Starlink vs. Comcast

Price Range
Download Speed Range
40-220 Mbps
Data Cap Range
Technology Type Name
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Comcast Xfinity
Price Range
Download Speed Range
75-1200 Mbps
Data Cap Range
Technology Type Name
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Dave Schafer
Oct 27, 2023
bullet7 min read

Is Starlink as good as Comcast?

When it comes to rural internet, satellite is often the name of the game. And the hottest player in that game (or, at least, the one getting the most publicity) has been Starlink. This provider seemingly offers everything you need in rural internet.

However, if you’re fortunate enough to have some cable internet options available, one of the best in the business is Comcast Xfinity. Comcast offers fast speeds at very reasonable prices, making it especially attractive compared to Starlink’s pricey plans.

Comcast is the stronger overall service, but Starlink’s wider availability makes it a great choice for rural customers. Which one is right for you? Let’s jump in, compare, and find out.

Starlink internet plans

Equipment cost
Starlink Standard (Residential)$120.00/mo.$599.00Up to 100MbpsUnlimited
Starlink Roam$150.00–$200.00/mo.$599.00Up to 50MbpsUnlimited
Starlink for Boats$250.00–$5,000.00/mo.$2,500.00Up to 220MbpsUnlimited

Starlink’s personal plans are based on where you’ll use the service, which makes the choice fairly simple. If you’ll be using it at home, go for Residential. Starlink Roam is the company’s on-the-go service for RVs, camping, and other travel uses. Starlink for Boats is geared toward boat use (surprise!), with a dish that allows for in-motion use.

There are no speed options with each plan—they have the speed that they have, which can vary somewhat based on location. The only real choice you’ll need to make is whether you want global data with the Roam plan and how much priority data you want for the Boat plan. Apart from that, you can just sign up and you’re good to go.

Comcast Xfinity internet plans

Equipment cost
200Mbps$35.00/mo.$14.00/mo.Up to 200Mbps1.2TB (or unlimited for an additional $30.00/mo.)
400Mbps$55.00/mo.$14.00/mo.Up to 400Mbps1.2TB (or unlimited for an additional $30.00/mo.)
1,000Mbps$60.00/mo.$14.00/mo.Up to 1,000Mbps1.2TB (or unlimited for an additional $30.00/mo.)

Prices and plans depend on location.

Unlike Starlink, Comcast’s Xfinity internet offers a wide variety of plans based on speed. This means you can tailor your plan to your needs without overpaying for speeds you won’t use. However, these are all residential plans—you can’t take Xfinity internet on the road with you. (Though the company offers cell service in some areas.)

Xfinity plans greatly vary from place to place, so you may not see the same selection as someone in a different city. However, the core remains the same: lots of speed for relatively little money. In the table above, we’ve highlighted the plans that offer the best overall value.

Speaking of speed, there’s plenty on tap here, with up to 1,200Mbps available in many areas. That should be more than enough for even heavy streamers and large households. But even at the low end, Xfinity offers faster speeds (and lower latency) than Starlink.

Enter your zip code to see if Xfinity is available in your area.

Starlink vs. Comcast: Pros and cons

Starlink pros and cons

pro Wide availability
pro On-the-go and in-motion options for tents, RVs, boats, and other travel
pro Lower latency than other satellite services
pro Unlimited data
pro Fast speeds for a satellite provider
con Some plans are extremely expensive
con Large, up-front equipment fees
con Overtaxed network can slow speeds in certain areas

Starlink finally got rid of its waitlist, so it now offers fast satellite internet service to the entire continental US, Hawaii, and Alaska. That wide availability paired with its comfortable speed range of 25–100Mbps makes it a great option for people needing internet in remote, rural, or off-grid places. Plus, it has unlimited data. That’s enormously hard to come by in the satellite internet space.

But even with all those huge updates, Starlink’s flaws are glaring. Now that it has nationwide availability, its network of low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites are growing overtaxed, and Starlink users have noticed speeds fall, especially in rural towns, not even to mention Starlink Roam users who have the least-prioritized speeds out of all Starlink plans.

Plus, compared to cable internet, Starlink has expensive equipment and monthly fees for slower speeds than the 1,000Mbps players like Comcast’s Xfinity and even Spectrum internet  can match easily. 

Comcast Xfinity pros and cons

pro Variety of plans to choose from
pro Fast speeds up to 1,200Mbps
pro Highly affordable pricing—strong value for money
pro Much lower latency than satellite
pro Option to bundle TV with internet to save money
con More limited availability than satellite, especially in rural areas
con Can’t be used on the go
con Unlimited data costs extra

Xfinity, Comcast’s cable internet brand, comes out of the gate with strong pros. It may not offer unlimited internet for free, but its high 1TB data caps are so roomy most people will never notice, and unlimited data is at least available (the fact that it costs extra is still a con). But Xfinity has blazing fast gigabit internet speeds, extremely good monthly pricing, and no major latency constraints like satellite internet does.

But Xfinity’s plans can be a bit confusing because they’re offered regionally, and, you guessed it—those regions don’t cover a lot of rural areas. Cable internet works by laying copper wires from Xfinity’s hubs all the way to its users houses, and all that wiring can be expensive to meet out. So if your area doesn’t have enough people in it—or any—Xfinity won’t consider it worth the price, so you’re out of cable internet luck.

Plus, unlike Starlink, Xfinity’s cable technology can’t be packed up on the go with an RV internet plan. Starlink Roam can go on the road with you, if you’re willing to pay $150 a month (and upfront for the equipment, of course). 

