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Xfinity has decided to expand beyond cable and internet and jump headlong into the smart home security market. As always, that brings into question what exactly will and won’t be compatible, especially if you already own a smart device like the Ring Camera.
Officially, Ring cameras aren’t compatible with Xfinity Home. That should be the end of the story; however, Xfinity’s customer service forums have direct “How to’s” on connecting the Ring Video Doorbell (2 and Pro), despite the common understanding that the devices won’t work together.
On the surface, there’s no reason that a Ring Doorbell or camera shouldn’t be able to connect to Xfinity Home; there are no fundamental differences in communication protocols, and there is a known way to connect using a router. However, everything discussed here should be taken with a grain of salt, as it’s nothing official, and it is mostly derived from customer service forums and people’s personal experiences.
You can do everything in the manual correctly and have both the Ring Camera and the Xfinity Gateway searching, and yet, you’re not likely to get the Xfinity Gateway to recognize the Ring Camera. There is an interesting workaround, however.
If you have an extra router floating around, let’s say a Netgear Nighthawk AX5400, you can now go in the back door—”back door” meaning the ethernet port. Plug the Nighthawk into the ethernet port on the Xfinity Gateway and connect your Ring devices to the Nighthawk.
This suspiciously suggests that Xfinity has designed their Xfinity Gateways to block Ring from connecting to the Wi-Fi network (more on that later). This seems to work for Ring users as a viable alternative to getting the Xfinity Gateway to recognize a device it should have no problem recognizing.
Yes, there is a DMZ in IT specialists’ lingo. If you’re an IT Specialist reading this, you know what a DMZ is. If you’re not, a DMZ is essentially a subnet that blocks untrusted networks from accessing the LAN (Local Area Network). It’s a security protocol designed to protect resources from hackers.
It’s also another suggestion that possibly Xfinity Gateways actively block Ring device access. If you want to reconfigure the DMZ to allow a Ring device to connect, you’ll have to contact a tech through Xfinity customer service and hope that they know how or are at least willing to try doing it for you.
According to Ring Customer Service, on a Ring Forum, “Most times a DMZ has to be configured for this setup to complete.” Ring then goes on to suggest that a Neighbor Solutions Expert can help.
Of course, the suggestion that Xfinity Gateway deliberately blocks Ring devices is just that, a suggestion. It could be that the 2.4GHz bandwidth that Ring devices communicate on is not compatible with Xfinity Gateway’s 2.4GHz protocols. However, that would lead to the question of why Ring Cameras don’t have the firmware upgrades to handle newer technology like every other wireless smart device seems to have done.
You certainly can use a Wi-Fi extender to connect your Ring Camera with Xfinity, so long as it’s not an Xfinity Gateway Wi-Fi Extender, otherwise known as an xFi Pod. While xFi Pods have a really neat aesthetic—like something out of a Star Wars movie—they, like the Xfinity Gateway, show very little love for Ring Cameras and devices.
Getting a Wi-Fi extender serves the same purpose as the Netgear Nighthawk suggestion above. The idea is to access the Xfinity Gateway through an intermediary rather than directly communicate with the Gateway.
If you already have a Netgear Nighthawk or a Netgear router that can handle numerous Ring devices, the Netgear EX7700 or the EX6250 will do nicely. It doesn’t have to be Netgear, of course, so long as it has the capability of dual-band, you’re good to go.
The Wi-Fi extender is what you will set your Ring Camera—or other Ring devices—up with, rather than trying the Xfinity Gateway.
Who knows exactly why Ring devices have so many compatibility problems with the Xfinity Gateway for Xfinity Home security setups?
The communication protocols are the same, and—judging by both the Ring and Xfinity forums—many customers have purchased Ring equipment to connect them with Xfinity Home only to discover they now have a bunch of high-tech paperweights.
Both the Ring and Xfinity forums are juxtapositions of themselves, explaining that Ring is not compatible and that Ring is compatible. Fortunately, there’s always a workaround for those who missed the boat, and time will tell if the situation will be rectified.