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Comcast is going to turn people's Houston routers into public WIFI hotspots

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#31 xendrome

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 20:20

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..




#32 Buttus

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 20:22

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)



#33 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 20:23

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.



#34 Bigkaye

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 20:24

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



#35 vetneufuse

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 20:27

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



#36 vetneufuse

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 20:30

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



#37 Bigkaye

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 20:33

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.



#38 wv@gt

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 20:35

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 



#39 Bigkaye

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 20:41

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.



#40 +LogicalApex

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 20:52

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.



#41 +LogicalApex

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 20:58

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...



#42 +LimeMaster

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 21:05

Comcast are pulling a BT. :/



#43 HawkMan

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 21:20

 

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 ?



#44 tbarnett

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 21:41

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



#45 The_Observer

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 21:44

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