Much of internet connectivity ends up coming down to your specific needs and largely your location. But knowing all your provider options—and exactly what features they provide you with—really helps. We’ve tested both services, so we’ll break Starlink and Xfinity down so you can see which will really work best for you.

Starlink vs. Comcast Xfinity: Performance

Starlink is generally one of the fastest satellite internet providers on the market. It not only offers excellent speeds, but lower latency than competitors, thanks to its low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation.

However, Comcast is just faster. No current satellite service offers speeds that can compete with cable, and Xfinity is one of the fastest cable providers available. Finally, cable will almost always have lower latency than satellite, which makes a big difference with gaming or video chats. This holds true not just for Comcast, but most cable internet compared to satellite internet.

Starlink vs. Comcast Xfinity: Data

The addition of unlimited data makes Starlink a strong choice for people in rural areas who want high-speed internet with fewer compromises. Unlimited data means you can use your high-speed connection without worrying about incurring additional charges, and really lets you get the most out of your internet service.

While Xfinity doesn’t offer unlimited data by default, the 1.2TB data cap is pretty generous, and you can add unlimited for $30 per month if you need it. That said, this is something you don’t have to do with Starlink, so we have to give it the nod.

Starlink vs. Comcast Xfinity: Price

Satellite internet tends to be pricey, and Starlink is no exception. The most affordable plan starts at $120 per month, which is not cheap for internet access. Additionally, Starlink requires you to pay for your equipment upfront, rather than rolling the cost into your monthly bill, and these charges aren’t cheap. You can expect to pay either $599 or a whopping $2,500 for equipment, depending on the plan you select.

Comcast, on the other hand, is very affordable. There are plans as low as $35 per month—possibly even lower, depending on your location. Even the fastest plans are priced very competitively, with a 1,000Mbps plan costing just $60 per month.


Looking for more affordable rural internet? Check out our roundup of the best cheap internet plans for rural areas.

Starlink vs. Comcast Xfinity: Equipment

Both providers give you a wireless gateway so you can set up a home Wi-Fi network. Both providers also charge you extra for it. Starlink hits you with a large, one-time fee of either $599 or $2,500 for the router and satellite dish, while Xfinity charges a more reasonable $14 per month for the router. The gear is plenty good enough to handle the speeds of each provider.

Something nice about Starlink is that you actually get to keep the equipment after you purchase it, whereas Comcast requires you to turn it back in if you cancel service. This means you can resell the gear and potentially recoup some of the investment.

Starlink vs. Comcast Xfinity: Availability

Starlink definitely wins in availability, as you’d expect from satellite internet. The provider is available nearly nationwide, including rural areas where you’d otherwise have few or no internet options. There have been some issues with waitlists in the past, however, so if you need satellite internet with none of the fuss, you may want to consider an alternative like HughesNet or Viasat.

Comcast’s availability is also quite good, especially for a cable provider. While most of its presence is in the eastern half of the country, there are several hotspots in Colorado, Washington, Utah, California, New Mexico, and Texas. To check availability in your area, use our handy zip tool below.

Comcast Xfinity TV

Although we’re mostly focused on internet here, it’s worth noting that Comcast also offers a TV service called Xfinity TV. It’s a solid service in its own right, but the real advantage is being able to bundle it with internet, which often saves a little money compared to getting the two services separately.

While we’re big fans of streaming here, we have to admit that prices are rising, and it’s entirely possible that a cable subscription might actually be cheaper than streaming now, depending on how many services you have.


Looking for an alternative to cable TV? Read our complete guide.

The Verdict: Should you choose Starlink or Comcast Xfinity?

Generally speaking, we always recommend cable or fiber when available. Comcast Xfinity is no exception: it’s a great service, with fast speeds at affordable prices. The big caveat is availability. Rural customers may have a hard time getting Xfinity, and you can’t take it on the road with you.

In these cases, Starlink is definitely worth a look. It offers excellent performance for a satellite provider, and the unlimited data is a big bonus. Starlink Roam fills a unique niche that most other providers don’t, as well.

Enter your zip code below to see if Comcast or Starlink are available in your area.

Starlink vs. Comcast FAQ

Is Starlink as good as cable internet?

That really depends on what cable internet you have available. Starlink can compete with some lower-end cable packages, at least in terms of download speeds. However, Starlink will have higher latency than cable, and top-tier cable plans will almost certainly be much faster. Starlink is also more expensive than most cable packages.

Is Starlink as fast as Comcast?

No, Starlink is not as fast as Comcast Xfinity. Xfinity offers speeds up to 1,200Mbps, whereas Starlink maxes out around 220Mbps. Starlink might be as fast as some low-end Comcast plans, but you’ll also likely pay a lot more for it.

What’s the downside of Starlink?

Starlink is a great service with a lot of positives, including fast speeds (for satellite), nationwide availability, and unlimited data. However, it’s not perfect. It’s very expensive, the equipment fees are high (as much as $2,500!), and it’s been plagued with waitlists and frequent changes to the service lineup. Overall, Starlink isn’t a bad service, but we’d caution you to do some research before jumping in.

Dave Schafer
Written by
Dave Schafer
Dave has written professionally for tech companies and consumer technology sites for nearly five years, with a special focus on TV and internet. He uses his industry expertise to help readers at get the most out of their services. No matter the project, he prefers his coffee black (the stronger, the better).