59 posts in this topic

Posted

how is this news? Comcast already did this in a lot of their territory, they already did it up here in PA all people that rent a Comcast gateway now have a XfinityWireless SSID that they CAN turn off from their account management portal...

 

this hotspot does NOT count against your internet usage, it is NOT tied to your account in any way besides you having the ability to turn it off... anything that happens on it is not your legal responsibility as Comcast assumes all liability on it.. it is completely segmented off from anything you'd get on your LAN side of the gateway  and customers that access it must be Comcast customers logging in with their Comcast user / pass, no one else can use it besides Comcast authorized users..

 

it has no impact on your bandwidth / throughput / anything else as you have priority on all DOCSIS traffic to your LAN over the xfinity wireless SSID

 

 

has ZERO effect on your usage its a separate network

and remember this only impacts people who use an Xfinity wireless gateway, no other routers / emta's or modems are impacted... only Comcast xfinity branded devices

Yep this isn't news as Comcast announced this a year ago and as you said it has already hit lots of their market...

 

IMHO Comcast should offer these users some compensation... Maybe waive the modem rental fee or something. Why shuld the user pay for the electricity to power their Hotspot and etc without compensation?

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Posted

I got a letter about this in Seattle too a month ago.  It's opt-out.  I don't mind so long as my router doesn't do it.

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Posted

Yep this isn't news as Comcast announced this a year ago and as you said it has already hit lots of their market...

 

IMHO Comcast should offer these users some compensation... Maybe waive the modem rental fee or something. Why shuld the user pay for the electricity to power their Hotspot and etc without compensation?

As much as I agree that comcast should waive the fee for letting them use our electic and such, you know they wont... it's like verizon's microcell extenders for cellular..... you had to pay to expand their network and paid a monthly fee for making their network bigger in a sense.....

Data throughput is only one element, a badly(ie default) configured uTorrent will still bring it down.

A badly configured torrent will not bring this down... comcast has over engineered their nodes now so there is up to 1Gbit of space per node with the number of DOCSIS channels they have bonded available. if a user has a 150Mbit connection, that will not saturate the shared bandwidth on the node, and it will not overwhelm the gateway as the gateway is custom designed to segment some processing power to this network and the rest to the customer, there not many ways to mess this up at this point. 

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Posted

OH BTW, To the people asking if this is news, etc...  It's just about now 100,00+ new routers will be getting this in Houston , and I thought it might be important , because the hacker group "Anonymous" on twitter warned people about it so I thought it might be a big deal.... (from their official account)

Anonymous is just trying to cause a fuss, fact is there is already 1 million of these gateways out there and enabled... this isn't some new thing or some backdoor, etc...

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Posted

As others have stated Comcast has been doing this for a while. I thought for a while that Comcast had set up Public Wifi hotspots around my area, but recently discovered that its actually users routers. Its actually a great idea in theory, making it so that comcast doesn't have to set up public wifi towers. As with others though as long as this doesn't impact my bandwidth, privacy or anything related to my security or account 

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Posted

Also if it wasn't mentioned, it is at least OP-out.. it should be OP-in only, but at least you can get out of it..

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Posted

i bought my own cable modem and router.

 

But, if they're going to use it as a public hotspot, they better not charge those people the $5/month lease that they have on the modem/router they provide!   (it might even be more now)

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Posted

So Comcast is essentially making their customers pay for internet that they must share with the outside world?  What a bunch of crap.

Why would anybody even buy internet then, if they can simply mooch off of their neighbors?

 

The smart people will either cancel their plans and connect to a nearby signal for free, or go completely wired and turn off wireless.

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Posted

QOS and VLAN's...... Comcast does a good job of isolating networks... their Phone system goes through the cable system too and their keep it isolated.. in this case your xfinityWiFi SSID is tied to a VLAN Comcast controls with a lower priority QOS tag then your normal WAN traffic into your LAN

 

and since it's all tagged, they also know it does not count against your usage at all... HOWEVER it does count against the usage of who ever is logged into the hotspot... since you have to log in, it will count what you use on that hotspot as bandwidth usage on your account, not the account of the hotspot gateway account owner

 

What about the increased power consumption though? Wifi compared to hardwired uses a LOT more power. http://www.tpcdb.com/list.php?type=11 I compared wifi routers and switches, but I presume a wired router would consume a tiny bit more power than a switch due to its extra few chips to be 'smart'

 

