Like most people during the pandemic, we relied heavily on our internet connection. Both Lisa and I have been working from home, and thankfully Comcast/xfinity had been reliable through the entire thing, except for a couple glitches when they were working on network equipment, which knocked us off the air for a few hours. We upgraded to Gigabit internet service in July 2020.
In late March 2020 I started to notice weirdness where my modem (a Netgear CM1100 which I owned) kept hanging, with the only resolution being to reset it. Once back up, it was fine for about 24-48 hours and then it would happen again.
Knowing that Comcast would blame my equipment for any errors, I decided to bite the bullet and rent Comcast’s cable modem (xFi – XB7) to replace the Netgear. The xFi unit has a built-in router, which is easily turned off if you own your own router. I have an Orbi Mesh Router which I wanted to keep in place since it gives great coverage throughout our place, so I ran through the setup process and as a final step, turned off the router portion.
Everything seemed to be working fine from the time I installed it until I went to bed (~6 – 11 PM). The internet was solid, and I was able to use the xfinity Stream app on both my Roku and iPhone.
The next morning, none of the TV Streaming apps worked: the apps all had an error that said I must be connected to my “Home Network.”
The internet remained solid through all of this. Only the TV streaming apps were not working.
I spoke to an xfinity agent, and we tried the following, all to no avail:
- “refreshed” my account
- logged out of xfinity app everywhere, log back in
- uninstalled stremaing app on iPhone, reinstall, log back in
- restarted XB7
- rebooted iPhone
- rebooted Roku
- rebooted router
- restarted XB7 again
All devices were connected to the same Orbi wifi network they’d been using all along.
The agent said that an “application specialist” would contact me to discuss this further.
Later that day, a realization came to me which led to a solution:
When I did the self-install of the Xfi gateway via the xfinity app, I gave the Xfi’s wifi network a different name (HomeNet2) than my existing wifi network (HomeNet). Once setup finished, I connected to the Xfi’s wifi network (HomeNet2) and everything worked fine.
Since I wanted to use my existing router and network name, I logged onto the gateway and turned on Bridge Mode using these instructions, thus turning off the Xfi’s wifi. I connected the gateway to my personal router and after a few minutes everything came up on my existing network (HomeNet). All good.
When I looked at the settings at Gateway > Connection > Wifi on the gateway’s control panel, I saw everything greyed out, and the HomeNet2 wifi configuration was still there, just not editable.
I thought for a while about the error I kept receiving from the xfinity app: “you are not on your home network.”
Then it hit me: xfinity thinks my “home network” is called “HomeNet2” and not “HomeNet.” That is what’s registered in the router, and thus with xfinity.
I went back into the gateway’s control panel, took it out of Bridge Mode, and changed the name of its wifi network to “HomeNet” with the same password as my existing network.
I immediately received an email from xfinity that said “You’ve changed your wifi name and/or password” and referencing “HomeNet” as my “Wifi name.”
Since my devices already knew about that network and password, they all connected to the Xfi and I opened the xfinity streaming app. It worked.
I put the gateway back into Bridge Mode, rebooted my personal router, and everything started working again, including the xfinity streaming app.
Moral of the story: when a customer self-installs an xfinity device, they should always use the same wifi name and password that the customer currently has in place, even if they are not going to use the wifi on the Xfi device.
I hope this helps anyone who stumbled upon this post.