On the surface, Xfinity and Digital Life are similar security companies. They are not security companies in the traditional sense, as Xfinity (Comcast) is first a television and internet company and Digital Life (AT&T) is a telecommunications companies. So which one is better? Which one should you choose?
Xfinity Pros & Cons
- Cable, Internet, and Home Security Bundles Are Available
- Self-Branded Equipment
- Smartphone Access For All Users
- Limited Equipment
- Regional Coverage & Availability
- History of Poor Customer Service
Digital Life Pros & Cons
- High-Quality Customer Service
- Affordable Add-On Equipment
- Limited Equipment Choice
- Limited Home Automation
- Not Available in All Areas
- Triple-Play Companies
- Limited Service Areas
- Home Security Bundles
- Professional Installation
- Availability — Xfinity is available in most of continental U.S., but not everywhere. Digital Life is available in all 50 states but not in certain areas.
- Monitoring Plans — Xfinity has two monitoring plans and several bundles. Digital Life only offers one monitoring plan and a number of bundles.
- Home Automation — Both companies support home automation, but Xfinity has a stronger home automation platform with X1 (TV plan) and the Xfinity app.
- Cameras & Continuous Recording — Xfinity offers a monitoring plan with continuous video recording, while Digital Life lacks a camera.
- Equipment Cost — Xfinity several basic equipment packages ranging from $360 to $600, while Digital Life only has one basic package priced $549.99.
Sales & Pricing Comparison
Both companies use a hybrid sales process that starts online but still ends up with a sales consultation. With Xfinity, you start by selecting a monitoring plan, picking an equipment package, and adding equipment as needed. And you can also choose whether to pay for the equipment package upfront or in 24-month installments. After placing an order, Xfinity will contact you to perform a credit check. With Digital Life, there's only one equipment package and plan option, but you can also buy additional products. A credit check is also in order.
Xfinity offers two monitoring plans: Home Security for $40 per month and Home Security Plus for $50 per month. Digital Life only has one monitoring plan with a $39.99 per month rate. Additionally, both companies offer home security plans with cable and internet bundles. These bundles typically have lower introductory prices and will help you save greatly especially on the first year of use. Xfinity also offers discount if you agree to enroll to auto-pay and paperless billing.
Xfinity has three basic packages, costing between $360 and $600. You can pay upfront for the equipment or have it financed. If you finance your equipment, you'll pay between $15 and $25 per month in addition to your plan. With Digital Life, you must pay for the products upfront. The starter package will cost you $549.99.
Both Xfinity and Digital Life require professional installation, but the service comes with a fee. With Xfinity, the flat rate is $99.99, but it may increase depending on the size of the system and the types of products you own. With Digital Life, there is no flat rate. The total cost is computed after your order is finalized.
Key Features & Tech
Xfinity's basic equipment packages consist of a touchscreen control panel with battery backup, several door/window sensors, a pet-friendly motion sensor, and a yard sign. Larger packages also include a wireless keypad and a camera. Digital Life's basic package includes a touchscreen control panel, two recessed door sensors, four door/window sensors, a keypad, a motion sensor, and a siren.
Winner: Digital Life
Although both companies offer home automation features, Xfinity's home automation game is stronger than Digital Life's smart home offer. With Xfinity, you can buy a smart thermostat and an outlet controller. Xfinity also partnered with ecobee, Nest, Philips Hue, GE, and other big names in the smart home industry. Additionally, you can use your TV to control your smart home with X1, one of Xfinity's TV plans. With Digital Life, the smart home features are only powered by the Digital Life smartphone app. Although they also offer smart home products, they don't have as many partnerships as Xfinity.
Digital Life lacks a camera, while Xfinity has a strong security camera offering. Xfinity only offers one security camera, but works indoors and outdoors. Additionally, you can buy cameras even with the basic Home Security plan. With this plan, your cameras will be able to stream videos to your smartphone and give you access to event recordings. With the more advanced Home Security Plus plans, your cameras get continuous recording. Even without a motion event, they will continue to record rolling videos and store them in the cloud for ten days. During that period, you can playback any moment of any of the past ten days, download clips, and share videos to social media sites.
Xfinity and Digital Life both have smartphone apps, and the best thing is that you can access the app no matter which plan you are on. Other alarm companies typically require at least a mid-tier plan subscription so you can access their apps.
Xfinity uses broadband monitoring with cellular backup. You can use their home security system as long as you have an internet connection, whether it's from Comcast or not. The same is true for Digital Life. You can use their service even if your internet provider is not AT&T.
Customer Service Experience
Both companies require a two-year monitoring agreement. With this agreement, you're required to pay for service for at least two years. Once the contract ends, the agreement becomes month-to-month, so you can cancel anytime. However, with Xfinity, there's a clause within the contract that says:
“NO TERMINATION FEE IS DUE IF YOU TERMINATE DURING ANY RENEWAL PERIOD, UNLESS YOU HAVE AGREED TO A SERVICE PACKAGE REQUIRING AN ADDITIONAL MINIMUM TERM COMMITMENT.”
While you're not required to auto-renew, you may agree to extend the contract to enjoy service discounts. Sometimes, customers complain that their contracts were extended unbeknownst to them, only to realize that the contract extension was agreed upon over a quick phone call from Xfinity offering them discounts. Be careful.
Winner: Digital Life
It's currently unclear what the moving policies are for Xfinity and Digital Life. However, given that both companies have limited service areas, we can assume that the moving policy is decided on a case-to-case basis.
Xfinity has several products, and each product class has a different return policy. For home security products, the return period is 30 days. With Digital Life, customers are only given 14 days to return their systems without incurring penalties.
If you want to cancel service beyond the return period, you're going to have to pay a penalty. However, you can only cancel service but not return the equipment and get a refund. With both companies, you'll be on the hook for the remaining balance of your contract. In addition, with Xfinity, if you financed your equipment, you must pay the equipment balance.
The Bottom Line: Who Wins?
Xfinity and Digital Life are both from not security-related companies that have managed to carve out a niche in the home security field. As triple-play companies, they have the advantage of offering multiple services at a lower price than if you bought those services from different companies. If you want to bundle up your home security plan with your internet or cable service, Xfinity and Digital Life are solid options. However, between the two, it's clear that Xfinity is the better choice. They have better offers, they are more flexible, and they provide more options. However, keep in mind that Xfinity and Comcast has a poor history of customer service when compared to Digital Life.
Xfinity Home Security Plans
|Plan||Price||Promo Price||Contract Length|
|Xfinity Home Security||$40/mo||$30/mo||24 mo|
|Xfinity Home Security Plus||$50/mo||-||24 mo|
AT&T Digital Life Plans
|Plan||Price||Promo Price||Contract Length|
|Smart Security||$39.99/mo||-||24 mo|
|Xfinity Home Security||AT&T Digital Life|
|Features & Technolgy||8.5||8.5|
|Ease of Use||8||8|