Xfinity has been pushing their in-home mesh networking system, called “xFi Complete,” for over a year now.
While the pods cost an extra $25 per month ($300 annualized), they include unlimited data, which otherwise costs $30 per month as a standlone add-on with Xfinity.
This system has gotten even more complex in 2023, since they now include the xFi Complete package either free or discounted for new customers on mid-tier plans. As a result, customers are often shocked when they see a new $25 line item on their bill after a year or two of service.
This can be frustrating when comparing Xfinity to other cable providers like Spectrum who offer unlimited data for free and Wi-Fi equipment for only $5–10 per month. Until the FCC does something about it — which they probably won’t — that’s the policy.
A quick note for non-techies:
- Modem: the device that hooks into your cable jack and connects you to the internet.
- Router: the device that plugs into your modem and broadcasts Wi-Fi for your home.
With Xfinity, the modem and router are usually combined into one device. They call it an "xFi Gateway" when you sign up. However, you'll likely be buying them separately if you opt to use your own.
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How to remove the Spectrum in-home Wi-Fi fee
The easiest way to get rid of the modem rental or “Wi-Fi equipment fee” with Xfinity is to simply use your own equipment.
Purchasing your own modem and router will run you around $120, or less if you get used or refurbished models.
The cost can go up to $200 if you want to get a higher-end mesh network setup like the Eero or Google Nest; but even then, you’ll be getting your money back in less than a year compared to the $300 annualized cost of leasing a mesh networking setup from Xfinity directly.
Even the basic modem rental provided by Xfinity costs $15 per month, or 180 per year. As you can see in this table, that’s high for the industry, especially for a basic piece of equipment with no bells and whistles:
|Internet Provider||Monthly Base Wi-Fi Fee||Annual cost of Wi-Fi equipment lease||Service type|
If you’re an existing Xfinity customer, you can find your plan in this table to see how your annual cost will compare if you drop the Wi-Fi fee:
|Plan Name||Price with Wi-Fi fee||Price with Wi-Fi fee removed||Wi-Fi Fee||Wi-Fi fee annualized|
|Connect (75 Mbps)||$66||$51||$15/mo.||$180/yr.|
|Connect More (200 Mbps)||$78||$63||$15/mo.||$180/yr.|
|Fast (400 Mbps)||$98||$73||$25/mo.||$300/yr.|
|Superfast (800 Mbps)||$108||$83||$25/mo.||$300/yr.|
|Gigabit (1000 Mbps)||$118||$93||$25/mo.||$300/yr.|
|Gigabit Extra (1200 Mbps)||$128||$103||$25/mo.||$300/yr.|
As you can see, it adds up quickly.
My advice with Xfinity is to either use your own equipment to drop the fee, or opt for the xFi Pods. The middle ground of leasing an expensive low-grade modem/router for $15 per month is simply a bad value.
The pricing on the pods is high, but at least you get all the extra features like network monitoring, unlimited data, parental controls, free service visits, etc.
Note that when you purchase your own equipment, Xfinity will often try to blame issues on your modem when you have technical problems. So, only use your own equipment if you’re comfortable doing basic troubleshooting, and can speak about it confidently enough to convince their tech support the issue is on their end.
I’ve written up a full guide to every trick for lowering your Xfinity bill as an existing customer here.
Swapping out the Xfinity modem for your own
The process for switching to your own modem and router with Xfinity is pretty easy:
- Purchase the modem and router(s) of your choice. (Recommendations below.)
- Call Xfinity technical support and provide the MAC address on your new modem so they can turn on your service.
- Plug in your new equipment and confirm it’s working.
- Return the Xfinity equipment at an Xfinity store location. (This is important, otherwise they can’t credit you for the equipment fee.)
- Confirm the fee is removed from you bill next month, and call to dispute if it’s still there (this is common).
Modems and routers compatible with Xfinity
Xfinity maintains a full list of compatible modems at their website. Here are the two I recommend for most people:
Ease of install: Surfboard modem + router combo unit
The Arris Surfboard is the best pick for any Xfinity plan below 500 Mbps download. It's extremely easy to install, and should last for years.
