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Comcast

Comcast is the largest, and one of the oldest, cable companies in America, with millions of subscribers and a history of service that dates back to 1963. If you're looking for high-speed broadband Internet access, XFINITY Internet from Comcast can give you the connection you need.

XFINITY offers one of the fastest connections in the country. Plus, it couldn't be easier to set up; most of the work is done by Comcast technicians. All you need to do is connect your cable TV cable to a modem that the company provides for you, and you'll be online.

The Service

Like most cable Internet providers, XFINITY offers multiple tiers of Internet service. Which packages are available, and how much they will cost, depends on what part of the country you're in.

There is usually an inexpensive option, like Economy. This is an Internet-only package, meaning no cable TV and no phone service are included. At 4 Mbps, this is slower than all the other connections offered, but that doesn't make it slow; it's still 70 times faster than a dial-up connection.

There are usually several options available, between 20 Mbps at the lower end (with the Performance package), and an insanely fast 105 Mbps at the high end (with the Extreme 105 package). Which one you get depends on your budget and what kind of connection you need; if you're sharing a connection with several people, you may want something more on the fast side.

Separate from XFINITY, Comcast also offers business-class cable Internet services. These cost more than the home Internet services, but provide a much more stable connection for the serious business owner. Unless you're running a business out of your home, XFINITY cable should be more than enough.

The Bonuses

Comcast offers a free security suite to help protect against viruses, malware and other Internet threats. This includes a free copy of Norton Security Suite. You can also bundle your Internet connection with phone and cable TV services, including XFINITY On Demand. Bundling can save you money, and it means you only have to keep track of one bill every month.

The Issues

Over the years, Comcast has received some criticism from consumers. These are the two major ones:

  • Customer Service: Like most cable companies with a more or less fixed market, Comcast has had a history of problems with customer support over the years.
  • Data Usage Limits: If you send more than 300 GB of data in a month over your XFINITY connection, you will receive a warning from the company. Three of these warnings in a six-month period, and the company will kill your connection—that’s the bad news. The good news is this won't affect most people, and for $10/month you can add another 50GB to your data usage. Comcast also has resources that will allow you to keep track of your bandwidth usage, so you don't have to be in the dark. Since most people will never even reach the data limit, this will only affect a small percentage of customers, who are running data-intensive applications.

The Bottom Line

For anyone from a home user to a serious business owner, Comcast has a variety of packages that can work with your budget, and it doesn't hurt that they're all incredibly fast.

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