In early May Comcast, the parent company of Xfinity, announced their new xFi service that simplifies controls for your home Wi-Fi network through the Xfinity Wireless Gateway gear that is provided by the company.
That roll out has been happening since then and Xfinity estimate there are approximately 10 million homes able to take advnatge of this free service.
I have been tinkering with xFi for the last few weeks and when you use the service it is like having a new graphical interface over the more complicated settings that are inside the wireless gateway. By providing that visual layer instead of a complicated set of menus and settings and then making it available over the web, via a mobile app, or even on your TV through your Xfinity desktop box, it puts those controls within easier reach to households.
The list of options with the service will be attractive to households with kids or a geek who loves to customize everything about their network.
Here is a quick summary of xFi's features:
-- Instant Setup: Simple, easy setup of Xfinity Internet service and home Wi-Fi
-- Manage On Any Device: Take control with easy-to-use apps, the web, and X1 voice remote
-- Find My Password: View and modify Wi-Fi names and passwords
-- Name & Organize: See all connected devices and give nicknames for easy reference
-- Easy-To-Use Tools: Set parental controls and bedtime schedules for any family member on the home Wi-Fi network
-- Who’s Using What: Create personal profiles and assign devices to individual family members
-- Text Alerts: Receive alerts when new devices join your home network
-- Pause With A Tap: Instantly pause Wi-Fi access on your home network, by device or user
-- Voice Control: Say "show me devices" into the X1 voice remote and see results on the biggest screen in the home
-- Monitor Activity: See who’s most active on your home network and when
-- Troubleshoot Wi-Fi: Identify devices that are not working properly and receive tips to fix them
-- Cloud Management: See and control your home Wi-Fi network from anywhere
-- Safe & Secure: First line of defense against phishing and malware
I have been very impressed with the customization options that are available with the xFi service. If I still had a child living at home the parental controls, one stop shop for shutting down Wi-Fi, and establishing usage hours would be very welcome.
For now though, as the resident geek in our home, I am using the usage tools to see what devices use the Internet and when it happens. I love having nicknames for each device so that I know exactly what hardware is online at any given time.
If you are an Xfinity customer all you have to do is log into internet.xfinity.com to get started. Mobile apps are available for iOS and Android and each of them provide the same level of functionality which is available through the web interface.
This gallery will show you the xFi interface, its functionality, and your customization options.