Author Topic: If you have comcast wireless internet your modem is open to other people using i  (Read 1378 times)

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Offline Beamin

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Have you ever noticed when you modem is on there is always three internet connections that you can pick up? Such as your modems name and a 2.4 and 5. ghz and an open connection called just "xfinitywifi". What this is, is a service you can pay additional money for that gives you a wifi connection when ever in range of any home or business with comcast wireless modems. What they don't tell you is that your bandwidth is being shared with who ever is using the service near by. If you live in a populated area there could be someone on your router and you are sharing your bandwidth with them.


So comcast is making money off your internet connection as your speed that you are paying for slows down. What you can do about it it is as soon as you have comcast installed call them up and tell them you don't want your internet as an access point. Its on by default but they only disclose that in the fine print because people would get pissed. I usually take this opportunity to tell them that's greedy and sneaky and who knows how many people pay for speed upgrades when all they have to do is make their own internet not sharable.


A friend I knew kept having intermittent speed problems and comcast technicians came out to their house over five times to tell them it was fixed or they couldn't figure out why it was slow. In reality they did nothing but waste time. So I told them about this they called comcast had it shut off and their internet magically started working again. I don't know if other ISP's do this but I wouldn't be surprised as ideas like this are copied by large companies to make their stock competitive.


I can't wait for the day we have metered connections like on your cell phone and huge internet bills or rationing will be the norm. Net neutrality is dead and they used our money to pay the politicians and lobbyists to get it.  :wtf:
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Online ataradov

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Have you actually tried to use "xfinitywifi" access points? I did and all the ones I tried provided less than 1 MBps.

And Comcast is explicit that the bandwidth does not come out of your service, it comes out of the spare bandwidth left after the limit set by your plan. Of course they can lie about this, but I see no reason why they would.

And a better idea is to ask them for a modem without Wi-Fi (or buy one yourself) and have your own access point.

Not that I want to defend Comcast, but blaming them for everything is also unfair.
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Offline Ampera

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I first want to thank the all mighty flying spaghetti monster that Comcast does not operate in our area (although Spectrum isn't all that great either).

If you're using the AP and router that your ISP provides you, don't expect quality, nor anything decent. They are designed to benefit them with low costs, and whatever else they want to throw on.

A cheap straight router and a nice Ubiquiti AP, then you have everything you need for about 150 bucks, and it will be faster, more stable, and likely more secure than what your ISP throws you.

It's the same reason why you should almost never use the locks storage companies give you, as they are probably some cheap 4 pin cheaper than master lock chineese shit.
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Online blueskull

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If you're using the AP and router that your ISP provides you, don't expect quality, nor anything decent. They are designed to benefit them with low costs, and whatever else they want to throw on.

I use the AT&T free one, and it serves me well. It causes occasional lagging when I play CS:GO after ~a month of use, but a reboot every a few weeks takes care of that.

I don't use wired connection. My computer talks to the AP through an Intel 7260AC (one of the oldest 802.11ac cards) across one floor plus 30ft distance, and I still get >80Mbps speed.

With modern WiFi technology (Macbook 12" 2017), I get 160Mbps from the same router at the same distance.
 

Offline Ampera

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With my setup, I can probably get 300-400mbps no sweat on 802.11ac hardware. My network is rock solid stable, and the only instability is on my ISP (could be the FttP modem) side, for which I drop connection every two hours.
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Online rdl

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If you have a comcast supplied cable modem with or without router, go buy your own equipment. It will pay for itself in a year or less and work better. I've had comcast internet for over ten years. They are one of the most unethical, customer abusing companies I have ever run across. My apartment complex was "wired" by AT&T last week with gigabit fiber. Due to a piss poor decision by the apartment management, it was installed in the stupidest way possible to save cost, but i will be switching service away from comcast as soon as I can because they are scum and I hate them with a passion.
 
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Offline Halcyon

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It's the same kind of thing Telstra (Australia's largest telco) are doing here. If you use your Telstra-provided modem, you'll get an additional SSID (Telstra Air) broadcasting from your home.

This essentially allows "roaming" Telstra customers to use your bandwidth but against their account if they are in range if your home.

It's on by default and you can opt-out, however it's not done through the modem settings, it's done through Telstra's online web portal and you can only switch it off and back on once a month.

