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Xfinity Installation Guide 2021

Professional installation is good, but self-installation is cheaper—and super easy.

Bottom line

Either you’re thinking of purchasing Xfinity Internet or you’ve already done it. In both cases, you may wonder whether you should tackle the installation yourself or leave it to the professionals.

Let us help you with that. We’ll walk you through the entire process, from ordering your Xfinity self-installation kit or setting an appointment for pro installation through the actual install and up to the triumphant whoop you’ll let out when you’re done and ready to surf the web.

For those of you who haven’t already ordered Xfinity Internet, let’s check your ZIP code to see if it’s available in your area.

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How to self-install Xfinity Internet

If you’re generally comfortable with technology, self-installing shouldn’t be a problem. Just follow these steps.

Order your Xfinity self-install kit

If you’ve already ordered Xfinity Internet, you might have the self-installation kit in front of you. If not, request a kit from your Xfinity sales agent (if you’re ordering by phone), or check the box requesting it on your online order.

What’s in the self-installation kit?

It’s important to take inventory. Here’s a little checklist of what to expect to make it easy:

  • xFi Wireless Gateway (modem/router combo)
  • Power cable
  • Coaxial cable
  • Ethernet cable
  • Getting Started guide/setup instructions
  • Xfinity documentation (privacy policy, terms and conditions, etc.)
  • Instructions and prepaid labels in case you need to return stuff

Is everything there? Good. Let your cat play with the empty box and let’s rock.

Self-installing Xfinity Internet

Okay, that was the simple part. But don’t worry—it really is easy to install Xfinity Internet yourself. You got this.

Just follow these steps to install your Xfinity Internet service:

  1. Grab that coaxial cable (a.k.a. “coax”). Connect either end to your wall socket (it’s a little, metal nubby thing). Twist right until it’s tight.
  2. Connect the other end of the coax to the coaxial input (little matching nubby thing) on your xFi Wireless Gateway. Twist right ‘til tight.
  3. Now grab the power cable and plug one end (don’t worry; you’ll know which one) into the Gateway.
  4. Plug the other end of the power cable into an outlet.
  5. Your Gateway should power on automatically. If not, give it a friendly nudge by pressing the power button.
  6. Watch for the online connection light (it looks like a globe) to come on. It could take up to 20 minutes.

When the light comes on, it’s almost time to party.

Pro tip: You don’t have to use Xfinity’s xFi Gateway if you don’t wanna. This is America. You can buy your own modem/router combo if you’re so inclined. We recommend five such devices in our guide to the best Xfinity-compatible modems.

Activating your Xfinity Internet service

Your Xfinity Internet service isn’t fully functional until you activate it. Fret not. Activation is well within your powers. And you can choose from four ways of doing it.

  • Online: Go to Xfinity’s activation page and follow the prompts.
  • Phone: Call Xfinity’s activation number (1-855-652-3446) and follow the prompts.
  • TV: If you’re also installing Xfinity TV service, you can activate it from your TV. Follow the prompts on your TV screen.
  • Xfinity xFi mobile app (Android or iOS): Download it, sign in, and follow the prompts. You’ll need your Gateway make and model information (look under the device) to complete the process.

Professional installation vs. self-installation

Hopefully by now you’ve successfully installed your Xfinity Internet and are gaming or streaming like a champ. If not, cool. Maybe you need more information before you decide how to hook up your internet box.

Let’s make an old-fashioned pros-and-cons comparison and see whether professional installation or self-installation is the superior method for you.

Pros and cons

Self-installation
Professional installation
Pros Cons
  • Free (due to COVID-19)
  • Easy
  • Fast
  • Compatible with your schedule
  • Best for customers with minor technical know-how
  • Experienced techs to address any issues
  • Not free ($89.99 fee
  • Inconvenient (requires appointment)
  • To us, choosing between professional and self-installation is easy. If you’re super busy, you prefer to trust a pro, or your home isn’t wired for Xfinity service—go with professional installation. It’ll be worth paying Xfinity $89.99 to install your internet.

    But what if your home is already wired for Xfinity service? What if you have the time, inclination, and the modest amount of skill that it’ll take to connect a few cables, watch a few lights, and activate your service?

    If the paragraph above describes you, choose self-installation. It’s normally $15 for standard shipping on the self-install kit, but Xfinity made it free during COVID-19—so you’ll save up to $90.00. Buy yourself something nice.

    Professional installation of Xfinity Internet

    Cost

    Up to $89.99
    Appointment window/duration
    Customer satisfaction rating

    2–4 hrs.

