If you are looking to level up your home internet, it’s time to think outside the box. Comcast is a tried and trusted cable internet service provider (ISP) for millions of Americans, but mobile operator Verizon is going off-road with its new 5G Home Internet service which will make you think again about the relationship you want to have with an ISP.
In this article, we compare Comcast and Verizon with a thorough breakdown of the internet services you can get from these two providers so that evaluating which company will be the best fit for your home internet is much easier.
Let’s dive right in!
Comcast vs. Verizon: A Side-by-Side Comparison
|Comcast||Verizon 5G Home Internet|
|What is it?||Cable and fiber internet service provider (ISP)||Mobile internet service provider (ISP)|
|Primary Use||Broadband internet access||Broadband internet access|
|Influential Developers||Dave Brown (CEO of Xfinity)|
Dana Strong (Xfinity Consumer Services President)
Matthew Strauss (Xfinity Services)
|Hans Vestberg (CEO)|
|Frequency Bands Used||N/A||4G/LTE and 5G cellular frequency bands|
|Max Uplink Speed||Up to 6 Gbps||Up to 50 Mbps|
|Max Downlink Speed||Up to 6 Gbps||Up to 1 Gbps|
|Contract?||Yes, for some plans||No|
|Monthly Subscription||Between $65 and $300||Between $50 and $70|
|Additional Fees?||Yes: $100 installation fee and $14 monthly gateway hire fee||No|
|Equipment Provided||Wi-Fi 6E gateway/hub||Wi-Fi 6 cellular router|
|Locations Available||40 states in the U.S.||900 cities in the U.S.|
What is Comcast?
Comcast is one of the world’s largest telecommunications and mass media companies and the largest internet service provider in the U.S. It has over 30 million active subscribers to its cable internet services which are available as a selection of service plans.
Its internet brand, Xfinity, is accessible and its widespread coverage means that it is the default choice for many households. As with many large companies, service quality and customer satisfaction levels are variable and prices can vary significantly between different parts of the U.S.
Comcast has been at the forefront of telecommunications and broadcasting for over 60 years. It has grown from the small cable company, American Cable Systems, to a multinational telecommunication company second only to AT&T. This Philadephia-based company has delivered its cable internet services under the brand name Xfinity for the last 12 years.
Alongside Xfinity Internet, Comcast has numerous subsidiaries that include the NBCUniversal network, Universal Studios, Sky Television, Bravo, and the Peacock video streaming service. Comcast Xfinity services include:
- Home telephone
- Broadband internet
- Cable television
- Virtual mobile network (with Verizon infrastructure)
- Home security and automation
- Public Wi-Fi hotspots
Xfinity has been the subsidiary brand for Comcast’s cable internet service since 2010. It has a customer base of just over 31 million with coverage that spans over 40 states. Alongside its long-standing cable service, Xfinity increasingly delivers fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) for faster network speeds.
A plan is offered that includes cable TV, internet, and landline services. Its internet-only packages are available with cable and fiber optic connectivity for the highest speeds. Like many other internet companies, Xfinity provides its Internet Essentials subsidized internet to qualifying low-income families. They were directed to set up this program as part of the conditions of a merger they undertook in 2011.
Comcast Internet Plans and Prices
Xfinity has numerous price plans that vary in price across the country. The east coast prices are usually between $10 and $30 higher than the rest of the country for equivalent price plants.
Most plans are contract-free, but there are one and two-year contracts for the Pro packages. Comcast also applies a 1.2 Terabyte data cap to its plans, but it’s unlikely that regular household use will exhaust this. If you do go over the price cap, Comcast will charge you $10 per additional 500 Mb you use.
Below are the main Xfinity home internet plans (northeast region):
- Upload speed: 10 Mbps
- Download speed: 75 Mbps
- Price: $65 per month
- Upload speed: 10 Mbps
- Download speed: 200 Mbps
- Price: $84 per month
- Upload speed: 10 Mbps
- Download speed: 400 Mbps
- Price: $30 per month promotional price, then $92 after contract renewal
- Contract: 1 year
- Upload speed: 20 Mbps
- Download speed: 800 Mbps
- Price: $60 per month promotional price, then $97 after contract renewal
- Upload speed: 20 Mbps
- Download speed: 1 Gbps
- Price: $70 per month promotional price, then $102 after contract renewal
- Upload speed: 35 Mbps
- Download speed: 1.2 Gbps
- Price: $80 per month promotional price, then $107 after contract renewal
- Upload speed: 6 Gbps
- Download speed: 6 Gbps
- Price: $300 per month promotional price, then $300 after contract renewal
- Contract: 2 years
Xfinity will also require a $100 installation fee and an optional $14 per month charge for hiring mobile and Wi-Fi equipment. You can skip this charge by buying your own Comcast-compatible router. Xfinity Internet also charges a $24.99 late installation fee and a $10 late payment fee.
