Comcast jumps into securing internet of things devices with new xFi system

Jeff Fusco/AP Images for Comcast

XFI know-how seen on the Comcast NYC UX Team Shoot on the Comcast NYC UX Studio on March 21, 2017, in New York, NY.

Now that almost all of Americans have access to broadband and individuals who pay Comcast for internet outnumber those that pay for video, the cable supplier is rolling out a service Monday that has nothing to do with cable TV. It desires to make it simpler for patrons to make use of internet securely at residence.

Comcast’s new Xfinity xFi system creates a base to attach and management a house’s iPads, sensible lights and different internet of things devices. Connecting all of them is so simple as taking an image with a smartphone, which Comcast shared in an illustration on the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this 12 months.

“This is about giving individuals connectivity and visibility and making it so simple as attainable,” stated Chris Satchell, Comcast’s chief product officer.

Comcast's Xfinity xFi system is being rolled out to Wi-Fi customers starting May 8, 2017. The service and devices are intended to make it easier for consumers to configure their home's internet of things and make sure security is set.


Comcast’s Xfinity xFi system is being rolled out to Wi-Fi prospects beginning May eight, 2017. The service and devices use cell apps which can be meant to make it simpler for customers to configure their residence’s internet of things and ensure safety is ready.

Often, IoT merchandise come with their very own cell apps and completely different ranges of safety. Home-internet gateways, from Wink to Samsung SmartThings, assist owners management most of their IoT devices on one app. According to market researcher IHS, the quantity of IoT devices is multiplying at double-digit charges every year, from an estimated 20.35 billion this 12 months to 75.four billion in 2025.

But Comcast is utilizing its would possibly to get extra of its prospects not solely to a related residence, however one that’s related securely. The system displays exercise and defends towards phishing and malware. On both an app or a giant TV, customers can tweak parental settings, create household profiles and even determine which devices aren’t working.

“This can be to your telephones, laptops and what you really want it for, all these IoT devices. They don’t have keyboards. This actually  helps these devices from reaching out to malware websites. It’s an added layer of safety on high of the firewall,” Satchell stated.

At launch on Monday, 10 million prospects who have already got present Comcast Wi-Fi — both the xFi Wireless Gateway or the xFi Advanced Wireless Gateway — can have entry to the service. The latest mannequin, the X6, is out there to prospects who order Comcast’s gigabit internet service. The service is included in the fee of leasing a gateway, which presently is $10 a month.