Comcast turned50,000 of its Houston customers’ home WiFi routers into a huge network of public WiFi hotspotson Tuesday. A Comcast spokesperson told the Houston Chronicle the switch was flipped in the early afternoon. Affected residential customersnow broadcast an “xfinitywifi” hotspot, and like it or not, it’s free for any Comcast customer to use.
The 50,000 customers whose private WiFi connections are now available to the public make up just a portion of Comcast’s total planned hotspots. By the end of June, 150,000 residential, ostensibly private WiFi hotspots in Houston will be made public. And this could just be the beginning. Engadget reports that Comcast may eventually launch its own mobile network, using its public WiFi hotspots as well as leased cellular capacity.
Customers may not know about the changes affecting their once-private WiFi connections. Comcast opted residents in by default and it doesn’t appear that residents can disable the public WiFi hotspot before it’s turned on in their homes. But if you don’t want your Comcast XFINITY WiFi available to anyone with a Comcast password within spitting distance of your home, there is a solution.
According to Comcast’s website, users can disable XFINITY public WiFi in just a few steps:
- Log into your Comcast account at customer.comcast.com.
- Click on “Users & Preferences.”
- Click on “Manage XFINITY WiFi.”
Users can then choose to disable their WiFi routers from public use and save changes.