Google Fiber vs. Xfinity: Which Internet Provider is Best For You?
Here’s how to choose between two of the fastest internet providers out there.
- Best speeds
- Customer Rating: 4.4/5*
- Price: $70.00–$100.00/mo.†
- Speed: 1,000–2,000 Mbps (1–2 Gbps)
- Internet type: Fiber
- Most options
- Customer rating: 3.7/5*
- Price: $30.00–$80.00/mo.‡
- Speed: 75–1,200 Mbps
- Internet type: Cable
Data as of 10/17/2022. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Based on our annual Customer Satisfaction Survey
†Terms and Conditions: Plus taxes and fees. Service not available in all areas. If you live in an apartment or condo, Google Fiber’s ability to construct and provide Fiber is subject to the continued agreement between Google Fiber and the property owner. Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual Internet speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc.
‡Excludes Xfinity Gigabit Pro (see below). For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
§Free for self-installation with standard shipping
Compare Google Fiber and Xfinity head to head
With its fast and reliable fiber-optic network, Google Fiber has pushed the limits of what customers expect from their internet service providers (ISP) since the first Google Fiber city was announced in 2011. But the catch is there’s a good chance it’s not available in your area. Xfinity’s sprawling cable network, on the other hand, makes it one of the largest and most available ISPs in the country. It’s also one of the fastest options in areas where fiber isn’t available, but its cable-based network is more prone to slowing during busy internet times than fiber is.
Plans and pricing: Google Fiber vs. Xfinity
Xfinity offers a much wider range of plan options than Google Fiber, which offers only two. If you’re looking for higher speeds, however, Google Fiber offers more speed for the monthly cost.
Google Fiber plans and pricing
|Google Fiber 1 Gig||$70.00/mo.||1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps)|
|Google Fiber 2 Gig||$100.00/mo.||2 Gbps (2,000 Mbps)|
Data as of 5/10/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Plus taxes and fees. Service not available in all areas. If you live in an apartment or condo, Google Fiber’s ability to construct and provide Fiber is subject to the continued agreement between Google Fiber and the property owner. Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual Internet speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc
Google Fiber offers incredibly fast speeds for a very reasonable price. Despite its limited availability, Google Fiber has had a huge impact nationwide, popularizing fiber home internet and pushing other ISPs to improve their services to keep up.1 It has only two options for plans, but both have straightforward pricing and offer a great value. The 2 Gbps plan isn’t available in all Google Fiber locations, but like the 1 Gbps plan, its availability is slowly expanding.
Xfinity plans and pricing
|Connect||$30.00/mo.*||75 Mbps||View Plan|
|Connect More||$40.00/mo.*||200 Mbps||View Plan|
|Fast||$55.00/mo.*||400 Mbps||View Plan|
|Superfast||$70.00/mo.*||800 Mbps||View Plan|
|Gigabit||$75.00/mo.*||1 Gbps||View Plan|
|Gigabit Extra||$80.00/mo.**||1,200 Mbps||View Plan|
Data as of 11/11/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement. Taxes and equipment not included. Regional price differences may apply.
**With a 2-year agreement.
Xfinity offers a wide variety of plans. Not every plan is available in every location, but most locations offer a range of plans from basic but affordable to fairly robust. While Xfinity’s plans do reach into the higher speeds, these tend to be more expensive than similar plans offered by Google Fiber.
Xfinity’s biggest advantage is its wide availability. Xfinity is one of the largest ISPs in the US, and because its entire network is based on cable connections, it can offer higher speeds and more reliable connections than ISPs that operate DSL networks.
Xfinity has a fiber-to-the-home plan for $299.99 per month, but Xfinity has barely dipped its toes into the world of fiber. While Xfinity boasts one of the largest cable networks in the US, it’s fiber footprint is less than 1% of that of Google Fiber’s, which means it’ss incredibly small, even compared to Google Fiber’s already limited availability.
