Now that the holiday season is in full swing, I'm happy to introduce our "Connected Home for the Holidays" week on Comcast Voices. All throughout the week, we'll be bringing you lots of information on how to get your home wireless ready for the holidays. As a matter of fact, be sure to tune back in tomorrow at 3pm ET for a live webcast with Rob Slinkard. He'll be talking a bit more about the Wireless Gateway we introduced you to last week, and how it can help get your home wireless ready for holidays.

To start the week off, I wanted to take some time to walk you through the basics of wireless home networking — a Connected Home 101 if you will.

First, what is a wireless home network? In simple terms, a wireless home network enables the connected home to access the Internet from wireless-ready devices — tablets, connected TVs, gaming consoles, etc. — within the home. It seems that just about every consumer electronic device is wireless-ready these days, and wireless networks provide a few very important benefits to power these devices within the home.

  • WiFi home networks are fast. The latest flavor of WiFi, known as 802.11n, is as fast as a high-speed cable Internet connection (faster than its predecessor 802.11g, and significantly faster than cellular data networks). That means you don't need to wire your computer or device to have a high-speed Internet experience.
  • Wireless home networks can save you money. Connecting your smartphone to a WiFi home network can save you money — you won't incur additional data charges by surfing the Internet or consuming online content via your wireless carrier's cellular network.
  • WiFi home networks enable you to do more with your devices. The Internet can follow you outside to the hammock; BluRay players can automatically stay current with the technology needed to play the latest movies; and gamers can play against a network of opponents from the comfort of the living room. You can even use a wireless-ready bathroom scale to track your health information online.

With this proliferation of devices, it's important to have a device that can serve as the gateway for all of these connected devices to get out to the Internet. For Comcast, that device is our Xfinity Wireless Gateway, a combined router and modem that can connect dozen of wireless devices and gives you the speeds you need to have a great online experience.