Comcast’s mesh Wi-Fi system, xFi Pods, launches nationwide – TechCrunch

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Comcast right now is formally launching its personal Wi-Fi extender gadgets known as xFi Pods that assist to handle issues with weak Wi-Fi indicators in components of a buyer’s residence as a consequence of issues like using constructing supplies that disrupt indicators, and even simply the house’s design. The launch follows Comcast’s announcement final 12 months that it was investing within the mesh router maker Plume, which gives plug-in “pods” that assist prolong Wi-Fi indicators.

The corporate mentioned that it might launch its personal xFi pods that pair with Comcast’s gateways to its personal prospects on account of that deal.

These pods had been initially accessible in choose markets, together with Boston, Chicago and Denver, forward of right now’s nationwide launch.

The pods themselves are hexagon-shopped gadgets that plug in to any electrical outlet within the residence, after which pair with Comcast’s xFi Wi-fi Gateway or the xFi Superior Gateway to assist Wi-Fi indicators prolong to the hard-to-reach areas of the house.

The pods work with the Comcast Gateways to repeatedly monitor and optimize the Wi-Fi connections, Comcast explains, whereas its cloud-based administration service evaluates the house’s Wi-Fi atmosphere to verify all of the related gadgets are utilizing the perfect sign bands and Wi-Fi channels. Plus, the gadgets are sensible sufficient to self-monitor their very own efficiency, diagnose points and “heal” themselves, as wanted, says Comcast.

Nevertheless, early opinions of Plume’s pods had been combined. CNET mentioned the system was sluggish and the pods had been too costly, for instance. However Engadget discovered the system had the bottom latency, in contrast with opponents, and helped gadgets roam extra simply and precisely.

Comcast has addressed among the earlier complaints. The pods at the moment are rather more reasonably priced, for starters. Whereas they’ve been promoting on the Plume web site for $329 for a six-pack, Comcast’s six-pack is $199. A 3-pack can also be accessible for $119, as a substitute of the $179 when purchased straight from Plume.

Extra importantly, maybe, is that Comcast’s system is completely different from the pods featured in earlier opinions.

Whereas Plume know-how is a element of the brand new pods, they’re not Plume gadgets, Comcast tells TechCrunch. As a substitute, Comcast licensed the Plume know-how, then reconfigured some features of it so as to combine xFi. It additionally designed its personal pods in-house.

As well as, Comcast’s engineers developed new firmware and new software program in-house to make it simple to pair the pods with a Comcast Gateway.

The Comcast xFi pods could be purchased from its personal web site, the xFi app and in some Xfinity retail shops.

The xFi app (for iOS and Android) can also be how prospects can handle and examine the connection standing of the pods.

Comcast says it should make shopping for pods even simpler later this 12 months by providing a month-to-month cost plan.

The corporate has been upgrading its Wi-Fi providing in latest months as a way of staying aggressive. Final 12 months it launched the Xfinity xFi platform to assist prospects higher handle their residence Wi-Fi community with options like system monitoring, troubleshooting, “bedtime” schedules for households, web pause and different parental controls.

Comcast declined to say what number of pods had been offered in its first trial markets, solely that the response up to now has been optimistic and boosted the corporate’s Internet Promoter Rating consequently.

Picture credit: Comcast

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