Comcast right this moment is formally launching its personal Wi-Fi extender units known as xFi Pods that assist to deal with issues with weak Wi-Fi indicators in elements of a buyer’s residence because 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 because of that deal.
These pods had been initially available in choose markets, together with Boston, Chicago and Denver, forward of right this moment’s nationwide launch.
The pods themselves are hexagon-shopped units 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 constantly monitor and optimize the Wi-Fi connections, Comcast explains, whereas its cloud-based administration service evaluates the house’s Wi-Fi surroundings to verify all of the linked units are utilizing the perfect sign bands and Wi-Fi channels. Plus, the units are sensible sufficient to self-monitor their very own efficiency, diagnose points and “heal” themselves, as wanted, says Comcast.
Nevertheless, early evaluations of Plume’s pods had been blended. CNET mentioned the system was gradual and the pods had been too costly, for instance. However Engadget discovered the system had the bottom latency, in contrast with opponents, and helped units roam extra simply and precisely.
Comcast has addressed among the earlier complaints. The pods are actually way more inexpensive, for starters. Whereas they’ve been promoting on the Plume website for $329 for a six-pack, Comcast’s six-pack is $199. A 3-pack can be accessible for $119, as an alternative of the $179 when purchased instantly from Plume.
Extra importantly, maybe, is that Comcast’s system is completely different from the pods featured in earlier evaluations.
Whereas Plume know-how is a part of the brand new pods, they’re not Plume units, Comcast tells TechCrunch. As an alternative, Comcast licensed the Plume know-how, then reconfigured some features of it with a view 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 straightforward to pair the pods with a Comcast Gateway.
The xFi app (for iOS and Android) can be how prospects can handle and examine the connection standing of the pods.
Comcast says it’s going to 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 method 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 machine monitoring, troubleshooting, “bedtime” schedules for households, web pause and different parental controls.
Comcast declined to say what number of pods had been bought in its first trial markets, solely that the response up to now has been optimistic and boosted the corporate’s Internet Promoter Rating because of this.
Picture credit: Comcast