In the internet service industry, there will always be competition among various companies. The US market is flooded with internet service providers, all competing for customers in different states. The fact is, no internet company wants to be left lagging behind.
While we are talking about competition, the latest battle for the best internet service is between Xfinity and Google fiber. Google fiber may be a new player in this war, but it’s definitely giving its rival, Xfinity sleepless nights. Xfinity, on the other hand, will not sit still and watch this newcomer take over its customer base.
This article will take you through how each one of these internet service providers compares in terms of internet speeds, prices, value for money, availability, and customer reviews.
Xfinity, or otherwise referred to as Comcast Xfinity, is a renowned internet service provider in the US market. Xfinity is a brand name for the internet service from Comcast. This also includes telephone and cable TV for those who would like to get bundled services. With that in mind, there is a good reason why this company is among the leading internet providers in the whole of the US. It all has something to do with its reliable and fast internet.
Google fiber is basically the new ISP in town. The service was launched officially back in 2010 but took about two years to get live. In spite of this company being fairly new in the market, it has taken the industry by storm. We all know Google as a tech giant, but no one expected it would venture into internet service. This has left some people wondering whether Alphabet (the parent company) only meant to disrupt the internet service world and force companies to provide faster and cheaper internet. If this is true, consumers will be smiling to the bank.
Google Fiber means business, and the main reason it has garnered so much popularity is its super-fast fiber optic internet. Furthermore, its fast internet comes at quite an affordable price that a number of ISPs had to up their game or pack up and go home.
Availability and Service Coverage
There has been a bit of an outcry concerning the Google fiber limited coverage area. Some people think that the company is taking too long to expand its service. Currently, its fiber-optic service is fully accessible in only about 11 states. The greatest coverage is in Texas, Missouri, and Kansas. In addition, the fiber internet is available to approximately 2.2 million US residents.
The coverage area for Xfinity is quite large. It serves about 40 states in the US, with a customer base of more than 20 million people. The company has coverage in California, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, New York, Utah, Texas, Virginia, Michigan, and Minnesota, among many others. When you look at the numbers, its crystal clear Xfinity has greater coverage and higher customer bandwidth compared to that of Google Fiber. In this criterion, Goggle fiber has a long way to go if its aim is to reach the customer bandwidth of Xfinity and other large ISPs.
How do the internet speeds compare?
So, how do these two internet companies compare in terms of internet speeds? Both Xfinity and Google fiber offer gigabit speeds. Google fiber may boast of a hundred times faster fiber internet, but there is one thing that will harden your heart, especially if you love speed. The Google fiber high-speed internet goes as far as 1,000 Mbps. Meanwhile, Xfinity emerges with 2,000 Mbps fiber internet speeds. Watch this space!
Xfinity provides a variety of speeds to its customers. This is probably because the company delivers both cable and fiber internet. The customers who don’t really need high internet speeds or those with average usage can go for the 200 Mbps, or 300 Mbps download speeds. There are even lower-tier speeds, such as 60 Mbps and 25 Mbps. This means that you pay for the kind of internet you actually require. People often pay for gigabit internet only to realize they don’t need that much.
Google fiber focuses on exclusive fiber internet. Without a doubt, fiber-optic is the top of the cream if it’s about the fastest internet service. In spite of such ludicrous speeds, Goggle fiber provides very limited options. The company doesn’t match up to the myriad of options that Xfinity offers its customers. Once again, Xfinity leaves Google fiber in the dust and comes out strong with its 2 Gig speeds and a wide array of other speed options.
Bundle services how do they compare?
The Xfinity bundle services include internet, cable TV, and unlimited home phone calls. There are lots of bundles, and the customers are allowed to mix and match according to their specific needs. Basically, Xfinity consists of a double play, triple play and quad bundles. The double play bundle packages comprise of cable TV plus internet or phone plus internet. On the other hand, the triple play bundle packages comprise of phone service, internet, and TV. The good thing about the Xfinity triple play bundle is that it comes with the DVR functionality. Additionally, this company does its very best to provide unique channel lineups to keep you entertained.
Google fiber also understands that customers nowadays prefer an all in one package. However, their less is more policy does not work well here. Initially, customers had an opportunity to enjoy phone and TV service together with Google fiber internet. However, earlier in the year, the company announced that it would no longer provide cable TV to the new customers. Instead, the new customers can opt to bundle broadband with YouTube TV.
Currently, there is an ongoing revolution where more and more people are cutting the cord (doing away with cable TV) and opting for live streaming services. This is a smart move from Google fiber because many people now watch TV online. Google fiber’s YouTube TV provides over seventy live TV channels at a price of $50 per month. Aside from this, the company has decided to partner with FuboTV, which is basically a live sports service. This is for the customers who would like more sports channels, and these may not necessarily be available on YouTube TV.
