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Comcast Will Sell You Mesh Wi-Fi to Boost Their Inadequate Wireless Gateway

Phillip Dampier May 23, 2018 Broadband Speed, Comcast/Xfinity, Consumer News, Wireless Broadband 2 Comments

Comcast customers receiving inadequate Wi-Fi coverage while using a company-provided wireless gateway can now buy a mesh-style wireless solution starting at $119.

XFINITY xFi Pods work only with Comcast’s internet service and provide extended Wi-Fi coverage when paired with either the xFi Wireless Gateway or the xFi Advanced Gateway — both available in Comcast store locations.

“Our gateway devices are incredibly powerful, but we know that some homes have a unique layout or are constructed of materials that can disrupt Wi-Fi coverage in some rooms,” said Eric Schaefer, senior vice president and general manager, Broadband, Automation and Communications, Comcast Cable. “Wi-Fi is the oxygen for the digital home and our xFi Pods can blanket a home with great coverage and are simple to install and easy to use.”

Comcast claims its xFi Pods continually evaluate local signal environments to adjust Wi-Fi channels and bands to assure a superior signal. By creating a mesh network, Comcast claims the Pods help eliminate Wi-Fi dead spots in a larger home.

Customers use the xFi mobile app to get new Pods up and running and continually monitor the in-home mesh network. Each individual Pod plugs into a standard home electrical outlet. Customers who do not need to use all of them in a home or apartment setting can share the extras with friends and family, as long as they also have Comcast internet service and the appropriate gateway.

The hexagon-shaped, xFi Pods are sold in three-packs for $119, or in six-packs for $199, plus shipping and handling. They can be purchased online at www.xfinity.com/xfipods, from the xFi app, or from some XFINITY retail stores. Some purchases can be added to the customer’s Comcast bill. Later this year, customers will also be offered a monthly payment plan for the Pods.

SPECS

Color: White
WiFi Capacity: AC1200
Size: D:2.05in./L:2.52in./H:2.227in.
Ethernet: Single GbE Ethernet
Power supply: 100-240VAC, 50-60Hz, 5W Max

Comcast claims xFi Pods are superior to traditional Wi-Fi extenders because they communicate with each other and pass traffic between them, allowing for multiple areas of enhanced Wi-Fi coverage around a home.

But there are some caveats:

  1. The Pods have a maximum throughput of 200 Mbps, and that was in a lab setting. Comcast said its Pods are intended to expand in-home coverage, not deliver speed to every corner of the home. That means while connected to a xFi Pod, expect maximum download speeds between 100-175 Mbps.
  2. The Pods only work with Comcast’s app and gateway. If you own your own modem or router (for Wi-Fi), the Pods will not work. If you switch providers, the xFi Pods will stop working.
  3. Your Wi-Fi network must share a single Wi-Fi network name and password. You cannot have Wi-Fi guest networks or different SSIDs for 2.4 and 5 GHz channels.

Currently there are 2 comments on this Article:

  1. K Richner says:

    These apparently are just Plume Pods with custom Firmware I own 12 Plume Pods! That are not locked to a isp this is a rip off since they cost about the same regardless if they are Comcast branded or open to use with any isp!

  2. George says:

    802.11ax with 8×8:8 MIMO streams are hitting the market, and Comcast is stuck in the past with 2 stream MIMO on 802.11ac, playing ping-pong with high latency multihop meshes. For $119 I could pump WiFi to 2 houses with 12 rooms each using a coax kit from coaxifi.com, and bring the WiFi signal straight into a cable outlet near the TV in each room, and not owe a cent to a cableco. Partnering with Plume looks like a strategic blunder on Comcast’s part.







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