Home networks are increasingly complex today, with an array of devices connecting via Wi-Fi that demand stable connections and create management nightmares. Toss in things like parental controls, and home networks can be as difficult to maintain as the typical business network.
The usual Wi-Fi router can be incredibly difficult to setup and configure, meaning that most home users simply avoid doing more than just getting connected to the internet and then leaving things at their default settings. Comcast hopes to change things with its new Xfinity xFi experience, which it is making available to its 10 million Xfinity internet customers at no extra charge.
Xfinity xFi is a new management experience that’s available via the web, via a mobile app, and on supported TVs with the company’s X1 voice remote. xFi can be accessed immediately by Xfinity customers using the xFi Wireless Gateway or the xFi Advanced Wireless Gateway.
According to Comcast, 86 percent of all home broadband traffic passes over Wi-Fi, and the average number of Wi-Fi-connected devices in American homes will hit 50 by 2020. xFi hopes to make these networks easier to manage by providing a number of features, including:
- Instant Setup: simple, easy setup of Xfinity Internet service and home Wi-Fi
- Manage On Any Device: ability to take control with easy-to-use apps, the web, and X1 voice remote
- Find My Password: view and modify Wi-Fi names and passwords
- Name & Organize: see all connected devices and give nicknames for easy reference
- Easy-To-Use Tools: set parental controls and bedtime schedules for any family member on the home Wi-Fi network
- Who’s Using What: create personal profiles and assign devices to individual family members
- Text Alerts: receive alerts when new devices join your home network
- Pause With A Tap: instantly pause Wi-Fi access on your home network, by device or user
- Voice Control: say “show me devices” into the X1 voice remote and see results on the biggest screen in the home
- Monitor Activity: see who’s most active on your home network and when
- Troubleshoot Wi-Fi: identify devices that are not working properly and receive tips to fix them
- Cloud Management: see and control your home Wi-Fi network from anywhere
- Safe & Secure: first line of defense against phishing and malware
“The adoption and use of connected devices has grown dramatically and Comcast has created a solution that makes it easy to control and manage them,” said Eric Schaefer, Comcast Cable’s senior vice president of internet and communications services. “xFi is a personalized home Wi-Fi experience that gives customers the fastest speeds, best coverage, and ultimate control in their homes. And it’s a platform that will allow us to bring future innovations to our customers, address common pain points, and vastly improve the way millions of people interact with their home Wi-Fi network.
Going forward, Comcast plans to launch xFi pods that work with the xFi Wireless Gateway or Advanced Wireless Gateway to extend Wi-Fi coverage over remote areas that today aren’t reached by existing routers. The company has invested in Plume, maker of distributed Wi-Fi systems, and will utilize Plume’s low-configuration, adaptive mesh technology with the new xFi Pods.
Current Xfinity customers can get started with xFi by going to www.xfinity.com/myxfi or by downloading the xFi app for iOS and Android devices. The service is available at no extra cost and is ready to support 10 million Xfinity internet customers.
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