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Elektra57

Comcast Xfinity is using your router as a hotspot at your expense

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2 minutes ago, Donut417 said:

If they had sense it should be zero. 

I’ll take that as “not even close”. 


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I wonder if Cox does the same but I wouldn’t know since I buy my own router and modem. 


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Some isps in Netherlands do this also, altho some isps do not allow you to turn this off inside router which rather scummy, i don't think you get same ip tho via hotspot, glad i life really high up no one is gonna use this hotspot anyway

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and this is why i buy my own routers, your ISP has no control what you do with your network. (atleast here in australia)

as far as i'm concerned my ISP shouldn't even have access to my network in any way shape or form apart from essential internet services such as, ya know? internet access?

 

if you aren't on the old copper cable systems, it's as simple as getting a new router from a local tech shop you trust, disconnecting the WAN and LAN cables (they are the same, one just goes to a modem and the other is for wired devices in your network) then connecting them to the new router.

there's no way the modem can tell if your router is your ISP provided one or a third-party, nor can your ISP. all they know is your ip and what you do online. (which some people don't like and use network wide VPN's to stop this, i don't care since my ISP can't make use of my usage patterns since i search a variety of things to throw them off)

 

it's harder to do with the old copper cable system but it's still possible but it's very tricky since the copper cable system has a frequency that the ISP chose and that the router might not support. google it if you want to do it, it's out of my knowledge on how to do it.


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3 minutes ago, Salv8 (sam) said:

and this is why i buy my own routers, your ISP has no control what you do with your network. (atleast here in australia)

as far as i'm concerned my ISP shouldn't even have access to my network in any way shape or form apart from essential internet services such as, ya know? internet access?

 

if you aren't on the old copper cable systems, it's as simple as getting a new router from a local tech shop you trust, disconnecting the WAN and LAN cables (they are the same, one just goes to a modem and the other is for wired devices in your network) then connecting them to the new router.

there's no way the modem can tell if your router is your ISP provided one or a third-party, nor can your ISP. all they know is your ip and what you do online. (which some people don't like and use network wide VPN's to stop this, i don't care since my ISP can't make use of my usage patterns since i search a variety of things to throw them off)

 

it's harder to do with the old copper cable system but it's still possible but it's very tricky since the copper cable system has a frequency that the ISP chose and that the router might not support. google it if you want to do it, it's out of my knowledge on how to do it.

The cable system being old has nothing to do with it. Cable internet (Coax) is a Standard like everything else. In this case cable co's use the Docsis standard. Most if not all are using at least Docsis 3.0, some like Comcast/Xfinity use Docsis 3.1 which is backwards compatible with Docsis 3.0. Where you run in to issues is firmware updates. Comcast has a list of modems they will support. As in support I mean they will provision to work on their network, they will provide firmware updates AND they have tested theses modems and firmware updates. You have companies like Charter that will provision a customer owned modem but provide no support outside of that. 

 

Further more, most ISP's here in the US provide a gateway (Modem/Router) for a fee. The reason they can back door in to this equpiment is because they can help customers trying to fix things. For the average person however, a default config will work. They cant provide training for all networking equpiment the exists. So they provide their own and you have the choice of using that or 3rd party (Just without their support). 

 

Also for the record. Back in the old days, the ISP's were not choosing a frequecny. They would register the mac address of the device connected to the modem. Most routers back then and some today have a mac address cloning feature that allows you to make your routers Mac address look like the device that was registered. 

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5 hours ago, Donut417 said:

-snip-

i did say it wasn't my area of expertise, from what i remember it was either a tech quickie or LTT video i got that information from... but my memory isn't that great.


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Okay, so I'm wondering why we haven't really gone into detail on the hotspot-at-your-expense situation. I happen to be on Comcast myself, but I had the sense to buy my own router to avoid the monthly charges. I wasn't in the know on the hotspot since I never had it to begin with.  

 

So, for starters, does the hotspot jack in to your own network, or is the router completely sandboxing the connections? Could hackers worm their way into your stuff? 

Next, speed. When people are using the hotspot, does that take away your bandwidth?  

I mean it's Comcast, so it wouldn't be a shock to me if it did; this meaning that they would get your router rental cash, the hotspot rental cash... and cash for the service YOU pay for, which you can't even enjoy because Comcast is busy whoring out your bandwidth to random strangers.  

 

Despite having my own router, we still have slow connections sometimes. I'm pretty sure it's because of a lot of new development in the area -> more people -> saturated connections since everyone is on Comcast streaming Netflix and the one and only ISP here is Comcast and they don't feel like servicing our neighborhood to accommodate the burgeoning number of customers in the area.

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Lmao this is common knowledge I thought. How else would there be so many Xfinity hotspots?

 

Can agree the data cap sucks, but equipment is on you. I buy my own. Not having to pay a stupid rental fee is enough reason to.


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BT do it, you opt-in and your router provides a seperate WiFi hotspot that other customers can use, you also get free use of the network for agreeing to provide a hotspot.

 

In the UK we don't rent hardware, it just turns up in a box as part of the montly cost. It does create a lot of waste though as the hardware is often locked to one ISP and without installing DDWRT or similar, it's useless if you move provider. They're always for sale though and cheap to buy.


