CenturyLink vs. Xfinity: Which Internet Provider Is Best for You?

We compare two major internet providers on price, contracts, and extra perks.

HighSpeedteck.com uses our proprietary data and expert insights to compare these internet service titans.

Best for variety

Xfinity Internet plans
    • Price: $34.99–$299.95/mo.
    • Speed: 25–2,000 Mbps
    • Internet type: Cable, fiber
    • Data cap: 1.2 TB
    • Contract: 1–2 years, month-to-month options

Best for inexpensive fiber

affordable connectivity program centurylink CenturyLink internet plans Get internet, TV and home phone lines from CenturyLink. Bundle packages and save! CenturyLink Plans and Packages | HighSpeedteck.com
    • Price: $50.00–$65.00/mo.
    • Speed: 1–940 Mbps
    • Internet type: DSL, fiber
    • Data cap: Unlimited
    • Contract: Month to month
affordable connectivity program centurylink CenturyLink internet plans Get internet, TV and home phone lines from CenturyLink. Bundle packages and save! CenturyLink Plans and Packages | HighSpeedteck.com


  • No data caps
  • Fiber Gigabit plan
  • No contracts


  • Inconsistent DSL speeds for same price
  • Limited fiber availability
Xfinity Internet plans


  • Excellent speeds
  • Wide availability
  • Cheap deals


  • Annual contracts
  • Limited availability on fastest plans

Plans and pricing: Xfinity vs. CenturyLink

One big difference between these two providers is choice. Xfinity has many plans that give you a lot of options, while CenturyLink has more simplified offerings that make picking a plan easier.

Xfinity boasts a glorious buffet of cable internet plans, all of which vary in speed and price—you can get a cheap and relatively slow plan, a pricey gigabit plan, or something in between. CenturyLink has only two packages to offer, including a gigabit fiber plan that’s excellent and fairly priced but available only in select areas.

Let’s take a gander to see more about what kinds of speeds, prices, and internet types you can get from both of these providers.

Pro tip:

Take our speed test to see what kind of internet bandwidth you’re getting on your current plan. Does this speed work well for you, or would you prefer something faster? Use your speed-test results as a base of comparison to decide which plan works best.

CenturyLink plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedConnection type 
CenturyLink Fiber Internet$65.00/mo.*Up to 940 Mbps†FiberView Plan
Simply Unlimited Internet$50.00/mo.**Up to 100 MbpsDSLView Plan

If CenturyLink’s fiber plan is available in your area, we definitely recommend going for that. Fiber-optic internet is incredibly fast and reliable, and CenturyLink offers its fiber plan at a very fair price. You can also get gigabit upload speeds on that plan, which aren’t available on even the fastest Xfinity plans. So you’ll have excellent performance for a wide range of activities, including upload-heavy tasks like attending Zoom meetings, uploading files to cloud servers, and hosting livestreams.

The catch is that fiber internet is available only to a minority of CenturyLink’s customers. If you can’t get fiber, you’ll have to stick with the Simply Unlimited Internet plan, which gives you unlimited data (yay!) but isn’t nearly as fast. It runs over DSL—basically the copper wiring of your landline phone. While 100 Mbps is the max advertised speed, your speeds could end up being much lower. In that case, Xfinity can get you faster speeds at a cheaper price.

Want to know if Xfinity or CenturyLink are in your area? Put in your zip code below to find out.

Deals and promotions: Xfinity vs. CenturyLink


Xfinity Deal: $30 Internet + Streaming

Get Xfinity internet and streaming for as low as $30/mo. when you add a regularly priced Xfinity Mobile plan (starting at $45/mo.). Plus, get extra perks like unlimited data and no-cost equipment for plans with speeds 300 Mbps and above.

Available through 2022

PlanSpeedPriceBundle Discount 
Connect50 Mbps$30/mo.$10Order Online
Connect More100 Mbps$40/mo.$10Order Online
Fast*300 Mbps$50/mo.$20Order Online
Superfast**600 Mbps$65/mo.$25Order Online
Ultrafast**900 Mbps$70/mo.$25Order Online
Gigabit Extra**1200 Mbps$80/mo.$30Order Online

See disclaimers at the bottom of the page.

Extra fees: Xfinity vs. CenturyLink

 Equipment FeeInstallation FeeOther Fees
Xfinity$14.00/mo.Free (self-install), $39.99 (pro install)$10/mo. (early termination), $10 per 50 GB of data you go over on data cap, $10 (late payment)
CenturyLink$15.00/mo.$15.00–$99.00 (free for fiber gigabit), $85.00 (phone jack install)Late payment is $5 or a percentage of your total bill

Like pretty much all internet providers, Xfinity and CenturyLink sometimes tack a few extra charges onto the bill. You can rent a modem and router from either of these providers. The rental fees are pretty standard in both cases, but you can save some dough and get better features if you buy your own router. We’ve got more deets on the best routers farther down on this page.

One thing we like here is that there are no early termination fees on CenturyLink plans like there are with Xfinity plans. CenturyLink doesn’t have annual commitments on any of its plans, so you can cancel any time without facing financial penalties. With Xfinity, on the other hand, you pay $10 per month for every month you have remaining on your contract if you leave before your contract’s up.

Pro tip:

Xfinity and CenturyLink both offer regular promotions and deals that help you shave costs off your bill when you first sign up. Take a look at our best internet deals page for a breakdown of the latest ways to save.

