As a network enthusiast, I’ve researched various fiber internet plans and found myself intrigued with Gigabit. I want to share my findings to help you determine whether the plan’s worth your money.
To find your answer, you’ll need to consider these factors:
- What is Xfinity Gigabit?
- Who’s it best for?
- What can you do with 1,200 Mbps download and 35 Mbps upload speeds?
- Where is Gigabit available?
- Plan price and other fees
- Xfinity Gigabit data cap
- How Gigabit compares to other Xfinity Plans
- How Xfinity Gigabit fares against competitors
Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Comcast Xfinity Gigabit Internet?
Xfinity Gigabit serves as Comcast Xfinity’s entry-level fiber(ish) plan. It delivers 1,200 Mbps download, and 35 Mbps upload speeds.
They’ll deliver Gigabit speeds to your home through their Hybrid Fiber-Coax (HFC) network. It utilizes existing connections in your home to provide a fiber-optic connection. In short, it combines fiber optics and coaxial-based transmissions into a single path.
Xfinity’s Gigabit plan has some caveats.
It’s advertised as 1,200 speeds. But their website suggests that because of Ethernet technical limitations, you may only get 940 Mbps . To combat these slower speeds, you’ll need to install a 2.5 gigabyte (GB) Ethernet port in your home.
They also mention that you’ll get 1,200 download speeds in SOME areas. On the same page, they specify you’ll get Wi-Fi download speeds up to 1,000 Mbps.
Who’s Comcast Xfinity Gigabit Internet Best For?
Xfinity Gigabit internet works best for these use cases:
- Home entertainment: 4K video playback on multiple devices in a large home
- Work from home: you need upload speeds higher than 25 Mbps
- Gaming: streaming 4K cloud services and competitive gaming on multiple devices
- Live streaming: three people in a household simultaneously streaming onto platforms like Twitch
- Watch movies on streaming platforms: over 48 devices could watch 4K Ultra HD content at the same time
- Security systems: you could run eight 4K 20 fps home security cameras
I’ll cover more details about each of these use cases later on. Due to low upload speed, I wouldn’t recommend having more than a couple of devices simultaneously upload content.
What Can You Do With 1,200 Mbps Download Speeds and 35 Mbps Upload Speeds?
|Task||Download Speed (Mbps)||Upload Speed (Mbps)|
|Casual Gaming (PC)||3||0.5|
|Cloud Gaming (Stadia)||1080p: 10|
|High-definition Audio Streaming (Lossless)||2||0.5|
|*Live Streaming on Twitch||720p 60 FPS: 4.5||Video: 2.5–4|
|Online Gaming While Streaming||24.5||9.24 (with speed buffer)|
|Watching Netflix||Standard Definition: 1|
1080p HD: 5
4K Ultra HD: 25
|Zoom Video Conferences||Group calling 1080p: 3.8|
1:1 calling 1080p: 3.8
|Group calling 1080p: 3.8|
1:1 calling 1080p: 3.8
|**4G Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)||1 concurrent call: 5||1 concurrent call: 5|
* You may want to have a 35–40% speed buffer to account for fluctuations that would otherwise affect your stream’s quality.
** The recommended upload and download speeds remain the same until you reach 50 concurrent calls. From there, you’ll need 20 Mbps (upload and download).
Cloud Gaming and Online Gaming (Competitive and Casual)
Using over ten devices in your home will have no issues with casual gaming online simultaneously. You’ll also have no problems using 4K cloud gaming services on over ten devices.
I found myself confused during my research when it comes to competitive gaming. Because I’m a noob. The source I linked above the table quoted that gaming online competitively (or in tournaments) called for 10 Mbps upload speeds.
However, ping is the only factor in this internet speed tier that’ll affect your performance. The distance between your network and the game’s server.
I couldn’t find any concrete evidence on this claim. But it’s something for you to consider. Gigabit has low upload speed (compared to its download speed). You MAY want to consider gaming competitively when there are not as many people in your home online.
Most streamers prefer to stream with 720p (30 or 60 fps) . You only need 6 Mbps download speeds and 4.1–5.6 Mbps upload speeds (without a speed buffer) to deliver an optimal stream.
Even if you stream to multiple platforms simultaneously, or if you have numerous people streaming in your home, you won’t have any issues. For the most part.
Three people simultaneously streaming on Twitch (720p 30 fps) while on an online game would require at least 74 Mbps download and 27 Mbps upload.
I wish I could say four simultaneous streamers, but that’d come out to close to 37 Mbps upload speeds needed. Gigabit only supports 35. And that’s IF you’re using their max speeds.
By ‘max speeds,’ I mean variables that can affect your speed. Whether it’s physical or wireless obstacles to Wi-Fi. Or you just have an old router.
Video Calls and Communication
You can use at least 50 concurrent calls with 4G Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) with a single device. That’s 20 Mbps (upload and download). And for Zoom calls, you won’t have any issues with video calls.
Even with 1080p group calls, you’ll only need symmetric speeds of 3.8 Mbps. That means you could have at least nine devices in your home simultaneously popping into video group conversations.
