June 17, 2012

Comcast Xfinity Home Review: Home Security, Home Automation, Video Monitoring

Xfinity Home is a home security, home automation and video monitoring service from Comcast. With millions of Internet, Cable and Voice customers, Comcast is in a perfect position to provide such a service.

Comcast Xfinity Home Price

Xfinity Home provides

Home Monitoring
24/7 monitoring of door & window sensors, motion sensors for security.

In the future, remote monitoring of glassbreak sensors, smoke sensors and CO sensors will also be available.

Monitoring is done at Comcast’s central monitoring centers. Cellular backup for the monitoring is available.

Home Monitoring is a standard feature in all plans – basic, preferred and premier.

Home Automation
With Xfinity Home, you can control your home lights and thermostat remotely.

Xfinity Home uses Zigbee devices for home automation and is said to use lighting modules from Centralite and home automation software from iControl.

Home Automation is only available in the preferred and premier plans.

Live Video Monitoring
Xfinity Home provides live video monitoring of your home. You can add IP cameras indoors or outdoors and then view the live video remotely with your smartphone, tablet or computer.

On motion-detected alerts, the cameras can be programmed to record short video clips and send you an alert-email. The video clips can then be viewed remotely.

Xfinity Home’s WiFi IP cameras connect to your home router and can be accessed over the Internet.

Comcast Xfinity Home IP cameras are from Sercomm. The RC8021 IP camera datasheet can be reviewed for detailed camera operation.

Live video monitoring is only available in the premier-plan or in the preferred-plan for an additional charge of $5/month. And you need to be a Comcast Internet subscriber.

As shown above, Xfinity Home provides 3 plans
  • Basic                $30/month
  • Preferred            $40/month
  • Premier             $50/month

The fineprint - You have to sign a 36-month contract for these prices. An early-termination-fee (ETF) applies if you terminate your service before the 36-months. Per Comcast 
Limited to residential customers. Not available in all areas. 3 year minimum term agreement required: Basic: $29.95 per month for total monthly recurring charges of $1,078.20; Preferred: $39.95 per month for total monthly recurring charges of $1,438.20; Premier: $49.95 per month for total monthly recurring charges of $1,798.20.

And, if you choose to add more sensors, cameras etc check the prices for the add-ons.

Xfinity Home Add-On Pricing

If you are looking to add home security, home automation, video monitoring for your home and are already a happy Comcast customer, picking Xfinity Home will be an easy decision.

Xfinity Home will meet your basic needs and provide the same reliable service that you already get from Comcast. The Cons below may not matter to you.

Xfinity Home cons include
  1. A basic service – no better than other providers
  2. 3-year contract
  3. Low-end IP cameras
  4. Pricing comparable to (not better than) other providers

Alternatives to Xfinity Home
Currently, Xfinity Home provides only a basic set of features (which may be enough for a majority of the customers). And, Xfinity Home pricing is comparable to (not better than) other providers.

In each of the areas – live video monitoring, home automation, home monitoring – you can get better pricing, features by working with other providers and even add some DIY features.

For example, for home monitoring, a List of Top Home Security Services includes ADT Pulse (another large home security provider), Vivint to Alarm Relay – a $9/month home monitoring service.

SimpliSafe is a contract-free home monitoring service.

Nest learning thermostat will be an excellent addition to your home and you can control it remotely to set the temperature at your home.

With Lockitron automated locks, you can lock/unlock your home remotely.

With Logitech Alert or Panasonic, Axis IP cameras, you can add live video monitoring to your home on your own with much better features.

Should I Pick Xfinity Home?
Xfinity Home has a 3-year contract. Take the time to check out the alternatives before committing to Xfinity Home.

There are good, solid alternatives available to Xfinity Home. The alternates may offer better features, price or terms. And, many of the alternates are themselves large providers servicing a large number of customers.

But, if dealing with all these alternatives (or assembling a solution piecemeal) is too much work, then the easy solution will be to pick Xfinity Home.

With Xfinity Home, you are likely to get a solid, reliable service for your home security, home automation needs.

Check a later post for a comparison of ADT Pulse vs Xfinity Home.

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