Xfinity xFi Review 2021
We tested the Xfinity xFi to see how it performs against competing modem/routers.
The combined powers of the Xfinity xFi gateway and the Xfinity app allow you to customize your home Wi-Fi network easily. And Xfinity Internet customers get real peace of mind from the parental controls.
But if the $14-per-month cost rubs you the wrong way, we recommend buying a third-party modem instead.
xFi pros and cons
- Easy-to-use app
- Extensive Wi-Fi customization
- Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot
- High monthly costs
Our ratings of xFi at a glance
|Bang for your buck|
Xfinity xFi deals and promotions
Xfinity doesn’t currently offer any xFi deals. But in the past, we’ve seen the Xfinity xFi included for free with specific top-tier plans. We’ll let you know if any promotions like that pop up again—sign up for our newsletter to keep in touch.
What is Xfinity xFi?
The Xfinity xFi Gateway is a cable modem/router with telephone ports. This do-it-all device helps translate the Xfinity Internet network wired to your home into a wired internet connection or Wi-Fi, plus it connects your home phone line.
The Xfinity xFi also comes with two Xfinity hotspots to help your guests get online without affecting your internet speed.
You don’t have to get the xFi gateway with your Xfinity Internet plan. But if you do, you can use the Xfinity app to customize your Wi-Fi connection, including kicking devices off your Wi-Fi and setting parental controls.
Xfinity xFi price and features
- Price: $14/mo.
- Modem: DOCSIS 3.0 (Gateway) or 3.1 (Advanced Gateway)
- Router: Dual-band Wi-Fi
- Maximum recommended speed: 275–2,500 Mbps (varies by model)
- Ethernet ports: 2–4 (varies by model)
- Telephone ports: 2
Not all xFi Gateways are on the same level, but don’t sweat the differences too much. We’ll talk more about the various models below, but Xfinity promises to match you up with one that lets your internet plan run as smoothly as it can.
However, the price for every xFi rental is a steep $14 per month. Most providers charge about $10 per month for internet equipment—although they don’t usually have an app as fancy as Xfinity’s.
But if you don’t want to fuss around with your Wi-Fi’s advanced options, you probably won’t use the Xfinity app much, and a simpler third-party device will suit you just fine.
Xfinity xFi vs. the competition
|NETGEAR Nighthawk X6
|ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600AC2
|Price||Device||Max recommended speed|
|$14.00/mo.||Modem/router/telephony||200–2,500 Mbps (varies by model)||Add to Xfinity plan|
|$159.97*||Modem||1,000 Mbps||View on Amazon|
|$148.90*||Router||1,000 Mbps||View on Amazon|
|$182.16*||Modem/router/telephony||600 Mbps||View on Amazon|
|$159.99*||Modem/router||600 Mbps||View on Amazon|
*Amazon prices effective 03/09/21 at 1:46 p.m. PT. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. CableTV.com utilizes paid Amazon links.
Choosing the xFi Gateway for your internet equipment certainly simplifies things—you’ll always get the right equipment for your internet speed, and Xfinity will take care of you if the device breaks down.
But the price of renting an xFi adds up. Each year, you’ll pay a total of $168 to rent the xFi Gateway.
If you’re willing to do a little homework, you can find a suitable device (or devices) to meet your internet and phone needs at a lower price long-term.
For a wired internet connection, you’ll need only a modem. But most people want Wi-Fi coverage, so you should also get a router (or just go for a modem/router combo). And if you have an Xfinity home phone plan, you’ll need a device with telephone ports too.
Our recommendations in the chart above are great alternatives to the xFi Gateway. To see more options, you can check “Best Xfinity-Compatible Modems” and “Best Cable Modem/Router Combos.” And be sure to get devices that match your internet plan’s speeds!
Xfinity xFi setup
Installing Xfinity Internet is so simple you can do it on your own. For help installing your Xfinity Internet, check out our Xfinity self-installation guide.
- Power cable
- Coax cable
- Ethernet cable (for a wired connection)
Personal xFi setup experience
Blocking your xFi Gateway with plants interferes with the Wi-Fi signal, but also, it’s cute.
When you’re a new Xfinity customer, Xfinity will ship your xFi Gateway and everything you need to install it for free. But since I’m a veteran Xfinity customer, Xfinity would charge me about $50 for shipping (a rough estimate from my Xfinity agent).
To save time and cash, I went to my local store to pick it up instead. There was a bit of a wait, but the store had good social-distancing practices, and I was there for less than 10 minutes total.