Customer ratings: Xfinity vs. CenturyLink

 Overall RatingReliability RatingCustomer Service RatingSpeed RatingPrice Rating

Xfinity and CenturyLink both got below-average ratings in our annual customer satisfaction survey. Compared to 10 other major internet providers, they rank towards the bottom in all categories—but there are some bright spots if you look closer at the data from our survey.

While Xfinity got low ratings for speed, an impressive 87% of Xfinity’s customers reported that their internet speeds usually or always met their household’s needs. That’s actually above average compared to what customers said about other providers.

The discrepancy may have to do with frustrations surrounding the COVID-19 lockdown. With customers spending more time at home, they may have wanted more out of their cable internet (even when it still performs well).

CenturyLink’s fiber customers also reported much higher scores compared to its DSL customers. Although the internet provider rated just 3.4 for reliability, fiber customers specifically gave CenturyLink a much more solid 3.7 reliability rating.

And while CenturyLink gets low ratings on price, 56% of CenturyLink’s customers told us in our survey that they haven’t experienced unexpected price hikes or hidden fees. That’s probably a result of CenturyLink’s Price for Life offer on DSL plans (although that offer was sadly discontinued for new customers in 2021).

Best TV and internet bundles

PackageInternet speedTV channelsPriceDetails
Premier Pro Plus Double Play1,000 Mbps205+$129.99/mo.*View Plan
Super Double Play with Blast Internet800 Mbps245+$139.99/mo.View Plan

CenturyLink doesn’t have any bundle deals, but Xfinity has a bunch of bundle options—understandable, given that it’s a cable company.

Bundling your TV and internet together is a great way to lower your monthly fee and reap benefits from discounts and promotions. You can also often tailor your bundle package for a specific purpose—giving you extra channels for movies or sports, or a lower price for slower internet speeds.

We love Xfinity’s Premier Pro Plus Double Play and Super Double Play with Blast Internet bundle packages because they both come with powerful speeds and a ton of channels. The prices are fairly reasonable for what you get, and both also come with a Visa® prepaid card, a Netflix subscription, and DVR service.

Internet types: Xfinity vs. CenturyLink

 Internet typeDetails
XfinityCable, fiberView Plan
CenturyLinkFiber, DSLView Plan

Xfinity offers cable internet. Cable runs over the same coaxial wiring as cable TV. It’s really fast, widely available, and very reliable. You can also technically get fiber through Xfinity with its Gigabit Pro plan, but that plan has extremely low availability.

CenturyLink offers both DSL and fiber internet. Fiber-optic internet is the best kind of internet you can get—it’s even faster than cable, capable of delivering gigabit upload speeds as well as download speeds. But it’s also the rarest internet out there, so you’re much more likely to find cable or DSL internet in your area.

DSL runs over copper landline telephone wiring. It hits max speeds of 100 Mbps, although usually speeds are much slower. It works fine, but it’s not very fast, so avoid it if you share your Wi-Fi with lots of people, plan to attend lots of Zoom meetings, or want to stream movies in 4K.

Data caps: Xfinity vs. CenturyLink

 Data CapDetails 
Xfinity1.2 TB$10 per 50 GBView Plan
CenturyLinkUnlimitedN/AView Plan

Xfinity has a data cap of 1.2 TB on all of its plans, including its gigabit plans—which is a bummer, since most internet providers offer unlimited data on their gigabit packages. If you go over your cap, you’ll get one month with no charges. After that you’ll have 50 GB and a $10 charge automatically added to your account. Or you can pay $30 per month for unlimited data.

CenturyLink has no data caps at all on any of its plans. We really like that about CenturyLink—it means you can use as much internet as you want without worrying about extra charges.

Contracts: Xfinity vs. CenturyLink

 Contract lengthDetails
Xfinity1–2 yrs.; month-to-month options for $10 more per monthView Plans
CenturyLinkMonth to monthView Plans

Xfinity has annual contracts for many of its plans. So if you have to cancel your plan before your contract is up, you’ll need to pay $10 in early termination fees (ETFs) for every month left on your annual commitment. You can sign up for a plan with no annual requirement, but it costs $10 extra per month—so you’re forking over that $10 per month either way.

That’s not the case with CenturyLink, which doesn’t have annual commitments on any of its plans. You don’t need to worry about ETFs with CenturyLink, which adds a bit more incentive to sign up for a CenturyLink plan.

Installation: Xfinity vs. CenturyLink

 Installation optionsDetails
Xfinity-Self-install kit: Free ($29.95 for priority shipping)
-Self Install Plus: $39.99
View Plans
CenturyLink-Standard installation kit: $15.00 (free with gigabit fiber internet)
-Pro install: $99.00
-Phone jack install: $85.00
View Plans

Xfinity and CenturyLink both offer standard or self-installation. They’ll mail you a kit, and you just plug everything in. If you need more help, you can have a professional come to your house and install everything (Xfinity calls this Self Install Plus).

CenturyLink may require professional installation in some cases, like if you’re ordering a fiber plan and don’t have fiber wiring installed in your house already.

Pro tip:

Not sure how to install your new internet service? No problem—we’ll walk you through the process in our guide to Xfinity installation or our guide to CenturyLink installation.

Availability: Xfinity vs. CenturyLink

Xfinity and CenturyLink both have huge footprints nationwide. The former is available in 41 states, while the latter is in 36—and there’s a lot of overlap between the two. Use our zip code search tool below to see if either of these providers are available in your area.