Following Google Fiber’s introduction of its 2 Gigabit internet plan, Xfinity upped its max advertised download speed with the introduction of its Gigabit Pro plan, which has a max speed of 6,000 Mbps (6 Gbps) and once again placed the cable giant’s fiber plan in first place when it comes to speed. The catch is the plan has limited availability: you can get it only if you live in the Central region of Xfinity’s nationwide network. While we’re always excited when providers push to offer better speeds to their customers for the same price, it’s not yet clear if this is a sign that Xfinity is moving to invest in its fiber network in the same way that Google Fiber is.
In any case, Xfinity’s 6 Gbps fiber plan is also three times the price of Google Fiber’s 2 Gbps fiber plan, so even if you’re one of the few people who has access to Xfinity’s fiber network, we suggest going with a less expensive option.
Deals and promotions: Google Fiber vs. Xfinity
|Get the 1 Gig plan for $70 per month to have 1,000 Mbps speeds with no data caps and free installation.|
|Get gigabit internet and streaming for $50 a month when you add a qualifying unlimited mobile plan. No contract required and with a 2-year rate guarantee.|
|Get the Deal|
Extra fees: Google Fiber vs. Xfinity
|Equipment Fee||Installation Fee||Other Fees|
|Xfinity||Up to $15.00/mo.||Up to $125.00|
(Free for self-installation with standard shipping)
|$10.00 late payment fee|
$10.00/50 GB overage fee
$30.00/mo. for unlimited data
Data as of 9/7/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
While Xfinity offers many plans priced lower than Google Fiber’s, it does have equipment fees and upfront installation costs that cut into your savings. If you’re going with an Xfinity plan to save some money on your monthly bill, make sure you take fees into account so you don’t end up paying more for less. You can also purchase your own router to save on equipment rental fees.
Google Fiber doesn’t have any fees beyond your normal monthly bill, including late fees. The ISP gives you a free router and free installation when you sign up. If your outstanding balance is unpaid for more than 40 days, your account will be suspended.3 Fortunately, there are no additional fees to reinstate a suspended account, either. You just have to pay your remaining balance in full.
Customer ratings: Google Fiber vs. Xfinity
Based on our annual Customer Satisfaction Survey
Google Fiber blew larger nationwide internet providers out of the water in our annual customer satisfaction survey. When asked about the speed and reliability of their internet service, 97% of customers said that their internet “always” or “usually” meets their needs. Customers also rated Google Fiber also ranked well above other providers in customer service and price, proving that Google Fiber still lives up to the hype.
Although Xfinity’s scores are quite a bit lower than those given to Google Fiber, Xfinity was still one of the top performing providers on our survey when compared to other nationwide brands. Xfinity performed well in the categories of speed and reliability, coming in at the number one spot for speed among nationwide providers.
Internet types: Google Fiber vs. Xfinity
|Xfinity||Cable, Fiber||View Plans|
Google Fiber operates an all-fiber network, so you’re always going to get the same high speeds and reliable connection, no matter where you are.
Xfinity’s network mostly delivers cable internet, which gives you good download speeds with slower upload speeds. Xfinity also offers a fiber connections for it’s 6,000 Mbps plan that’s available in some locations, but the availability is extremely limited.
Data caps: Google Fiber vs. Xfinity
|Xfinity||1.2 TB–Unlimited||View Plans|
Google Fiber doesn’t have any data caps, which means you can use it as much as you need without worrying about throttled speeds or overage fees.
Xfinity cable plans have a data cap of 1.2 TB (1,200 GB) in most of its coverage areas except the Northeast region, where data caps have been delayed until 2022.2 This might seem like a lot of data to go through in a month, but a terabyte of data can go by surprisingly fast if you stream video on a regular basis.
If 1.2 TB isn’t enough monthly data for you, you can get unlimited data for an additional monthly fee of $30. Those who sign up for Xfinity’s rare Gigabit Pro fiber plan get unlimited data included, just like Google Fiber customers.
