Over the past few days I have been seeing more and more stories pop-up around the interwebs about how Comcast/Xfinity has been turning on a public wifi feature on customers home routers. (e.g., GeekWire, WAComcast, even one from Feb 2 – ArsTechnica, as well as a reporter for KOMO asking those on Facebook that are seeing this to email him)
After reading some of the articles I thought I would see if we were one of the “lucky” customers to get this awesome new feature without knowing it. Sure enough, when I looked on my mobile phone for wifi networks around me I found an ‘xfinitywifi’ with the same signal strength as our home network. I connected my phone to this network and was presented a nice option to “Login” to the ‘xfinitywifi’ network if I was an existing customer, or other options if I was not. (At the bottom you will find a slide show that has all of the fun information that Comcast provides regarding this network when connecting to it.)
So I decided to start a chat conversation with Comcast to see if this could be disabled in anyway. To my delight the customer service rep “Baby Jane” was indeed aware of my request and was more than happy to walk me through turning this off. She even wanted to make sure to stay in the chat until I had successfully disabled the public ‘xfinitywifi’ network from my Comcast/Xfinity router. Unfortunately the site was having some technical difficulties when I was trying to access a portion of it, however Baby Jane offered to disable the network for me. In the end I was able to get it disabled with the help from Baby Jane on her side. I have included a PDF file of our chat transcript if you are interested in seeing our discussion about this. I have also listed the steps below if you would like to disable this yourself. As you can see in the second image I was able to get this turned off from our router. It seem’s that someone else in our building is playing host as well to Comcast’s great idea to spread our internet connections throughout Seattle. Hopefully this will help, or at least inform my fellow residents! — Be Good Out There To One Another!
- Log in to http://customer.comcast.com and click on Users and Preferences tab
- Under Service Address, click the Manage XFINITY WiFi link
- In the window that appears, you should select either Enable XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot or Disable XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot and click Save.
- You will be presented with a confirmation message at the top of the Users & Preferences page
Screen Shots from Mobile Access