Why Is Xfinity Wi-Fi So Slow?
Pro tips to get your Xfinity internet moving
Tons of Americans have Xfinity internet, and though Xfinity is by and large a fast internet provider, slow speeds can still plague certain customers.
Slow internet is bad, but what’s worse is not knowing why your internet is so slow. After all, it’s hard to fix a problem if you can’t identify the source. Is it Xfinity’s fault? Or can you fix it easily at home?
Our pros have curated this list of common reasons why your Xfinity internet could be sluggish and tips on if and how you can fix them.
Is it Xfinity? Or is it you?
The first step in diagnosing your slow Xfinity internet problem is figuring out whether it’s something wrong with Xfinity’s network or something wrong inside your home network. It usually isn’t complicated to suss out where the problem is based on the symptoms you experience.
- You can tell it’s an issue with Xfinity’s network when you have these issues:
- Sudden loss of internet connection, even though your Wi-Fi signal is still strong
- Slow speeds during certain times of day when a lot of people in your area get online
- Fewer Mbps of bandwidth than your plan is supposed to give you
You can tell it’s an issue with your own home network when you have these issues:
- Slow Wi-Fi connections even though wired connections are fine
- More issues when multiple people in your home are using the internet
- Increasingly slow speeds or network issues since the last time you restarted your equipment
- Slow internet on one specific device
Xfinity speed problems and how to handle them
We’ll be upfront about this: if you’re not getting the correct internet speeds from Xfinity, you probably need to contact Xfinity customer service to get it fixed. There’s not much we can do to help if you have a sudden service outage or chronically slow internet. But we’ll walk you through the particulars of some reasons for internet slowdowns on Xfinity’s side.
If you’re consistently having issues with slow Xfinity internet speeds, you should gather some evidence before confronting Xfinity with the issue. Take internet speed tests at different times of day and for a few days to show a pattern of slower speeds than you’re paying for.
What to do if there’s an Xfinity network outage
If you stop receiving an internet signal altogether, it’s probably a network outage. One symptom of this is still having a Wi-Fi signal but no connection to the internet.
A large section of Xfinity’s network can experience a random outage for any number of reasons. Sometimes these outages are for maintenance or due to bad weather conditions. Either way, the best thing to do if there’s an Xfinity network outage is to report it to Xfinity, which you can do by logging in to your Xfinity account and navigating to the Status Center.
In the Status Center, you’ll find an outage map to see if other people in your area have been affected. You can also opt in to text alerts from Xfinity so you’ll get progress reports about the network’s status. Unfortunately, you can’t really do anything if the network is down. You’ll have to wait for Xfinity to fix the issue.
What to do if the Xfinity network is congested
Xfinity is a cable internet network, which means it can slow down when too many users get online at the same time. This is because the network can’t support the amount of data people are using all at once, so things get backed up like a traffic jam.
You can tell it’s Xfinity network congestion if it happens frequently around the same times of day (like in the early evenings when everyone gets off work and starts watching Netflix). If it makes you feel better, you’re probably not alone. All your neighbors who use Xfinity are also experiencing slower internet speeds at the same times as you.
If network congestion seems to happen a lot, keep track of when the network slows down and try to avoid being online at those times. Schedule big downloads (like computer updates or game patches) for late at night when there are fewer people online. And if it really interrupts your ability to use your internet connection, complain to Xfinity.
What to do if you simply aren’t getting enough Xfinity speed
There are two possible reasons why your Xfinity speed is too slow:
- You’re not signed up for a fast enough internet plan.
- You’re signed up for a fast internet plan but aren’t getting the speeds.
It’s easy to tell which one is slowing your internet down. Just take an internet speed test (preferably directly from your modem or gateway without any other active connections). If your result is near the amount of Mbps you’re supposed to be getting from Xfinity, but you’re still having issues with slow internet, you may just need to upgrade your plan.
If you take a speed test (or several) and the results are much slower than you’re paying for, you need to take it up with Xfinity.
Tips to get your Xfinity home network running faster
Troubleshooting your Xfinity home network for issues with slow internet speeds can be a little daunting. Don’t worry—we’ve got a few surefire ways to optimize your Xfinity home network to get you up to speed.
And if you need a more in-depth walkthrough, check out our guide to troubleshooting your home network.
Start with a restart
Symptom: Increasingly slow speeds or network issues since last restart
A lot of the time, turning your modem and router off then on again can help with sluggish internet speeds. Doing this effectively gives your home networking equipment a power nap so both can clear any unnecessary data and start fresh.
Here’s how to restart your internet equipment (it’s super easy):
- Turn off or unplug your modem and your router.
- After about 10 seconds, turn your modem back on and wait for it to establish an internet connection. This could take a few minutes.
- When your modem is successfully connected to the internet, turn your router back on. It will reestablish your Wi-Fi network in a few minutes.
If you have an Xfinity gateway or modem and router combo device, simply turn it off, wait a few seconds, and turn it back on.
If that doesn’t work, you can log in to your Xfinity account and reset your modem or gateway from their end—this makes sure that your modem is synched up to their network as well.
Replace old devices
Symptom: Only certain devices have speed issues, regardless of location
If your slow internet problems are isolated to a single device—like a PC or smartphone—the issue may be with the device and not the internet. There are exceptions to this rule, of course, but if all your other connections work fine and one doesn’t, your network is probably working as it should.
There are a few reasons why an older device might not get good internet speeds, even if it has a wired connection or a strong Wi-Fi signal. For example, the device’s hardware might not be able to handle fast internet speeds because it was made before such internet speeds were possible.
Upgrade your router
Symptom: Your router is more than 5 years old and often needs to be reset to restore internet speeds
If you often find yourself having to restart your router, it might be time to replace it with a better router for Xfinity. Wi-Fi standards have changed dramatically twice in the past seven years, so it’s quite possible that your router is out of date.
An old router can really mess with your internet use—most older routers are built to handle only a few connections at a time. If you have multiple people with multiple devices that slow down your router, it’d be a good idea to upgrade to a Wi-Fi 6 router. Newer routers are also better for range and data speed.
Get a new router from Xfinity
If you’re renting a gateway from Xfinity and haven’t had a replacement in several years, ask for a newer one. The xFi Wireless Gateway, xFi Advanced Gateway, and xFi Gateway 3rd Generation are Xfinity’s newest rental units. Ask if you can upgrade your old box to one of them.
Xfinity lists other models on its gateway support site as “limited speeds and functionality.” That basically means the older Xfinity gateway models aren’t up to snuff anymore, and you’d have a better online experience with a newer model.
Get a faster internet plan
Symptom: Your internet provides the speeds advertised in your internet plan but still seems too slow, especially when multiple people are online
Your Xfinity internet might be slow because you don’t have enough bandwidth in your current plan to keep up with your internet use. This may especially be the case if you’ve started working or learning from home.
If your router isn’t the issue, but your internet still seems to get sluggish when there are multiple people online, it might be time to get a better plan.
See all Xfinity internet plans here.
Author - Rebecca Lee Armstrong
Rebecca Lee Armstrong has more than six years of experience writing about tech and the internet, with a specialty in hands-on testing. She started writing tech product and service reviews while finishing her BFA in creative writing at the University of Evansville and has found her niche writing about home networking, routers, and internet access at HighSpeedInternet.com. Her work has also been featured on Top Ten Reviews, MacSources, Windows Central, Android Central, Best Company, TechnoFAQ, and iMore.
Editor - Cara Haynes
Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for HighSpeedInternet.com for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.