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Comcast’s latest xFi Advanced Gateway Gets Wi-Fi 6E, Zigbee, and Matter

Comcast announced today its latest xFi Advanced Gateway that, among other things, has the support for Wi-Fi 6E.

Read this  Wi-Fi 6E Explained: Better Wireless Connections at the Expense of Range

The new gateway shares a similar up-right rectangle box as existing xFi gateways, but it now comes in white instead of gray and incorporates three Wi-Fi bands, including 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and the new 6 GHz.

The new Comcast Wi-Fi 6E xFi Advanced Gateway
The new Comcast Wi-Fi 6E xFi Advanced Gateway

xFi Advanced Gateway: The most advanced among its peers

According to Comast, the new gateway has two key new features.

First, it’s the most advanced Wi-Fi gateway of its type that features Wi-Fi 6E to deliver a new tri-band setup with a combined bandwidth of up to 10Gbps. On this front, it’s similar to the Asus GT-AXE11000 or the Netgear RAXE500.

And secondly, it has built-in support for Zigbee and Matter wireless standards to support low-powered IoT devices, such as smart lights, plugs, locks, and more. In other words, you won’t need to get a separate Zigbee or Matter hub.

And last but not least, according to Comcast, the new xFi Advanced Gateway also has mesh capability via the addition xFi pods and the full suite of free services.

These include app-based control of the home Wi-Fi network and xFi Advanced Security, which protect the entire network from malware and other online threats.

If you’re wondering who makes the new gateway, it seems to be rebranded hardware from Plume, a small networking company that started making the Plume Pods years ago, which later became the xFi Pods.

Comcast advanced wifi 6e gateway back ports
The Comcast Advanced Wi-Fi 6E gateway comes with a service (WAN) connector, two telephone ports, and four LAN ports — it’s unclear if any of them support Multi-Gig. It also has a USB-C port.

Availability

Comcast says it will start rolling out the new Wi-Fi 6E xFi Advanced Gateway to customers over the coming months, beginning with those subscribing to Gigabit Internet or the xFi Complete package.

The new gateway is not free but will cost a monthly “rental” fee of around $15.

While the addition of Wi-Fi 6E is exciting and the built-in support for IoT devices sure is helpful — you’ll save some $50 in terms of hardware there — my take is it’s still a good idea to get your own modem and a separate Wi-Fi solution. You’d be more in control of your home network.

The equipment rental fee aside, using this type of gateway — or any router that requires a login account — can translate into potential privacy risks. On this front, Comcast pointed me to its Privacy Policy.

On the flip side, for those who aren’t concerned about privacy issues, using Comcast-supplied hardware means you have a cheaper option for unlimited monthly data. If you upload a lot, that’s something to consider.

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