Networking, News, Smart Home

Comcast to launch new digital home networking solution in 2017

Previewing at CES 2017 this week is Comcast Xfinity’s new “whole home networking solution”, which will be made available to over 15 million customers in the USA later this year.

The cloud-based platform, which will be free for customers with a Comcast Wi-Fi Gateway device, will provide simple to use,  app-hosted controls that allow householders to add network devices, pause a device use during dinnertime, pair Wi-Fi extenders that boost signal strength and use voice controls to see who’s on the network, all in a safe and secure way.

Comcast’s new Advanced Gateway hardware is currently in rollout across the Comcast Xfinity Internet customer base. It’s the device that the company is using to deliver its Gigabit Internet service and is capable of delivering up to nine gigabits per second over Wi-Fi within the home. The gateway also supports voice, home monitoring and automation applications.

Unveiling the service today, Comcast said the new platform can be controlled via web, mobile app and the X1 voice remote. It includes the following features:

  • Get Started. Take A Picture. To set-up your in-home Xfinity experience and Wi-Fi gateway, just scan the QR code of the Wi-Fi Gateway with the app or log on to the web portal, and set up an easy-to-remember username and password. Then start personalizing and categorizing all the connected devices in the house. New devices can be added at any time.
  • Whole Home Connectivity. Leverages Comcast’s powerful Wi-Fi Gateway with attractive, compact, no-configuration Wi-Fi extenders to deliver connectivity throughout the home. Users can also test Wi-Fi signal strength, ensure the Gateway and devices are positioned for the best connectivity, run task-based, Wi-Fi health checks by device and self-resolve issues.
  • Easy Onboarding & Monitoring. Personalize devices by owner or category and monitor how frequently and for how long each device and owner are using the in-home Wi-Fi network – all viewable on one dashboard. The platform’s secure cloud also allows for automatic home network onboarding for compatible devices.
  • Scheduler, Bedtime Mode and Instant Pause. Make customized rules and schedules (i.e. – “Bobby can’t access the internet on his laptop after 8 p.m. on weeknights”), put the whole house into “bedtime mode” where all Wi-Fi connectivity is blocked to specific devices after a certain time; or even pause all device use during dinnertime.
  • Voice & TV Integration. Works with Xfinity X1 and the voice remote – for example, say “who is on the network?” into the remote, and a list of all connected devices in the house is displayed on the TV screen.
  • Safe. Secure. Provides a first line of defense against phishing and malware by setting up automatic protections for customers and their family. Plus, simple and powerful parental controls make it easy to protect family members from inappropriate content.

The new platform will also be made available to syndication partners for deployment later in the year.

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Terry Walsh is the founder of We Got Served. He started the community in February 2007 with a mission to help families, tech enthusiasts everywhere figure out the technology needed to run the modern home and small business. He's the author of a number of guides to Windows, Windows Server and OS X Server and runs his own successful publishing business. Born and raised in Liverpool, England, Terry has been awarded Microsoft's prestigious Most Valuable Professional Award each year since 2008 for his work on We Got Served.

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