Google fiber customers can also decide to add a home phone to their internet plans. This costs $10 a month and includes notable features such as unlimited nationwide calls. All said and done; both companies compare favorably in bundle services. Xfinity offers a couple of speed options and great channel lineups. You won’t miss out on your best TV shows or games. However, if you want to save some bucks, you’ll have to sign a two-year contract that attracts a heft early termination fee. On the other hand, the no-term contract will cost you an additional $10 a month. It’s up to you to decide which way to go.
But the best bundle package depends on the users and their needs. Some might want faster internet with basic TV channels or a cost-saving package. Other people are not fond of cable TV and will be thrilled by the Google fiber’s streaming service. For that reason, I will have to announce both providers as winners.
Comparing Xfinity and Google fiber Customer service
It’s quite difficult for internet service providers to win over their customers in terms of customer service completely. There is no one ISPs that do not have some negative feedback on customer support. This makes me ask myself if there is something the providers can do to ensure the customers are mostly happy and satisfied.
Unlike other internet providers, Xfinity seems to be actually taking customer complaints seriously. According to the 2019 report by American Customer Satisfaction Index, Xfinity scored 61/100 points. For an ISP, this is impressive but the company ought to aim higher. I decided to delve deeper and find out what people are saying about the Xfinity service.
On top of the list of complaints is constant service interruptions and oblivious customer service reps. There is this one particular user who points out that he works from home for three days in a week. He adds, each one of these times the internet drops intermittently throughout the day. Another customer claims to have been calling the company for over a month and they haven’t offered a viable solution to his issues. Apparently, the internet shuts down after every 20 minutes and the customer service has not helped him in any way.
Google fiber has a fairly good customer service reputation. Many of the customers are happy about its straightforward plans and transparent pricing. This is commendable since it’s a new company in the ISP industry. Google fiber puts everything on the table. There is no such thing as complicated price structures where you have to read the fine print to actually discover some of the hidden charges. However, there is not a day you will miss customer service complaints and Fiber is no exception.
There are plenty of unhappy customers who signed up with the Google Fiber service. The main complaints involve faulty installation kits, lower speeds than what’s paid for, outages and billing issues. For instance, there is a customer who claims to have paid for the Fiber 1,000 plan only to receive download speeds as low as 9 mbps. A number of customers have also experienced installation issues. I came across a user complaining that the tech team drilled an extra hole in his wall and left it that way. He raised the issue and was supposed to receive credit but that never happened.
It all doesn’t end here. If you took the time, you will definitely encounter more horrific experiences with these internet providers. Majority of the users attest to it that the Fiber customer service reps are quite friendly but equally unhelpful. Xfinity too has its own fair share of positive and negative reviews. All in all, it’s typical for the internet providers to have a myriad of unhappy users. At this point, i think both companies offer comparatively decent customer service.
Monthly cost, data allowance and value for money
The monthly cost depends on the preferred type of internet and usage. Xfinity provides a variety of internet plans to its users. As a matter of fact, the plans start with download speeds of 25 mbps at a cost of about $30 a month. Well, it’s not everyone who wants light speed internet. Some people only require low speed internet for simple tasks such as browsing the web and reading emails. The fact that Xfinity offers different plans to suit the needs of various users makes their internet service great and affordable to most. Though, cable is not always reliable and tends to slow down during the peak hours. It might also get affected by harsh weather.
When comparing Xfinity and Google fiber head to head, the fiber internet plans come into play. The Xfinity 1Gig plan costs about $90 per month. Keep in mind, the prices vary with location and there is a possibility of paying more than this. On the other hand, the Google fiber 1Gig plan costs only $70 and there is nothing like varying prices. With that said, Fiber may lack the cable plans but the company provides the cheapest high speed fiber-optic internet. If you are a tec, this should certainly light you up.
The truth is nobody likes a data cap. Think of it this way; you are in the middle of streaming your favorite show when a notification suddenly appears. You check and realize it’s a warning you’re about to reach a data limit. If you detest data caps, then Google fiber is the best available option to go for. This provider offers unlimited data for all of its fiber internet plans. Therefore, you can stream HD videos and download large files with no worries of depleting your data.
Xfinity also offers unlimited data, but with only the fiber plans. All the cable plans consist of a capped monthly data allowance. However, this shouldn’t put you down. The Xfinity monthly data allowance is set at 1TB a month. This is more than enough data to stream high quality videos, gaming, browse the web and do just about any online activity with ease. Most of the time, you will rarely surpass this limit. In case you do, expect to pay an extra $10 for every 50GB of additional data used.
