Innovation

CES 2017: Comcast announces push into smart home market with new cloud services and advanced router

Combining a mobile app, smarter firmware, and simple Wi-Fi meshing, Comcast hopes to challenge Google for smart home supremacy. Here's what they're offering and how it can benefit your SMB.

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Image: CNET/Dong Ngo

CES 2017 hasn't even opened to the public, but the headlines have already started to emerge from media previews. Smart technology, expectedly, has been a huge topic at the annual event, which makes Comcast's announcement that it's getting into the smart home market unsurprising.

Comcast announced a new Advanced Gateway that will replace old cable modems, and it's packed with features to make managing your Wi-Fi easier. Your experience won't require the new hardware, though: The new firmware that ties into a smartphone app will be rolled out to all supported gateways within the next few months.

What Comcast's new Wi-Fi system can do

Like the competition, Comcast is trying to make Wi-Fi and smart home technology a seamless experience. Setting the device up is as easy as scanning a QR code, Wi-Fi range extenders can be attached seamlessly, and managing network options is designed to be accessible to everyone.

SEE: CES 2017 Special Coverage (CNET) | CES 2017 (TechRepublic) | CES 2017: The Big Trends for Business (ZDNet)

It's all well and good to have control over your home network and the devices on it, but what about in the workplace? If you're an SMB owner Comcast's new features are worth a look.

Comcast's Advanced Gateway for SMBs

Comcast isn't marketing the Advanced Gateway toward SMBs, but there are plenty of small businesses that don't need enterprise-level network solutions. Small business owners may find Comcast's new system the perfect fit between home and enterprise internet management.

Wi-Fi meshing and new hardware are great, but the management console is where Comcast's new tech will really shine. Knowing who is online, being able to manage devices, and featuring built-in phishing and malware protection make it a good choice for those who need to secure their networks without having to pay an IT professional.

SEE: Infographic: Small business is vulnerable to cyberattack (TechRepublic)

Rental fees will still apply for the new Advanced Gateway, and Comcast users with personally owned modems won't be able to benefit from these changes.

SMBs take note: Now is the time to think about your current internet setup and consider if it could be better. With all the management, security, and simplicity Comcast is offering you may want to rethink your internet arrangement.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Comcast announced a new Advanced Gateway and several new firmware features at CES.
  2. The new gateway is designed to compete with systems like Google Wifi and other mesh products.
  3. A number of new features make Comcast's Advanced Gateway and new software worth looking into: If the news is true it would be a good way to take control of your network.

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About Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.

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