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Comcast Report: Reliable Wi-Fi Still The Connection of Choice Among Americans

Comcast release new report which shows nearly half Americans connected 1 Billion Devices over Wi-Fi in 2021.

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At GearBrain, we cover all things connected. Whether it be smart home security systems or smart locks, we help you learn about these devices, including how they connect to the Internet. We even explain all the different wireless protocols smart devices use to connect to each other over the Internet. So, which wireless connection is the most popular? There are many types of wireless protocols to choose to make your home smarter. There is Z-Wave and Zigbee protocols which are considered secure connections versus open systems like Thread and Bluetooth. But the one wireless protocol which seems to be the connection of choice among Americans is Wi-Fi. And Comcast’s new 2021 Wi-Fi Trends Report which was just release verifies it.

According to Comcast’s report, the number of devices connected to Wi-Fi has skyrocketed by 12X since 2018 as Xfinity households connected nearly 1 billion devices in 2021. In fact, dependable Wi-Fi has become so critical that nearly half of the country (45 percent) believe it is more important than reliable transportation*. These findings and more highlight Comcast’s 2021 Wi-Fi Trends Report, providing insights into how Wi-Fi enabled Americans to pursue what mattered to them most in 2021 based on network trends and consumer insights.

“The ecosystem of connected devices in the home and the applications running on them has exploded over the last few years, driving a shift in consumers perceptions on what truly is important to their connectivity experience,” said Sophie Ahmad, Chief Marketing Officer of Xfinity Consumer Service, Comcast Cable. “Unbeatable Internet that provides the best connection, complete security, faster speeds and the best tech is now integral to how Americans work, exercise, parent, and entertain.”

Photo of comcast 2021 wifi trends reportComcast 2021 Xfinity WiFi Trends ReportComcast

Here are some of the key findings from the 2021 report include:

Smartphones comprise more than a third of all devices

photo of smartphone.The Qualcomm Smartphone for Snapdragon InsidersQualcomm

Smartphones dominate the connected device category – nearly 347 million connected in Xfinity households in 2021 accounting for nearly one-third of all devices over the year, a 23X increase from 2018.

Health was the fastest growing device category:

Doctor talking to a patient in a hospital bed with iphone in her hand.Apple partnered with 39 hospitals to port their medical records into its Health appApple

In 2021, Wi-Fi became increasingly important from a wellness perspective as Americans became accustomed to new habits, including exercising at home. In fact, health was the fastest rising device category, with more than 49 million smartwatches and fitness trackers connected to Wi-Fi in Xfinity households––a 39X increase from 2018. Exercise equipment connected to Wi-Fi also increased 93X for a total of almost 841,000 devices. This trend will continue, with 20 percent of households planning to purchase fitness-related devices over the next 12 months, according to the Xfinity report*.

​Homes are getting smarter

Photo of woman controling a smart thermostat using her smartphone.Move-In Ready Now Means Smart Home Prepped Too

Using Nest in a smart home (Photo: Business Wire)

As consumers increasingly purchase IoT devices such as connected cameras, doorbells, thermostats, and more, their homes are becoming smarter making their lives more efficient. Xfinity households connected more than 2.5 million IoT devices in 2021, a 31X increase over 2018 levels.

​Streaming growth holds steady

Photo of smart tv with steaming services showing on the screen.

The Roku interface includes all major streaming apps


Americans crave at-home entertainment more than ever before, with two of the nation’s most accepted pastimes (streaming and gaming) soaring to new heights. Streaming continued to see significant growth in Xfinity households in 2021, with 119 million devices connected to Wi-Fi during the year – a 14X increase from 2018.

​At least one game system per home:

A man playing video games with a VR Headset on his head.Here's why you shouldn't expect the new Xbox 'Project Scarlett' to have VRiStock

Gaming also remained popular, with more than 36 million consoles connected to Wi-Fi in Xfinity households – a 15X increase from 2018. Nearly two in three Americans who play online games (or live with others who do) say online video games are being played more today compared to five years ago*.

​Consumers value Wi-Fi controls more than ever

A\u00a0mother and daughter using a computer.Parental controlsiStock

Xfinity customers sought new ways to control how and when their families used Wi-Fi last year. In 2021, more than 1 million Xfinity households used xFi parental controls, with customers pausing/unpausing Wi-Fi nearly 100 million times. In the same year, more than 477,000 customers created a total of more than 1 million “downtime” schedules, with the most popular moment being bedtime – followed by homework and dinnertime.

​Americans are investing in their home networks:

As most Americans worked remotely in 2021, nearly three in five Americans (59 percent) improved their Wi-Fi last year, with about a third upgrading their equipment (28 percent) or increasing their speeds (27 percent) *. In addition, Xfinity Internet customers have purchased more than one million xFi pods, Wi-Fi extenders that ensure stronger Wi-Fi coverage throughout the home, over the last 3 years. Two in five Americans (45 percent) also said that Wi-Fi is more important to their daily lives than reliable transportation*.

Photo of Yale Smart lock on a door with TV connected to Xfinity in the background.Comcast's Xfinity Home Expanding List of Compatible Products By Adding Yale Assure Smart

Comcast released the 2021 Wi-Fi Trends Report on the heels of announcing its newest gateway, the next generation xFi Advanced Gateway, delivering supersonic Wi-Fi that is capable of ultra-fast, multi-Gig speeds, and has more capacity to connect hundreds of devices simultaneously. The gateway increases bandwidth in the home by 3X to support the massive influx of connected devices and comes packed with Xfinity xFi, a simple, digital dashboard that gives Xfinity Internet customers total control of their home network, including the ability to set parental controls and pause Wi-Fi.

Overall, there have been significant changes in consumer’s lifestyles over the past three years. This is mainly due to improved connectivity in the home, and it seems, based on Comcast’s report, Wi-Fi connectivity is at the forefront. You can access the Comcast report here and learn more Xfinity xFi, by visiting their website. If you want to learn more about smart devices that work on xFi platform, you can visit The GearBrain, our compatibility find engine for smart devices. The GearBrain will help you research, discover, buy, and learn how to connect and optimize smart devices which will all work on any type of wireless connection and platform, including xFi.

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