Needless to say, I never use any modem/router supplied to me by my ISP.
 

Offline Jwalling

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Is there an external antenna? If so, can you remove it and use your own wireless router?
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Offline NiHaoMike

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I read that in areas with data caps, the hotspot does not count against any caps, not even that of the user logged into it. Might be because the hotspots use MAC addresses to differentiate devices which would make it trivial for a hacker to impersonate another user by doing MAC address cloning. (Of which, how long before some malware comes out specifically to DoS Comcast users by throwing UDP packets at them to waste the caps?)
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Offline Beamin

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Have you actually tried to use "xfinitywifi" access points? I did and all the ones I tried provided less than 1 MBps.

And Comcast is explicit that the bandwidth does not come out of your service, it comes out of the spare bandwidth left after the limit set by your plan. Of course they can lie about this, but I see no reason why they would.

And a better idea is to ask them for a modem without Wi-Fi (or buy one yourself) and have your own access point.

Not that I want to defend Comcast, but blaming them for everything is also unfair.


I used to work for the company was in the middle of the food chain and would tell us this stuff so we could "coach" the employees on how to deceive customers if they found out / complained. There is no "spare bandwidth" just like the "fast lane" and "faster lane" they talk about with net neutrality. Extra band width costs money and they are not going to set aside band width to make it work. This was called being comcastic! They used to do so much shady shit and tell us "it keeps the shareholders happy. Keep the shareholders happy above all else". Commissioned employees would make just as much selling $10/mo basic cable as did their premium phone service. This makes their year end prospectus look better and served no other reason since an employees commission costs more then the gross profit on it. And that's before install costs.

At one time comcast had their own cell phone that worked off sprint towers but dropped it when sprint wanted a fair share of the profits. That was stupid right as the iPhone/android was coming out. The Regional VP's office and sales director was right behind my desk and I used to hear a lot of shit, but the told us most everything.


They would teach us how to brainwash the employees into thinking their stuff was awesome and Verizon or who ever was terrible. On the plus side they used to send live lobsters to my house and give free baseball game tickets that you couldn't buy all the time.


There *were* also laws since removed that you could only make the customers wait so many minutes on the phone and had giant LED boards that constantly updated the times to see how far out of compliance they were. That was just this huge money making machines. They would have carts of Redbull they would push around the sales floor when they expected a push or rush of customers. Performance enhancing drugs! They would then take the sales numbers down to $0.001 cents and 1/10th of a second and compare sections that got free redbull to sections that didn't.
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Offline GreyWoolfe

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Reminds me of Brighthouse's ECHO.  Extra APs around the house to make your internet experience better!!!!!  They never said that those APs were needed because the modem/MTA WiFi is for crap.  I had them shut their WiFi off and set the MTA in bridge mode and I use my own WiFi router, however I still pay $5 a month for Spectrum WiFi.  I need to call them.  When I am finally able to get ride of the home phone, I plan to get my own modem.  They certainly cheap enough to have a 2nd as a spare just in case.
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Offline Beamin

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Reminds me of Brighthouse's ECHO.  Extra APs around the house to make your internet experience better!!!!!  They never said that those APs were needed because the modem/MTA WiFi is for crap.  I had them shut their WiFi off and set the MTA in bridge mode and I use my own WiFi router, however I still pay $5 a month for Spectrum WiFi.  I need to call them.  When I am finally able to get ride of the home phone, I plan to get my own modem.  They certainly cheap enough to have a 2nd as a spare just in case.


Make sure they give your money back in full. Comcast would make millions each month from stupid little fees they hope you won't notice or sit on hold for an hour to get a few dollars back. The worst thing of all is the $3.99 "convenience fee". It's literally a fee to take your money. Imagine telling your boss at work they needed to pay you an extra paycheck fee?
When comcast started this their explanation was "Well everybody else charges it" Even though at the time they were the only ones charging it. Reminds me "If everybody else jumped off a bridge would..." 
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Offline GreyWoolfe

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Reminds me of Brighthouse's ECHO.  Extra APs around the house to make your internet experience better!!!!!  They never said that those APs were needed because the modem/MTA WiFi is for crap.  I had them shut their WiFi off and set the MTA in bridge mode and I use my own WiFi router, however I still pay $5 a month for Spectrum WiFi.  I need to call them.  When I am finally able to get ride of the home phone, I plan to get my own modem.  They certainly cheap enough to have a 2nd as a spare just in case.