Work From Home
Unless you’re uploading many documents or watching videos in the background all day, you won’t need Gigabit. Let’s say you have four people in your home (all remote workers). And they have to sit in group calls all day.
Each call requires 3.8 Mbps (download and upload). You’re only using 15/15 speeds.
Go with a lower-tier plan. Like Superfast (Blast!) or Fast (Performance Pro).
You deal with a lot of massive files. I’ll cover that in the next point.
Downloads and Uploads
If you’re a video editor who doesn’t want to wait hours to upload a large video file online, I recommend upgrading to Gigabit Pro. Or to use a fiber plan with synchronous internet (equal download and upload speeds)
This plan doesn’t have the best upload speeds. The maximum size of video you can upload to YouTube is 256 GB (12 hours of footage).
To upload that video at 35 Mbps upload speeds, you’ll waste a couple of hours uploading your video. And that’s if you’re getting 35 Mbps at the time. Actual speeds will vary by area and your connection setup.
Where Is Comcast Xfinity Gigabit Internet Available?
Xfinity doesn’t specify where they have Gigabit internet available. Though they offer services in 40 states, Comcast Xfinity doesn’t provide all internet speeds in every city.
I wish I could give you a better answer.
To get the most accurate answer, you’ll need to visit Xfinity.com/learn/offers and type your address. From there, you’ll want to check the filter for this option:
Select “1200 Mbps.”
If it’s available in your area, you’ll see a section labeled ‘Up to 1200 Mbps’ appear.
Comcast Xfinity Gigabit Internet Cost
When signing a contract for Xfinity Gigabit internet, you’ll pay between $70 and $80 per month for the first 12, 24, or 36 months. Once this term ends, your bill will rise to between $104–109.
That’s up to a 44% price increase.
The prices above INCLUDE the $10 discount from enabling auto pay and paperless billing on your account.
Other fees you can expect to pay with Gigabit include:
- Data overage charge: $10 per 50 GB block of data they add to your account ($100 max)
- Equipment rental: $14 per month
- Unlimited Data (optional): $30 per month
- xFi Complete (modem/router combo): $25 a month, optional, and it gives you unlimited data
- Professional installation (optional): $89.99; you can install your modem yourself and save yourself the installation fee
- Late bill payment fee: $10 after a two-week grace period
- *Early Termination Fee (12-month agreement): $110; price lowers by $10 per month until the contract ends
- *Cancellation fee (24-month agreement): $230; they’ll lower the fee by $10 each month until your 24-month contract ends
* These fees vary by customer. I pulled these numbers from a team member on Xfinity’s forum .
Comcast Xfinity Gigabit Features
Here’s optional and included features and devices you’ll get with a Gigabit subscription:
- Getting Started Kit: everything you’ll need to set up your modem yourself
- Xfinity Wi-Fi: access to millions of Wi-Fi hotspots (with unlimited data) around the country
- Constant Guard: anti-malware security suite
- Flex 4K streaming TV box (optional): it’s like an NVIDIA Shield with WAY fewer features
- Cloud services: 7 email addresses and 10 GB of Cloud Storage
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Voice Remote (Optional): think of it as a smart speaker
- Peacock: available for free to anyone who uses Xfinity Flex or X1
I found that Xfinity won’t charge you a shipping fee for the Getting Started Kit. But you should check to make sure.
The Wi-Fi hotspots were my favorite part of using Xfinity. When searching for the hotspots, you’ll look for either Wi-Fi network names: Xfinity SSID or Xfinitywifi.
These hotspots use 128-bit encryption. They claim it’s similar to encryption technology that banks use. Some people have said you’ll get 30 Mbps (download) and 10 Mbps (upload).
But these speeds will vary by hotspot.
If you live by one of these hotspots, you COULD connect devices that use a lot of data and bypass the data cap.
Comcast Xfinity Gigabit Contract
To subscribe to Xfinity Gigabit, you can choose a term or termless plan. Going with the term plan (contract) saves you money but binds you to Comcast Xfinity for at least a year.
If you cancel your plan, you’ll need to pay a hefty $110 Early Termination Fee (ETF). As mentioned in the ‘Cost’ section, this fee lowers by $10 per month if you remain subscribed to Comcast.
Xfinity can CREDIT this fee to your account if you meet one of these criteria:
- Are active duty military and must relocate
- You reactivate your Xfinity services within 90 days of canceling
- The account owner has passed on
- You have to cancel your contract because a natural disaster hit your area
I can’t speak for Xfinity, but. They MAY make exceptions. Reach out to them and see if they can credit the ETF to your account based on a particular reason you need to cancel.
You can reach them through their live chat (Xfinity Assistant) anytime. Or you can call (800) 934-6489 Monday–Saturday between 7 am and 9 pm (EST).
Comcast Xfinity Gigabit Internet Data Cap
Xfinity’s Gigabit has a 1.2 terabyte (TB) data cap. Yep. The only major fiber(ish) internet provider I’ve found that has a bandwidth cap.
