Did you know that you don’t have to use the equipment your Internet Service Provider (ISP) gives you? Most people just take their provider’s gear and don’t think twice about other options, but there is another way. If you’re finding that your wireless connection with Comcast Xfinity isn’t living up to your expectations, purchasing your own router can give your connection a boost and possibly save you money in the long run.

There are a lot of alternative routers available, but not all are compatible with Comcast Xfinity. To make your search for an alternative easier, we rounded up the four best wireless routers that work with Comcast Xfinity internet and provided links of where you can find them on Amazon.

The Best Routers for Comcast Xfinity

Best Xfinity RoutersSpeedBrandsPortsPrice
Best Modem/Router ComboNETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900960 MbpsDual-band4$$$Buy Now
Most Powerful WirelessNETGEAR Nighthawk X107.2 GbpsTri-band8$$$$$Buy Now
Provided by ComcastXfinity Wireless Gateway 3640 MbpsDual-band4$10 per monthView Plans
Best for Your BudgetMotorola MG7550686 MbpsDual-band4$$Buy Now
Best Modem/Router Combo
Best Xfinity RoutersNETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900
Speed960 Mbps
BrandsDual-band
Ports4
Price$$$
Buy Now
Most Powerful Wireless
Best Xfinity RoutersNETGEAR Nighthawk X10
Speed7.2 Gbps
BrandsTri-band
Ports8
Price$$$$$
Buy Now
Provided by Comcast
Best Xfinity RoutersXfinity Wireless Gateway 3
Speed640 Mbps
BrandsDual-band
Ports4
Price$10 per month
View Plans
Best for Your Budget
Best Xfinity RoutersMotorola MG7550
Speed686 Mbps
BrandsDual-band
Ports4
Price$$
Buy Now

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The Top Routers for Comcast Xfinity

NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900

Best Modem/Router Combo

NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900

Dimensions: 10.8″ x 10.2″ x. 3.6″
Weight: 2.8 lbs.
Speed: Up to 960 Mbps
Bands: Dual-band (2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz)
Ports: Four gigabit Ethernet ports
Price: $$$
Other Features: Combo modem/router/voice modem

For customers who need an all-in-one combo with a little more punch than the provided Xfinity modem, the NETGEAR Nighthawk is a great pick. It provides faster speeds and more advanced phone features. It’s also more compact and half the weight, so it’s more likely to fit in places like a cramped entertainment center.

NETGEAR Nighthawk X10

Most Powerful Wireless Router

NETGEAR Nighthawk X10

Dimensions: 6.6″ x 8.8″ x 2.9″
Weight: 4.1 lbs.
Speed: Up to 7.2 Gbps
Bands: Tri-band (2.4 Ghz, 5 Ghz, and 60 Ghz)
Ports: Seven gigabit Ethernet ports, one 10-gigabit fiber port
Price: $$$$$
Other Features: MU-MIMO support, dynamic QoS, and a powerful processor for sustained performance

For users who need the fastest wireless speeds possible, the NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 is tough to beat. With the new 802.11ad wireless protocol on board, this futuristic-looking router delivers speeds up to 7.2 Gbps. It also comes packed with advanced features to ensure you get the most power possible from your Xfinity internet connection.

The only catch is that it doesn’t include a modem, so you’ll need to use the one provided by Xfinity in addition to this one. But if you’re subscribing to Xfinity’s ultrafast 2G fiber service, you’ll need equipment that can keep up.

Xfinity Wireless Gateway 3

Provided by Comcast Xfinity

Xfinity Wireless Gateway 3

Dimensions: 5″ x 10.8″ x 10.8″
Weight: 5.1 lbs.
Speed: Up to 640 Mbps
Bands: Dual-band (2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz)
Ports: Four gigabit Ethernet ports
Price: $10 per month
Other Features: Combo modem/router/voice modem

The Xfinity Wireless Gateway is the standard modem/router you get from Comcast when you sign up for an internet plan. This means it’s guaranteed to work well with your Xfinity service, and it covers all the bases by including the internet modem, a wireless router, and a voice modem all in one box.

Covering all those bases does come at a cost, which is why you’ll have to shell out $10.00 a month to rent this router. Still, if you don’t plan to have Xfinity service for long, this might be the most cost-effective option for you. Another advantage is Xfinity customer support will troubleshoot issues with the Wireless Gateway, whereas if you use your own equipment, you might be on your own when technical complications arise.

#4: Motorola MG7550

Best for Your Budget

Motorola MG7550

Dimensions: 10.5″ x 11″ x 3″
Weight: 2.7 lbs.
Speed: Up to 686 Mbps
Bands: Dual-band (2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz)
Ports: Four gigabit Ethernet ports
Price: $$
Other Features: Wireless Power Boost and AnyBeam beamforming for increased performance and range

For Xfinity customers who want to use their own router but don’t want to spend a lot, this Motorola modem/router combo is the perfect choice. Like the standard Xfinity Wireless Gateway, it combines your modem and router in one box, which saves space. While it doesn’t have some of the advanced features of the other routers on the list, the lower price makes up for that.

What are the fastest Xfinity speeds in your area?

Should you use the Comcast Xfinity router or purchase your own router?

