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ANSWERED: How to simplify your Xfinity WiFi

Xfinity xFi Gateways are all-in-one devices that deliver whole-home WiFi coverage, fast Internet speed and the ability to control your home network - for the ultimate connected experience.

Earlier generations of xFi Gateways are "dual band," meaning that they broadcast two separate radio bands for their WiFi network - a 2.4 GHz band and a 5 GHz band. The next generation xFi Advanced Gateway (XB8) is “tri-band”, meaning it broadcasts three separate radio bands – 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz, with WiFi 6E.

To learn more about xFi Gateways, visit Overview of Xfinity Gateways.

Historically, you were encouraged to use a different WiFi name and password for each band. You then had to choose which band your devices should connect to. Knowing which would provide the best connection and performance was guesswork.

That’s now changed. With the advanced intelligence of xFi Gateways, using the same name and password for the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6GHz (if applicable) bands lets the Gateway sort out which one will provide a better connection at any given time. You will still have all bands and all the associated functionality, channels and range. However, by using the same WiFi name and password for all, devices will connect seamlessly to the most optimal band at any given time. This is called "band steering."

If you have an xFi Gateway, you should simplify your WiFi and switch to using a single SSID. That is, use the same WiFi name and password for your 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6GHz (if applicable) bands, so you can take advantage of this seamless connection to the best network.

Some Background: Understanding the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Bands

  • The 2.4 GHz band offers better WiFi coverage, but is prone to more congestion due to heavy network traffic.
  • The 5 GHz band offers less range than the 2.4 GHz band, but delivers faster speeds due to less congestion and wider channels.
  • The 6 GHz band provides the least range, but delivers the fastest speeds, thanks to WiFi 6E’s doubled channel bandwidth and reduced network congestion.

Frequently Asked Questions

I only see one in-home WiFi name now and I used to see two - what happened?
When you have a single name and password for your 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6GHz bands, you will only see one option to connect. Please be assured that all WiFi bands are still working in the background to optimize your connection.

What action do I need to take?
If you aren't already using the same WiFi name and password for the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6GHz bands, you should update your WiFi name and password. The easiest way to update your settings is to select Simplify Your WiFi from Overview on the xFi website or Xfinity app.

You can also update your WiFi name and password by selecting See Network from Connect, and then selecting Edit WiFi on the xFi website, or by selecting your network and then selecting the pencil icon on the Xfinity app. Here’s the step-by-step process.

How do I know if I have an xFi Gateway with this feature?
This is eligible on all xFi Gateway models.

To determine the type of Gateway you have, check the make and model information located on the bottom of your device. You can also log in to My Account and select Devices to view the make and model of your Gateway.

What is band steering and how does it work?
Band steering means the xFi Gateway determines which WiFi network band (the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz or 6GHz band) is most optimal for a device's WiFi connection at any given time. It seamlessly changes to the best band based on signal strength and WiFi congestion thresholds. To enable band steering, 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6GHz bands must have the same WiFi name and password.

What happens if the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6 GHz WiFi network band names and passwords are different?
If the WiFi network names and/or passwords are different, you will not be able to take advantage of band steering and will need to manually manage which WiFi network band each device connects to. This may lead to slow and intermittent connectivity issues. For example, if a mobile device is connected to the 5 GHz band and loses connection due to distance, you may need to manually reconnect to the 2.4 GHz band. With the same name and password, that process will occur automatically.

Will I be able to use xFi Pods if the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6GHz WiFi network band names and passwords are different?
No, if the WiFi network names and/or passwords are different, you will not be able to use xFi Pods.

 

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