Brilliant move on comcasts part, very cheap way to add features

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Posted

What about the increased power consumption though? Wifi compared to hardwired uses a LOT more power. Brilliant move on comcasts part, very cheap way to add features

you already got the wifi router with your installation.... it's radios are on by default, so power consumption is basically a null argument... and these radios use 1-2 watts a most, my wireless router if my radios are on it uses 14 watts, with them off it uses a whole 12 watts... not a huge amount.. the average power bill in the USA that is a whole $2 a year in power

 

and like has been said before this is only on Comcast owned equipment which they charge you $8 a month for now, if you don't want it, buy your own modem and router which they will charge you zero a month for

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Posted

So Comcast is essentially making their customers pay for internet that they must share with the outside world?  What a bunch of crap.

Why would anybody even buy internet then, if they can simply mooch off of their neighbors?

 

The smart people will either cancel their plans and connect to a nearby signal for free, or go completely wired and turn off wireless.

 

smart people would realize this is Opt-Out and turn it off if they don't want it... or buy their own modem which comcast allows.....

 

and if people think they can cancel their internet and connect to someone else's xfinitiWiFi SSID they are in for a bit of hurt when they realize its a captive portal that ties to your comcast internet user name

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Posted

you already got the wifi router with your installation.... it's radios are on by default, so power consumption is basically a null argument... and these radios use 1-2 watts a most, my wireless router if my radios are on it uses 14 watts, with them off it uses a whole 12 watts... not a huge amount.. the average power bill in the USA that is a whole $2 a year in power

 

and like has been said before this is only on Comcast owned equipment which they charge you $8 a month for now, if you don't want it, buy your own modem and router which they will charge you zero a month for

 

Still, thats money from your pocket to provide power for a service you aren't making money on, or even ever gonna use. I wouldn't care if it was 20 cents or $200 a year - its still costing you more money so they can make more money.

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Posted

So Comcast is essentially making their customers pay for internet that they must share with the outside world?  What a bunch of crap.

Why would anybody even buy internet then, if they can simply mooch off of their neighbors?

 

The smart people will either cancel their plans and connect to a nearby signal for free, or go completely wired and turn off wireless.

 

You Can Opt-Out or not rent one of their modems.

You can use your own modem

Its a separate network, very limited speeds

 

I'm just concerned about security and making sure whom ever connects to the xfinity network on your router that they won't be able to hack into my network 

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Posted

You Can Opt-Out or not rent one of their modems.

You can use your own modem

Its a separate network, very limited speeds

 

I'm just concerned about security and making sure whom ever connects to the xfinity network on your router that they won't be able to hack into my network 

 

It's VLAN'd however, so its a completely different network isolated from your LAN. I'm sure someone will figure out packet injections and such, but the ability to hack your network is there regardless of this feature and a separate WIFI VLAN won't decrease your network security. It may affect how fast you can wirelessly connect to yourself at worst, as your transceiver has a limit on how much data it can move. QOS should handle this and give local WIFI clients priority over remote WIFI, but a lot of routers gum QOS up quickly, especially if they are under a high load for a long time. I assume comcast don't rent people top knotch hardware.

 

What I can see happening though is the owner of router sniffing/stealing/spoofing an xfinity hotspot for people logging into it, stealing their credentials, wirelessly connecting under their account and using unlimited data... Again this depends on how they set it up. Making a fake login page on your own owned router to clone the xfinity login page likely is something a 12 year old script kiddie could do.

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Posted

you already got the wifi router with your installation.... it's radios are on by default, so power consumption is basically a null argument... and these radios use 1-2 watts a most, my wireless router if my radios are on it uses 14 watts, with them off it uses a whole 12 watts... not a huge amount.. the average power bill in the USA that is a whole $2 a year in power

 

and like has been said before this is only on Comcast owned equipment which they charge you $8 a month for now, if you don't want it, buy your own modem and router which they will charge you zero a month for

Very few things are priced by their raw materials cost... The cost to build an iPhone is quite a bit smaller than it is sold for... The same is true for Internet Access... It doesn't cost Comcast anywhere near what they charge you for service (in raw material costs). So, the fact that it might cost you little in power is a moot point...

 

Comcast is doing it because it is a shady, but legal, way for them to try and build a large scale WiFi network (which may allow them to enter new markets like the cell phone space) without properly paying like everyone else does. They know that the knowledgeable and technical users like us will either disable it or put our own equipment in place, but the majority of users will have no idea and leave it on. Giving Comcast a free ride.

