Choosing the right Internet cable service can be incredibly confusing and exhausting. There are several options available, but, the thing is, once you have made your choice, you are going for a fairly long commitment. That’s why we want to make sure that we choose the right service right from the start. Having to switch our Internet service later will spend more time and money.
Two of the most popular cable Internet service providers in the United States right now are Comcast and CenturyLink. Of course, Comcast has been the leading company in the competition. Perhaps one of the primary reasons behind Comcast’s popularity is the coverage area, which already encompasses many states of the USA, with just a few states not having Comcast yet. However, CenturyLink also has vast area coverage. If you are wondering whether you should choose Comcast or CenturyLink, continue reading below. We will see the comparisons between Comcast and CenturyLink based on several factors.
Comcast is a global telecommunications company that is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since the founding in 1963, Comcast has grown to be the largest broadcasting and cable TV of the world, as well as the largest cable TV and home Internet service provider company in the United States. Comcast is also the producer of several feature films and TV programs. It is a family-owned business, despite being publicly traded. Interestingly, Comcast has been criticized for several reasons, such as the low customer satisfaction and the monopoly in the industry due to lack a lack of competition. But there have been a lot of customers who are happy with their services, too. Comcast provides services of cable television, landline telephone, and broadband Internet access through the Xfinity division.
On the other hand, CenturyLink is also an American telecommunications company. It is headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana, and it provides various communication and data services for residential, governmental, and business customers. The company is operating as an Internet service provider and a local exchange carrier in the United States, and it is currently the third largest telecommunications company in the United States based on the number of the lines served, just behind AT&T and Verizon.CenturyLink also provides cable TV and fiber-based Internet services, though it only provides services to business customers in several states.
Comcast vs. CenturyLink: Area Coverage
Before we go any further, it is best if we make sure first that the service that you are going to use is actually available in your area. Otherwise, you may have to change your choice.
Right now, Comcast Xfinity is available in at least 21 states across the United States. The state with the most coverage is District of Columbia, followed by Massachusetts, Utah, Illinois, Colorado, and Washington. Then, with coverage below 70% are Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Hampshire, Michigan, Oregon, Indiana, Georgia, Tennessee, New Mexico, Florida, and Connecticut. States with area coverage below 50% include Minnesota, Virginia, Mississippi, and California. Well, there are actually about 14 other states that already have Comcast Xfinity, but the area coverage is still very low. Nevada and Oklahoma don’t have Comcast Xfinity yet.
On the other hand, CenturyLink is available primarily in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Washington, Idago, and Oregon. States with area coverage below 60% include Iowa, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Missouri, and Arkansas.
Comcast vs. CenturyLink: Technology
One thing that we need to note is that Comcast and CenturyLink use different technologies. Comcast brings Internet access to your home through the hybrid fiber/coaxial network and by using the DOCSIS technology. You can choose to take all the Internet access, TV, and phone line services, or just the Internet access and TV without the phone line. On the other hand, CenturyLink does not use the coaxial cable; instead, it uses the DSL and fiber connections. Even so, CenturyLink does not require you to install a telephone line if you just want to use the Internet service and not the telephone line.
Comcast vs. CenturyLink: Internet Speed
When considering between Comcast and CenturyLink, one of the very first factors that we usually consider is, of course, the Internet speed. In general, Comcast offers higher Internet speeds than CenturyLink. Furthermore, Comcast also offers a wider range of pricing tiers with different Internet speeds than CenturyLink.
On Comcast Xfinity, the available options start at 5 Mbps with the Internet 5 plan. In some areas, the lowest tier is Performance Starter, which has an Internet speed of 6 Mbps. Then, there are Performance, Performance Pro, Blast!, and Blast! Pro plans, whose Internet speeds ranges from 25 Mbps to 200 Mbps. The Extreme and Gigabit plans are not available in all areas yet, offering Internet speeds from 105 Mbps to 2 Gbps.
On the other hand, CenturyLink High-Speed Internet only offers five tiers of Internet speeds. There are 12 Mbps, 20 Mbps, 40 Mbps, 100 Mbps, and 1,000 Mbps options.
In general, an Internet speed under 100 Mbps is already sufficient for smooth browsing and gaming, even with another activity using some bandwidth simultaneously. However, if you really want fast HD streaming, you may need a higher Internet speed.
Comcast vs. CenturyLink: TV and Telephone
Both Comcast and CenturyLink provide TV services through IPTV. However, there are a few differences that you may need to know. The TV service on Comcast is tied to the same program as the Internet service and telephone line (though you can choose to exclude the telephone line), which is Comcast Xfinity. On the other hand, CenturyLink provides its TV service separately from the Internet access. The TV service is available in the Prism TV plan.
|- Available mostly in District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Utah, Illinois, Colorado, Washington; Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Hampshire, Michigan, Oregon, Indiana, Georgia, Tennessee, New Mexico, Florida, Connecticut||- Available mostly in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Washington, Idago, Oregon|
|- Works on a hybrid fiber/coaxial network with the DOCSIS technology||- Internet access via DSL or fiber|
|- Internet speeds up to 2 Gbps||- Internet speeds up to 1 Gbps|
|- Internet access, IPTV, and telephone line (can be excluded) in one bundle of Comcast Xfinity||- Internet access in the CenturyLink High-Speed Internet plan, IPTV in the Prism TV plan|
So, should you choose Comcast or CenturyLink? The very first thing that you need to consider is whether Comcast or CenturyLink is available in your area. If both are available, you can choose Comcast if you want a higher Internet speed or a complete bundle of Internet access and IPTV. However, if you feel more comfortable with a relatively more supportive customer service, or if you only need the Internet access alone without IPTV and telephone line, you can choose CenturyLink.