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If you're shopping for high-speed home internet in the U.S., there's a decent chance you'll have more than one viable option. And if you do, it is well worth giving your options a close look and making sure you are signing up for nothing but the best provider for your needs.

Now, if you're trying to pick between Windstream and Xfinity, the most important thing you need to understand is what, specifically, is available at your address.

Windstream Kinetic’s fiber plans are your best option for a speedy connection at home. However, fiber-optic service isn’t available everywhere, and the price and value for the widespread Kinetic DSL connection depend on your location. Meanwhile, with Xfinity, you will get a cable connection regardless of where you live — but plans, pricing, and contract terms vary from region to region. What exactly does that mean, and what more do you need to know? Here’s everything to help you make sense of it all.

Windstream vs. Xfinity: Serviceability

Xfinity Internet

Xfinity is the nation's largest cable internet service provider, available to more than 36% of the population. The service is mostly available in the Midwest, the Northeast, and the South. Still, you will find Xfinity internet packages available in parts of the West, Southwest, and mountainous regions of the US, too.

The one thing that makes Xfinity stand unrivaled is its ability to deliver 1000-1200 Mbps downloads to over 97% of its customers. The only downside, however, is that the cost of Xfinity packages varies from one market to another, based on individual local market dynamics.

Xfinity network coverage is the most concentrated in the following towns and cities:

Windstream Internet

Windstream on the other hand reserves its services primarily for rural and suburban regions in its 18 service states. Also, Windstream has relatively lower coverage compared to Xfinity. According to the FCC, it covers about 3% of the U.S. population relative to 36% by Xfinity. But that is because Xfinity tends to operate in more densely populated areas. Whereas Windstream despite covering more than a third of US states, actually services the suburban and rural areas with low population density. Hence the vast difference in the population served. 

Roughly two-thirds of those in Windstream service areas are only eligible for DSL service, whose speed availability varies across locations with 25 Mbps or above available to roughly 86% of its footprint.  The remaining lucky third are able to get Windstream fiber service, which is available in about 31% of its footprint and has all the perks of a 100% fiber service — gigabit speeds, fast uploads and downloads, maximum reliability, and less volatility to slowed speeds during the peak usage times.

Here, take a look at the top cities where Windstream internet is widely available:

Windstream vs. Xfinity: Internet Plans and Pricing

Windstream Internet

Windstream Kinetic is as good as any internet service, and in some ways better, when it comes to speeds, pricing, and fine-print details like data caps, contract requirements, and equipment fees. Currently, Windstream offers hybrid fiber-DSL, cable, fixed wireless, and fiber-optic internet services in the U.S. Fiber and DSL internet connection is more widely available in residential neighborhoods, while in limited areas Windstream also provides fixed wireless and cable services. Meanwhile, copper services are reserved for commercial usage.

A DSL connection cannot compete with the consistency of a cable connection, so speeds do vary –anywhere from 4-250 Mbps — with Kinetic DSL internet. The provider’s offerings make for a fast and economical broadband option, but speeds and prices vary by location. And so the overall value of your Windstream subscription directly comes down to your exact location.

As you get closer to the urban and suburban areas, where the fiber service is available, super-fast speeds and low introductory prices make Windstream a worthwhile choice. Popular Windstream Kinetic Fiber plans include 200, 400, and 1000 Mbps speed tiers, and are available in nearly all service areas covered by Windstream’s fiber network. Regardless of where you live, all plans come without any data limits or annual commitments!

Windstream Internet Packages

Remember that these prices are only available in select markets. The best way to identify the exact price and speed availability at your location would be to call Windstream customer service at 1-855-349-9312.

Windstream Kinetic Plan

Max Speed

Promo Price

(in select markets)

Data Allowance

Contract

Kinetic 50

72 Mbps

$39.99/mo.

for 12 months

First 3 months internet free

Unlimited

No

Kinetic 200

232 Mbps

$39.99/mo.

for 12 months

First 3 months internet free

Unlimited

No

Kinetic 400

450 Mbps

$49.99/mo.

for 12 months

First 3 months internet free

Unlimited

No

Kinetic 1000

1000 Mbps

$59.99/mo.

for 12 months

First 3 months internet free

Unlimited

No

Xfinity Internet

Xfinity cable internet services are an option for more than a third of U.S. residents. The provider offers an impressive variety of plans in all service areas, though exact speeds, pricing, and other plan terms may vary from one market to another. Either way, Xfinity typically gives its customers 6 or 7 plans to choose from along with lots of bundle options if you want to roll internet, TV, and/or phone together in one nice bundle.

Speed tiers generally include two mediocre plans — 50 Mbps and 100 Mbps — followed by a jump to high-speed plans — 300 Mbps and 900 Mbps — and then to gigabit service — 1200 Mbps. Perhaps the best thing about the Xfinity gigabit service is it is available across the entire coverage map. Additionally, addresses eligible for a fiber-to-the-home connection might even get symmetrical internet speeds up to 6,000 Mbps, which is one of the fastest residential internet plans in the country.

