Comcast in the present day introduced the Storm-Prepared WiFi, an aptly Wi-Fi broadcaster for its Xfinity Cable broadband designed to maintain clients related throughout, properly, a storm. That is the concept.
Judging from the identify, it is a well timed product because the hurricane season is coming to sure elements of the US. Contemplating local weather change and up to date extreme climate occasions, it is arduous to rely on luck these days. All we will do is put together, and we will not put together sufficient.
So the brand new Storm-Prepared WiFi appears to make numerous sense. Or does it?
Comcast Storm-Prepared WiFi: A Wi-Fi 6 area of interest extender at coronary heart
On the core of it, the Storm-Prepared WiFi is a bigger variant of the xFi Wi-Fi extender, much like the xFi Pods. It options Tri-band Wi-Fi 6 and has two Gigabit community ports to attach wired gadgets.
Bodily, it weighs 2 lbs and is a cylindrical field that measures 4.33 inches extensive and 6.3 inches tall (110 x 160 mm). Nonetheless, it is the primary of its form, accompanied by a separate backup battery with sufficient juice to maintain it working for as much as 4 hours.
Constructed-in 4G LTE receiver
Moreover, the Storm-Prepared WiFi comes with a built-in 4G LTE modem.
When energy or cable outages happen, it mechanically switches to work as a mobile gateway — much like a cell hotspot — to ship web connectivity through the prevailing Wi-Fi community with speeds of as much as 30Mbps obtain and 7Mbps add.
Comcast says the brand new gadget has sufficient to “usher in a brand new period of reliability.” This is what Emily Waldorf, SVP of Shopper Web Companies, Comcast Cable, mentioned about it:
With a lot of our day by day lives depending on WiFi connectivity, we knew our clients wanted a product that would assist maintain them related it doesn’t matter what life throws at them – even throughout a storm. Storm-Prepared WiFi is that answer. Not solely does Storm-Prepared WiFi prolong protection to ship our best-in-class WiFi to hard-to-reach corners of the house, nevertheless it additionally provides clients the peace of thoughts that their connection at dwelling can proceed even when the ability is out.
Whereas all that’s true to some extent, like all issues, the satan is within the particulars.
Storm-Prepared WiFi: A choosy broadcaster
The Storm-Prepared WiFi will not work by itself. This is the listing of the necessities earlier than you should use it:
- You will need to subscribe to Xfinity Cable Web with the 800Mbps plan (Superfast) or larger.
- You will need to use a selected Comcast gateway — for now, both the Xfinity XB7 or XB8.
- You will need to not use any first-gen xFi Pod extender — improve to the 2nd-Gen first or substitute it with the Storm-Prepared WiFi.
- Your community should not have multiple energetic cable modem (or gateway)
All which means three issues:
- You’ll be able to’t use it if you happen to use your personal cable gear to keep away from the month-to-month rental charges.
- It typically does not apply to properties the place an additional extender is not wanted. Including it to a home already with enough Wi-Fi protection will trigger pointless interference.
- Contemplating it is a Wi-Fi 6 wi-fi extender, the efficiency will possible be gradual, which is ironic contemplating the required 800Mbps or sooner plan.
When all the circumstances above are met, in line with Comcast, the setup is easy. You add the Storm-Able to the prevailing Wi-Fi community utilizing the Xfinity cell app like all xFi Pod extender. After that, place it about 30 toes away from the gateway to increase the Wi-Fi protection through a seamless community.
The Storm-Prepared WiFi has two modes — the default Wi-Fi Extender mode and the Outage mode when it really works because the cell hotspot. It has a color-changing standing mild that reveals which mode it is in, and customers may also be notified through the Xfinity cell app when it switches from one to a different.
It is value noting that when the ability is down, the Web-ready Wi-Fi protection might be restricted to the Storm-Prepared WiFi’s location and won’t be accessible at one other broadcaster round the home, together with the Xfinity gateway.
Availability and pricing
Comcast says the Storm-Prepared WiFi is accessible now for a one-time price of $252 or $7/month for 36 months, with limitless knowledge included.
You will get it along with a brand new Web plan or add it to an current one, so long as you meet all of the abovementioned circumstances.
You’ll be able to order a certified Xfinity gateway everytime you need — it comes with a month-to-month rental charge.
At first look, the Storm-Prepared WiFi looks like a pleasant concept. However if you happen to suppose critically about it, you will observe it is a bit half-baked and impractical. It isn’t even authentic.
First, you possibly can add mobile backup to nearly any router that helps Twin-WAN — most standalone routers do. Then you will get a very good UPS to your router to realize the identical, if not higher, impact.
Secondly, why not simply get a cell hotspot or flip to your cellphone’s hotspot function because the backup? It’s also possible to tether most telephones to a router or a laptop computer and share the connection through Wi-Fi that manner.
And at last, and most significantly: When a catastrophe strikes, likelihood is that 4 hours are usually not sufficient. Additionally, there is not any assure that the cell service is just not impacted throughout that point. In any case, cell towers want wiring and energy, similar to your cable service line.
The purpose is that this: In some conditions, the Storm-Prepared WiFi works to an extent. However typically, it is merely a glorified but restricted Wi-Fi 6 extender which may or won’t offer you backup Web while you want it most.
The one positive factor about this factor is the associated fee. It could be good to get a refund if it did not go a real-world check through the first storm. I would not rely on it.
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