Comcast XFi pods vs. Google Mesh – which mesh Wi-Fi system is worth the price?

You probably know the importance of great Wi-Fi, but not every router out there will provide you with your needs. If you have a ton of devices in your home, you owe it to yourself to choose the best mesh router you can afford – which is why we are doing a comparison of Comcast xFi and Google Mesh.

The Google Mesh Nest Wi-Fi system has more capability and power in its functionality compared to previous forms of the Google Mesh system. You can find it in plenty of configurations, such as the Nest Wi-Fi promising twice as fast speeds and 25% better coverage compared to the Google Wi-Fi system.

On the other hand, Comcast has quite the poor reputation from users because of their poor customer experience, despite their venture into the mesh market looking promising. However, they still promise to deliver the best Wi-Fi 6 standard, making the xFi seem enticing to many users.

What are the differences between the xFi pods and Google Mesh?

 
Comcast xFi pods
Google Mesh
Dimensions (inches)
7.9 x 2.6 x 2.8 (much larger)
4.3 x 3.6 (much smaller and more portable)
Peak throughput speeds (average)
250-300 Mbps
653 Mbps
Upload speeds
10 Mbps
200 Mbps
Download speeds
50 Mbps
300 Mbps

Comcast xFi pods vs. Google Mesh – How they compare

Performance

In terms of the speeds offered, the Google Mesh is consistent in giving higher speeds compared to the Comcast xFi pods, and is even higher than what you get from other powerful mesh routers like the Netgear Orbi and Eero – as long as our devices sustain the connection to the primary router, not the point. When we connect to the point, the speed cuts down by half, since the point has less capable antennas, and lack a dedicated backhaul channel for communication between the point and router.

The Google Mesh system lacks a backhaul wireless band, and instead uses the traditional 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands to make connections to devices and points. That means that its speeds are not exactly top-notch, although this will not be a problem for you if you are not a heavy internet user who requires high bandwidth limits at all times.Expect a maximum throughput speed of 653 Mbps.

In the case of the xFi system, the process of monitoring the speed is not as straightforward as we would like. The first point of difference is the increased cost of using the Comcast gateway – you will need to use a subscription plan that offers a minimum speed of 300 Mbps, and you will need additional subscription cost to get the advanced security feature. Its upload bandwidth is disappointing, only reaching 10 Mbps on average, which means you cannot do much with it despite the high prices you are paying.

In terms of performance, the Google Mesh is much better because it offers better speeds and connection reliability.

Design

The Google Mesh makes up for the lack of Ethernet jacks and weak radios by designing the point as a smart speaker that uses voice activation, which means that it takes on both speaker and router abilities. It also has an LED at its base in the form of a glowing ring, which glows orange when the mic is muted and white when you speak into it. In addition, it also comes with touch controls that allow you to pause playback or adjust volume.

On the other hand, the xFi pods are in a polygonal shape, which you can plug directly into an outlet. When you arrange them in a series, you can use them to form a mesh network alongside a router (preferably a Comcast one) in order to extend the Wi-Fi signal throughout your home.

The xFi pods are better in the design department because of their compact design.

Setup

In the case of the Google Mesh, the Point does support Google Assistant voice control, and it also adds some extra voice commands that are router-specific. These include running speed tests, as well as using the Google Home app to pause connections to a variety of devices that you are managing on the Google Home app. You can also run some speed tests from a Hub Max or Nest Hub.

The setup will require you to have a Google account, as well as the recently updated Google Home app for Android or iOS. The app will guide you through installation, setting it up, and optimal positioning of the Point. Accessing more advanced features will require you to use the old Google Wi-Fi app though.

When it comes to the setup and operation of the xFi pods, they will either operate best with the xFi advanced gateway, or the xFi wireless gateway. The xFi system is simply a web interface or app that allows management of the XFinity Wi-Fi service, as well as doing other network functions such as setting parental controls.It is possible to use the app to do a setup of the xFi pods, and monitor the connected devices. The process is not as straightforward as the Google Mesh though.

We prefer the simplicity of the Google Mesh system, as it does not include too many steps; even though it lacks support for Wi-Fi 6.

Comcast xFi pods vs. Google Mesh – A comparison review

Comcast xFi pods – Overview

Xfinity Comcast xFi Pods WiFi Network Range Extenders - Only Compatible With Xfinity Rented Routers, Not Compatible With Customer Owned Routers (1-pack (Single Pod), White)
  • Only compatible with Comcast rented routers/modems. Not compatible with consumer owned routers....
  • Plug-In and Easy Self-Install. Self-Optimizing Network. More Consistent WiFi Coverage

Comcast’s attempts to get into the mesh router market are fully in representation with the xFi pods. You can decide to either go for the three-pack, or the six-pack – with both options coming at a premium price, regardless of what your connectivity goal is.

There are some things we do not enjoy about Comcast though, especially their slow customer service. This is a complaint we notice from everyone who has used them before, although the good thing is that the system does not encounter too many issues due to its reliability.

Pros

  • Compact design that looks like a small speaker
  • They have a reliable build that does not break down frequently

Cons

  • Difficult to find in many stores
  • Customer service is less than ideal
  • Expensive
  • Slow speeds at many instances

View Price on Amazon

Google Mesh – Overview

Google WiFi system, 3-Pack - Router Replacement for Whole Home Coverage (NLS-1304-25),White
  • A new type of connected system for seamless WiFi coverage throughout your home, helping eliminate dead...
  • Replaces your current router, and works your modem and internet service. It’s compatible with major...

Similar to other mesh systems – including the xFi pods – the Nest Wi-Fi is not really a modem. Instead, you will need to plug it into the modem you already have, which your ISP provides you, in order for it to actually work. However, it has a stark difference to most mesh routers; it cannot work in a ‘bridge’ mode, which makes its setup process slightly more convoluted compared to most others.

The arrangement we used was mainly enough to give a strong connection and spread it throughout the home, as well as giving sufficient bandwidth for streaming a 4K video. It also does well when managing the many devices present in the network at any specified time, and it does not have too much trouble in ‘hopping’ devices to the point from the router, even when we move around in the home.

Pros

  • Secondary points can be useful as smart speakers
  • Faster performance compared to Google Wi-Fi
  • Easy setup of guest networks
  • Has integration with Nest smart display for management of guest networks

Cons

  • In order to access the more advanced features, you will need two app
  • The router itself only has two Ethernet jacks, while the points lack any jack

View Price on Amazon

Verdict: So what is better? The Comcast xFi pods or Google Mesh?

When comparing these two, we find that the Google Mesh is the better option for a mesh network, due to the faster internet connection, the ease of extending the network, great design, very easy setup process, and the fact that it does not cost a fortune to purchase.

FAQs

What data will Google collect from the Google Mesh router?

The Google Wi-Fi app will not collect data from the websites you go to or the traffic content on your network. It will only collect data that is relevant enough to optimize the network’s performance and speeds.

Can the xFi pod work with any routers I own?

Unfortunately no, as it will only work with Comcast devices.

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