We’ve been noticing how widespread Comcast’s Xfinity WIFI Hotspots have become. They seem to be everywhere nowadays, even in your own home.
However, most probably don’t realize that there are a few things that may raise concerns. Although the Xfinity WIFI Hotspots are convenient when you’re out and about, there are some aspects that may make you think twice about having one in your own home.
By the way, Xfinity WIFI Hotspots in your home are turned on by default, so you may already be affected by the following and not even know it.
Increased Security Threat
Some have expressed concern about their home networks being more subject to security breaches due to having an Xfinity WIFI Hotspot in their home. The truth is, even with a cable modem set to broadcast the public hotspot network, your home private network is unlikely to be any less or more secure than it already is.
In its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on its website about Xfinity WIFI, Comcast states that the public wireless network is secured with 128-bit encryption. That means WPA / WPA2, which is the strongest wireless encryption method available. Of course, if you don’t have a strong password, WPA2, or a firewall that is protecting your private network, you are at risk whether you have the Xfinity hotspot broadcasting or not.
Physical Security And Privacy Concerns
A greater concern, however, may be that of physical security. People can locate Comcast hotpots via an Xfinity app or through the Xfinity hotspot locator site. It’s more than likely a concern that one’s home address is being broadcast by the app or the website.
Comcast’s statement is a bit vague on the matter:
“We do not list subscribers’ addresses on the hotspot location map or in the Xfinity Wi-Fi app. In the future we may use general indicators of Xfinity Wi-Fi Home Hotspot availability around a neighborhood, but only in a manner that assures the privacy of our customers.”
Customers that opt into this program more than likely want specifics about any future updates to make sure their location remains private unless permission is given.
The Performance Of Your Internet Speed May Be Affected
The affects on performance of your Internet speed are a legitimate concern, especially for areas that have lots of apartment buildings and multi-tenant dwellings within close proximity of one another.
In a building where just about every apartment has a WIFI router, more signals can cause interference. The more interference there is, the slower your WIFI network will likely be. The Comcast routers are transmitting on the same channels for their 2.4GHz and 5GHz signals, which leads to Radio Frequency (RF) competition.
If you take the above scenario and give everyone in the building another wireless network to broadcast, those networks are also competing. This adds even more interference to the WIFI signals.
Comcast’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Xfinity’s hotspots doesn’t go into any details about channels and bands. However, they should be clear about how adding these hotspot networks affects the performance of existing WIFI networks, especially in business use.
Your Rights As A Comcast Customer
Comcast is using its customer base to expand its wireless coverage. Perhaps a big misstep on Comcast’s part for their customers, is turning on the Xfinity WIFI Hotpot option by default.
This is essentially forcing customers to turn on an extra WIFI network at their house (or business) regardless of whether or not they want it on. Comcast doesn’t seem to explain just what it is or how it could affect its customers on the homefront.
Xfinity public hotspots are a good way to massively roll out high-speed WIFI. However, if Comcast was a bit more open and transparent about it, that may benefit their relationships with their customers.
How To Disable Xfinity’s WIFI Home Hotspot
If you’re interested in mitigating the above concerns and turning off Xfinity’s WIFI Home Hotspot, you can disable your Xfinity WIFI Home Hotspot by following these instructions.