Comcast Xfinity Internet Speeds
With Xfinity, you can choose from plans that range from 75 Mbps to 6 Gbps. Upload and download speeds are largely asymmetrical. The slower upload speeds do not usually affect regular domestic internet use but may become a problem if you rely on upload-heavy technologies like VoIP, virtualization, or teleconferencing.
Comcast Provided Equipment
In return for a $14 hire fee, Comcast provides its customers with high-quality wireless networking equipment that provides coverage across your home along with a decent number of ports for getting your network just the way you like it. The xFi range of gateways, mesh Wi-Fi solutions, and range extenders include:
- xFi advanced gateway (XB8) with Wi-Fi 6E and 2.5 Gbps max
- xFi advanced gateway (XB7) with Wi-Fi 5
- xFi advanced gateway (XB6) with Wi-Fi 5
- xFi fiber gateway with Wi-Fi 5
- Xfinity gateway with Wi-Fi 5
- xFi wireless gateway with Wi-Fi 5
What is Verizon 5G Home Internet?
Verizon is a longstanding provider of home internet services under its Verizon Fios brand. But we’re not going to look at Fios, because the game changer is its new 5G Home Internet that is completely wire-free!
With Verizon 5G Home Internet, you don’t need cords, cable, or DSL to enjoy broadband internet. This revolutionary service uses 4G/LTE and 5G cellular networks to provide you with super-fast internet connectivity throughout your home.
Verizon launched its wireless home internet solution way back in 2018, and since then, demand has soared. The positive response has led to Verizon expanding the service to over 900 cities, upgrading connectivity to 5G where available.
Verizon is America’s largest wireless carrier with over 120 million users. The company, Verizon Communications, Inc. emerged after the break-up of Bell into seven companies in the 1980s. Verizon was originally known as Bell Atlantic with a heavy commercial presence on the east coast which has continued to the present day.
Bell Atlantic’s acquisition of the national telecommunications company, GTE, in 2000, enabled the company to have national coverage. It was at this stage that its name changed to Verizon. It is headquartered in Midtown Manhattan.
Verizon has over 70% 4G/LTE coverage and 12% 5G coverage nationwide. Most Americans should be able to access Verizon services that include:
- Cable television
- Landline phone
- Contract and prepaid cell phone plans
- Business telecommunications solutions
- TV streaming services
- Home internet
- Mobile internet
5G Home Internet
Verizon’s 5G home internet is revolutionary because it delivers broadband internet without wires, cable, or fiber. Rather than using conventional fixed broadband technologies, Verizon has leveraged its extensive cellular infrastructure for the fast efficient data exchange you expect from your home internet service.
Verizon’s 5G home internet uses a special cellular router as a gateway for exchanging data on the Verizon mobile network. To connect to Verizon’s mobile internet services the router requires an inserted SIM card so that it can be authenticated by Verizon and use the networks in accordance with the specified data plan. The system works just like using your cellphone as a hotspot. Your household devices can then connect via the Wi-Fi signal that the router broadcasts throughout your home.
Verizon 5G Home Internet Services and Cost
If you’ve spent hours researching home internet plans, you’ll be relieved at how simple Verizon’s price plan is. There are only two plans to choose from which vary by the maximum download speeds you can expect. Prices are guaranteed for up to 3 years. Verizon’s 5G Home Internet is free of contracts and you can rest assured that there are no data caps or throttling to hamper your use.
Below are the plans:
Verizon 5G Home
- Upload speed: 10 Mbps
- Download speed: 85-300 Mbps
- Price: $50 per month (Verizon Unlimited mobile customers pay $25)
Verizon 5G Home Plus
- Upload speed: 50 Mbps
- Download speed: 300-1000 Mbps
- Price: $70 per month (Verizon Unlimited mobile customers pay $35)
Verizon 5G Home Internet speeds
Verizon delivers 5G connectivity with 4G/LTE as a backup or alternative in areas that do not have 5G coverage. This means that, though you aren’t going to get the multigigabit speeds of fiber, you can still enjoy respectable speeds of up to 1 Gbps.
