What happens when you ask your broadband internet provider to protect your home? You end up with Xfinity Home. They can give you a 100 Mbps upload speed, clearer quality on your calls and even your cable TV channels. But now, Comcast security systems can even automate and protect your house. They have two packages that you can choose from. Both are guaranteed to provide you with 24/7 protection and Professional monitoring. Some of the plans also feature Home Automation and Energy Savings. They will need to send one of their professionals to scope out your home and to install the alarm system. They require a two year monitoring contract with two primary monitoring options. They use a third party monitoring service which is UL Listed and Five Diamond Certified. The monitoring is through a high-speed broadband connection with cellular monitoring optional as a back up.
Mini Comcast Review
Comcast entered the home alarm and automation industry back in 2009 and has been mainly focused on adding their alarm services as a bundle for existing customers. In the past they have been scrutinized for having rather poor customer support. Although, just recently they have actually received a A- BBB rating. This took the closing and resolution of almost 37,000 complaints filed with the BBB in the past 3 years. In addition to providing cable TV and Broadband internet, Xfinity now also offers a home alarm and home automation plan that can be bundled together with their other popular utilities. They do offer standalone alarm services that start at $39.95 per month, and bundled plans that start at $69.99 per month. They are a considered a tiny bit more expensive than the average industry provider.
For existing Xfinity customers it may be easy and convenient for you to combine your cable TV, phone and protection together with just one single company. However, many present and past customers have expressed some major concerns with their malfunctioning devices and equipment, problems using their mobile app, unreasonable prices and their poor customer service reviews. Time Warner's Security division is suffering the same problems.
If you’re not an existing customer already, I recommend you do some research on other home alarm providers as many companies offer more flexible packages, cheaper monthly service costs, and little to zero upfront installation and activation fees.
How Much Does it Cost?
The two monitoring packages offered by Xfinity are:
Home-Secure 300 - $39.95
- $99 Installation
- 1 Touch-Screen Main Control Panel
- 3 Door or Window Sensors
- 1 Motion Detector
- 1 Wireless Keypad
The base package is called Home Secure 300. The price for this service is $39.95 / month under a 2 year contract. The shortened contract term is a welcomed change as opposed to the 3 year contract they initially had. For $39.95 a month, you are provided with 24/7 monitoring using many trusted UL-listed monitoring centers and home automation control via their phone app. They quote their average alarm response time as being 45 seconds. This is the amount of time it takes the central monitoring station to alert the homeowner or policy holder in the event an alarm is tripped. All customers are required to pay a $99 installation charge. This covers the cost of installation and a quick walk-through of the equipment included with your service.
Home-Secure 350 - $49.95
- $399 Installation
- Secure 300 package with additional:
- 2 Indoor or Outdoor Surveillance Cameras
- 2 Smart Lighting Controllers
Their second tier monitoring plan is called the Secure-350. It includes the same features as the basic 300 package but comes equipped with more standard equipment. The 350 comes with a touch-screen main controller, 2 indoor/outdoor surveillance cameras, 3 door or window sensors, a motion detector, a wireless keypad, 2 smart lighting controllers, and the choice between a remote thermostat or an additional camera. The installation fee on this plan shoots up to $399 initially with the monthly cost of $49.95. You may be offered an introductory pricing plan in order to decrease your monthly fee for the first initial year of your service.
Although both the 300 and 350 packages can support video surveillance, the 350 adds additional functionality like the option to save video clips and even receive video alerts.
Home Secure 300 vs 350 Extended
As mentioned earlier, Xfinity home alarm services through Comcast require a high speed internet connection. You may choose your own internet provider and probably pay a little more or you can choose to bundle your TV, internet, and home alarm system together and receive a small discount. They offer an introductory price that will lower your cost of ownership over the first 2 years which is nice but the price will usually go back up before your contract ends. Without doing the bundle, the price of your service will depend on which plan you choose.
Comcast is now starting to call their basic plan “Home Secure”. This Home Secure package is exactly identical to their 300 plan. It seems the 300 name wasn't very enticing to their customers so they hope the new name will give potential buyers a better clue about what this package actually offers. Although they no longer advertise their 350 service, it is still a good example and price point reference for those that may want to purchase additional equipment. If you do end up doing so, there is a high probability that the pricing will look extremely similar to the 350’s pricing.
They offer full home automation using Zigbee technology. In the event you want a smart automated home connected to your alarm system, you have a couple options:
- Buy Home Secure 300 and you can automate locks, lighting, your thermostat and video surveillance.
- Pay $9.95 / month to add extra storage and 24/7 continuous recording.
- Purchase the Home Control 150 Service.
As you can see with the proper service and equipment you may easily automate your entire house. Xfinity Home Secure also includes the ability to stream live video from your surveillance camera with the additional option to record short clips. Most customers want 24/7 video recording so back by popular demand, the 24/7 video recording service is here for an additional fee of $9.95 / month. Should you purchase this add-on you are able to store video footage to the cloud for up to 10 days.
Home Control 150
Home Control 150 provides just home automation features and lacks any and all professional monitoring that is included with the Home Secure 300 and 350 services. As it is not monitored through a certified call center, it is obviously less expensive. Comcast allows people who purchased the 150 package to perform a DIY installation instead of having to pay for a professional installation by a tech, which is required with their other alarm monitoring services. However, if you really do prefer a professional installation, you can purchase one for a $99 fee.
Home Control 150 will cost around $19.95 / month for the initial year. However, a 2-year contract is required when signing with Xfinity, so it's safe to assume that the price will definitely increase during the second half of your contract. This plan includes remote lighting, a small smart appliance controller, text and e-mail alerts and access to their mobile app. It also features your choice of either live video surveillance monitoring or a remote thermostat control with Smart Thermostat Technology. You do get some equipment with 150, which includes 1 indoor/outdoor surveillance camera or 1 remote thermostat, 1 smart outlet controller, and a main control hub.
