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Is Your ISP Sharing Your Router With The Public?

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals, Using The Internet

If Comcast is your Internet provider, they could be using your router as a hotspot for public WiFi for your neighborhood.  It’s all part of a plan to create WiFi access points for customers of Xfinity Internet.

These hotspots enable relatives, friends and other Comcast customers you don’t know at all to log on to high-speed Internet connections without using your data plan.  The way it works is that Comcast’s Wireless Gateway router broadcasts two WiFi signals. One is secure and only for the home user, the second is the neighborhood xfinitiwifi network that can be shared with any other Xfinity Internet subscribers who log in with their own usernames and passwords.

This is part of a plan to offer their customers more than 150,000 indoor and outdoor WiFi hotspots in major cities in addition to the home-based neighborhood hotspot program.  The company says it has over 1 million hotspots that users can find by searching on their webpage.

The screenshot below show the hotspots available in the Detroit area.

As nice as this all sounds, some people are worried that subscribers might end up paying extra electric bills for the juice strangers might take up by using their routers if someone were to perform power-intensive tasks like streaming a movie.  There’s even been a petition started on to ask that Comcast compensate customers in some way.

~ Cynthia

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30 Responses to “Is Your ISP Sharing Your Router With The Public?”

  1. chet leblanc says:

    Is there a way to check if my router is being used in this way

  2. Jay R Proctor says:

    Do users of the WiFi Hot Spots risk having their personal data exposed when using this service?

  3. Lyn Lobdell says:

    This is a two way street. It allows me to get WIFI when I am away from home. Share and share alike. A lot of people are called “one way” for a reason.

  4. Beverly DeForde says:

    I have had one of these routers for nearly a year now. About half of that time I have opted out of being a hotspot. Comcast allows you to do that. I have seen absolutely no change in my electric bill. I am not sure about anything else, but I am sure about that.

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