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Comcast Enables User Gateway Public Wi-Fi Sharing in Atlanta
by Karl Bode 06:25PM Wednesday Apr 30 2014 Tipped by telcodad See Profile
Last June Comcast announced that the company's new customer gateways would be configured to start sharing user Wi-Fi with local passers by, noting that the service could be disabled and that other peoples' usage wouldn't count against your usage cap. Today Comcast announced that they're expanding this service further, now turning on shared Wi-Fi across 160,000 customer hotspots across the greater Atlanta area. Many users were rather confused to learn their hotspots were suddenly being used by strangers when Comcast enabled the functionality in the Chicago area back in March. Users interested in disabling the feature can do so via the preferences page of their Comcast customer portal.

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tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5

Cue the special effects...

... just imagine all the "WIFI sensitives" heads exploding, when this goes live.

Darknessfall
Premium
join:2012-08-17
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
·Comcast
·AT&T U-Verse

Re: Cue the special effects...

said by tshirt:

... just imagine all the "WIFI sensitives" heads exploding, when this goes live.

Well, you have to have wireless on already for it to work . Plus, it's not like it's another wireless network being broadcasted, it's all virtual.

I'm curious of when they'll show the gateway xfinitywifi networks as part of the hotspot map. They only show the business/outdoor hotspots on the map.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
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Re: Cue the special effects...

said by Darknessfall:

Well, you have to have wireless on already for it to work

You can't use science to disprove what they KNOW!!!

I'm not suggesting the world will change in any noticeable way other than it is announced (and then only EMF sensitives who aren't allergic to newsprint, soy ink or reading will know about it)

Darknessfall
Premium
join:2012-08-17
kudos:6
Reviews:
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Re: Cue the special effects...

said by tshirt:

said by Darknessfall:

Well, you have to have wireless on already for it to work

You can't use science to disprove what they KNOW!!!

I'm not suggesting the world will change in any noticeable way other than it is announced (and then only EMF sensitives who aren't allergic to newsprint, soy ink or reading will know about it)



If all of these people were 100% right, I would probably be dead by now lol. I'm dowsed with wireless almost everyday from many APs and Bluetooth devices lol.
Madtown
Premium
join:2008-04-26
Madera, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by Darknessfall:

said by tshirt:

I'm curious of when they'll show the gateway xfinitywifi networks as part of the hotspot map. They only show the business/outdoor hotspots on the map.

I don't think they will. It would be nice but imagine if they start showing the residental XFWiFI and the next day the person broadcasting it, decides to turn it off.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Cue the special effects...

said by Madtown:

residental XFWiFI and the next day the person broadcasting it, decides to turn it off.

In theory that could eventually be updated in real time, but that might be a little to revealing as to which house is the host.
Hate to come home from work early and find a dozen people lounging and leeching in my yard, each positioning to get the best signal (think kids look at stuff the don't want to be caught with at home. (I've accidently interrupted this activity outside the local library, from now on, stay on the sidewalk/use the front door. ) )

Darknessfall
Premium
join:2012-08-17
kudos:6

Re: Cue the special effects...

Lol
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH
Yes but on the Xfinity service you have to use your Comcast login.
existenz

join:2014-02-12
kudos:2
And I would hope it would be a separate 'guest' network segment that can't see the devices inside primary segment.
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH

Re: Cue the special effects...

It is set up that way. The person using the "hotspot" side must login and it is separate from the rest of the traffic - including bandwidth.

bmccoy

join:2013-03-18
Port Orchard, WA
*tightens tin foil hat*
bn1221

join:2009-04-29
Cortland, NY
Can they force this on a customer owned box? I may downgrade to a modem only instead of a gateway just for this reason. Right now my gateway is in bridge and I use the Sonic Wall client to connect to my internal wifi
mikeluscher159

join:2011-09-04

Re: Cue the special effects...

No. They can't.
Just go buy your own modem.
The white Arris 6141 on Amazon for $80 is one of the best.
In a little over a year, you make back the rental fee

whfsdude
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Washington, DC

Enabled in DC

For what it's worth, this was also enabled in DC a few weeks back.

Uncle Paul

join:2003-02-04
USA
kudos:1

Filesharing

But really Mr. RIAA, it wasn't me... Comcast turned on wifi sharing and I had no idea...
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH

Re: Filesharing

Comcast can prove who it was by the customer logging in and getting their own IP.

tshirt
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Snohomish, WA
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Re: Filesharing

said by ITGeeks:

Comcast can prove who it was by the customer logging in and getting their own IP.

Let say they can show what account was logged on.

Queen Bee

@68.190.153.x

Re: Filesharing

Even better, I can steal someone's login info and frame people I hate.
existenz

join:2014-02-12
kudos:2
Ah, so it's for other Comcast customers only? Great way to expand their WiFi, though not 'public' WiFi as article implies (if the case).

