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Networking

Neighbors pirating your Wi-Fi? Comcast's new alerts will tell you

Comcast is now giving Xfinity xFi customers push notifications that will alert them to changes on their home network, like password updates or new devices joining.

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Xfinity xFi customers can now get push notifications when a device joins their network or their Wi-Fi password is changed.

Nick Ferrari Photograph/Comcast Xfinity

Comcast's Xfinity xFi customers will get more insight into their home network starting today with a new push notification feature.

These real-time alerts will pop up on a smartphone or TV screen to let you know when someone has made changes to your network. Comcast launched xFi last year, which gave customers a digital dashboard that's accessible via an app, browser or TV from which they can customize and monitor their networks.

The new notifications will tell you when:

  • A new device joins your network, allowing you to name it and assign it to someone in your home.
  • The Wi-Fi credentials are updated, so you can reconnect devices if you need to.
  • Someone sets your network to "open" and removes the password or adds a password if it is set to "open."
  • Your SSID/network name has been set to hidden or viewable among local networks.
  • Xfinity Internet and xFi Gateway has been activated for the first time.
  • Your IP address has changed.
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Comcast xFi customers can not get alerts when something in their home network changes.

Comcast

Even if you don't enable this feature for push notifications, you can still monitor these activities in the xFi Notification Center.

xFi is available to 15 million Comcast subscribers with their fiber-ready xFi Advanced Gateway or the xFi Wireless Gateway. Customers can use it to quickly set up their internet, set parental controls, manage and organize network devices, use voice control with the X1 TV remote to monitor the network, and troubleshoot Wi-Fi issues.

These new alerts seem to be more security related, which is important with all the recent Wi-Fi security issues. Some other mesh Wi-Fi systems include apps with similar notifications, but the convenience of having everything tied into your ISP will be helpful, especially for troubleshooting.

With all the different internet service providers (ISPs) available, Comcast sounds like it is making strides with xFi to provide better service and security for its customers. It also said last year that it has no plans to offer fast lanes once net neutrality rules are rolled back.  These fast lanes would allow companies, like Netflix or YouTube, to pay ISPs for faster service to customers.