Summer means trips, vacations, and getaways – all fun for the active family. But waiting around in airports, sitting still on long flights and languishing in the backseat of the family car for hours is no fun for kids, which means it’s no fun for parents, either. Thank goodness technology offers many ways to keep kids busy en route to the beach, cottage or grandma’s house.
For parents, details like internet access and cellular data don’t have to get in the way when you’re on the go.
“We know everyone needs internet access and speed is important, but so is reliability and coverage, inside and outside the home,” says Michelle Gilbert, vice president of public relations for Comcast – Heartland Region. “You may be on vacation, but you are able to take advantage of the services you are paying for at home while you are away.”
Check out these tips for staying connected and entertained when away from home.
Streaming videos and games can burn through cellular data quickly, and data is expensive. But Xfinity has created 19 million Wi-Fi hotspots to extend access to the internet without dipping into the cellular data budget. For most Xfinity customers, these hotspots are part of your existing service, available at no additional cost when you’re on the go.
The Xfinity Wi-Fi app for your device will also help you find the hotspots quickly and easily, and you can select favorite networks in places you visit often. Search in your app store for Xfinity Hotspots to download to your mobile device. Scan for available Wi-Fi networks, and select “xfinitywifi.” You will sign in with your Xfinity username and password to browse and stream, all without using cellular data. Once you have signed in, your device will automatically connect to these hotspots in the future. You can even find a list or map of hotspot locations at wifi.xfinity.com.
“You might be in downtown Plymouth at the art fair and FaceTiming with friends to encourage them to come join you, all without having to use any of your wireless data,” Gilbert says.
Access Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots even if you are not an Xfinity customer by using Xfinity Wi-Fi On Demand. You can access one free initial hour, then purchase a pass using a credit or debit card when you connect to an Xfinity hotspot. You can purchase access by the hour, day, week, or month.
Xfinity customers can even extend their home network signal to friends and family who come to visit with a “Home Hotspot.” Your wireless gateway broadcasts a signal that friends can log into without using your secure network password. That’s a convenient plus for families on the go.
Flexible mobile for the family
It’s no fun to run out of cellular data mid-month. Kids may need more data than their parents, so it doesn’t make sense to pay for more than you actually use. Families need flexibility, especially when they are away from home. Xfinity customers can use a flexible mobile phone service called Xfinity Mobile. It’s flexible because families can mix and match unlimited or by-the-gig usage for up to five lines, with no line access fee.
Xfinity Mobile partners its Wi-Fi hotspot network with cellular service to drive data costs down. With this plan, devices prioritize a connection to wireless hotspots first, accessing cellular data only when necessary.
“This is not just for home and work and Starbucks, but for Wi-Fi hotspots absolutely everywhere,” says Laurie Socia, senior manager of marketing product for Comcast – Heartland Region. “You’d be surprised how much you can drill down on cellular usage.” Families can begin with by-the-gig usage, then switch to unlimited whenever necessary without prorated charges.
No internet needed
You deserve stress-free travel all summer, and planning ahead makes for happy kids. Download the Xfinity Stream app onto your kids’ devices. Then, before you leave home, download their favorite shows and whatever you have recorded on your DVR. You can watch in airplane mode, with no internet access needed. If you’re an Xfinity customer, this is a benefit you already pay for. If you have signed up for Xfinity, but it has not yet been installed at home, you can still access Xfinity Stream and more than 170,000 free movies and shows on demand.
When enough is enough
Ninety-two percent of parents believe their kids spend more time on devices during the summer. Xfinity’s xFi app allows parents to personalize each family member’s Wi-Fi usage, switching off for dinnertime, bedtime or whenever. Download the app, set each child’s usage parameters, and receive push notification, email or text when time is up. Then you can extend the time or pause Wi-Fi for that device.
“Every family is different and every family member is different,” Gilbert says. “xFi really allows you to manage usage by person.”
For more information on cable, internet and special offers, visit xfinity.com.