Within the first half of 2017, about 10 million Comcast Xfinity customers will be able to buy the Comcast Wi-Fi Advanced Gateway Device, their latest combination modem/router. On top of providing killer internet speeds that the company might start offering soon, the new hubs allow customers to monitor internet use and even to set up Wi-Fi rules for multiple devices.
Using the Wi-Fi gateway will turn you into the all-seeing Big Brother of your home. From the dashboard, you can see who is using the internet with what device, and how much time they are spending on the internet. We’re guessing that won’t make you the most popular guy in the house. Also, you may have to come to grips with just how much time you spend on the internet yourself. This platform can be accessed from a web page, the mobile app, your TV, or the X1 voice remote.
Customers can expect up to 9 Gbps down internet speeds, which is much faster than anything Comcast provides right now — the idea, we hope, is that it’s future-proof. The Advanced Gateway Device can be used to test connectivity throughout your home so as to best position the Wi-Fi extenders for optimal signal, too. Best of all, the extenders require no configuration, so set up is extremely easy.
Here’s where it gets really good for you as a parent and borderline exasperating for a teenager. You can use the scheduler, bedtime mode, and instant pause to make your own customized rules of internet tyranny. For example, if you want your kids to actually sleep at night rather than Snapchat, you can kill the internet for all of their devices at 10 pm. Just be prepared for some serious moping about it. Or you could go with a more benevolent rulership and simply pause the internet during family dinner time with the Instant Pause capability. At any time, you can use voice commands to ask the X1 Voice Remote who is on the network, and the TV screen will pull that info up for you.
This device can also improve your internet home ecosystem by protecting it against malware, especially those aimed at password-less devices. Comcast will release the Advanced Gateway later this year, and will push out an update to older Gateway models adding the new control features. Keep an eye on Comcast as this happens.