It's no secret that modems provided by your ISP can leave a lot to be desired. While we generally recommend you use your own hardware when it comes to your internet connection, plenty of people just go with the standard default modem and router. Comcast is making that process just a little bit easier thanks to the xFi Advanced Gateway modem and router. The modem, which the company is billing as the most advanced device it's ever made, made its debut back in May, but starting today it's available in every market that Comcast offers gigabit internet.
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've 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 Gbps 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.