine Print

CenturyLink provides customers with contract-free plans, which means there are no early termination fees. If customers decide to end services, they will be responsible for returning their equipment (if rented) and any amount that is due on their account. CenturyLink customers have the option to either rent a modem and router for $15 per month or purchase the equipment for $200 plus tax. CenturyLink may waive installation or equipment fees when customers sign up for a contract during select promotional periods.

Most Xfinity plans require contracts ranging from 12-24 months. For an extra fee of $10 per month, Xfinity customers can opt for a contract-free plan, which allows you to cancel at anytime without facing penalty fees. There is no standard early termination fee, but customers who end their contract early will need to pay a monthly penalty fee for each remaining month of their contract. Xfinity’s early termination fee can range anywhere between $5-$10 per month. Equipment rental fees start at $14 per month for basic equipment that include a modem and router.

Data Caps

Unlike Xfinity, CenturyLink doesn’t have data caps on most of their plans.

There is a 1.2 TB data cap on all Xfinity cable internet plans. Customers are able to purchase an additional 50 GB of data for $10 in select areas. Xfinity also provides the option to pay a flat fee of $30 per month for unlimited data with any plan.

Xfinity Outperforms CenturyLink in Customer Satisfaction

Take the CenturyLink speed test or the Xfinity speed test for accurate results on your current internet connection.

Both companies rank highly in performance, according to J.D. Power Rankings. Xfinity tops CenturyLink, but not by much. Keep in mind that the performance of each provider depends on your location, Wi-Fi connectivity, distance from your router, and how many devices are competing for your connection.

Both providers should be able to connect with you via phone, online chat, email, and social media if you ever have an issue.

CenturyLink vs. Xfinity Internet Review

As of February 2021, BroadBandNow’s editorial team has surveyed 122 CenturyLink customers and asked them to rate CenturyLink on 6 different criteria - Reliability, Speed, Equipment, Support, Interaction, and Value.

Overall CenturyLink customers rated them a 3.6 out of 5, which is ranked 6th of the 10 internet provider customers we surveyed in our study.

Reliability
3.6
Speed
3.6
Equipment
3.8
Support
3.4
Interaction
3.5
Value
3.5

As of February 2021, BroadBandNow’s editorial team has surveyed 402 Xfinity customers and asked them to rate Xfinity on 6 different criteria - Reliability, Speed, Equipment, Support, Interaction, and Value.

Overall Xfinity customers rated them a 3.5 out of 5, which is ranked 8th of the 10 internet provider customers we surveyed in our study.

Reliability
3.6
Speed
3.7
Equipment
3.7
Support
3.3
Interaction
3.3
Value
3.2

Frequently Asked Questions about CenturyLink & Xfinity Internet Services

  • Is Xfinity cheaper than CenturyLink?

    Currently, Xfinity from Comcast’s lowest-priced internet-only plan is $39.99 per month with speeds up to 300 Mbps while CenturyLink plans start at $50 per month with speeds up to 100 Mbps. However, CenturyLink’s most expensive plan is more affordable than Xfinity’s.

  • Who has faster speeds? Xfinity or CenturyLink?

    In certain areas, customers are able to receive speeds up to 3 Gbps with Xfinity and 940 Mbps with CenturyLink. Customers will have access to different speeds depending on the coverage availability and type of internet connection (i.e. DSL, cable, or fiber).

  • Do Xfinity and CenturyLink have unlimited data?

    Xfinity has unlimited data plans for an additional charge of $30 per month while CenturyLink’s DSL and fiber plans have unlimited data at no extra cost.

  • Do Xfinity and CenturyLink require a contract?

    Xfinity from Comcast offers contract-free plans for an additional fee while CenturyLink offers contract-free plans at no additional charge.