Hey there! With so many options for home internet service these days, you may be wondering about the differences between Comcast and Xfinity. Are they separate companies? Do they offer the same services? Well, let‘s untangle things so you can make the best choice for your home.
First off – Comcast and Xfinity are essentially the same company. Comcast is the parent company that owns the Xfinity brand under which they offer residential internet, TV, and phone services.
But how did Comcast grow into one of the biggest telecom giants around? Let‘s take a quick walk through history:
From Humble Beginnings to Media Powerhouse
Comcast started off in 1963 as a small regional cable company in Mississippi called American Cable Systems. Founded by Ralph Roberts, the company quickly began growing through acquisitions of other cable franchises.
In 1969, American Cable Systems incorporated in Pennsylvania under the name Comcast Corporation. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Comcast steadily expanded its cable TV footprint by acquiring smaller cable companies across the United States.
Things really took off in the 1990s. Comcast went on an acquisition spree, snapping up media properties like E! Entertainment Television, The Golf Channel, and more. Then in 2001, Comcast stunned the industry with a $47 billion purchase of AT&T Broadband, which made them the largest cable company in the U.S. with over 22 million subscribers.
The huge AT&T Broadband deal gave Comcast extensive reach into major markets like Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, and Miami. It also gave them significant internet infrastructure. Moving into the 2000s, Comcast looked to expand beyond just providing television access.
In 2011, Comcast struck again with another massive acquisition – NBCUniversal. The deal gave Comcast full ownership of popular television and movie assets like NBC, Telemundo, USA Network, SyFy, Universal Studios, and more. At this point, it was clear that Comcast was so much more than just a cable company – it had become a diversified media and technology powerhouse.
Today, Comcast has grown into a telecom empire with 2021 annual revenues of $116 billion and over 56 million total customers.
Introducing Xfinity – A Friendlier Face for Comcast
Now, recall I mentioned Comcast had a poor reputation in the early 2000s for bad customer service? Well, in 2010 Comcast decided to rebrand its entire consumer business to help revitalize its image.
Thus, Xfinity was born. Xfinity became the new brand name under which Comcast offered internet service, cable TV packages, home phone, and home security monitoring to residential customers.
The goal with Xfinity was to showcase a fresher, more modern and customer-friendly face for Comcast‘s core services. Xfinity‘s stylish blue logo and fun advertising stood in stark contrast to Comcast‘s older, more corporate red logo and branding.
And for the most part, the Xfinity rebranding succeeded – customer satisfaction scores have risen over the past decade under the new name. While Comcast still struggles with public perception in some areas, Xfinity is generally seen as an improvement.
Now, let‘s break down exactly what Xfinity offers and how it differs from parent company Comcast.
Xfinity Services for Consumers
Xfinity handles all of Comcast‘s offerings targeted at everyday residential subscribers, spanning:
Xfinity Internet – Broadband cable internet service with speeds from 50 Mbps up to 1 Gbps, depending on your location. Top speeds of 6+ Gbps are available with fiber.
Xfinity Mobile – Cell phone service that uses Verizon‘s network combined with access to Comcast‘s network of over 20 million WiFi hotspots for data coverage.
Xfinity Home – Professionally installed home security systems with 24/7 monitoring. Packages include cameras, home automation, smoke/CO monitors and more.
Xfinity TV – Cable television packages with 1000+ channels, access to Peacock streaming, and the advanced X1 platform.
Xfinity Voice – Digital home phone service delivered over Comcast‘s fiber-backed network.
Bundling multiple Xfinity services together can offer a real value convenience for households. You can get just one bill covering your home internet, cable TV, and phone in a packaged price.
How Xfinity Compares to Comcast
While Xfinity provides services aimed at consumers, Comcast itself continues to handle the company‘s enterprise offerings:
Comcast Business – Provides cable TV, high-speed internet, and business phone solutions for SMBs, large enterprises, and multi-site deployments.
