Comcast has taken it upon themselves to quietly turn on a second WIFI on your Comcast modems to serve as an Xfinity Public Hotspot.
If Internet Innovations Group originally setup your network with Comcast Internet, we most likely placed a Cisco or equivalent router behind the Comcast modem and placed the Modem in Bridge Mode. Traditionally this disabled the modem's routing and WIFI capability. However, Comcast has taken it upon themselves to turn on a second WIFI Hotspot in the background. Furthermore, the Xfinity Hotspot feature cannot be directly disabled by the Network Administrator via the modem configuration page.
However, the WIFI Hotspot can be disabled via the Comcast website account portal by the account holder. I strongly suggest that the account holder go ahead and turn off the Xfinity Hotspot feature. Although the Public Hotspot is inherently "outside" your network, limiting the security risk, it presents other issues such as slower internet, legal exposure, additional electric cost, and so on. However, the issue that has yielded the most support calls to us, has been wireless congestion.
Clients are calling us to report that their wireless networks keep dropping and have become "glitchy". Some clients have even ran out to buy new Wireless Routers/Access Points thinking their equipment was going bad. However, upon running wireless inspection (see Android WIFI Analyzer showing Xfinity hotspots image) we began finding more and morel Xfinity wireless signals are now competing with your Wireless networks. Considering that most wireless routers are set to Auto channel, they end up in a constant game of "musical chairs" where they end up jumping to less congested channels, which in turn congests the new channel and the game begins all over again. In turn your wireless computers join in the game since they have to also change channels to stay connected to their wireless host. Let's just say not all devices keep up.
Accordingly, following is how to turn-off your Xfinity Hotspot. Unfortunately, this does not turn off the neighboring Xfinity Hotspots, unless you knock on your neighbors door and pass this article along. Most people don't even know their Comcast modem is also an active Wireless Access Point. To deal with the neighboring congestion we monitor the wireless channels and lock your wireless device on to the least congested channel (for 2.4 ghz WIFI), or better yet, we upgrade your network to a 5ghz Wireless network which allows us to make use of clean WIFI channels outside the Xfinity and neighboring wireless networks.
With the above in mind, here are the steps to turn off the Xfinity WIFI Hotspot (see images to right):
- Log into your Xfinity/Comcast account via the web: https://customer.xfinity.com/
- Select "My Services"
- Select "XFINITY Internet"
- Select "Manage your home hotspot"
- Select "Disable my XFINITY Home Spot Feature" and press Save
- Get confirmation and then select "I'm Done"