Buying Additional Xfinity Equipment
Each plan comes with certain equipment, but you always have the option to add more devices for an additional fee. With the purchase of additional equipment, you are able to fully automate your house, or just make it as secure and safe as possible. Here is a list of some of the devices and prices:
- Remote Thermostat $129.95
- Smart Outlet Controller $49.94
- Motion Detector $49.95
- Touch-Screen Main Controller
- Water Sensor $39.95
- Xfinity Camera $129.95
- Wireless key-pad $99.95
- Glass Break Detector $99.95
- Key-chain Remote $49.95
- Smoke Detector $99.95
- Loud Siren $99.95
They also sell their door and window sensors in packages:
1 pack - $49.95
3 pack - $129.95
5 pack - $199.95
Xfinity Starter Kits
Comcast also offers many different starter kits for their Home Control. In order to get started you must purchase one of these kits below:
Basic Starter - $99.95 – 1 main control hub, 1 indoor or outdoor surveillance camera with night vision
View Starter - $229.95 – 1 main controller, 1 indoor/outdoor camera, 1 door or window sensor and a lighting controller
View-Eco Starter - $229.95 – 1 main hub, 1 indoor/outdoor camera and a remote thermostat
Eco Starter - $229.95 – main control hub, 1 thermostat, one door or window sensor and a smart light controller
Total Starter - $349.95 – 1 main control hub, 1 indoor/outdoor surveillance camera, a thermostat, 1 door/window sensor package and the light controller
Xfinity Mobile App
They have an Android app available on Google which is actually rated 4.1 stars. On the other hand, their iTunes app for iOS is currently rated 3 stars.
If smartphones aren’t your favorite thing to work with they do have one more option for monitoring your home alarm equipment that most companies don't offer, your TV. You can download the app to your smart TV that will allow you access to stream video footage and check on alerts without running around the house or trying to find your phone. When you’re home, using your smart TV to play around with your system really is an awesome feature that other companies need to take note of. The Xfinity Home app does require a X1 subscription. Just like most apps, you can turn lights on and off, adjust your thermostat, and much much more.
If you have your own alarm equipment you may be able to switch it over and add it to your new Xfinity services. If your equipment is compatible and in good working condition, you will be given access to all of the services they offer using your very own equipment.
Comcast helps you save on your electricity bill by having their smart remote thermostat installed. You will save a ton on your energy consumption almost instantly by taking advantage of this feature. It acutally learns your individual habits and adjusts your house's temperature accordingly as to how you would. You are also able to pre-program it through your Xfinity web portal account and customize when you want your devices to be turned on or off.
Does the equipment have a warranty? Surprisingly, a warranty plan does not come standard with all packages. You may subscribe to it for an additional $5 fee per month if you don't have it. It includes device replacement and technician visits which can add up if you are not covered under the warranty. It also removes the battery replacements charges in the future. It will only take effect 30 days after you purchase the plan. If you purchase the Secure 300 plan with no warranty, you will receive the limited warranty that comes with it. It covers your devices for 30 days after your system has been installed.
Early Termination Fees
Comcast’s packages all come with a minimum of 2 years signing for it's contracts. If you want to cancel or terminate the policy at any time earlier than what you've agreed upon, you will be charged with an Early Termination Fee. However, if you cancel within 30 days after your installation and you return all the devices, you can avoid this fee.
Xfinity Customer Service and Support Reviews
Comcast is regarded as literally one of the most hated companies in America. Their policies are usually never customer friendly and trying to cancel or change services with them is almost always a nightmare. People have posted and proven many of these claims by uploading videos of real customers trying to cancel their service through Xfinity customer support. It should come to no surprise that many people would like to leave Comcast's internet or TV service but they are scared of the penalties. Do you really think this company is ready for home protection? There are so many different companies like Frontpoint who are excelling in the home security industry with thousands of happy customers and reviews. Do some research and try to compare the best home alarm companies before you make a purchase.
Overall this company has some good aspects:
- 24/7 Professional Monitoring
- Easy Home Automation
- Remotely Arm your System
- Cellular and Battery Backup
- Fire and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- One bill for TV, internet, and home safety
- Can support almost all locations in the US.
- Good initial prices, can save over $200 in the first year.
- Proprietary equipment with touch-screen panel.
- Certified technicians
- Not the worst company, they are on par with AT&T Digital Life, another cable company that added home alarm kits.
They also have a couple less desirable aspects:
- Hard to cancel or switch plans
- High early termination/cancellation fee
- Price may fluctuate after their promotion expires. Be wary of this.
- Automated customer support robots.
- One of the worst rated customer service reviews.
- Professional installation not always up to par
- Short history in this space
Final Review and Verdict
There’s nothing super “bad” about Xfinity. Sure, the rates are a bit inflated, and some of the features are limited compared to the major competitors. The main "bad" thing i guess would be the customer service, as it is notoriously flawed. On the other hand combining all your house services in one bill is always nice. You will even save some money by bundling with them, AND in your initial year, you will receive a discounted rate on all your alarm services. They do not have a lot of experience in this industry, but they do have quite the foothold in millions of homes across the US already. But, there are many other companies that offer the same or better packages for a lower price, so do your research.
While Comcast does have the technology to keep you and your family safe, they’re also a huge company that is currently struggling to keep their existing customers happy. This fact should make just about anyone proceed with caution when looking at this system. While they try and fix their tarnished reputation even more, I suggest going with a different company. The good equipment doesn't make up for what they lack in too many other categories to be considered a top contender.