Make sure they give your money back in full. Comcast would make millions each month from stupid little fees they hope you won't notice or sit on hold for an hour to get a few dollars back. The worst thing of all is the $3.99 "convenience fee". It's literally a fee to take your money. Imagine telling your boss at work they needed to pay you an extra paycheck fee?
When comcast started this their explanation was "Well everybody else charges it" Even though at the time they were the only ones charging it. Reminds me "If everybody else jumped off a bridge would..."

After my post, I called Spectrum.  At the end of the call, we will have no bill next month, September's bill will be $35 less and the bill will be $84.99 instead of $89.99 for phone and internet service going on. ;D Couple that with the fact my company pays $60 of my monthly internet bill, when we get the new MTA, I just might pop for an extra $25 a month for the 400 Mbps instead of the 100 Mbps service we have right now.
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Offline Berni

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Simple, remove the wifi antenna and replace it with a 50 Ohm terminator then use your own wifi router that will likely give you significantly better performance anyway and run way more reliable.

Some ISPs will reconfigure your modem to be just a dumb modem without routing if you ask for it.

For fun i tried throwing a lot of data at some cheap routers. Doing a large fast portscan with nmap i found to be a good benchmark, as it throws a lot of tiny packets at it that each needs to be routed. A lot of cheap home routers stop working during the scan or there performance drops to dialup speeds. With this i could even remotely crash a friends modem/router in a test where i just barfed as many connection requests at it as fit trough the pipe at his internet IP (Done with his permision). The modem needed a reboot before it would work again afterwards.

My setup with a small office grade Mikrotik router has never needed a reboot in the many years of running it and barfing as much data that would fit trough its gigabit WAN port merely resulted in increased CPU and RAM usage on it, but no loss of service.
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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With this i could even remotely crash a friends modem/router in a test where i just barfed as many connection requests at it as fit trough the pipe at his internet IP (Done with his permision). The modem needed a reboot before it would work again afterwards.
Was it the infamous Puma 6 chipset by any chance?
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Offline Berni

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No it was a ADSL modem (one of the more modern incarnations) on a 10/1Mbit line. I have yet to see any good ADSL modem/router combos from the ISPs here.

I had a Cisco DOCSIS 3.0 modem(no router) before but i had no issues with it. This cable ISP generally had decen't gear compared to others but i always managed to have them give me a dumb modem without any routing features, so i have no idea how good the routers are. Now that i moved to fiber i got some off brand thing that does have a router and wifi and all but i could still get the ISP to flash a modem only firmware onto it (And they ended up almost remotely bricking it in the process)

But to be fair all home routers for under 40 USD seam to be garbage and guess what ISPs give out.
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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But to be fair all home routers for under 40 USD seam to be garbage and guess what ISPs give out.
The ones that can be flashed to DD-WRT and/or OpenWRT seem to be mostly good. No idea why they don't just preload one of those open source firmwares on it and save a lot on development cost.
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Offline Beamin

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Simple, remove the wifi antenna and replace it with a 50 Ohm terminator then use your own wifi router that will likely give you significantly better performance anyway and run way more reliable.

Some ISPs will reconfigure your modem to be just a dumb modem without routing if you ask for it.

For fun i tried throwing a lot of data at some cheap routers. Doing a large fast portscan with nmap i found to be a good benchmark, as it throws a lot of tiny packets at it that each needs to be routed. A lot of cheap home routers stop working during the scan or there performance drops to dialup speeds. With this i could even remotely crash a friends modem/router in a test where i just barfed as many connection requests at it as fit trough the pipe at his internet IP (Done with his permision). The modem needed a reboot before it would work again afterwards.

My setup with a small office grade Mikrotik router has never needed a reboot in the many years of running it and barfing as much data that would fit trough its gigabit WAN port merely resulted in increased CPU and RAM usage on it, but no loss of service.

That won't work on most American boxes. Inside are three antennas that alternate to make the signal directional and messing with this would damage the rented box and cause all kinds of problems. You would also have to send the signal two different places which also doesn't work.
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