It seems we can’t do much at home without Wi-Fi and yet we pay little attention behind the scenes when it comes to our wireless internet service. Who’s online in our home? How can I get my kids to turn off their devices during homework or dinner time?
With Xfinity xFi, a digital dashboard set up to help Xfinity customers manage their home Wi-Fi, Xfinity offers ways to gain more control and visibility over your home network.
This internet modem and Wi-Fi router in one is designed to deliver enhanced coverage with the benefits of xFi. The newest version, the xFi Advanced Gateway, supports Wi-Fi 6, which is optimized for faster speeds and the growing number of networked devices we have linked in our homes.
In addition to Wi-Fi 6, Xfinity says the router has four dual-band antennas supporting both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, plus a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port, three 1 Gbps Ethernet ports and Bluetooth LE and Zigbee radios. This version, as opposed to the original only available in black, is also available in white.
All of this will cost you. In addition to your internet fee, which starts at $39.99/month, the xFi Gateway costs $14 per month. But you have other options.
Go your own way
You can cut back on monthly internet costs and invest in your own modem and router, but you just need to be sure you do your research in advance and purchase a compatible product. (Check our recommendations for the best Xfinity routers if you’re considering purchasing your equipment from a third party.) Of course, going this route, you won’t have the control options offered by the xFi Gateway.
Note that if you don’t go with Xfinity equipment, you’ll lose out on 24/7 tech support. So if you find yourself calling for help often, going with their equipment might be worth it to you.
Some perks of xFi are personalization, family controls and management, and security alerts. Unlike some providers, xFi allows you to personalize your network’s title and password – something the whole family can remember – name each of the connected devices and create user profiles.
Within the xFi app, you can see connected devices, pause Wi-Fi access for certain users’ devices during important times (think: homework time, dinner, or bedtime). You can also receive real-time notifications about who’s logging onto the home network and when.
No more random numbers and letters to write down. Personalize your network title and password, name connected devices, create user profiles.
Control who’s online and even set individual Wi-Fi curfews and routines – or pause coverage altogether when it’s family time.
Security and protection
Parental controls for families to set kid-friendly internet browsing modes.
Also, free if you opt in to the xFi Gateway, this service protects your home’s connected devices from online threats. (Note that Advanced Cybersecurity protections for your network come at no extra charge if you lease a xFi Gateway.)
Important: If you’re an Xfinity internet subscriber, but opt to provide your own modem or router, you won’t be able to get xFi Advanced Cybersecurity at all — it’s a benefit offered only to Xfinity subscribers who also lease an Xfinity Gateway.
These small, plug-in Wi-Fi extenders can be paired with a compatible xFi Gateway to help eliminate spaces where coverage drops or is weak or the “dead spots” in your home. Specifically recommended for homes with connectivity issues due to multiple stories or extra-large square footage, xFi Pods offer more consistent coverage throughout your house. The 3-Pod pack goes for $119, with your account.
Live indoor/outdoor cameras with HD video feed and security cameras that record 24/7 and detect people, vehicles and pets are also available.
How to return equipment
It’s a seemingly pretty simple process. To return your Xfinity equipment, you log into the Digital Return Center, print a prepaid return label and drop off your equipment at any UPS store.
If you’re moving, and would like to keep your current service, you might be able to transfer your equipment to your new home. It just depends on where you’re moving and what Xfinity services are available.
To return xFi Pods specifically, you’ll need to visit this link and fill out the return form. Once completed, you will receive an email confirmation and next steps for your return.