The service purportedly uses extra bandwidth to broadcast a second, public wireless signal along with those of other Xfinity customers to create hotspots, which on-the-go Xfinity customers can log onto via their username and password.
Naturally, the fledgling feature has some people excited and others miffed, and unsurprisingly, Comcast rolled it out without really warning its customers. The cable/internet giant assures that the signal is separate from subscribers' private home networks, "keeping those personal networks secure from intrusion and letting customers give visitors Internet access without sharing a password or slowing down their own network," and that Xfinity customers aren’t charged for the additional usage of their routers.
As other articles note, if you're bothered by all this jazz, you can opt out of transmitting a public signal from your router by contacting Comcast,
or by following these steps:
• 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.”
I've only begun seeing these things pop up in the last few weeks, and in my experience—which admittedly includes only two attempts to use a hotspot—the connectivity speeds have been so slow that they completely negate any value in this feature's existence. Anyone else had better luck?
UPDATE: The above process for opting out no longer works. At step three you get a pop up: