The number of devices connected to WiFi has skyrocketed by 12X since 2018 as Xfinity households connected nearly 1 billion devices in 2021.
In fact, reliable WiFi has become so critical that nearly half of the country (45 percent) believe it is more important than reliable transportation*. These findings and more highlight Comcast’s 2021 WiFi Trends Report, providing insights into how WiFi enabled Americans to pursue what mattered to them most in 2021 based on network trends and consumer insights.
“The ecosystem of connected devices in the home and the applications running on them has exploded over the last few years, driving a shift in consumers perceptions on what truly is important to their connectivity experience,” said Sophie Ahmad, Chief Marketing Officer of Xfinity Consumer Service, Comcast Cable. “Unbeatable Internet that provides the best connection, complete security, faster speeds and the best tech is now integral to how Americans work, exercise, parent, and entertain.”
Key findings from the 2021 report include:
Smartphones comprise more than a third of all devices
Smartphones dominate the connected device category – nearly 347 million connected in Xfinity households in 2021 accounting for nearly one-third of all devices over the year, a 23X increase from 2018.
Health was the fastest growing device category
In 2021, WiFi became increasingly important from a wellness perspective as Americans became accustomed to new habits, including exercising at home. In fact, health was the fastest rising device category, with more than 49 million smartwatches and fitness trackers connected to WiFi in Xfinity households––a 39X increase from 2018. Exercise equipment connected to WiFi also increased 93X for a total of almost 841,000 devices. This trend will continue, with 20 percent of households planning to purchase fitness-related devices over the next 12 months, according to the Xfinity report*.
Homes are getting smarter
As consumers increasingly purchase Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as connected cameras, doorbells, thermostats, and more, their homes are becoming smarter making their lives more efficient. Xfinity households connected more than 2.5 million IoT devices in 2021, a 31X increase over 2018 levels.
Streaming growth holds steady
Americans crave at-home entertainment more than ever before, with two of the nation’s most popular pastimes (streaming and gaming) soaring to new heights. Streaming continued to see significant growth in Xfinity households in 2021, with 119 million devices connected to WiFi during the year – a 14X increase from 2018.
At least one game system per home
Gaming also remained popular, with more than 36 million consoles connected to WiFi in Xfinity households – a 15X increase from 2018. Nearly two in three Americans who play online games (or live with others who do) say online video games are being played more today compared to five years ago*.
Consumers value WiFi controls more than ever
Xfinity customers sought new ways to control how and when their families used WiFi last year. In 2021, more than 1 million Xfinity households used xFi parental controls, with customers pausing/unpausing WiFi nearly 100 million times. In the same year, more than 477,000 customers created a total of more than 1 million “downtime” schedules, with the most popular moment being bedtime – followed by homework and dinnertime.
Americans are investing in their home networks
As a majority of Americans worked remotely in 2021, nearly three in five Americans (59 percent) improved their WiFi last year, with about a third upgrading their equipment (28 percent) or increasing their speeds (27 percent)*. In addition, Xfinity Internet customers have purchased more than one million xFi pods, WiFi extenders that ensure stronger WiFi coverage throughout the home, over the last 3 years. Two in five Americans (45 percent) also said that WiFi is more important to their daily lives than reliable transportation*.
Comcast released the 2021 WiFi Trends Report on the heels of announcing its newest gateway, the next generation xFi Advanced Gateway, delivering supersonic WiFi that is capable of ultra-fast, multi-Gig speeds, and has more capacity to connect hundreds of devices simultaneously. The gateway increases bandwidth in the home by 3X to support the massive influx of connected devices and comes packed with Xfinity xFi, a simple, digital dashboard that gives Xfinity Internet customers total control of their home network, including the ability to set parental controls and pause WiFi.
To learn more about Xfinity xFi, please visit the website.
* About the Survey
The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18 and older in November 2021, using an email invitation and an online survey. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.