The only thing you have to be prepared for is some variability in speeds. This is because 5G is not a mature technology and there isn’t always the density of cell towers necessary to provide headline speeds. However, 300 Mbps is very respectable and outcompetes several of Comcast’s plans.
Verizon Home Internet Equipment
Verizon supplies its 5G Home Internet customers with a special cellular router, inclusive of its monthly fee. This modem does not require a wired connection to the internet. Instead, it wirelessly connects to the nearest cell tower for broadband internet connectivity over the 5G network.
The Verizon Internet Gateway is a home router that is capable of partnering with the fast speeds that the Verizon network can deliver. It is equipped with a powerful Qualcomm antenna to provide the coverage you need.
For optimal reception, the router needs to be located near a window. Where available, the Internet Gateway will use 5G connectivity. Otherwise, it can also use the 4G/LTE network to maintain your service with slightly lower speeds.
What’s the Difference Between Comcast and Verizon?
Comcast and Verizon are both established cable internet providers, Verizon 5G Home Internet, is a new and refreshing way of providing essential internet access for your home.
Verizon’s wireless approach is a cord-cutter’s dream. The cellular network has the infrastructure and bandwidth to meet the demands of home internet connectivity, without the tethering and contracts that come with fixed broadband.
A wireless home internet service may be the ideal solution if you live in a remote or rural area. Though 5G connectivity is centered on urban areas, you can still benefit from Verizon’s 4G/LTE connectivity for home internet if you have coverage. If you want to hit the road, you know that it will be easy to set up your home internet wherever you go.
Right now, Comcast has the edge on coverage with cable internet available in 40 states versus 900 cities. But, Verizon is accelerating its 5G rollout and coverage should extend across the U.S. accordingly.
Similarities and Differences
- Comcast and Verizon 5G Home Internet are both internet service providers.
- Comcast and Verizon offer broadband internet plans with zero contracts.
- Both Comcast and Verizon have no throttling.
- Comcast and Verizon give options for Wi-Fi 6 network gateways.
- Comcast’s internet connectivity is fiber or cable-based, but Verizon 5G Home Internet makes use of the cellular network for broadband connectivity.
- Comcast provides a fixed broadband connection, but Verizon 5G Home Internet is wireless.
- Comcast offers speeds of up to 6 Gbps for its fiber internet, and Verizon 5G Home Internet’s maximum advertised speed is 1 Gbps.
- Comcast is available in 40 states, but Verizon 5G Home Internet is only available in 900 cities.
- Comcast offers multiple price and speed-tiered plans and some plans have price hikes after the first 12 months. Verizon 5G Home Internet only has two simple plans.
- Comcast has a $100 installation fee but Verizon 5G Home Internet has no fees for installation.
- Comcast customers pay $14 per month as a hire fee as well as their monthly service charge. Verizon 5G Home Internet includes its Wi-Fi 6 router.
- Comcast has home internet plans with 12 and 24-month contracts.
Is Verizon 5G Home Internet Better than Comcast?
Verizon 5G Home Internet is a game-changer as it completely removes the need for a fixed broadband connection while delivering comparable low latency, high-speed internet for a competitive price. Rather than agonizing about the availability of wireless installation, you can simply set up your home internet by switching on the cellular router. It’s perfect if you’re renting or have a roommate.
The fees are much more simple and, at most, you’ll be paying $70, and if you’re a Verizon cellphone customer, your bills may be halved. There are no equipment hire charges, contracts, or data caps. However, speeds and coverage are a weakness, primarily because of the limited 5G coverage Verizon has right now.
Verizon vs. Comcast: 6 Must-Know Facts
- 5G internet requires cell smaller and more densely distributed cell towers because the higher frequencies it uses travel shorter distances. This makes it harder to achieve optimal coverage in rural areas.
- You can buy a cellular router and use a SIM card with a data plan to have any 4G/LTE cellular network for home internet.
- Comcast is gradually transitioning its network to fiber. It currently operates a hybrid fiber-coax network with a fiber backbone in many areas.
- Comcast Xfinity customers can connect to hotspots across the U.S. for free.
- Verizon’s Fios cable home internet has some of the highest customer satisfaction scores in its sector.
Comcast is a tried and trusted home internet provider, but times have changed, and in a society where over a third of households rent, people are beginning to think differently about fixed broadband that comes with contracts and high installation costs. Verizon is cleverly zoning in on an emerging market that requires the speed and bandwidth of a fixed internet connection but desires the flexibility and mobility that comes with a cellular connection.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©iStock.com/NicoElNino.