CenturyLink vs Comcast Xfinity Internet

McCall Martin
McCall Martin | Senior Editor
CenturyLink and Xfinity have a lot in common as ISPs. As direct competitors in several areas, they have to consistently improve to at least match (if not exceed) the other provider's service. Because of this, the two share some similarities.

Comcast Xfinity and CenturyLink are prolific U.S. providers with a large coverage area. Xfinity covers 39 states and CenturyLink offers some coverage in all 50.

Both have some of the most affordable high speed plans in the industry, with fast download and upload speeds offered particularly in urban areas. Not every U.S. customer has access to multiple high speed service providers, so count yourself lucky that you have a choice between two of the best ranked.

Xfinity and CenturyLink both offer multiple connection types with some great bundling options. You have a range of broadband services available from them, and if you live in an urban area, you may even have access to Xfinity or CenturyLink fiber. Both competitors allow customers the option to bundle phone or TV service with their internet packages. In most cases, bundling with phone and cable gets you a better deal on all three.

As popular providers with widespread service, they are also more susceptible to customer criticism. A small provider that services a single ZIP code may only have a handful of negative reviews, but a large ISP serving customers nationwide is more likely to have complaints. Keep this in mind when viewing our company comparison, and read on to see a more in-depth breakdown of the two service providers. 
CenturyLink logo
#13 CenturyLink
4.6 Overall Score
3.2
star star star star_border star_border
(813)
Comcast Xfinity Internet logo
#4 Comcast Xfinity Internet
7.0 Overall Score
3.3
star star star star_half star_border
(1,927)

Overview

CenturyLink

Monthly Price

Varies

Minimum Contract Length

No Contracts

Time in Business

56 Years

Comcast Xfinity Internet

$39.99

12 months

61 Years

Ratings

CenturyLink

Overall Score
4.6 of 10
Review Score
3.2
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Value for Money
2.8
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Quality of Product or Service
2.6
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Company Trustworthiness
2.7
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Likely to Recommend
3.8 of 10

Comcast Xfinity Internet

7.0 of 10
3.3
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3.0
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3.4
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3.1
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5.4 of 10

Reviews

CenturyLink

Number of Reviews
813
Review Breakdown
3.2
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1 star
38%
2 star
11%
3 star
18%
4 star
17%
5 star
17%

Comcast Xfinity Internet

1,927
3.3
star star star star_half star_border
1 star
21%
2 star
10%
3 star
17%
4 star
22%
5 star
30%

Reviews for CenturyLink

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star star

Joseph A. Giallanza

December 8th, 2023

DETAILS

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Review Source

I had Century Link for years In Arcadia, Florida and never had a single issue with the company. If there ever was downtime, it was resolved immediately, and their customer service was the best! I'm in Daytona Beach, now and they aren't available here. I hope they read this review and answer my prayers that will provide service, because what we have here now "really stinks!"

Helpful Critical Review

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

tfd1949

March 31st, 2024

DETAILS

WHILE RESIDING IN ARIZONA AND USED CENTURY LINK FOR 7 YEARS. THE WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE COMPANY I'VE EVER DEALT WITH. CALLING FOR INFORMATION OR WITH A PROBLEM, I WAS PASSED AROUND ON EVERY CALL. MY LOCATION WAS SPLIT IN TWO FOR MANAGERIAL REASONS. THE WEST WOULD PASS ME TO ANOTHER DIVISION AND BACK IN FORTH UNTIL I WAS CONNECTED TO SOMEONE IN MY AREA . WHILE TRAVELING BACK TO PA, SOMEONE CANCELED MY CONTRACT. MANY CALLS AND THEY WOULD NOT REINSTATE MY CONTRACT.....MANY CALLS ATTEMPTING TO RESOLVE THEIR MISTAKE.

Reviews for Comcast Xfinity Internet

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star_border star_border

Delaney Rose Fisher

March 14th, 2024

DETAILS

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Review Source

Xfinity often has connectivity issues, and it can be difficult to reach a real customer service representative. There was also confusion about returning equipment which they claimed I was allowed to keep.

Helpful Critical Review

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Joseph Harris

April 19th, 2024

DETAILS

I cancel my Account over 30 days ago and still fighting with them to get over 200 dollar credit refunding back to me. There auto answering system is the Worst There customer service is the worst. They over charge and customer loyal dose not exist. Do not do business with this company!

The Final Word

As you might have noticed in the side-by-side comparison, CenturyLink and Comcast Xfinity have a wealth of differences.

They seem to share low customer scores, but keep in mind that customer scores are relatively low industry-wide. In CenturyLink’s specific case, its coverage area could be the reason for numerous one-star reviews. CenturyLink specializes in serving rural areas, which are unlikely to receive a high speed connection in the United States. 

As a result, more users have cause to complain about unreliable speeds and connection. Users in urban areas who can connect to CenturyLink fiber might have a more positive experience. Keep in mind, however, that despite CenturyLink’s large coverage area, the provider is the third largest in the United States, while Xfinity is the largest despite less surface area covered.

While both share some common customer service complaints, Xfinity is slightly less likely to have complaints of delivering lower-than-advertised speeds. For those prioritizing reliable internet, Xfinity could be the winner.

However, Xfinity has less of an edge with its contract. CenturyLink offers an internet Price for Life guarantee that will lock in your rate, and the company charges by the month. For those who move frequently and for customers who are wary of ISP contracts with cancellation fees and rising rates, CenturyLink may have the more appealing plan.

The better provider can also depend on your desired download speeds and price. Xfinity’s cheapest plan is $29.99 per month for 15 mbps. CenturyLink’s cheapest is $45 per month for 20 mbps. If you prioritize a plan with the fastest possible connection, Xfinity tops off at 2,000 mbps for $299.95; CenturyLink caps at 1,000 mbps. For 2,000 mbps, you could stream on dozens of devices to your heart’s content, but it will likely be overkill for the average household.

If you’re more inclined to a modest 1,000 mbps of internet, Xfinity is $70 per month and CenturyLink is $65. This is why the fastest and cheapest plans can be deceiving; consumers will likely settle with something in the middle, and sometimes CenturyLink offers a better rate.

Lastly, you might be juggling the issue of data caps. CenturyLink has 1 TB data caps on most plans (besides for business owners and users on a 1,000 mbps plan). Meanwhile, Xfinity caps everyone out at 1 TB regardless of plan.

The ISP of your dreams will depend on what you prioritize. For high speeds that deliver consistently, you may prefer Xfinity Comcast. For consistent pricing and an affordable 1,000 mbps, you might opt for CenturyLink service.

Top Choice

Comcast Xfinity Internet Logo
Comcast Xfinity Internet

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