Once you reach this cap, you’ll need to pay $10 per 50 GB of data Xfinity added to your account. But if you’re a new customer, you’ll have an advantage.
They won’t charge you for the first month you pass the cap.
That gives you a chance to see whether you’ll use 1.2 TB in a month. Here’s a chart for reference on what you can do:
|4G Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)||60+|
|Watching 4K Videos on Netflix||204|
|1080p Video Streaming||350|
|*Spending Every Hour Google||2,000+|
This table displays various online activities. It shows how many hours of each task you can perform before reaching a 1.2 TB data cap.
* AT&T thinks we only use 15 MB per hour. Don’t take that number too seriously. It’s an estimate.
Here’s something to consider. 4K cloud gaming services like Google Stadia. If you used it as your primary console for a month, you’d use 1,386 gigabytes (GB).
While monitoring your data usage, keep track of your monthly data usage with a Traffic Meter feature on your router (newer ones). You can also use your Xfinity My Account app or log into your Xfinity account.
Notice you’re using more than 1.2 TB of data?
You have a couple of options. You can hand Xfinity $30 a month for them to add the Unlimited Data Option feature to your account. In my experience, this is the best way to go.
Because you can use your own router and Xfinity-compatible modem. Going this route makes device replacements cheaper. Separate devices tend to offer more features as well.
Or you could pay $25 per month for the xFi Complete modem/router combo. I didn’t think it would support Gigabit speeds since you can choose this option for every Xfinity plan. But the genuinely helpful customer service person I spoke to surprised me.
They said it does work with Gigabit speeds.
You pay less but have less flexibility. For instance, if you want to switch providers later, you’ll have to return the xFi Complete.
Gigabit Internet vs. Other Comcast Xfinity Plans
Before deciding whether you want Gigabit, compare what you’ll get with other Xfinity plans:
|Plan||Price*||Download Speed||Upload Speed|
|Connect/Performance Starter||$20-$40/mo||75 Mbps||10 Mbps|
|Connect More/Performance||$40-$60/mo.||200 Mbps||10 Mbps|
|Fast/Performance Pro||$50-$60/mo.||400 Mbps||10 Mbps|
|Superfast/Blast Pro!||$65-$70/mo.||800 Mbps||20 Mbps|
|Extreme Pro/Ultrafast||$70-$80/mo.||1000 Mbps||20 Mbps|
|Gigabit||$80-$110/mo.||1200 Mbps||35 Mbps|
|Gigabit Pro||$299.95/mo.||6000 Mbps||6000 Mbps|
This table compares the speeds, contract prices, and after-contract prices among various Xfinity plans.
These prices don’t count possible state and local taxes, rental fees, and shipping. But they do include Xfinity’s $10 discount for enabling automatic and paperless billing. This discount won’t go into effect until 30–45 days after activating these features.
Gigabit gives you 300 Mbps (download) and 15 Mbps (upload) more than Ultrafast. But for only an extra $10–20.
As I mentioned, in some areas, you’ll only get 940 Mbps. In this scenario, you’re better off going with Ultrafast. Unless you NEED the extra 15 Mbps upload speeds.
Gigabit Pro is overkill. But at least you’ll have matching download and upload speeds. And no data cap. If you have the budget, and if it’s available in your area, I recommend going with Pro.
How Comcast Xfinity Gigabit Internet Compares to Competitors
How does Xfinity do as a 1 Gbps internet provider? See for yourself:
|Provider and Plan||Download Speeds (Mbps)||Upload Speeds (Mbps)||*Price (New Customer)||Data Cap (TB)|
|**AT&T (Internet 1000)||940||112||$80||NA|
This table compares internet speeds, prices, and data caps among Verizon, Optimum, AT*T, Google Fiber, and Xfinity.
* Take these prices with a grain of salt. There’s a lot of ‘fine print’ behind each price. Most of the time, they don’t include taxes, equipment fees, and more.
** AT&T only has fiber in 21 states.
They’re the only internet service provider that has a data cap. They’re also one of few plans on this list that has asynchronous speeds. Meaning that they don’t have the same upload and download speeds
Disappointing when you compare it to Google Fiber, which has a fair price tag, no data cap, and synchronous speeds.
Keep this in mind, though. Just because a fiber plan exists doesn’t mean you can get it anywhere. For instance, Google Fiber. Here’s a small list of the cities they support .
Optimum doesn’t offer the most availability, either.
If you use other Xfinity services like TV or mobile, you may want to bundle your services and save a bit of money. So long as your household doesn’t stream 4K content simultaneously, you won’t have to worry about the unpleasant upload speeds.
If Xfinity isn’t available, I recommend checking other fiber providers.
Xfinity Gigabit works for large homes simultaneously performing high-bandwidth tasks. But as with most Comcast Xfinity plans, it doesn’t have synchronous speeds. This puts Gigabit at a considerable disadvantage compared to the competition.
So does the data cap.
Gigabit’s availability does give it an advantage, though. And who knows, someday Comcast MAY have identical download and upload speeds.
See if Xfinity provides Gigabit internet in your area.