Comcast Enterprise Solutions – Private high-capacity fiber networks delivering up to 100 Gbps speeds for heavy bandwidth needs.
Comcast Web Services – Web hosting, cloud computing, and managed IT services tailored to businesses.
Comcast Labs – Develops emerging technologies like the Xfinity XFi Advanced Gateway modem/router.
NBCUniversal, Sky Group, Spectacor – Comcast‘s wide array of television, film, sports, and entertainment subsidiaries.
So in summary:
- Xfinity = Consumer packages and branding
- Comcast = Business product lines and company brand
This division allows Comcast to tailor its approach, pricing, and marketing appropriately between residential subscribers and business/enterprise accounts.
Now, let‘s take a deeper look at Xfinity‘s internet service plans specifically.
Xfinity Internet Plan Options and Pricing
Xfinity internet plans and pricing vary across the 40 states Comcast serves, but in general they offer the following speed tiers:
|Plan||Speed||Price per Month|
|Performance Starter||50 – 75 Mbps||$25 – $65|
|Performance||100 – 200 Mbps||$40 – $84|
|Performance Pro||200 – 400 Mbps||$60 – $92|
|Blast!||400 – 800 Mbps||$80 – $97|
|Extreme Pro||800 Mbps – 1 Gbps||$90 – $102|
|Gigabit||1 Gbps – 1.2 Gbps||$90 – $109|
|Gigabit Pro||2 Gbps – 6 Gbps||$300|
The exact monthly prices and maximum speeds depend on your area. Xfinity imposes a 1.2 TB data cap on most plans, with $10 overage fees for each additional 500 GB used.
Bundled packages with TV, home phone, and other services can offer a discount of roughly $20 per month. Equipment fees, activation fees, taxes, and other charges may also apply.
Additionally, be aware that Xfinity usually offers tempting promotional pricing for the first year that later jumps up significantly. Carefully read the fine print before signing any Xfinity contract.
Weighing the Pros and Cons of Xfinity Internet
Xfinity internet has its advantages – but it‘s not perfect. Here are some key pros and cons to consider if you‘re deciding between Xfinity and other providers:
Extensive coverage with service available in 40 states
Bundling options with TV and home phone can offer convenience
Wide range of speeds suitable for any household – up to 1 Gbps
Reliable cable internet backed by Comcast‘s large network
No data caps for the gigabit fiber plan
Monthly prices rise sharply after 1-2 year promotions expire
Customer satisfaction lags behind competitors like Verizon Fios
Data overage fees with 1.2 TB monthly data cap on most plans
Availability of faster fiber internet still limited in many regions
Poor rating for value given high prices and fees
According to 2021 data from Consumer Reports, Xfinity scored 65 out of 100 for overall customer satisfaction. Not terrible, but lagging behind alternatives like AT&T Fiber and Verizon Fios that earned scores in the 70s.
Pricing is also a common complaint about Xfinity‘s service. A 2022 study by Consumer‘s Checkbook examining major ISPs shows the average monthly bill for Xfinity is $85, notably higher than options like T-Mobile 5G Home Internet ($50/month) or Verizon Fios ($80/month).
Should You Choose Xfinity for Your Internet?
Xfinity can be a solid option for home internet if you want the convenience of bundling TV and phone with reliable broadband. The wide range of speeds offered makes it easy to find a plan suited for your household.
However, be sure to read Xfinity offers and contracts carefully. Promotional pricing expires quickly, meaning your bill could double after the first year. And many neighborhoods now have access to faster, cheaper fiber internet that‘s worth looking into.
I suggest researching all the internet providers available in your area before deciding. Look for any fiber, 5G home internet, or municipal broadband services in your area. Then compare factors like prices, speeds, data caps, and customer satisfaction ratings.
Choosing the right internet for your home is a big decision. Hopefully understanding the Comcast and Xfinity difference provides some guidance during your search! Let me know if you have any other questions.