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5

Re: Filesharing

No there is a guest/fee for service access too. around $3 per day $30 amonth? week?

Darknessfall
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Re: Filesharing

said by tshirt:

No there is a guest/fee for service access too. around $3 per day $30 amonth? week?

$0 for an hour free
$2.95 for an hour
$7.95 for a day
$19.95 for a week

The whole system goes by mac address as far as I know.

I would believe that if you're really that dedicated you could just keep changing your mac address every hour to get free hours.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5

Re: Filesharing

That pricing makes more sense, I knew it wasn't cheaper then a home account
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH
That's on the other "network". The modems are suppose to be setup differently and require a login as it counts against your home usage.

CodeeCB
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Minneapolis, MN

Re: Filesharing

It's been proven many times that it DOESNT count against your not-enforced data caps.

karlmarx

join:2006-09-18
Chicago, IL

Re: Filesharing

Yes, but, once they DO start enforcing the caps (and they will), it would be FAR cheaper to simply pay $29.95 a week, and even at only 25mb/sec, you could STILL download 1.8TB in that week. Look at it this way, in area's that DO enforce the cap, you could EASILY blow through your 300GB cap in about a day for $80.00/month. If I use about 1.5TB a month, I would end up paying $80.00 + $240.00 of overage charges. ($10.00/50GB). If I bought a weekly wireless plan, and used THAT instead, I would only end up paying $80.00 + $120.00. And if I DID end up paying for the wireless, I can assure you I WOULD be using a LOT more than 1.5TB a month.
--
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Uncle Paul

join:2003-02-04
USA
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Re: Filesharing

Wouldn't it be cheaper to get a business account which has no caps?

NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
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said by tshirt:

No there is a guest/fee for service access too. around $3 per day $30 amonth? week?

Wondering why Comcast isn't suing the City of San José, California to block their public Wi-Fi service?

Public Wi-Fi.

»www.wickedlyfastwifi.com
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

Potential Security Risk?

What would prevent someone from creating a fake xfinitywifi in order to do something nefarious?

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5

Re: Potential Security Risk?

Always a danger of public Wi-Fi.
Has anyone ever considered "harvesting" VPN login creds? as an attack?
afn06011

join:2012-10-15
Ireland

Self Re-enable?

So will the service self re-enable after a power failure, software update or reboot?

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

Makes me very glad

that I'm NOT a Comcast customer, for sure!

This would tick me off big time. Luckily, you can disable this, but still, what Joe Blow is going to know anything about it?
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/

••••
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

why are billing you to rent the box that eat's up spectrum for there use by

why are billing you to rent the box that eat's up spectrum for there use by other subs at least if you want to do this get rid of the rent fees.

also what about apartments that may have lots of hotspots very near each other with the same SSID and maybe even the same channels.

MacMan

@68.103.241.x

I'd be curious...

1) If I connect to another hotspot out there does my usage I use at the hotspot get added to my usage cap at home since you have to sign in?
2) Do they slow me down to a certain "public wifi speed" or do I get the advantage of the the package that modem is provisioned for?
3) If I'm downloading something heavy does that slow down the other person's "private" connection.

Things I'm sure Comcast never even mentioned to us "techie" folk.
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH

Re: I'd be curious...

Speeds from the hotspot network and the private network of the customer are different.
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

Re: I'd be curious...

but they use the same router CPU and IO so big use can slow down the private part.

robbyglack

@67.176.23.x

wonder how many use as only connection

i wonder how many people will decide to buy weekly access as there only connection, if it works well enough i could see people starting to cancel their subscriptions and move to guest access only. than the network would shrink as neighbors do likewise. eventually comcast would have to build a grid of outdoor hot spots to blanket every city.

if widespread quality wifi starts blanketing cities that's all a lot of people need. they simple do not need a home network of there own.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Comcast Only?

Is this service for Comcast only or is it part of the Cable Wifi initiative that TWC, Cablevision, Comcast and Brighthouse formed? In other words, could a Cablevision customer traveling to Atlanta use one of these hotspots?
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

cablehotspot

@69.241.35.x

Re: Comcast Only?

Yes. you would log into it using your optimum account.

Probitas

@206.248.154.x

Why?

Doesn't seem right to use someone else's connection and not pay for it, doesn't that degrade the performance for that customer automatically?

JPRobb

@109.201.138.x

Peering

Does anyone want to speculate what this means for peering?

Comcast's peering in Atlanta is extremely congested because they're doing a bad job at capacity planning. It is nearly impossible to find any ISP to connect to who Comcast isn't running hot to. The story is always the same, that the ISP approached Comcast for upgrades, and Comcast denied them.

Wifi on this scale means an increase in traffic, which will further saturate these links, resulting in a degraded experience for all of Comcast's users.