Back at home, I started the setup using the Xfinity app. When the app worked, setup was a breeze—but then the app went on the fritz.
I got kicked out, and I had to dig through all the menus (the Xfinity app has so many menus, y’all) to pick up where I left off. Thank goodness I’m comfortable poking around in apps. Otherwise, the situation would have called for a long conversation with an Xfinity agent.
After all the troubleshooting and the more run-of-the-mill wait times for the xFi Gateway to activate, setup took me about 50 minutes in total. Connecting my seven smart home devices to my new Wi-Fi network took another 30 minutes.
That’s almost an hour and a half total—switching routers is no joke, y’all. I do this because I love you.
The Connect menu is your Wi-Fi network page. Use People to build profiles for your family.
You can control your xFi Gateway through the Xfinity app. That’s right, it’s the same app you use to view your Xfinity plan, bills, and data usage—no separate xFi app needed. That’s some convenient simplicity, Xfinity. Good job.
Besides being a big help for your xFi setup, the Xfinity app has impressive features in the Connect menu and the People menu.
Under Connect, you can see all the devices on your Wi-Fi network and pause them if needed. You can check security risks, troubleshoot your devices, and perform other advanced Wi-Fi tasks.
Under People, you can build unique profiles for your family members, set parental controls, and schedule internet-free time for each person. And you can assign multiple devices to each profile, so you can keep track of how much time each person spends online.
The Xfinity app is excellent if you want to help your family build healthy internet habits. But if you’re more hands-off when it comes to Wi-Fi, you probably won’t end up using this app.
If that’s the case, you might consider buying a third-party modem/router instead since the app offerings are the big draw of the xFi Gateway. A third-party modem/router can help you save cash in the long run as well.
Xfinity xFi devices
Xfinity has four xFi models, including the new xFi Gateway 3rd generation, which utilizes Wi-Fi 6 technology. However, you don’t get to choose which xFi device you take home—Xfinity decides based on where you live and which internet plan you selected.
|xFi Wireless Gateway|
|xFi Fiber Gateway|
|xFi Advanced Gateway|
|xFi Gateway 3rd Generation|
|Price||Max recommended speed||Modem||Ethernet Ports|
|$14/mo.||275–700 Mbps (varies by model)||DOCSIS 3.0||4|
|$14/mo.||1,000 Mbps||DOCSIS 3.0||4|
|$14/mo.||2,500 Mbps||DOCSIS 3.1||2|
|$14/mo.||1,000 Mbps||DOCSIS 3.0||4|
We tested the xFi Wireless Gateway (the first device in the table) at home. It did a great job getting the signal throughout the 900-square-foot townhouse, although we had to restart it once in two months. More advanced models might give you even better results.
Xfinity xFi Pod
If your home is large, has multiple stories, or includes thick inner walls, you may need a mesh Wi-Fi system to get Wi-Fi in every room of your home. Lucky for you, Xfinity offers the Xfinity xFi Pod to expand your Wi-Fi coverage with a mesh network.
You get a deal when you buy more than one xFi Pod—it’s $119 for one and $199 for two. Just like the xFi Gateway, these devices are easy to install with the Xfinity app. Put them throughout your home and say “so long” to dead spots.
You can pick up xFi Pods on Xfinity’s website or by talking to your Xfinity agent.
Final take: Is xFi worth it?
If you love to customize things, want parental internet controls, or just want to have a couple of Xfinity hotspots near you, the Xfinity xFi Gateway is a top-notch modem/router that offers everything you crave.
But the xFi Gateway isn’t the only modem/router out there, and there are plenty of simpler modems you can get for less cash money.
Xfinity xFi FAQ
How much does Xfinity xFi cost?
The xFi Gateway costs $14 per month to rent. Unfortunately, Xfinity doesn’t sell xFi Gateways for one-time costs or let you choose which xFi model you get. Instead, Xfinity assigns an xFi device based on your plan.
How do I download Xfinity xFi app?
Can Xfinity xFi see history?
Your Xfinity xFi doesn’t keep track of your browsing history. But if you’re still concerned about your internet privacy, consider getting a VPN service.
Is xFi better than Wi-Fi?
The xFi isn’t the same thing as Wi-Fi. The Xfinity xFi Gateway is the name of Xfinity’s modem/router device, whereas Wi-Fi is the wireless internet connection broadcast by routers.
Since your xFi device includes a router, it will help you get home Wi-Fi, but it doesn’t necessarily have better Wi-Fi than any other router.