Comcast is the largest cable provider in the U.S.; they provide services to over 17 million internet customers and boast download speeds of up to 105Mbps. They offer cable TV, internet and telephone services to 39 states and wireless internet across much of the U.S. Because of their ability to provide consistent high-speed connections, they earn our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award.
This ISP began providing cable television in 1969 in Tupelo, Missouri, and since then has continually acquired infrastructure as well as television programming to expand their services. Currently, they offer residential internet speed plans ranging from 1.5Mbps to 105Mbps, and they even include their security software with their entry-level product. In recent news, Comcast has announced that they will provide their 1.5Mbps plan to low-income families for $10 per month, so disadvantaged students can have access to the internet. This program is rolling out in the Atlanta area and soon will be available in all Comcast internet coverage areas.
All internet plans come with Constant Guard, which includes the Norton Security Suite, the SmartZone Communications Center with seven email accounts, ESPN3 and a 30-day money-back guarantee. You also gain access to the Comcast website, which provides access to your account as well as television shows, news, video clips, sports news and movies. You can also check your Comcast email with their iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android mobile phone apps.
Comcast Xfinity Internet provides internet services in 39 states and wireless internet in most of those. For the most part, Xfinity services are available in large metropolitan areas around the country. In total, Comcast reports that they serve 40 percent of all internet customers nationwide. In our eight random test locations, Comcast provides services in all four of our urban test areas and zero of our rural areas. For the most part, all major ISPs concentrate their efforts in cities where investing in infrastructure provides a better return. Comcast also does not provide DSL services. Their 105Mbps residential service is also not yet available in all areas.
Not only does Comcast claim to offer some of the fastest internet speeds, they also test well. In most third-party tests, they land in the top 10 percent for fast, consistent internet speeds. They provide speeds that can easily do what most home internet users want such as streaming movies and music, playing games, reading the news, downloading software, shopping and visiting social networking sites.
Their introductory product provides download speeds of 1.5Mbps and upload speeds of 384kbps for light internet use. They offer standard plans with speeds of up to 20Mbps, which is suitable for average internet users who do not download HD movies or share their internet with numerous computers. Comcast also offers two Extreme plans which provide high-speed internet up to 105Mbps download and 10Mbps upload for those who upload volumes of media and share their network with more than one active computer. Comcast has also recently rolled out DOCSOS 3.0 technology to over 85 percent of its service area, which reportedly can support data rates in the hundreds of megabits.
All additional services such as internet security, parental controls and identity protection come with all plans free. Their Constant Guard Protection Suite provides all customers with a password manager, keylogger protection, one-click secure logins, online shopping security and backup tools. This protection also comes in a Mac version. You also get Norton Security Suite, which provides every type of protection you need including antivirus and antispyware protection as well as identity protection and parental controls. As a Comcast Xfinity customer, you will also receive seven 10GB email accounts and access to ESPN3.
This is a controversial subject for all ISPs and cable providers; they notoriously have bad reputations for customer service and extremely vocal antagonists. It's also extremely difficult to rate Comcast's customer support because many areas have access to different call centers and technicians. However, Comcast Xfinity does provide its customers with many ways to contact them for help and are able to provide onsite technicians at relativity short notice. You can contact Comcast by telephone, email or chat. Their chat services are available 24/7. They also provide service centers in most metropolitan areas.
On their website, they provide volumes of information covering all of their products including high-speed internet and mobile internet. You can find billing information and log in to pay your bill or transfer your services. They host an active forum that covers a variety of topics and you can find them on Twitter and Facebook. They also post a blog that relates current product and company information.
We understand that just because a company says they offer a certain level of support, the quality of support may still vary. Since our office is in a Comcast coverage area, we have firsthand experiences with this ISP. We have contacted Comcast Xfinity by telephone, email and chat. We have transferred services and started new services. Many of our reviewers have had a wide range of experiences with Comcast. In our area, field technicians have shown up rain or shine, even on holidays and Sundays to fix or install services. One customer reported to us that she had initiated a chat conversation with Comcast support in the late evening regarding an intermittent internet connection and a field technician showed up the next morning.
Some customers have reported a few problems and frustrations. One customer reportedly spent over 45 minutes on the phone with Comcast to get their modem and router working properly. Even though being on the phone that long was frustrating, the patient technical support representative stayed on the line until the problem was fixed. The most common problem reported were technicians showing up late, early or not at all. Some appointment problems have improved in recent years since they now will call you before they arrive to make sure you are home. Customers in other areas report irritations with getting their services to work properly, but most report that once the internet is working well and consistent, they are satisfied with Comcast internet.
When it comes to internet services, what really matters is whether they can deliver what they promise. And Comcast Xfinity definitely can. In fact, they can deliver some of the highest speeds available, up to 105Mbps in many areas. They also provide good extras such as internet security, identity protection, parental controls and online television programming. Though to some the idea of Comcast constantly expanding and growing into new markets may be unsettling, on the other side of the coin it also means they are invested in their future and retaining you as a customer. They have the means to improve and add infrastructure, create and purchase new technologies and improve customer service, as you demand it.
All Comcast Xfinity accounts come with excellent security, and they can provide upload speeds up to 105Mbps in many areas.
Their services are not available in all areas, and customers in some areas have reported problems with customer service and field technicians.
We have to admit, few can compete with Comcast. They provide fast, consistent internet and continue to add new technologies and infrastructure to improve services.