Contracts: Google Fiber vs. Xfinity
|Google Fiber||No contract|
|Xfinity||Up to 2 yrs.||View Plans|
Google Fiber doesn’t require a contract, so you simply pay on a month-to-month basis. Most Xfinity plans require a 12- or 24-month contract; however, it does offer no-contract internet plans as well if you don’t want to be locked in with one provider or think you might move soon.
Installation: Google Fiber vs. Xfinity
|Google Fiber||Free professional installation|
|Xfinity||$39.99 professional installation|
Free for self-installation with standard shipping
Google Fiber offers free professional installation to new customers, and its technicians do an amazing job, keeping all the cables neat and tidy.
Xfinity offers professional installation for $39.99, which is still a very low price. If you don’t want to pay even that much, Xfinity offers a free self-installation option as well, which it makes easy with an app that gives you step-by-step instructions.
Availability: Google Fiber vs. Xfinity
When it comes to availability, few ISPs can match Xfinity, which has a network that runs from coast to coast and covers over a third of the US population.4 Its reach doesn’t extend very far into rural areas, but if you live near a big city and have cable hookups at your house, there’s a good chance you have access to Xfinity internet.
Availability is the main weakness of Google Fiber. Its network is available in only a few Google Fiber cities, bringing access to less than 1% of the US population.4 Although its network is expanding, Google Fiber is still a relatively small ISP and faces an uphill battle when it comes to increasing its coverage.
Final call: Google Fiber vs. Xfinity
If you have access to both Google Fiber and Xfinity in your area, we recommend going with Google Fiber to get the most speed and reliability for the cost. Those with very basic internet needs might save some money by going with a cheaper Xfinity plan, but be aware of extra fees and potential contracts so you don’t end up paying more for less.
Our HighSpeedInternet.com editorial team bases our analyses on customer input from our annual customer satisfaction survey, results from our speed test tool, and proprietary internet provider data on speeds and pricing. To strengthen our research, we look closely at provider contracts to get hard-to-find information on price hikes, data caps, and extra fees, and we keep tabs on the latest news reports and online reviews. When applicable, we also rely on our personal experiences testing these services.
- Blair Levin and Larry Downes, Harvard Business Review, “Why Google Fiber Is High-Speed Internet’s Most Successful Failure,” September 7, 2018. Accessed May 10, 2021.
- Comcast. “We’re Giving Our Northeast Customers More Time,” February 18, 2021. Accessed August 5, 2021.
- Google Fiber Help. “Pay Your Outstanding Balance.” Accessed August 5, 2021.
- Federal Communications Commission. “Fixed Broadband Deployment,” June 2020. Accessed August 5, 2021.
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. HighSpeedInternet.com utilizes paid Amazon links.
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Xfinity Deal: $30 internet + streaming disclaimers
Disclaimer for Xfinity Fast internet deal w/ mobile
* Limited time offer. Restrictions apply. Not available in all areas. Limited to Fast Internet for new customers. Pricing requires enrollment in both automatic payments and paperless billing. Mobile discount limited to new Xfinity Mobile customers. Xfinity Mobile requires residential post-pay Xfinity Internet. xFi Gateway, Unlimited Data and Flex device included for 24 mos. Additional devices extra. After 24 mos. regular rates apply to all services and devices. Streaming subscriptions not included. All devices must be returned when service ends.
For Xfinity Mobile Broadband Disclosures visit: www.xfinity.com/mobile/policies/broadband-disclosures. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee applies to one month’s recurring service and standard installation charges up to $500. ©2022 Comcast. All rights reserved.
Author - Peter Christiansen
Peter Christiansen writes about satellite internet, rural connectivity, livestreaming, and parental controls for HighSpeedInternet.com. Peter holds a PhD in communication from the University of Utah and has been working in tech for over 15 years as a computer programmer, game developer, filmmaker, and writer. His writing has been praised by outlets like Wired, Digital Humanities Now, and the New Statesman.
Editor - Cara Haynes
Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for HighSpeedInternet.com for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.