Just read that because I’m a Comcast Xfinity customer they’re going to make me a public wifi hotspot too? Uh, no thanks. How do I turn this ‘feature’ off?
You’re correct that Comcast’s Xfinity service is rolling out public wifi hotspots powered off our Comcast modems and that without any changes on your part one day your trust personal hotspot for your home will add a second base name “xfiniitywifi” and it’ll be a public hotspot for other Xfinity customers or people who want to pay for Comcast wifi access. So far, it’s just in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle, Portland) as they’re testing it and expanding their coverage area.
However, before you opt out of this, it’s worth pointing out that there’s a bit of digital karma involved here: If it sounds useful for you to be able to go to the local coffee shop, school dorm room or elsewhere and tap into the “xfinitywifi” service for free as a paying Comcast customer, then perhaps leaving your own network open would be a good idea. Further, Comcast has said that the way it is being allocated bandwidth, the vast majority of your Internet “pipe” will always be available to you, the paying customer and owner of that network connection. So we shouldn’t see someone tapping into your public connection and eating up your bandwidth with a Netflix original or Bittorrent download.
Still, better to know how to disable it and you can make your own decision about whether to do so or not. I just suggest that it might not be as risky as some naysayers suggest…
To start, go to customer.comcast.com and log in:
Don’t know your account or don’t remember your password? There are handy reminder links to help you out. I actually suspect that over 50% of Comcast customers have never logged in to the portal!
Once you log in there’s quite a bit to see here, but look along the top for the navigational options:
As is shown, make sure you’re in “My Account” and choose “Users & Preferences”.
Now there are billing options, address options, even the ability to change your login name. Nice.
But what you want is a bit lower down:
Choose — you guessed it! — “Manage XFINITY WIFI” to proceed.
Now there are two possible screens you can see. If you don’t yet have the hotspot service enabled in your area, the window you’ll see is informational only:
No option to disable it? That means it’s not enabled.
If the Xfinity wifi home hotspot feature is enabled, however, you’ll see this:
In this case, if you do want to disable the Xfinity Wifi Home Hotspot, well, you can see how to do so.
That’s all there is to it. Personally, I think it’s pretty cool and am going to leave it enabled once it’s in my service area, because of that digital karma I mentioned earlier. Your choice may well be different, however!