Some Xfinity internet packages require you to sign up for a year-long contract, others demand a two-year commitment, and some come without any contractual obligations. Keep in mind, however, that if you opt for the no-contract option, you will have to pay a higher rate. Moreover, Xfinity internet packages come with a 1.2 TB data limit, which is abundant for all standard household usage and then some. But plans in limited areas do allow for unlimited data. Even if there’s a limit, the provider does not impose an overage fee for the first time you exceed your data limit in a 12-month period. And the Gigabit Pro does not include any data limit, albeit its availability is rather limited.

Xfinity Internet Packages

Xfinity plans and prices are broadly divided across three divisions, namely West, Central, and Northeast. Though the prices may even differ across locations in a single division. It’s advisable to consult Xfinity customer service at 1-844-207-8721 to get the exact plans and pricing at your address.

West Division

Xfinity Internet Plan

Max Speed

Promo Price

Data Allowance

Connect

50/5 Mbps

$19.99/mo.
For 12 months with 1-Year Agreement.

Incl. $10/mo. automatic payments and paperless billing discount.

1.2 TB

Connect More

100/5 Mbps

$39.99/mo.
For 12 months with 1-Year Agreement.

Incl. $10/mo. automatic payments and paperless billing discount.

1.2 TB

Fast

300/10 Mbps

$50/mo.
For the first 24 months with No Term Agreement. Includes $10/mo. automatic payments and paperless billing discount.

1.2 TB

Superfast

600/20 Mbps

$60/mo.
For the first 24 months with No Term Agreement. Taxes not included. Automatic payments and paperless billing required.

1.2 TB

Ultrafast

900/20 Mbps

$70/mo.
For the first 24 months with No Term Agreement. Taxes not included. Automatic payments and paperless billing required.

1.2 TB

Gigabit

1200/35 Mbps

$80/mo.
For the first 24 months with No Term Agreement. Taxes not included. Automatic payments and paperless billing required.

1.2 TB

Gigabit Pro

6000/6000 Mbps

$299.95/mo.
with 2-year Agreement.

Unlimited

Central Division

Xfinity Internet Plan

Max Speed

Promo Price

Data Allowance

Connect

50/5 Mbps

$30/mo.
For 12 months with 1-year Term Agreement. Taxes & Equipment not included. Automatic payments and paperless billing required.

1.2 TB

Connect More

100/5 Mbps

$40/mo.
For 12 months with 1-year Term Agreement. Taxes & Equipment not included. Automatic payments and paperless billing required.

1.2 TB

Fast

300/10 Mbps

$50/mo.
For the first 24 months with No Term Agreement. Taxes not included. Automatic payments and paperless billing required.

Unlimited data with WiFi equipment included for 24 months.

Superfast

600/20 Mbps

$65/mo.
For the first 24 months with No Term Agreement. Taxes not included. Automatic payments and paperless billing required.

Unlimited data with WiFi equipment included for 24 months.

Ultrafast

900/20 Mbps

$70/mo.

For the first 24 months with No Term Agreement. Taxes not included. Automatic payments and paperless billing required.

Unlimited data with WiFi equipment included for 24 months.

Gigabit Extra

1200/35 Mbps

$80/mo.
For the first 24 months with No Term Agreement. Taxes not included. Automatic payments and paperless billing required.

Unlimited data with WiFi equipment included for 24 months.

Northeast Division

Xfinity Internet Plan

Max Speed

Promo Price

Data Allowance

Performance Starter

50/5 Mbps

$65/mo.
With No Term Agreement

1.2 TB

Performance

100/5 Mbps

$83.95/mo.
With No Term Agreement

1.2 TB

Performance Pro

300/10 Mbps

$39.99/mo.
For the first 24 months with No Term Agreement. Includes $10 automatic payments and paperless billing discount for 24 months.

1.2 TB

Blast!

600/20 Mbps

$59.99/mo.
For the first 24 months with No Term Agreement. Includes $10 automatic payments and paperless billing discount for 24 months.

1.2 TB

Extreme Pro

900/20 Mbps

$69.99/mo.
For the first 24 months with No Term Agreement. Includes $10 automatic payments and paperless billing discount for 24 months.

1.2 TB

Gigabit

1200/35 Mbps

$79.99/mo.
For the first 24 months with No Term Agreement. Includes $10 automatic payments and paperless billing discount for 24 months.

1.2 TB

Gigabit Pro

6000/6000 Mbps

$299.95/mo.
With 2-year Agreement.

Unlimited

The Better Deal?

If both Xfinity and Windstream internet are available at your address, the next thing to consider is the technology each provider uses.

Cable internet from Xfinity, which is available across the entire coverage map, utilizes coaxial cables to deliver a connection to your home. While it has its own limitations — low upload speeds, limited internet data, and congested networks at peak usage times — cable internet essentially supports download speeds up to a gigabit per second and provides decent connection quality.

The Windstream connection type that's available at your address should be the biggest factor when choosing between Windstream and Xfinity. If the answer is DSL, Xfinity Internet will be a better option. On the other hand, if you can get Windstream fiber service at your home, you'll find Windstream’s speeds and overall value hard to pass up compared with cable internet from Xfinity.

If you're looking for cheap internet, Xfinity is going to be your safest bet, as plans start at $19.99 per month for speeds up to 50 Mbps in most service areas. But if you prefer more bang for your buck, Windstream fiber is the way to go. Pricing is almost the same for comparable Windstream and Xfinity packages, but you will be eligible for significantly faster upload speeds, unlimited data, and no contract requirements with Windstream fiber. Here it is worth a mention that Xfinity's gig service offers a max download speed of 1,200 Mbps in most locations, which is nearly 200 Mbps more than what you will get from Windstream’s fastest plan.

What Sort of Fees and Terms Should I Expect From Windstream and Xfinity?

Installation Fees

Both Windstream and Xfinity charge a one-time professional installation fee of $35 and up to $100, respectively. Xfinity customers can also opt for Self-Install Plus for technician guidance with the kit for $39.99. Luckily, both providers let you skip this fee by going with a self-install kit and plugging everything in yourself.

The downside of Windstream internet is that it also charges a one-time activation fee — worth $50 — which is unavoidable unless you sign up for the gigabit service.

Equipment fees

Windstream Internet equipment fee ranges from $5.99 to $9.99 per month depending on where you live — whereas Xfinity charges a rather high equipment rental fee of $14 per month for the xFi Gateway.  

Both providers give you the choice to use your own equipment and skip the fee, but unless you already own a compatible router, there's still the upfront cost of purchasing one to consider.

However, if you opt for Windstream Kinetic One packages, you’ll be able to enjoy incredible value as the equipment comes included in the monthly price. Moreover, Xfinity in some areas with certain plans includes WiFi equipment with unlimited data, and where it is not, you may opt for xFi Complete WiFi with unlimited data for an extra $15/mo. Again, the terms, fees, and availability of these perks differ with Xfinity.

How Do Windstream and Xfinity Internet Stack Up for Customer Satisfaction?

Xfinity Internet is the clear winner here. According to the 2022 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) results, Comcast’s Xfinity scored 66/100, which is 1% down from last year yet the provider still maintains the second position among all ISPs. Windstream, on the other hand, improved by 1% from last year with a score of 62/100.

J.D. Power's results also seem to echo the ACSI's findings, ranking Xfinity slightly above average in each of its four regions — third in the North-Central and West regions with scores of 716 and 723 out of 1,000, respectively, and second in the East and South regions with scores of 725 and 740. As for Windstream, the provider did better in 2021 with a score of 682 versus 680 in 2020. That might make Windstream internet more of a middle-of-the-pack performer, but of course, nothing in comparison to Xfinity’s stellar performance.  

Windstream Internet vs. Xfinity Internet: Things to Consider

Windstream

 

Xfinity

P  Fast and reliable speeds in rural areas

P  No contract, no speed throttling, no data caps

P  Fiber expansion is in the works

û  Speeds and pricing vary widely by location

P  Good variety of speed tiers

P  Some of the fastest residential plans available

û  Limited data allowance

û  Requires contracts for customers to enjoy the lowest rates

There You Are!

When comparing Windstream versus Xfinity, the better provider for your home will most likely depend on the Windstream connection type available at your address. If that's fiber, Windstream packages will offer better value along with the essential benefits fiber-optic has over cable. On the other hand, if Windstream DSL is your only choice and the speeds are too low, Xfinity will be your safest bet for speeds over 100 Mbps and incredible value overall. The only downside, if any, is you need to sign a one-year contract to get the lowest pricing.

That said, don’t rush and take as much time as you need to make an informed decision. Keep in mind your usage and budget, and if you need expert advice call us at 1-855-349-9328 and get help from professionals to decide which one is a better fit for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should I switch from Windstream to Xfinity?

Well, it depends. If you're currently subscribed to Windstream DSL internet, it definitely makes sense to switch to Xfinity cable internet service. On the other hand, you shouldn't be interested in changing providers if you're getting Windstream fiber service, which delivers symmetrical speeds along with no contractual obligations and unlimited data — hard for Xfinity to beat. So, in that case, a change will cause more bad than good.

Do Windstream and Xfinity by Windstream have unlimited data?

All Windstream internet plans come without any data limits. Meanwhile, Xfinity internet packages come with a 1.2 TB data limit. Xfinity Gigabit Pro plan, however, does not include any data limit.