Your Comcast router at home is broadcasting free WiFi to others

freewifi

Last June, Comcast began expanding a nationwide WiFi service to its subscribers. They did this by turning the routers of their subscribers into WiFi hotspots; in other words, by offering up your home connection to other Comcast subscribers in the area. They set every new Comcast router to broadcast a second public WiFi network by default. If another Comcast subscriber happens to be in the area and sees the “xfinitywifi” network, they can connect to it with their account details and start surfing the web.

The issue with this is not that Comcast is doing it but rather that every Comcast customer has not been made aware of this. In fact, unless you explicitly turned off the feature, your Comcast router is likely broadcasting public WiFi right now. And not every customer appreciates the fact that their home’s internet connection is being shared without them knowing. Others, however, think that it’s a good idea to expand Comcast’s service like this.

Apprehensive about it or not, Comcast says that the public WiFi networks does not affect the customer’s data speed at home. It can also be turned off, but you need to turn if off manually — it is enabled by default. (Call Comcast for more info.)

But what do you think? Is this a good idea or should Comcast not be doing this at all? Let us know in the comments!

[via BGR, image via Luke McKernan]

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  • brian

    atten: business owners Comcast came out with Comcast business before you even think about considering this look up there record Comcast is rated the worst company in the world for customer satisfaction there already spying on your computers with tracking cookies and trying to become a monopoly by buying all the cable companeys and tv stations that they can now the want to be involved in your business to I don’t know about you but I cant afford to be down for a day or two let alon until when because I’m waiting for comcst to get my business up and running again like they have left millions of ther cable custermors you do what you want but I strongly urge you to look up there custermer satisfaction ratings before doing business with these people I personaly know that I don’t want them with in a 100 miles of my company go with some one like cisco or something someone already with a proven record of taking care of there customers as a Comcast cable custermer all I can say is that I’m strongle dissatisfayed with tthere service and don’t want my business connected with them in anyway remember I warned you

  • brian

    what a lot of you with computers don’t know is that Comcast is also spying on you through tracking cookies on your computer download super anty spyware free edition run full scan when done youll see adware click on +next to it will bring up list of who is tracking what you do on your compter it will also clean and make computer speed a lot faster as fare as I’m concerned this is an invasion of privacy especialy from a company that I’m paying and you don’t need to have Comcast internet to have this happen to you this envolves anyone with a computer if you agree or just plain have a problem with Comcast period please let me help contact Comcast corperate head corters at 888 736 6711 extension 1351014 this is avery hard number to find but please call please and the anty spyware download is my gift to you I know a lot of nascar fans aren’t happy with what comcst did to nascare this year eather well hears your chance to voice your appenions just remember I’m doing this to help you so please please call the number and tell Comcast weve hade enough thank you Comcast just bought time warner cable for 45 billion dollars making them the largest cable company in the world watch your cable bill and will control what you will be able to watch or see thy are becoming a monaply the own nascar time warner Comcast sports nbc and are tryiny to by Disney and anything else thy can get thr hands on wher is are government officels who are sopposed to be protecting us from this

  • Cable uses a shared bandwidth system. The more devices connected, including TV’s, the slower your speed is. That’s why they limit each node to a dozen physical connections. It’s absurd to claim that extra connections won’t affect your speed.

  • chump2010

    The other issue is if someone else is surfing on your connection, and is doing something illegal such as child porn, guess who gets into trouble? Yup you because the ISP address would trace it back to you.

  • Ghenghis McCann

    Here in the UK BT do the same with all their routers providing free public WiFi to their customers by default. I ran inSSIDer and it tells me there are 19 BTWiFi networks available in the area around me. But this is a residential area, and I can’t see many people needing to use anything other than their own home network. So how many of these are ever used?

    Still, if anyone is having WiFi problems due to the number of networks all using the same channel, they know who to blame.