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Jenniferrrr
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Contributor

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24 Messages

Wed, Sep 23, 2020 11:00 PM

Xfi Pods Alternative?

I have six pods which I'm ready to throw in the garbage. I've had them for about 18 months, and at least three of them, which are downstairs (the gateway is upstairs in home office) constantly go offline. I waste too much time and frustration on these pods and constantly losing wifi altogether when one ore more pods go offline, which also drops phone calls using wiFi calling on my iPhone, is ridiculous. Whenever I am having trouble with wifi, I can't even easily check the Xfi app to see what's wrong or which pods are down, because of course I need wifi to check the website or app (on my laptop or iPad)!  The fact that I even need to extend the gateway in an average size 2-story house is annoying to begin with, but having spent too much money on these pods just irks me even more since they're an epic fail. Ok, enough ranting... I'm looking for solutions, and so 'd like an alternative extender mesh system... I think? Are there alternatives which work well with the Xfinity modem/ gateway that you'd recommend? In briefly reviewing other posts on this topic on this forum, I'm led to understand that it may not be possible to use another mesh extender with the Xfinity gateway without other, new challenges?. Would I lose some features of xfi or wifi security, etc if I mix Xfinity equipment with another product, such as a netgear mesh extender? And if so, maybe I should just ditch all the Xfinity modem and pods and buy my own equipment?
Any experienced input is appreciated! 

Responses

Regular Visitor

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3 Messages

7 m ago

Not sure if there is an alternative available.  I am experiencing the same issues you are, namely pods disconecting.   With the kids being at home for school, the good, clean, uniterrupted internet service is a must.   I have been reading the posts that you and others have posted, but I have yet to see a response from Comcast/xfinity.  When will Comcast/xfinity stepup and admit there are issues and provide solutions to those issues.  I hope very soon.

darkangelic

Expert

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2K Messages

7 m ago

How is your home network set up? Having six Pods in a two story house is a lot - they actually might be interfering with each other as well as with your gateway. 

 

The way that a mesh network like the xFI Pods should be set up is to have your gateway in the middle, and the Pods set up radiating outwards from it like the points on a star or spokes on a wheel. That way, you elminate any cross talk and interference and you can blanket your house with coverage. 

 

I have a more detailed response to your concern - albeit to a previous poster - right here

 

 

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I am a Customer Expert volunteering my time to help other customers here in the Forums.
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Frequent Visitor

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5 Messages

7 m ago

I agree with darkangelic.  6 Pods is too many.  My 2 story house has 3 Pods and that covers my house interior, front yard and back yard at 70Mbps.

 

Best case, centrally locate the Comcast gateway (aka cable modem) in your house to get the most free air space coverage, like in your living room.  Then plug Pods in at far corners of the house, such as bedrooms or kitchen.  Use NO MORE than 3 Pods.  Ideally, use the Pod ethernet port to hard-wire fixed placement devices (ex:  Xbox, PC) and turn off those device wifi.

 

Pods are a fully-meshed network.  Each Pod uses 1 radio to backhaul traffic to every other Pod and the Gateway.  Each Pod's 2nd (or 3rd) radio is used for Wifi clients like your iPad and phones.  Loss of 1 Pod forces ALL Pods to re-mesh taking all your Pods, thus your Pod wifi, offline for a minute or two.

 

There are a limited number of radio channels available.  Adding more radios (more Pods) makes the channel problem worse.  Per channel, only 1 radio can transmit at a time.  Smart radios find unused, low-noise channels.  Your neighbors' wifi radios are also trying to find clear channels.  Radios can share channels, but throughput can fall dramatically.  


 I know this from experience while troubleshooting Comcast XB7 Gateway with xFi Pods and MOCA transcievers (see my post on XB7 cannot support Pods and MOCA) and wife's wifi mesh expertise.

 

Disclaimer:  I've simplified radio channel selection, time sharing and throughput for post brevity.

 

Contributor

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24 Messages

6 m ago

Thanks both, for your feedback and expertise.. I actually now have 5 pods, since one died and stopped working entirely.
My gateway is not located in the middle of the home, as I keep it in my office to avoid interruptions while working from home. So, the gateway is in my office at the far corner of the second floor. I have 2 pods upstairs and 3 pods down. The two pods that consistently fail are downstairs. I don't really have too many options for placement of the gateway given cable outlets and overall layout of the house. It's either going to be downstairs or upstairs corners of the house. Would you recommend I remove the 2 pods that fail the most, as you suggested I have too many? The reason I got 6 is because I had a terrible time getting wifi downstairs prior to getting pods, and if I wanted to step outside the backdoor to my backyard, forget it - I'd have no signal at all.
I don't live in a humongous house (2300 sq feet, mostly open layout), so if 5 pods is overkill, I'll try removing 2. Is it possible a newer Xfinity gateway might garner better results? 

Thanks again!

my gateway info is in attached photo 

 

 

 

darkangelic

Expert

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2K Messages

6 m ago

You have the newest model gateway, so you're not going to improve upon it, unless you opt for a third party networking solution. 

 

If you absolutely cannot move your gateway to the middle of the house, then you can proceed by taking all your pods offline, and then reposition them as though the gateway were in the center (imagine the previous "star" configuration, but folded in half) - one upstairs near the middle,  one downstairs near the middle, and another one a bit farther away, or closer to the other end of the second floor. You will obviously need to fiddle with the positions as you might deem necessary.

 

 

I am not a Comcast Employee.
I am a Customer Expert volunteering my time to help other customers here in the Forums.
We ask that you post publicly so people with similar questions may benefit from the conversation.
Was your question answered? Mark the post as Best Answer!tick
jlavaseur

Valued Contributor

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417 Messages

6 m ago

For what it's worth,  I got a $12 usb WiFi dongle, it has external antennas, it says it high speed,  I hooked it to my laptop, configured it as a access point and I can get a signal down the block when I walk down with my IPhone, I discovered this working on another project, the speeds are slower but the coverage is great, I have the Xb7 gateway and it works excellent, fast speeds and it covers my whole house, no disconnects 

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