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Comcast recently launched a new security option in Chattanooga to help monitor and block online threats to all in-home WiFi-connected devices.

Comcast's new Xfinity xFi Advanced Security, which is available for $5.99 per month and can be added directly from the xFi app, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to provide protection to users' private networks and all connected devices that are attached to their home networks.

The service will help to keep customers safe from malware and phishing threats on visited websites, prevent remote access to devices from unknown sources, and report and block suspicious device activity.

By 2022, Cisco estimates that there will be more than 13 connected devices per person in North America, but many consumers don't have access to the expertise or the tools to keep those devices secure, especially when many of these technologies don't have keyboards or screens.

While more devices are being connected to WiFi networks, Symantec reports that the number of attacks against Internet-of-things devices jumped by 600 percent between 2016 and 2017, alone, creating new concerns for connected home users.

"In a high-tech city like Chattanooga, consumers have high expectations when it comes to Internet connectivity that go beyond just broadband speeds," said Sara Jo Walker, director of public relations for Comcast's South region. "We compete everyday with providers that offer different technologies, but customers continue to choose Comcast because we offer an unparalleled experience that includes gigabit speeds across our footprint, the best WiFi coverage and controls in the home, and a network of nearly 19 million hotspots (and more than 10,000 in Chattanooga)."

Comcast's xFi Advanced Security uses a simple, intuitive user interface to inform customers of blocked threats and, when necessary, provides instructions on how to further secure affected devices.

While traditional security products are effective at protecting individual devices like laptops and tablets, Walker said there's a growing need for technologies that can protect all the devices on a network at once.

The xFi Advanced Security is the latest addition to Comcast's Xfinity xFi platform, which gives customers a digital dashboard to set up and manage their home WiFi networks and allows users to see what devices are connected to the network, troubleshoot issues, set parental controls, get notifications about activities on the home network, and even pause WiFi access to certain devices during dinner or bedtime. Xfinity xFi Advanced Security is available to Comcast customers who rent an xFi Gateway.

Comcast invests over $120 million a year in technology and staffing in Tennessee. Over the past two years in Chattanooga, Comcast has deployed a high-performance 10-gigabit network for the businesses community, launched Gigabit Pro, a two-gigabit residential internet service, and a one-gigabit Internet service. Comcast has also added over 10,000 outdoor Wi-Fi hotspots across the Chattanooga region.

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