Feb 16, 2022 - Technology

WiFi device use surges during the pandemic

A small house emanating wifi signals
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Nearly 1 billion devices in Comcast internet customer households connected to WiFi in 2021, according to a new report Wednesday from the company.

Why it matters: The data load WiFi networks carry is only expected to increase as the use of connected devices for health monitoring, streaming and smart-home tech grows.

By the numbers: The number of devices connected to Comcast WiFi households increased 12X from 2018 to 2021, according to the report.

  • Health devices were the fastest-growing category, with more than 49 million smartwatches and fitness trackers connected to WiFi, a 39X increase from 2018.
  • Smartphones were the dominant connected device — nearly 347 million in 2021, accounting for nearly one-third of all devices.
  • On average, Comcast customers had at least one gaming console connected to WiFi. More than 36 million consoles were reportedly connected to WiFi, representing a 15X increase from 2018.

The fine print: The report is based on a survey of 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18 and older, conducted in November 2021 by Wakefield Research.

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