Making Sense of Security

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Making Sense of Security

Comcast announces new Wi-Fi 6-certified gateway, security features for internet customers at CES 2020

Comcast is making its internet service faster and more secure with new hardware and free security features that alerts customers to threats.

Comcast Xfinity made two big announcements at CES 2020: It’s going to have a fast new gateway available, and it’s making important security features available for free to its internet customers. 

The announcement comes one year after Comcast announced its partnership with Intel to speed its adoption of gigabit internet and Wi-Fi 6, and it appears that the results of that partnership are beginning to show.

The new gateway, called the xFi Advanced Gateway, is a multi-gigabit, Wi-Fi 6 certified product that Comcast said has “best in class” Wi-Fi coverage. Comcast didn’t give too many details about availability, pricing, or lease fees for the new gateway, so those interested in learning more will have to stop by the Comcast/Xfinity’s booth at CES.

New security features for Comcast/Xfinity customers

Gigabit internet speeds and Wi-Fi 6 are worth getting excited over, but there’s an even better announcement from Comcast that will make its security-conscious customers thrilled: A new Xfinity xFi app that comes with what Comcast said is $72/month worth of security features for free.

The new app will serve as both a network manager and security tool, and will alert users when issues arise. It’s designed to monitor for bad traffic, block suspicious activity, and notify customers, which machines on their network are generating potentially malicious traffic.

SEE: More CES 2020 coverage (TechRepublic)

xFi adds a great set of automated security tools to Comcast Wi-Fi networks that have the potential to eliminate threats posed by malware, which steals data and transmits it to a command and control server, but don’t make the mistake of assuming it’s an all-in-one security solution. 

Like other security products, the xFi app needs to be used in conjunction with other products that specialize in particular aspects of security. In the case of this new app, Wi-Fi traffic to and from internet connected devices is monitored, secured, and blocked, but it doesn’t do anything to prevent malware infections in the first place.

Comcast customers should be sure to include robust antimalware software, access point and/or firewall security, and good security hygiene practices in their cybersecurity posture. 

Good security habits used alongside the xFi app can only improve online safety, but a single app alone isn’t enough to protect you.

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