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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 15 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.
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K Richner
K Richner
2 years ago

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!

Bill
Bill
6 months ago
Reply to  K Richner

Plume pods are $99 PER YEAR and $99 each. $119 as a one time charge for three is a better deal

Aodhan Riggs
Aodhan Riggs
5 months ago
Reply to  Bill

Not when you only need ONE

George
George
2 years ago

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.

jeff
jeff
4 months ago
Reply to  George

As an average consumer, I don’t understand the technical aspect of your answer. Can you explain in simple terms how I can improve the wifi coverage and download speed of my Xfinity network at home? Thanks

Don Rull
Don Rull
1 year ago

I just received the pods for both of my homes that have horrible coverage using the Xfi router. Unfortunately, the app will not work for me and, of course, Comcast 2nd tier support couldn’t get it working. Another bad Comcrap experience…at least I know to expect crap from Comcast. They are consistent with this one thing.

Kenny
Kenny
8 months ago

I’ve been using these pods with some success, as my wifi needs to cover the basement, first, and second-story rooms. However, I’m switching to fiber this month. I’m not sure if I’ll still need the pods with fiber, but I’d like to know whether or not I can use them with the fiber modem and the new digital wifi router. I’ll also have a switch between the fiber modem and the new digital wifi router, (I’m renting the wifi router from USI Fiber). Does anyone know if the Xfinity pods will work with this fiber setup?

Ray
Ray
8 months ago
Reply to  Kenny

It will not work if they will replace your xfi router..just buy google mesh it has a good review and works the same as xfi pods,.

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Ray

But don’t you still have to buy or provide a gateway modem?

Bill Carroll
Bill Carroll
6 months ago

If the Xfinity Wifi is inadequate for my home, then why do I have to pay for boosters from them? Just doesn’t seem right

MCR
MCR
6 months ago
Reply to  Bill Carroll

If the X1 Router isn’t hitting all the rooms in your house, Comcast will give you the pods for free. I have the Gig Speed service and was consistently going over my data cap. I was using my own modem and Nighthawk router. I called to downgrade speed (-$30) and upgrade to unlimited data (+$50) which would have cost me an extra $20 per month with slower speeds. They offered me the option to keep my Gig service and unlimited data for an additional $20 per month if I used the Xfi modem/ router. The $20 includes equipment rental so… Read more »

HatinComcast
HatinComcast
4 months ago
Reply to  Bill Carroll

Agreed, I’m in a huge fight with them about this issue.

Stephen R Hughes
Stephen R Hughes
3 months ago
Reply to  Bill Carroll

I agree. Xfinity recommended that I replace my X1 router which they did. The new router looks and feels cheaper than the old one and I can’t see the lights like the old one when it is sitting on the floor. More importantly, with the new router two tablets and even my Oculus Quest goggles drop out and lose the signal when I am down in the living room which never used to be a problem. It makes me wonder if they tried to save money on a cheaper router and when it turned out to be inadequate, they decided… Read more »

U Marc
U Marc
4 months ago

This is incorrect Information.

XFi pods maxim throughput speeds on 2.4 Ghz band is 300MBPS and 867Mbps on the 5 Ghz band

Frank A. Fuzy III
Frank A. Fuzy III
3 months ago

I have been doing some research about my comcast gigabyte service using the XB6. Now that we are all using wifi at home I noticed just how terrible the system is. Before I upgraded to gigabyte I used the lower level comcast modem and my own Netgear Nighthawk. I am decent with computers but not a super tech. However, the Nighthawk allowed me many more options and the range was double what I have now. I explained my concerns to multiple comcast reps and got nowhere. They kept blaming my system and my layout. I explained that everything was exactly… Read more »

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