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Comcast's xFi Advanced Gateway modem is now available nationwide

Comcast's xFi Advanced Gateway modem is now available nationwide
From Engadget - December 5, 2017

The company's goal with this new modem/router is to make setting up, connecting to and using the internet as simple as possible. Comcast's SVP of Hardware Development, Fraser Stirling, told Engadget: "I want your parents to stop phoning you about their internet connection." That was one of the primary goals when designing the interface of xFi app, which we have previously covered in detail. It allows you to set up your WiFi, change and customize settings, set up profiles for use and more. If you want to turn off the WiFi to your kids' devices at 9PM, you can easily do that in the xFi app.

The real advantage of the Gateway modem, though is in its speeds. When developing the tech of this device, the team recognized that WiFi is the primary way that people use the internet, even for bandwidth-heavy activities such as streaming video. The goal, then, was to increase the WiFi speeds of the xFi Advanced Gateway, rather than expecting customers to use a wired Ethernet connection.

The modem uses a 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard, which allows for the possibility of gigabit WiFi. Now, that's not likely to happen in practice in a standard house because of obstructions like walls and floors, but the team was able to get 1.2 to 1.3 GB per second speeds over WiFi in tests. The standards also supports MU-MIMO (multiple input, multiple output), which means you can connect a larger number of devices more efficiently to a single network.

It's important to note, though, that these features are not specific to Comcast's xFi Advanced Gateway. This is a standard that is being applied across modems, routers and devices, but as with any new standard, it's slow going. There still are not a whole lot of devices that have this advanced tech, and they will cost you. And all of this, of course, is dependent on your internet speed from your provider; if you are not paying for gigabit internet, you wo not see a lot of these speed benefits.

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