In this article, we’re taking a closer look at how the Xfinity® WiFi network works and how you can make the best of it using NetSpot, a professional Windows and Mac OS X app for wireless site surveys and in-depth WiFi analysis.
Xfinity WiFi Router
Xfinity®, a subsidiary of Comcast®, has been developing a network of hotspots intended for use by Comcast® customers. Called Xfinity® WiFi, this innovative wireless system is comprised of millions of WiFi hotspots broadcasted by home routers of Comcast’s existing customers.
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How Does the Xfinity® Router Creates a Hotspot?
Each Xfinity® router is equipped with two antennas. One antenna is used to broadcast a private home network based on the plan selected by the customer. The other antenna broadcasts a separate public network called xfinitywifi.
This allows businesses and homeowners to provide their clients and guests with an internet access without sharing their WiFi passwords. Because the private network can’t be accessed from the public network, opportunistic hackers have no way how to gain access to the information broadcasted on the private network. To keep the private connection unaffected, Comcast® allows only 5 people to be connected to a single Xfinity® hotspot at a time.
Any Comcast® customer who has signed up for XFINITY® Internet can access all Xfinity® WiFi hotspots free of charge. Comcast® also sells Xfinity® WiFi Access Passes, starting at $2.95 for 2 hours and going all the way up to $54.95 for a single month of access.
In theory, one could travel across the country and get by without a cellular data connection, hopping from one Xfinity® hotspot to another. Because the location of the hotspots is publicly available, businesses have an incentive to make Xfinity® Wifi available to their customers and passers-by.
Comcast® has released a Xfinity® WiFi app for Android and iOS to help customers locate all Xfinity® hotspots within range and automatically connect to Xfinity® WiFi around town. If you happen to stumble upon a Xfinity® WiFi that’s not working, you can use the app to find the closest suitable alternative quickly.
Make the Most of Your Xfinity® WiFi Hotspot: Xfinity® Speed Test and Optimization
Comcast® has over 23 million internet customers, with most using the Xfinity® router to broadcast public WiFi for others to connect to. With so many people broadcasting at the same time, the 2.4GHz range can become very crowded, and the download and upload speeds can come to crawl.
Fortunately, you can easily optimize your Xfinity® internet speed using NetSpot, a professional wireless site surveys, WiFi analysis, and troubleshooting app for Windows and Mac OS X. NetSpot can help you discover WiFi networks around you and create detailed WiFi strength heatmaps.
To use the tool, all you need is a laptop or desktop computer running Windows 7 or higher or Mac OS X 10.10 or higher.
Perform a Simple Xfinity® Signal Strength Test
If you’re experiencing slowdowns with your Xfinity® home connection or your Xfinity® WiFi hotspot, you should find out how strong the signal is and how many other WiFi networks are broadcasting on the same channel. NetSpot features two ways how to measure your WiFi signal strength: one quick and one detailed.
The quick method can be accessed by activating the Discover mode:
Click on the Discover/Survey slider at the top of the main screen to highlight the Discover option;
NetSpot will instantly create a concise report of all WiFi networks in your surrounding area, coupled with a lot of useful information such as the WiFi band, the average signal strength, the amount of noise, the encryption method, and more;
Use the information to access the status of your WiFi connection.
With the Discover mode, you can find out how strong or weak your WiFi signal is to verify the cause of your sluggish internet speeds. If the signal is strong, you know that the problem is most likely elsewhere.
But if the signal is weak, you need to take some actions to fix it. For that, you’ll need more information, which is exactly what the Survey mode is for:
Click on the Discover/Survey slider at the top of the main screen to highlight the Survey option;
Upload a map of your area or draw one from scratch using NetSpot’s map-drawing tools;
At the bottom of the Survey screen, use the heatmap popup menu to switch between several available heatmap visualizations.
- The Signal level heatmap visualization displays the WiFi signal strength throughout the surveyed area.
- The Signal-to-noise ratio visualization helps you pinpoints sources of signal noise and get rid of them. These often include home appliances, radio equipment, or lights.
- The Signal-to-interference ratio shows the interference from other wireless networks.
Once you’re done, you can use the gathered information to decide which areas should be strengthened using WiFi boosters and repeaters, and you can also determine whether it wouldn’t be beneficial to move your Xfinity® router elsewhere.
Give NetSpot a try and discover how easy it is to optimize your home WiFi network and improve your internet speeds. Even though NetSpot offers professional features, its approachable, modern user interface makes it suitable even for casual computer users.
Reliable Home Security with Xfinity® Home
Fast and reliable internet speeds are essential for all users of Xfinity® Home, Comcast’s home security system with around-the-clock monitoring, remote control, real-time alert, and voice control. Xfinity® Home equipment, including window sensors, motion sensors, cameras, and water sensors, transmit data over WiFi, freeing users from messy cables.
As such, Xfinity® Home is a subject to signal interference and potential signal dropouts. With NetSpot, you can quickly and easily ensure that all security devices connected to your Xfinity® Home security system are covered by your home WiFi network. Use the Survey mode to select the optimal places for your security cameras and other equipment.
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Xfinity® routers are equipped with two antennas. One is used to broadcast a private network signal based on the selected plan; second — broadcasts a separate public network signal that can usually be seen as an xfinity wifi hotspot.
This second signal allows small business owners to offer WiFi to their guests without sharing access to their private connection. For security, Comcast® allows only 5 people to be connected to a single Xfinity® hotspot at a time. If you are a Comcast® customer and have signed up for XFINITY® Internet, you’ll be able to access all Xfinity® WiFi hotspots free of charge.
You can use NetSpot to optimize your Xfinity® Internet speed. NetSpot is a professional wireless site survey and WiFi analysis app for Windows and macOS. With NetSpot’s toolset one can troubleshoot and improve their WiFi network with just their laptop at hand.
If you feel like your Xfinity® home connection or your Xfinity® WiFi hotspot is slow, try measuring the WiFi signal strength with an app like NetSpot. In the app open the Discover mode. You’ll see a report on all surrounding WiFi networks, with the information about their WiFi band, average signal strength, level of noise, the encryption method, etc.
This data can be used to assess your WiFi connection, e.g. the first thing you look at is the level of your network’s wireless signal — if it is strong, then the slow Internet speed is caused by a different issue, and you go from there.
All security devices communicating with your Xfinity® Home security system over the WiFi network need a stable and strong coverage for their top performance. Use NetSpot to survey your WiFi network and find the optimal placement for every device and access point to avoid the inconvenient signal interference and potential signal dropouts.
If you want to get more information about Wi-Fi, check out the following articles about Wi-Fi routers, the best apps for wireless networking, WiFi signal, etc.