Comcast announced a new version of its xFi Advanced Gateway, one of its modem / router combo products you can lease with your Xfinity internet, today at CES. This new version has support for Wi-Fi 6, which is optimized for faster speeds and to better handle the ever-growing number of networked devices we have in our homes.
In addition to Wi-Fi 6, Comcast says the new router has four dual-band antennas that support both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, one 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port, three 1 Gbps Ethernet ports (the previous version had two), and Bluetooth LE and Zigbee radios to connect to IoT devices. It also comes in a nice-looking new white — the previous generation came in black. And if you use Comcast’s xFi Pods to make a mesh Wi-Fi network at your home, Comcast says those Pods will still work with the new Advanced Gateway.
Comcast tells The Verge the gateway will start rolling out in January.
The new gateway isn’t available to all Comcast customers, though — you’ll have to be on one of Comcast’s plans with speeds of 300 Mbps or more per month. But if you are on one of those plans, the new gateway will cost the same to lease as what you’re already paying today, Comcast’s VP of xFi and Digital Security Dave Puckett told The Verge in an interview.
Comcast also announced that its xFi Advanced Cybersecurity, which offers additional security protections for your network, will be available to customers who lease an xFi gateway at no extra charge. Comcast says the now-free service will be rolling out to customers over the coming weeks, and new Xfinity customers will have the service turned on by default. Once it has rolled out to you, you can manage the service through the xFi mobile app.
XFi Advanced Cybersecurity was announced at CES last year as a $5.99-per-month subscription on top of what customers were already paying for internet and to lease the router from Comcast. If you were already paying for it, Puckett said that you won’t have to anymore. But if you’re a Comcast internet subscriber and use your own modem or router, you won’t be able to get xFi Advanced Cybersecurity at all — it’s a benefit offered only to Comcast subscribers who also lease a Comcast gateway.