The pandemic accelerated long-term trends when it comes to cord-cutting, and led to many people ditching cable but continuing to pay for the Internet. However, this new paradigm also led to consumers realizing how important it was to have fast and reliable Internet.
Two of the market leaders, when it comes to that, are Verizon and Comcast's Internet offerings- now available, at least in part of the country, in gigabit form. Which is better? It depends on what you’re looking for, and on who you ask, and in some cases where you are in the country.
According to CNET, both are very fast and leave their customers very satisfied. Comcast is available in much more of the country, and the two companies only directly compete with each other in the Northeastern United States. A separate CNET analysis published earlier this month, granted Xfinity its title for “fastest Internet speeds,” while noting that Gigabit Pro plan is “highly limited.” The even more limited Google Fiber was named the “best 2-gigabit internet plan,” while Fios was the choice for “best internet customer satisfaction.”
“Thanks to its excellent download speeds and customer service, we recommend Verizon Fios Home Internet if you can get it. But Xfinity internet is still a great choice despite a lackluster reputation—and it’s more likely available in your area.”
Broadband Now also offered a side-by-side comparison of the two services, on everything from price to speed to features to installation to equipment fees, to data caps (Verizon has none.) Fios is also known for having faster upload speeds than its competitors, Comcast included.
The site also looked at overall performance.
“Verizon Fios offers fiber service in 10 states and to approximately 35.8 million people, which makes them the 2nd largest provider of fiber internet in the United States,” Broadband Now said. “With download speeds varying between 200-940 Mbps, Verizon Fios offers bundle and triple play plans that provide customers with the option to pair their fiber-based internet service with their Fios TV, YouTube TV, digital voice phone plan, and the Verizon Protect Home plan which offers WiFi security and online threat protection. Verizon Fios also offers unlimited data and does not require a contract agreement with any of its plans.”
“With lightning-fast speeds up to 2000 Mbps, Xfinity is the largest cable provider in the nation—offering service to 111.6 million people. They also provide fiber-based broadband internet service to around 18,000 customers, which also ranks them as one of the largest fiber providers. Like Verizon Fios, Xfinity provides multiple bundled plan options, which include home security, TV and/or phone services—known as Xfinity X1.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.