By: Rob Ponto
Rob Ponto, who has worked for Comcast 21 years, is the senior manager of public relations for the company’s Heartland region, which includes Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky.
It’s no surprise to parents that their kids’ Internet usage will skyrocket during the summer months. Summertime allows for more free time for kids to create, communicate and have fun online.
Unfortunately if your household is anything like ours, getting children off of their mobile devices to do chores, read a book or go outside and play can be challenging. For my wife and me, It’s a priority to regulate our two daughters’ online activity and screen time.
In May, Comcast, the company I work for, launched XFINITY xFi. It’s a free tool available to XFINITY Internet customers that helps families easily customize and manage the in-home WiFi network and all of the devices connected to it. xFi is so easy to use. I set up profiles for each member of my family and assigned their devices to their profiles. Now, I can see who is using the most WiFi and when they are using it. Here are just a few useful features we use from xFi:
- Lights out! (and WiFi out.) – 9 p.m. is bedtime for our girls during the summer. xFi’s Bedtime Mode allows my wife and me to set when
- WiFi will be automatically suspended and restored on our daughters’ devices. We use this feature to set WiFi sleep and wake times, so between 9 p.m. – 7 a.m. WiFi will not work on their devices allowing them to get some Zs.
- “Pause All Devices” is our digital dinner bell – Come and get it! More often than not, no one shows up when called for dinner the first time in our house. Is it my cooking? xFi lets us instantly pause WiFi to all devices on the network, which gets everyone’s attention. Prompt and present family dinnertime, a must in our home, is now restored. Additionally, now nobody, including my wife and me, bring our devices to the dining room table.
- Online lifeguard keeps ‘em safe – We can’t be with our girls when they are online all of the time. They may wade into content not appropriate for them from time to time. xFi offers parental controls for kids’ devices. We turn them on to reduce the risk of accessing objectionable websites and apps on any of their devices.
My other favorite xFi feature that has instantly promoted me to CIO of our home is the ability to trouble shoot issues without calling for tech support. Have you ever experienced one person in the home having WiFi challenges while everyone’s else’s devices seem to be working just fine? xFi lets you easily test the signal strength and run task-based WiFi health checks by device.
You can access xFi through the free xFi app on a smartphone or tablet, on a laptop or desk top (via xfinity.com/myxfi), or on the TV through the XFINITY X1 platform. Here’s more information about this new free tool and how to use.