xFi Gateway vs. xFi Complete: which one should you choose? Comcast has flexible internet plans for any household, with speeds ranging from 50 to 1,200 Mbps. Now, some users will choose to install their wireless router for connectivity.
This is a fine choice, provided you have the savvy and patience to install it properly. Comcast customers also elect to add wireless access to their homes through the xFi Gateway and xFi Infinity additions. This is a great choice for users to get no-fuss wireless access.
Do you lose out when just choosing the Gateway over the Infinity package? Before you decide to pay the monthly fee, it is worth exploring both of these options.
xFi Gateway vs. xFi Infinity: Side-by-Side Comparison
|xFi Gateway||xFi Infinity|
|Pricing||Additional $15 a month||Additional $20 a month|
|Software Support||Xfinity App handles billing, service, and customer support||Infinity uses the Xfinity App for billing, service, and customer support|
|Security Options||The device comes with Advanced Security through the mobile app||Devices come with Advanced Security and mobile security provisions through a smartphone app|
|Device Upgrades||None||Infinity plan subscribers get an upgraded gateway every three years|
|Wireless Bands||2.4, 5, and 6 GHz||2.4, 5, and 6 GHz|
|Device Maximum Supported Speed||2.5 Gbps||2.5 Gbps|
As you can probably tell, both of these plans use the same gateway. The plans do have some significant differences when looking at the various perks included.
xFi Gateway vs. xFi Infinity: What’s the Difference?
In terms of overall performance, you’re not going to notice many differences in how either plan handles wireless connectivity. This comes down to both plans using the same network hardware. With the 1.2 Gbps plan, you’ll be getting access to maximum speeds of 1,200 Mbps.
So really, performance comes down more to coverage. With Xfinity’s base gateway provided to both plans, you can expect to get around 1,800 to 1,900 square feet of coverage. This is perfect for a medium-sized home.
Larger homes aren’t left out, as the xFi Gateway and Infinity plans also have access to xFi pods. These are priced at $119 a piece and allow the Xfinity combination router to function as a mesh network. Adding two pods can be on the pricier end, but should cover larger homes.
Streaming capabilities really will come down more to your internet plan. However, the wireless device provided for both the Gateway and Infinity plans is more than up to the task. Provided you’ve got 100 Mbps or more, you’ll have stable connections for 4K streaming.
Music streaming won’t be an issue either. Long-time users of the device have noted stable connections, thanks in part to the tri-beam configuration of the wireless hardware. This aids in both providing ample coverage to a medium-sized home and nimble network performance.
Both the Gateway and Infinity plans come with the Xfinity Flex streaming box. This is included at zero additional fees to both. Flex comes with multiple popular streaming apps, so you’ve got access to the likes of Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, and Max.
Applicable Internet Plans and Features
There isn’t a specific internet plan you need to add wireless access. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the basic 50 Mbps or 1,200 Mbps, you can still get Wi-Fi. This leads to a great deal of flexibility for households looking to avoid the hassle of setting up network hardware.
The Gateway serves as a pared-down wireless package. You get access to your account and customer support through the Xfinity app. Gateway uses a combination router and modem to provide wireless access. What you lose out on is threat protection while out of the home.
Infinity is a more complete package. You’ll still be handling your account through the Xfinity app. The same network hardware is in use, so you’re not getting more capable hardware. However, you do get mobile cybersecurity protection, which is great when you’re out and about.
Infinity also gets access to an upgraded gateway every three years, so your wireless access will be kept up to standards as the likes of Wi-Fi 7 become more common in the coming years.
The Gateway addition will cost $15 a month. This is a flat fee and is bundled together with the rest of your Comcast services. Given that it lacks certain extras, the Gateway isn’t recommended. You’ll have to pay additional fees when new network hardware is available, as an example.
If you don’t get ideal coverage in your home, you’ll also have to pay for additional xFi pods. This is contrasted with the Infinity addition, which costs $20 a month. The extra $5 goes a long way and provides a bevy of previously mentioned extras.
On top of the gateway upgrades, one notable difference is the free inclusion of an xFi pod at the time of installation.
When the Xfinity tech comes to install your network hardware, they will be running tests all through the home. Infinity makes sure you’ve got the ideal coverage for your space.
Network Hardware Capabilities
If you choose to purchase the Gateway or Infinity plan today, you’ll receive the same device. The current xFi Advanced Gateway is the XB8 and it’s plenty powerful for most uses.
You’ve got three wireless beams of connectivity. Tri-beam routers are becoming more common, and provide both great speeds and more robust area coverage. The device itself allows for up to 100 users connected per band.
It comes with four gigabit ethernet ports, a must for devices like gaming consoles which benefit from the lower latency. The xFi Gateway comes with support for Wi-Fi 6E, with dedicated channels for compatible devices.
The only real complaint pertains to the device’s security. The XB8 does use WPA3, which is heavily recommended due to its overall strength. However, the device also uses WPS, which provides a vulnerable entry point for malicious actors.
xFi Gateway vs. xFi Infinity: Must-Know Facts
- Both Gateway and Infinity plans use the same network hardware.
- The network hardware provided by Xfinity is capable of 2.5 Gbps throughput.
- Both Gateway and Infinity come with the Xfinity Flex streaming box.
- Xfinity’s network hardware is fully capable of supporting mesh network connectivity.
- The Infinity plan grants access to new gateways for free.
- The network hardware used by both plans isn’t available for purchase, only a monthly fee.
xFi Gateway vs. xFi Infinity: Which One is Better? Which One Should You Choose?
So, which of these two plans is the better option? Honestly, there isn’t a reason to choose the Gateway plan. Yes, Infinity costs more, but it is an extra $5. If you can stretch the monthly budget just a little then it is worth the price.
The inclusion of a free xFi pod is a major motivating factor. You can certainly purchase your own xFi pods with the Gateway plan, but not having to spend an additional $119 is a great motivator for larger homes.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Sundry Photography/Shutterstock.com.