The surfboard has gigabit ethernet ports, dual-band 2.4 and 5 Ghz Wi-Fi network options, and everything else your average user needs to run a basic smarthome and home office.
Ease of use: Eero mesh
There are several mesh networking systems on the market, including offerings from Google and Plume. However, Eero was the first, and their hardware is the most reliable for the price.
Mesh networking kits are pricey — the Eero can cost $200 or more. However, the features justify it, particularly if you are in a large home that tends to get Wi-Fi dead spots.
Eero works by placing several access points around the home, which work in tandem to concentrate coverage where your devices are and make sure there are no dead spots. They also have easy-to-use apps for setup and maintenance, giving you much more data about your network without having to be a techie to figure it out.
What modem and router does Xfinity internet come with
Something that makes Xfinity unique among cable providers is that they maintain a comprehensive line of Xfinity-branded modem and Wi-Fi router devices, which they call “gateways.”
The full specs for each generation of the Gateway are maintained on their site, but to summarize:
- Xfinity gateways are manufactured by Comcast for their exclusive use.
- The mesh network option, xFi Pods, includes hardware designed in partnership with Plume.
Why does Xfinity charge for WiFi?
Xfinity charges for Wi-Fi service because they have their own line of home networking equipment that is designed to plug into their other offerings, which include home security, smart home and locks, media systems, and more.
While the cost is high relative to other cable providers, it does provide a better user experience for non-technical customers. The xFi app interface for managing the home network with Xfinity is much cleaner than that provided by stock or third-party modems and routers, which are generally made with little attention on the software side.
Xfinity also has an agenda with promoting their xFi routers, which is that they help support their public Wi-Fi network. While they claim no security concerns since the networks are seperate, customers should be aware that any Xfinity hardware they own may be used as a node supporting their public Wi-Fi network, which is used heavily by their Xfinity Mobile MVNO mobile phone service. 1
Summary: Xfinity charges more than most cable companies for Wi-Fi equipment
In summary, you can save as much as $300 annually if you opt out of Xfinity's Wi-Fi equipment and use your own.
However, you lose access to smart home and smart media features, so this is only recomended for customers who want internet-only service. If you're getting a TV bundle, home security, or other add-ons, you will be much happier buying into the xFi in-home Wi-Fi system.
Xfinity Wi-Fi fees summary
- Connect (75 Mbps plan): $15/mo.
- Connect More (200 Mbps plan): $15/mo.
- Fast (400 Mbps plan): $25/mo.
- Superfast (800 Mbps plan): $25/mo.
- Gigabit (1000 Mbps plan): $25/mo.
- Gigabit Extra (1200 Mbps plan): $25/mo.
- Xfinity Internet Essentials (50 Mbps plan): Wi-Fi equipment included
- Xfinity Internet Essentials Plus (100 Mbps plan): Wi-Fi equipment included
This page is based on a database of Xfinity plan pricing maintained by ConnectCalifornia. This page updates automatically as we update the database on a monthly basis. The last modification was made in January 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does Xfinity charge a Wi-Fi fee?
Xfinity charges a $15 per month fee if you want to lease a gateway for your home WiFi. While customers can use their own equipment to remove the fee, this negates some features of Xfinity service such as the xFi app network management or xFinity voice control for TV.
How much does Xfinity charge for Wi-Fi?
Xfinity charges $15 per month for basic Wi-Fi service using their proprietary Wi-Fi 6 Gateway devices. They have a premium Wi-Fi plan which costs $25 per month, and includes mesh networking with xFi Pod devices, which are made in partnership with Plume. The premium Wi-Fi plan includes unlimited data usage, which they normally charge $30 per month for as a standalone add-on.
Does Xfinity charge for Wi-Fi on low-income plans?
Xfinity does not charge an incremental Wi-Fi fee on their Xfinity Internet Essentials program for low-income households. They include Wi-Fi equipment free of charge for these customers, as part of the base $9.95 per month cost of internet-only service.