Comcast subscribers beware.
Comcast turning homeowner’s wifi into public hotspots across major American cities. June 10th it was rolled out in Houston, TX to approximately 50,000 customers with another 100,000 targeted for later implementations. The same is true for customers in the Atlanta Metro area.
This means that anyone with a Comcast account can use your wireless router to access the internet. The main issue I have with this is that xfinity is doing this as a default setting without the subscriber’s upfront consent. Not to mention that they are not reimbursing the customer for the electricity used to power this hotspot network. Small potatoes you say, but I think it is close to open theft. Read here what xfinity is saying about this on their website.
What to do.
If you don’t want to host a public Wi-Fi hotspot, here’s how to turn it off.
• Log into your Comcast account page at customer.comcast.com.
• Click on Users & Preferences.
• Look for a heading on the page for “Service Address.” Below your address, click the link that reads “Manage Xfinity WiFi.”
• Click the button for “Disable Xfinity Wifi Home Hotspot.”
• Click Save.
This will only work once the hotspot is live on your router, not before.
If you want to check to see if it has been enabled in your router look for a SSID named “xfinitywifi” that is not secure. Check the signal strength. If it is low assume one of your neighbors is broadcasting from their router. If it is strong use the above steps to turn it off.
Comcast claims the hotspot is completely separate from the home network. Someone accessing the Net through the hotspot can’t get to the computers, printers, mobile devices, streaming boxes and more sitting on the host network. But wait, can’t a hacker figure out a workout? Comcast officials also say that people using the Internet via the hotspot won’t slow down Internet access on the home network. Additional capacity is allotted to handle the bandwidth. Wonder whom is paying for the additional allotted bandwidth?
We have been touting cutting the cable for television. Alas, we have no alternative to cut the cable for the internet.
Let me know if your router has been enabled as a hotspot.