Comcast’s new Wi-Fi 6E router is ready to connect all Matter-compatible smart home accessories.
This year you will hear a lot about the new ones Matter smart home default-. It’s not technically live yet and the first compatible devices won’t start rolling in until this week for CES 2022. But in preparation for the onslaught of marketing and movement around the new connect-it-all smart home platform, Comcast wants to get involved.
Comcast introduced a new Matter-ready version of its xFi Advanced Gateway router as part of this week’s CES announcements. The revamped xFi router has Zigbee connectivity to serve as a smart home hub. It’s also a tri-band Wi-Fi 6E router, so it supports the new 6GHz band along with the now standard 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. It has user-friendly features such as parental controls and the ability to manage individual device access.
Comcast’s xFi Advanced Gateway router is an easy default choice for people who can’t afford a new modem and router right away for improved Internet speeds. What Comcast is offering here is at least a next-generation option rather than forcing people to lease hardware that is outdated.
Comcast also offers a range of smart home accessories and appliances, including a new Xfinity video doorbell that integrates directly with other displays in the ecosystem. You can pay off that doorbell camera in $5 increments into your monthly service bill.
More Wi-Fi 6E routers will be in the pipeline in the coming months as the rest of the industry has started adopting the standard as well. But right now they cost a small fortune – the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500, for example, costs over $600, and it’s not a smart home hub.
Not everyone needs or wants to pay up front for a blazing-fast, next-gen Wi-Fi router, and Comcast is targeting those people with this particular launch. The cost of leasing the router remains around $14 per month, which could make sense for many Comcast subscribers. Leasing also means you don’t have to hold on to old hardware when upgrades are in the pipeline. On the other hand, you’ll have to keep paying for the device to use it, and it means you don’t technically own the hardware.
Comcast says its customers will receive the new xFi Advanced Gateway Wi-Fi routers in the coming months. Subscribers who pay for gigabit internet or the xFi Complete package will need to upgrade first.
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