You may know Comcast as the cable & Internet company you love to hate, but there’s a fresh side to Comcast: Xfinity Home Security.
Xfinity Home Security uses high-quality equipment including an indoor/outdoor home security camera. The Xfinity Home Camera plays a vital role in protecting homes monitored by Comcast Home Security. The camera is used for video verification during alerts and can also be used by you to verify alarm events or to check things out. But can the camera be trusted?
- Indoor/Outdoor Camera
- Dust and Water Resistant
- Integrates with all Home Security Plans
- Lacks Geo Services
- Cannot Pan, Tilt, or Zoom
Xfinity Home Monitoring
|XH Security||Home Control 150|
|24/7 Professional Monitoring||YES||NO
|Cloud Storage||$9.95/month||1 Camera Included|
|Cloud Storage Additional Cameras||$9.95/camera/month||$9.95/camera/month|
|Installation||Professional Required||Self-Install Optional|
|Buy Now||Buy Now
Of course, in order to use an Xfinity home security camera, you'll need an Xfinity monitoring plan and Comcast internet. In regards to picking a plan you have two options, one includes home security, and one does not.
XH Secure starts at $29.99 per month for the first 12 months. After that, the price jumps to $39.99 per month during your 2-year agreement. This plan includes 24/7 monitoring for burglaries and fire, but it also includes the ability to live stream footage from your security camera and save short clips.
XH Security requires professional installation, and this extends to cameras. Your installation cost will vary depending upon the package you choose, but installations start at $99.
Home Control 150
If you want home automation without security, Xfinity Home Control 150 is another option. New users are provided with a hub, a motion sensor, a door/window sensor, a lighting controller, and your choice of either the camera or an automated thermostat. The price of Home Control is $19.95 per month, which includes cloud recording for one camera, a feature that costs extra if you subscribe to XH Secure.
24/7 Cloud & Motion-Based Recording
Aside from streaming, Comcast offers cloud and motion-based recording. Home Control users have access to this feature for one camera for free. Additional cameras are $9.95 per camera every month, which is the same cost for XH Security customers.
Users who sign up for this feature will be able to review ten days of recorded footage. Aside from that, they can also download and share 1-minute motion based clips captured by the camera.
This feature is available in most of Comcast's major market cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, and others. Comcast plans to make this feature available nationwide soon.
Comcast calls their current camera xCam. xCam may not look like much, but it's a sturdy indoor/outdoor camera.
xCam is waterproof with an IP rating of 54. The first digit, 5, means that it is dust protected. Dust is not entirely prevented from entering the interior parts of the camera, but as long as the amount of dust isn’t crazy serious, the camera can handle it. The second digit, 4, is its resistance to water. This rating means that splashes of water against the case will not harm the camera. It is not resistant to water jets or water coming out of a nozzle nor is it resistant to complete submersion; it's simply resistant to splashing.
Even if the camera isn't ready for war, the Xfinity Home Camera can be used indoors or outdoors to protect and monitor any part of your home.
Of course, for many Comcast customers, your internet signal may not reach the great outdoors. Thankfully, Comcast planned ahead. According to Comcast,
xCam doesn’t connect to your router’s Wi-Fi. Instead, a Wi-Fi signal is routed through your power source. That way, you can connect the camera to Wi-Fi even outside your router’s normal range.
If you still have concerns, Comcast sells a powerline device for $59.95. The powerline device, "creates a high-bandwidth Ethernet connection that utilizes your home's electrical wiring and can be used to connect your touchscreen controller and cameras to your router."
A Camera During The Day, Still A Camera At Night
The camera functions day and night. With the help of its dual image sensors, xCam can provide a clear image for surveillance during the day. At night, it uses infrared illumination to see objects in the dark. This way, it's able to provide protection 24/7.
In the past, Comcast used a camera with a low VGA resolution (640x480). xCam provides a much clearer HD picture and records at 30fps using a 109-degree field of view. This upgrade puts their resolution in line with most home security cameras, but behind cameras like Nest Cam and Canary which both provide a 1080p resolution (Full HD). The field of view of 109° is noticeably smaller than other cameras which provide a range of 130-180°. As xCam is a $200 camera, I'd say spec wise it's underwhelming.
Finally, while streaming, xCam uses Triple Streaming. This means that it can stream video using H.264 encryption, MPEG, or M-JPEG.
Controlling Xfinity Home Camera
All users, both security and automation customers, have access to a free mobile app that you can use to control your camera. X1 customers also have access to an exclusive voice-controlled option through their televisions. Xfinity has added voice command to their X1 smart home platform. Using the X1 voice remote, you can say “Xfinity Home Cameras,” which will trigger live feeds on your television. You can also arm and disarm your system using your voice by saying “Xfinity Home Arm/Disarm.”
Working With Others, Like Arlo
The highlight of xCam is its ability to integrate with other devices, like sensors and lights. You can create automated response to certain situations. For example, you can set xCam to record when your motion sensor is triggered, or have your lights turn on when xCam detects motion. Xfinity Home integrates with third-party home automation devices like Nest (thermostat only), Lutron, Chamberlain, and August Home (smart lock only).
Comcast has also rumored that they might allow customers to add their own security camera: Netgear's Arlo. Arlo is similar to Comcast's camera in that it can work inside or out. However, it's also different. The camera is 100% wireless and powered by a battery. Also, it includes seven days of free cloud recording and 1 GB of cloud storage. Exactly how the camera will integrate with Xfinity Home remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure; the possibility is exciting.
Is Xfinity Home Camera Worth It?
When it comes to security cameras, no recipe works for all, and whether it will or will not work is up to you. However, there are factors you should consider outside of what the camera has to offer, like who offers it.
Comcast doesn't have the best reputation, but they do offer a 30-day money back guarantee. If you order a system and you aren't happy, send it back. If you find the system difficult to use, they provide 24/7 support and easy-to-use self-service apps. In researching, we've found that there are both positive and negative reviews online which makes it difficult to wholeheartedly give Comcast a thumbs up, but policies such as these make it a little easier to say, "maybe."