Probably banned for disagreeing

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Buy your own equipment. Decent chance that a cable modem you will buy will deliver more speed than you pay for. As mentioned earlier, Docsis 3.1 support is ideal. I've had good results using a Motorola surfboard. Considering that internet is something you will have permanently, almost any router and modem will be covered by a year or two savings had not spending it on Comcast's modem and router rental fee. Just have to make sure Comcast does not charge you for a modem or router(they almost always do without pestering).

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15 hours ago, Donut417 said:

Actually the public hotspot is on a seperate network from yours. YOU CAN NOT be held accountable to anything downloaded. Secondly in order to really use those hotspots you A) Have to pay OR B) Be a Comcast customer, as in log in with your account creds. Futhermore, smart people dont use thier equipment. You can easily buy a cable modem now days. Comcast has an extensive list that will work on their network. 

 

BTW this is old news. They have been doing this for years. There are atvantages to their public hotspot. The big one being any data used on this hotspot DOES NOT count aginst your cap. So you can litterally download as much as you want thru this hotspot and never have an issue with going over the cap. 

I did not use their equipment for years but changed because I could not get issues resolved since they always blamed my equipment.

Since their technicians are contractors I ended up getting different ones every time I had an issues so I had to go through "my equipment isn't the problem"  over and over again.

 

When I did ordered the router I was not billed for it since the fee was part of my condo association agreement witch is strange since I pay for internet and the association pay for TV.  

 

Now I use their equipment and they can check their router so the technicians don't have to visit anymore. 


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The router acts purely as an access point into the providers side of the network. Not yours. 

The connection between the hotspot and the provider's network is on a separate channel to your own.  

 

There is 0 cost to the customer. It is secure. 

 

ISPs have been using router hotspots for a while now to provide a WiFi hotspot network. 

 

A lot allow you to disable the feature, if you have a moral objection, which apparently a lot of people do....

 

 

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31 minutes ago, jones177 said:

Now I use their equipment and they can check their router so the technicians don't have to visit anymore. 

And they can check all the devices connected to your network and change any setting they choose. Hopefully all the employees are ethical. Oh and I remember when the rental fee was $3 a month, now it’s like $14. So good luck when they raise it again and again. Because they will. 

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13 minutes ago, Donut417 said:

And they can check all the devices connected to your network and change any setting they choose. Hopefully all the employees are ethical. Oh and I remember when the rental fee was $3 a month, now it’s like $14. So good luck when they raise it again and again. Because they will. 

As I said, I don't pay a fee and the person that looks after internet security in my home has a degree in it so I am not worried. 


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 It depends on people not configuring their modem and router correctly and ending up not turning off Telstra Air which is enabled by default. 

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10 minutes ago, Fantfann said:

 It depends on people not configuring their modem and router correctly and ending up not turning off Telstra Air which is enabled by default. 

Yay.  More “opt out” goodness with secret knowledge required for good measure.


Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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On 2/7/2020 at 10:27 PM, Elektra57 said:

Comcast Xfinity is the absolute worst. Not only have they started capping data and charging for going over. They are using our rented routers as hotspots for other Comcast customers and potentially hackers. If someone uses your router hotspot to download illegal material you can be held liable. Glad I read this so I can turn it off.  https://20somethingfinance.com/how-to-opt-out-of-comcast-public-wifi-hotspot/

First off comcast has been doing this for a very long time. You can also disable this feature at any time.

 

People who are using the hotspot feature are required to provide their comcast login credentials. So this could easily be tracked since it has to authenticate itself each and everytime.

 

All of this happens on an isolated guest network that would also be easy to distinguish from normal web traffic from your network. 

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Technically they're using THEIR router to create this network, as you don't own it.

 

If you, as you should, were to use your own Modem and Router this wouldn't be an issue.


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On 2/8/2020 at 10:32 PM, Rowas said:

So, for starters, does the hotspot jack in to your own network, or is the router completely sandboxing the connections? Could hackers worm their way into your stuff? 

Next, speed. When people are using the hotspot, does that take away your bandwidth?  

I mean it's Comcast, so it wouldn't be a shock to me if it did; this meaning that they would get your router rental cash, the hotspot rental cash... and cash for the service YOU pay for, which you can't even enjoy because Comcast is busy whoring out your bandwidth to random strangers.  

its sandboxed, doesnt use your data, doesnt affect your speed. they have to login using their own comcast credentials so you arent liable for what they do on it.

and it takes 30 seconds to disable after logging into the router.

 

also its been like this since 2013
https://corporate.comcast.com/news-information/news-feed/comcast-unveils-plans-for-millions-of-xfinity-wifi-hotspots-through-its-home-based-neighborhood-hotspot-initiative-2


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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 2/8/2020 at 12:43 AM, W-L said:

@Elektra57 Please don't forget to include a quote that provides key detail regarding the topic at hand as per the Tech News Requirements. 

 

 

Sorry!


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3 hours ago, Elektra57 said:

Sorry!

The thread was previously moved into the GD section as it didn't meet the guidelines, once updated it may be eligible to be reinstated. 

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