Need Faster and More Wi-Fi Range and Have Comcast? New xFi Pods are Here
Working from home thanks to COVID-19? Need more out of your internet? This could be the answer if you have Xfinity.
Comcast this week announced the arrival of a new version of the XFi Pod mesh Wi-Fi extender, for its Xfinity Internet customers. The new Pod offers speeds up to twice as fast as those of the first generation, Comcast said. The original XFi Pod product was released in 2018.
In a frequency-asked questions page on an Xfinity website, are described as "devices that can be paired with a compatible xFi Gateway to create a mesh WiFi network in your home. Pods help eliminate areas where WiFi coverage drops or is weak, also known as 'dead spots.'They provide extended, more consistent WiFi coverage throughout your entire home." They're meant for people with homes or areas of those houses where, for whatever reason, signals aren't very strong.
“As families spend more time at home and the number of connected devices continues to rise, connectivity across the entire home is more important than ever,” Dana Strong, President, Xfinity Consumer Services, said in the announcement.
“In fact, since March 2020, we have seen the demand for Pods double as families and individuals are retrofitting their homes into offices, movie theaters, doctor's offices, and more, by doing all of those activities online instead of outside of the home.”
The announcement also touts Xfinity customers' access to the Comcast-owned streaming service Peacock, which launched earlier this year. And with the number of Comcast cable subscribers dropping and the number of Internet subscribers continuing to grow, the new product is targeted specifically to " Xfinity Internet-only customers [who] can also easily access their favorite streaming services and manage their connected home devices right on the TV with Xfinity Flex."
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts spoke last month at a Goldman Sachs investor conference, and addressed the continuing shift towards Internet-only customers.
“One of the big pivots of Comcast the last decade is to really follow our customers’ needs and try to anticipate them and be a company that meets them. So in video with some customers who want it all,” Roberts said at the event. “And other customers want to just be streaming. That may be because of financial reasons, habits, age, you name it . . . so video is very much part of our strategy and the DNA of the company.”
The new version of the XFi Pod is available in a single pack for $119 or in a two-pack for $199. Comcast says a single XFi Pod is recommended for 1-2 story homes with 3-4 bedrooms that need more connectivity, while the two-pack is recommended for "5+ bedrooms and thick walls that can cause interference, like metal, concrete, and brick."
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.