Comcast has announced the pending deployment of its new xFi Advanced Gateway, the cable company’s first such product to support the WiFi 6 standard.
Comcast said the device will be available in “the coming months” to customers who pay for internet speeds of 300 Mbps or greater.
Billed as the first major redesign of WiFi in 20 years, WiFi 6 aims to better serve the multi-device, multi-gigabit home, fundamentally rendering the way routers and gateways interact with their electronic “clients” to be faster and more efficient.
The xFi Advanced Gateway features four dual-band antennas that support both 2.4 gigahertz and 5 GHz bands. It has a 2.5 gigabits per second Ethernet port to supported wired speeds greater than 1 Gbps. Also features are Bluetooth LE and Zigbee radios capable of connecting to virtually any IoT device, as well as switchable mid-split support between 42 MHz and 85 MHz to allow greater upstream throughput.
“We designed the next-generation Advanced Gateway to be the fastest, smartest and most powerful WiFi device on the planet to continue to deliver on our promise of bringing our customers a great broadband experience,” said Kunle Ekundare, director of product and hardware management for Comcast, in a statement. “The xFi Advanced Gateway is truly the best Internet product we’ve ever built, and we’re thrilled to be bringing our customers into the future with WiFi 6.”
Comcast, meanwhile, also announced today that it will start giving away its cybersecurity tool, which it calls Advanced Security, for free amid its xFi portfolio of WiFi products and services. Comcast debuted Advanced Security a year ago as a $5.99-a-month optional upgrade.
The security tools, which Comcast has ascribed a $72-a-year value, are intended to proceed the computer and iOT equipment of Comcast WiFi customers. New customers will automatically receive the new offering, while the 18 million existing Comcast xFi customers will have access to the tools in the coming weeks, merely by logging to xFi via mobile app or online.
Among the capabilities offered by xFi Advanced Security are the prevention of inadvertent visits to malicious websites; blocking remote access to smart devices from unknown and potentially dangerous sources; monitoring devices in real time and detecting if they’re behaving in unusual ways that could indicate network threat.
“We want you to have the peace of mind to know that in just a few minutes all the devices you connect in the home, and the people that use them, are safe and secured,” said Dana Strong, president of Xfinity Consumer Services, also in a statement. “Our customers asked for a better way to stream content and we answered with Xfinity Flex for free. Now, we’re giving them the protection they asked for with Advanced Security. That’s an incredible amount of value for our internet customers, and we’re just getting started.”