Pros of Purchasing Your Own Router

  • You’ll get access to more powerful features. While the Xfinity router will get the job done, advanced features like beamforming and MU-MIMO that can be found in other routers often provide significantly better range and performance.
  • The internet connection can be much faster. The Xfinity Wireless Gateway is fast enough for many, but if you need more bandwidth for things like streaming or gaming, you’ll be better off buying your own router to squeeze the most power out of your connection.
  • You own the equipment. When you use Comcast’s provided router, you’ll have to return it when you cancel service. Investing in a router of your own will give you a consistently excellent experience from one provider to another.

Cons of Purchasing Your Own Router

  • It might be more expensive up-front. Depending on what router you choose, the price you pay up-front might be more than what you’ll pay for Xfinity equipment over the span of your contract. However, unless you need to invest in an expensive router with all the bells and whistles, buying your own equipment will probably be cheaper in the long run.
  • You won’t get customer support for your router. If you have a problem while using anything other than the official Comcast Xfinity equipment, Xfinity customer support may not be able to help you. The odds of any technical problems popping up are relatively low since wireless routers are fairly reliable, but it’s still something to keep in mind.

5 Things to Consider When Purchasing a Wireless Router

If you’ve decided to use your own equipment, here are five key features to look for when shopping for a router.

1. Compatibility

The first thing to consider when shopping is whether the router is compatible with your Xfinity internet service. Most stand-alone wireless routers should work just fine with Xfinity (or any other provider), and all the routers listed in this article are compatible with Comcast Xfinity internet service. You’ll need to pay extra attention only when the router in question also includes a modem. Most providers, including Xfinity, provide lists of compatible modems and routers for customers interested in using their own equipment.

What’s the difference between a modem and a router? If you don’t know the answer to this question, you should before you start shopping. The modem is the part of the network that connects to your provider’s lines (like the cable jack in the wall) and translates those signals into something useable by your devices. This is why you’ll need to make sure any modem you buy can decode your provider’s signal.

The router takes the signal from the modem and makes it accessible to your devices. Routers broadcast the internet signal over the air as radio waves so other devices can pick it up without plugging directly into the modem/router.

2. Speed

If you have Comcast Xfinity, speed is probably the biggest thing you can improve by purchasing your own router. The one provided by Xfinity just doesn’t offer a ton of throughput. Many modern routers support more bandwidth than your ISP can provide, but that doesn’t necessarily mean its capability is going to waste. The extra overhead can help the router perform better when multiple devices are hitting it hard, making your internet connection less likely to slow down or boot users off.

Speed on routers is a little tricky, though. That’s because the advertised speed on a wireless router is almost never going to be the actual speed your devices experience—even if your internet service supports it. The thing about Wi-Fi is that because it’s transmitted through the air, it’s always subject to interference and other environmental factors.

Actual speeds on routers can be as low as a third of the advertised maximum speed. But since routers usually offer seemingly unbelievable maximum speeds, experiencing even one third of what they advertise will still allow you to see improvements (as long as your connection is fast enough).

How much speed do you need

3. Wireless Standard

When shopping for routers, you’ll see strings of numbers and letters beginning with “802.11.” Common examples are 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac. These represent the wireless standard (or protocol) used by the router. This standard is part of what dictates the speed and range the router is capable of. There are three common standards you’ll see on modern routers:

  • 11ac is the most common standard you’ll see on new routers. Also known as gigabit Wi-Fi, 802.11ac supports speeds up to 1.3 Gbps.
  • 11n is the standard of the previous generation. It supported speeds up to 450 Mbps and can still be found on some low-end routers.
  • 11ad is a newer standard that is starting to appear on some very high-end routers. It supports speeds up to 4.6 Gbps (four times as fast as 802.11ac), but few devices and even fewer internet connections are capable of making full use of this protocol.

Look for a router that supports 802.11ac to make the most of modern connection speeds and mobile devices. 802.11ad is a nice bonus, but it may not be worth the cost quite yet.

4. Range

You want to make sure the range of your router matches up with the size of your home. Most modern routers should cover an average-sized home with no problem, but if your house is unusually large, you’ll need to either look at options with more range or purchase extenders. If the range of a router is low, devices that are far away will get weak signals (or no signal at all).

5. Advanced Features

Keep an eye out for these other advanced features that can make your home Wi-Fi experience more pleasant.

  • Quality of Service (QoS): QoS helps prioritize the traffic and devices on your network so more important traffic gets sent first. This is a common feature on business-class routers because it does things like help prevent the important video call from getting slowed down by John Doe streaming Netflix in the corner cubicle. This feature isn’t just useful for businesses, though. In the home, it can ensure a strong signal for streaming even if others are using the network to surf Facebook or do homework at the same time.
  • MU-MIMO: MU-MIMO stands for multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output. This technology helps a router communicate with multiple devices more efficiently. If you commonly have several people online at once in your home, MU-MIMO can make a big difference in performance.
  • Beamforming: Beamforming is a technology that takes the wireless signal broadcast by your router and focuses it toward specific devices on the network rather than just sending it out in every direction. The result? A stronger, longer-range signal.

Educating yourself about the different options available helps you make informed decisions, whether you end up using the Xfinity Wireless Gateway or purchasing your own modem/router. Any of the top routers we covered above should help you get the most out of your Xfinity internet service.

So, what did you decide to go with? Will you purchase your own router or stick with the provided equipment? Weigh in by leaving a comment below to help other visitors make the choice that’s best for them.

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