    4.15*

    *CableTV.com customer-satisfaction survey (2020)

    Xfinity Internet equipment: Buy or rent?

    When you sign up for Xfinity Internet service, you can choose to rent an xFi Gateway or use your own modem, router, or modem/router combo—as long as it’s compatible with Xfinity.

    But which is the better option?

    Professional installation of Xfinity Internet

    Renting
    Buying
    Pros Cons
  • Affordability ($14/mo.)
  • Free replacements
  • No shopping around required
  • Tech support
  • No choice of device
  • Poor value in the long run
  • Better value in the long run
  • More device choices
  • No free replacements
  • Limited tech support from Xfinity
  • Extra research involved
  • Higher initial cost
  • Again, which one is better for you comes down to your priorities.

    The best selling point for renting a modem/router from Xfinity is convenience. You won’t have to research and shop for a device. If it fails, you won’t have to pay for a replacement. Rental is also more affordable at first—but after a year of paying the $14 monthly fee, you might spend more than the xFi Gateway is worth.

    If you buy your modem/router outright, you’ll have to research devices to find one that does what you want and is compatible with Xfinity. You’ll also pay more initially—and you’ll have to replace the device yourself if it fails outside of the warranty.

    So If you don’t want to manage upkeep, renting is for you—even if it costs a bit extra in the long run. But buying is ultimately cheaper if you plan on sticking with Xfinity for a while, and you’ll own your device.

    Xfinity Wi-Fi setup

    You’ll have a simple installation process with an Xfinity or xFi Gateway. Instead of having to go through endless product reviews and store trips to pair your modem with a wireless router, the Gateway combines both devices and makes it easy to set up Xfinity Wi-Fi right out of the box.

    If you’re ready to catch up on Netflix shows or if your kids want to stream some Fortnite, here is what you’ll need to manually set up your Xfinity Wi-Fi:

    1. Look at the bottom of your Gateway. You’ll find a default network name and password for your Xfinity Wi-Fi network.
    2. Open the wireless network connection page on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. If you’re unsure where this is, search for “Wi-Fi” and look for a triangular-shaped icon that looks like a radio signal.
    3. Click the network name that matches your Gateway.
    4. Type in the stock password and hit connect.

    For an easier setup process, you can also use the Xfinity mobile app if your Gateway has a QR code on the bottom. By scanning the QR code, you’ll be able to connect devices to Xfinity Wi-Fi, personalize the Gateway’s Wi-Fi network name, and change your network password through the app.

    xFi Pods are Xfinity devices that extend your network’s range if your home has areas with poor internet performance. The add-ons, which cost $119 for one or $199 for two units, will help if your Wi-Fi performs worse outside your house or between floors.

    Follow these steps to set up your Xfinity Wi-Fi extender:

    1. Download the Xfinity mobile app on the App Store or Google Play.
    2. Plug the xFi Pod into a power outlet between your Gateway and the area you want to extend coverage into.
    3. Enable Bluetooth on the device that has the Xfinity app.
    4. Click the Account icon and select Activate xFi Pods.
    5. Press Get Started to begin the activation process.
    6. When prompted, place the device within six inches of the xFi Pod to connect it to your Gateway.
    7. To finish the activation wizard, give your Pod a name that indicates its location.

    Final take

    We think self-installation is the way to go with Xfinity Internet. It’s easy, fast, and free. But there’s no shame in paying for professional installation if you feel it’s necessary. Different strokes for different folks.

    Sign up for Xfinity internet

    Xfinity installation guide FAQ

    Is Xfinity self-install easy?

    If your apartment or home is already wired for Xfinity, it is so easy to self-install—not to mention fast and free. But if your home isn’t wired for Xfinity, self-installation won’t be easy. If you don’t have the technical know-how, trust a professional instead.

    What is Xfinity self-install?

    With Xfinity self-installation, Xfinity sends you a kit containing everything you’d need to install your new internet service, provided your home is already wired for it. It’s easy, fast, and free—don’t be afraid to give it a shot.

    How long does it take to get an Xfinity self-install kit?

    It takes 3–5 days to receive your Xfinity self-installation kit through standard shipping. Expedited shipping is available for $30 and takes 24–48 hours.

    How can I avoid an Xfinity installation fee?

    The best way to avoid an installation fee with Xfinity is to choose the self-installation option. If self-installation doesn’t work for you, sometimes certain bundles come with free professional installation. Also, watch for limited-time promotions that offer free or discounted pro installation.