 

I'm not a fan, but I'm also not in a position to stop them either.

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Posted

It's VLAN'd however, so its a completely different network isolated from your LAN. I'm sure someone will figure out packet injections and such, but the ability to hack your network is there regardless of this feature and a separate WIFI VLAN won't decrease your network security. It may affect how fast you can wirelessly connect to yourself at worst, as your transceiver has a limit on how much data it can move. QOS should handle this and give local WIFI clients priority over remote WIFI, but a lot of routers gum QOS up quickly, especially if they are under a high load for a long time. I assume comcast don't rent people top knotch hardware.

 

What I can see happening though is the owner of router sniffing/stealing/spoofing an xfinity hotspot for people logging into it, stealing their credentials, wirelessly connecting under their account and using unlimited data... Again this depends on how they set it up. Making a fake login page on your own owned router to clone the xfinity login page likely is something a 12 year old script kiddie could do.

QOS can only help on the wire, but can't really do amazing things in the air... Wireless is like an old school hub based network where only one device can be talking at a time. A heavy amount of traffic over this WiFi link can definitely saturate out your connection...

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Posted

Comcast are pulling a BT. :/

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Posted

 

A badly configured torrent will not bring this down... comcast has over engineered their nodes now so there is up to 1Gbit of space per node with the number of DOCSIS channels they have bonded available. if a user has a 150Mbit connection, that will not saturate the shared bandwidth on the node, and it will not overwhelm the gateway as the gateway is custom designed to segment some processing power to this network and the rest to the customer, there not many ways to mess this up at this point. 

 

 

And the ability of the node to handle traffic helps the router CPU and memory management how ?

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Posted

I'm in Cary, NC.  Since the TWC-ComCast merger was announced, I'm praying Google Fiber will hurry up and roll out here!!

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Posted

The fact that they have remote access would concern me the most!

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Posted

This story is being sensationalized quite a bit.

 

First, lets clarify what router is being used for the public hotspot service - Comcast is doing this primarly with the Arris TG862 which is a Cable Modem/Telephony Gateway/Wireless-N router all in one, and to be specific, they are only doing it to units that are leased from Comcast as they legally cannot make modifications to your equipment without consent.

 

Second, Comcast has set up these units so that they will be using not only a separate wifi channel than what you have your wlan configured for, it will also be using separate docsis channels so that it will have minimal, if any impact on subscriber services.

 

Finally, Comcast has confirmed that subscribers can opt-out at any time by contacting support.

 

It should be noted that if you have your own router and want it attached to the TG862 or similar equipment, you should have already contaced Comcast to have support place the gateway into bridge mode and disable the wifi to eliminate interferance and configuration issues.

 

Not saying that I agree with what Comcast is doing, but people are making a much bigger deal out of this than what it really is. If you don't already have your own router, go buy one and have Comcast put your gateway into bridge mode and call it a day. You will probably find that the wifi on a dedicated router works much better anyway and likely to have fewer potential security holes.

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Posted

And the ability of the node to handle traffic helps the router CPU and memory management how ?

 

did you read the part where I said they handled that at the hardware level already?...

The fact that they have remote access would concern me the most!

Why? they already remote manage your cable modem, it's been part of the DOCSIS standard forever... they already have complete control over the modem firmware and settings via TFTP

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Posted

I really don't see why this is an issue - BT do a similar thing over here. In return for having it turned on, you can access everybody else's open network.

 

If you don't like it, you can turn it off. If it's using a different wifi channel and different docsis channel, then it won't have any effect on your own network's performance. Ultimately, if a modem/router combo can handle gigabit switching on the LAN side, an extra docsis channel and a TINY amount of extra traffic will be no big deal.

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Posted

I think the thing that concerns me most would be WiFi channel crowding, especially lets say in an apartment complex where people will already have WiFi, lets just even more channels being used, shall we?

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Posted

they just want to setup a Fon type of wide WiFi; it's good because: 

- it's secure to the free wifi subscriber and instantly makes several thousand home routers into a gigantic public hot spot.

- it's secure to the home router owner because this is a separate VLAN; there is no whatsoever communications between the two, no hogs on bandwidth and no problems with data caps.

 

We have this with the Zon (now NOS) operator; they use the Fon@Zon and everywhere i go there is a public hotspot with free wifi (it's free for the operator subscriber too).

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