In my opinion, majority of the users prefer unlimited data. The Xfinity 1TB data allowance is pretty huge but there is a possibility of exceeding this limit. Think of a household with about four people all of whom love streaming shows and movies. But with Google Fiber, you not only receive high internet speeds but also unlimited data for endless streaming and gaming.
Is it worth the money?
When I am looking for a reliable ISP, the first thing I check is the value for money. People spend lots of money paying for internet service, and sometimes they don’t get what they’re paying for. An internet company should offer some discounts and deals to its customers. Remember, some customers need a stable internet without paying a fortune. Others are just on a strict budget.
Xfinity offers the price lock guarantee, which lasts for 12 months. You have to sign a 1-year contract to receive this privilege. A price lock means the monthly bills for your internet plan will remain constant for the twelve-month period while this is a good thing for the customers; it’s short-lived. As a matter of fact, this is only promotional, and you are bound to experience price hikes once the lock period is over.
Google fiber also has great and money-saving offers for its new customers. Unlike Xfinity, there is no such thing as price hikes or hidden charges. The prices for the internet plans are transparent and clearly laid out for the customers. Furthermore, Google fiber provides free equipment to its customers. After signing up, you receive a modem and fiber jack. The installation is also free in most cases unless there is extra work to be done. If the value for money and monthly costs are a concern, you are way better off with Google fiber. There are no questions about this.
Pros and Cons
- There is the option to go for a no-contract service.
- The internet service is available in most parts of the US.
- A variety of bundle options
- Reliable and fast internet speeds
- A variety of internet plans
- The prices tend to change with the locations
- Unresponsive customer service
- Price hikes after the promotional period
- Lots of hidden charges and fees
- Low upload speeds
- Data caps
Google fiber pros
- Unlimited data, hence there are no data caps
- A fast internet network (fiber-optic)
- Affordable prices
- Simple monthly contracts
- No hidden fees and sudden price hikes
- Straightforward internet plans
- An early termination fee does not exist here
- Free professional installation most of the time
- The company offers a free installation kit which includes all the required equipment
Google fiber cons
- Very limited coverage (available in only 18 states in the US)
- Lacks a variety of internet plan options
- Fewer bundle options
- Not suitable for those in search of low-speed internet for simple tasks
- The customer service reps are not helpful in providing viable solutions to the customers
Xfinity and Google fiber are just among the many ISPs in the US market. Cox is one of the providers which seem to be giving Xfinity and Google fiber a run for their money. This private owned company has been operating for over 50 years now. For this reason, it gets the credit for having experience on what the customers want. It mainly offers cable, as well as fiber internet in a few select areas. Cox is one of the few ISPs that provide reliable internet at modest prices.
Another great competitor is CenturyLink. It provides quite impressive speeds suitable for all types of users. Those in need of gigabit speeds are not left behind either. CenturyLink offers fiber internet with download speeds as high as 940mbps at only about $65 a month. The juicy part is their Price for Life Guarantee that beats the Xfinity 12 month price lock, pants down.
The list of competitors is not complete without Verizon Fios on it. Google fiber and Xfinity may offer high speed fiber internet, but Verizon Fios is hot on their heels. For starters, Verizon not only offers fast connections but also symmetrical speeds. This is something you will not find with a provider such as Xfinity.
Frequently asked questions
Does Google fiber include wifi?
Yes, you can opt to get wifi together with the Google fiber internet. However, you will need a Google wifi device or router to set up wifi. The Google wifi device is given to the customers for free. Though, the equipment should be returned once you cancel the fiber service.
What does Xfinity charge for internet only?
The internet only package prices start from as little as $20 per month all the way to $70 per month. The most expensive is the 2Gig plan that costs up to about $300 a month. Remember the prices tend to vary with different locations.
Is Verizon fios better than Xfinity?
Verizon fios has the fastest network (fiber-optic). It provides high speed internet at reasonable prices. Furthermore, the Fios internet is reliable and comes with quality connections ideal for multiple users. On the other hand, Xfinity offers a 2Gig plan that consists of the fastest speeds around.
Bottom line: who is the best internet provider?
It’s no secret Google fiber has the least availability between the two providers. However, this ISP comes with its own juicy peaks. No lengthy contracts, free equipment, affordable internet and reliably fast connections just to mention a few. With that said, Xfinity is also on top of its game with incredibly fast speeds (2 gigabits) and a wide array of plans for all kinds of users.