Xfinity Equipment Guide
We’ve done the research to find out what equipment you will (or won’t) need for Xfinity TV and internet service.
During the Xfinity checkout process, you can add a bunch of TV and internet equipment to your package. While we won’t knock it if you want to do a big unboxing video for all your new gear, some Xfinity TV and internet equipment is more essential than others.
Here’s what you’ll need to know about Xfinity equipment and the best hardware for your home TV or internet setup.
Xfinity TV equipment
Xfinity’s equipment catalog isn’t limited to a single hulking cable box these days. Between its streaming devices and cable boxes with integrated streaming apps, Xfinity’s TV equipment bridges the gap between old-school cable TV customers who just want the local news and cord-cutters who jump between live TV and streaming TV shows.
Xfinity Flex is a free 4K streaming device that’s available to Xfinity internet subscribers, and it works like a Roku or Amazon Fire set-top box. On Xfinity Flex, you can watch streaming services like Hulu and Peacock Premium.
Flex isn’t a full-fledged cable TV replacement, since it lacks an easy way to watch local channels or live sports. But for a free device, the Flex still offers a lot of value for Xfinity internet customers.
Read our full Xfinity Flex review to learn more about the streaming TV device.
If you’re tired of hopping between your cable box and streaming device, the Xfinity X1 promises to eliminate the number of remotes in your living room. The X1 is an Xfinity cable TV box that includes a voice remote, on-demand content, and streaming apps like Netflix.
But potential Xfinity customers have to jump through several hoops to get the X1. The device, which costs $7.50 per month, requires an Xfinity TV plan, so it’s not an option for cord-cutters. Only two X1 models (the ARRIS XG1v4 and ARRIS Xi6) support 4K video, and you’ll have to call Xfinity or go to an Xfinity store to request the units.
Most customers will be able to get an X1 box, but the device’s availability can vary depending on your home address. If the X1 isn’t available in your area, you’ll only be able to get a cable box that comes with some X1 applications.
Still, there’s no reason not to snag a 4K-capable X1 with your Xfinity TV plan if you can do so. Check out our Xfinity X1 review to find out more about the cable box.
Standard Xfinity set-top box
If your home isn’t covered by X1, you’ll be able to add only a standard cable TV box to your Xfinity TV plan. At minimum, we recommend a high-definition cable TV box, which costs $14.95 per month. For an additional $10.00 per month, you can upgrade to a DVR.
Xfinity internet equipment
Xfinity’s internet hardware helps connect your home to its internet network. But depending on your home internet needs, you might not need to pay for all of Xfinity’s equipment.
The xFi Gateway is an optional combo cable modem/Wi-Fi router that’s built to streamline your home internet setup.
The Xfinity Gateway wirelessly connects your home devices to the internet, supports Xfinity Voice, and integrates with services like the Xfinity mobile app. The xFi Gateway’s biggest downside is its price tag — you can only rent the combo device for $14 per month, and there’s no way to buy one outright.
The rental costs might make sense if you need only short-term internet. But if you plan to stay with Xfinity for a while, you’ll save a lot of money by buying your own modem and router instead.
Visit our Xfinity xFi Gateway review to learn more about the combo device.
If your xFi Gateway is struggling to provide reliable wireless internet throughout your house, xFi Pods will expand the Gateway’s wireless range using a mesh Wi-Fi system to eliminate download and upload speed issues. To use the Pods, you plug them into a wall power outlet and control them with the Xfinity mobile app.
The Pods can be a decent Wi-Fi support option if you plan to stay with Xfinity for a while and have a large multi-story house that can’t be covered by one Gateway. In most cases, you won’t need a Pod if you live in a small apartment or home.
But you’ll need an xFi Gateway to use the Pods, since they don’t work with non-Xfinity Wi-Fi routers. At $119 each or $199 for two, the Pods are expensive additions to your home internet setup, although they’re comparably priced against other Wi-Fi extenders.
Plus, you don’t even need Pods to extend the Gateway’s signal, because the Gateway works with non-Xfinity extenders. The xFi Pods aren’t a bad option if you need a mesh Wi-Fi setup, but since you don’t have to stick with Xfinity hardware, prioritize finding the best deal on a mesh Wi-Fi system.
If you want to watch TV with Xfinity, get a 4K-capable X1 box or a Flex.
For Xfinity internet, our advice boils down to two questions. Do you want someone else to handle tech support? Rent from Xfinity. Do you want to save money? Buy your own equipment.
Xfinity’s internet equipment is powerful enough to support most home Wi-Fi setups if you want something you can set and forget. But if you’re willing to do your own tech support (or rope in a tech-savvy family member), buying your own internet hardware is a better deal versus renting it from Xfinity.