If you need any further motivation to get rid of your overpriced modem rental fee, I just unearthed a big one. Ever wonder how Comcast’s Xfinity Wi-Fi is able to provide so many public Wi-Fi connections? Well, it turns out that if you are leasing a modem from Comcast (or other ISPs), they are likely using it as a public Wi-Fi hotspot, without you even knowing it.
And it gets better…
Not only are you paying at least an outrageous $15 per month ($180 per year) with the latest Xfinity modem rental fee increase on top of your overpriced internet package to lease their modem, but Comcast is then using that very same modem that you are being overcharged for to provide Xfinity hotspot Wi-Fi service to other Xfinity customers as a perk (they even used to offer “On Demand” plans to anyone for a price, but now solely offer Xfinity hotspots to subscribers).
One of the big downsides of this is that it could be slowing down your overall speed. At any given moment a limited amount of bandwidth can go through your device, after all.
On top of that, it’s been estimated that there is an incremental cost of electricity for using their 2 antenna modems, even if nobody is connecting to your modem other than you.
Furthermore, they are doing it without your permission by automatically opting you in via their terms of service (there is a way to opt-out your modem from Comcast public Wi-Fi hotspot use, which I’ll detail in a bit). I mean, why not offer to wipe out customers leased modem fees (or at least provide a discount) if they opt in to using the modem as a public Wi-Fi hotspot?
Do you feel your blood starting to boil? Comcast has a long history of sticking it to its customers, from overpriced leased modem rental fees (and even erroneous modem rental fees when you have your own unit), to never-ending price increases, and painful price negotiations, and other customer service battles.
So, let’s take action.
How to Opt-Out or Disable your Comcast Public Wi-Fi Hotspot
Disabling or opting your modem out of the Comcast Xfinity public Wi-Fi hotspot network is fairly simple on the surface, but there have been reports of customers running into issues, and you may have to periodically re-opt-out. Go here to manage your preferences and “turn off” (it is turned “on” by default).
If you run into issues, call Comcast customer service at 1-800-934-6489 (1-800-XFINITY).
The Best Way to Turn Off Comcast’s Public Wi-Fi Hotspot: Get Rid of your Leased Modem
Disabling the Comcast Xfinity public Wi-Fi hotspot feature is one way to prevent your modem from being used as a hotspot. However, it still leaves you with an overpriced modem rental fee and a device that uses more electricity than a typical modem/router combo.
There are a few ways to get rid of your Comcast Xfinity modem rental fee, but my best recommendation is to simply replace a leased Comcast modem with your own. It’s been estimated that over 90% of Comcast customers lease their modem, which is a costly mistake (currently $15/month or $180/year for their standard “xFi” gateway, or $25/month or $300/year for “xFi Complete”). When you use your own modem/router, Comcast is not able to use it as a hotspot automatically.
I have personally replaced my Comcast Xfinity modem with my own modem + router. Any of the following combos will pay for themselves in year 1 or 2, and then would be free for life after. And the setup and switch was simple enough for anyone to do. Customers of other ISPs can also cut their modem rental fee.
Recommended Modems (to pair with routers below):
- Motorola MB8611: up to 2330Mbps (DOCSIS 3.1)
- Arris S33: up to 2330Mbps (DOCSIS 3.1)
- Netgear CM2000: up to 2330Mbps (DOCSIS 3.1)
If you want Xfinity Voice, go with either the Netgear CM2050v (up to 2330Mbps) or Arris T25 (up to 949Mbps). Note: you can just as easily (and at a big cost savings) add landline voice (VOIP) functionality by connecting an Ooma device to your router.
If you want a gateway (modem and router combined in 1 device), I don’t recommend that because they aren’t as reliable and you can’t upgrade one half, but the Arris G36 (up to 2330bps and Wi-Fi 6) and Netgear CAX30 (up to 949Mbps and Wi-Fi 6) are good value options.
Recommended Routers (to pair with modem above):
All offer great value and top speeds.
- TP-Link AX3000 – Wi-Fi 6: up to 3000Mbps (2402Mbps on the 5GHz band + 575Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band)
- TP-Link AX1800 – Wi-Fi 6: up to 1800Mbps (1200Mbps on the 5 GHz band + 574Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band)
- Netgear Nighthawk AX1800 Wi-Fi 6: up to 1800Mbps (1200Mbps on the 5 GHz band + 574Mbps on 2.4 GHz band)
I also recently took a look at the new Wi-Fi 6E versus Wi-Fi 6 versus Wi-Fi 5 technology to determine if Wi-Fi 6E is worth the cost. Comcast has recently been advertising its Xfinity “Supersonic Wi-Fi” offering. Broken down, “Supersonic Wi-Fi” is really just Xfinity’s fastest (and highest cost) internet tiers (Gigabit or Ultrafast plans) paired with a new Wi-Fi 6E router (which they are marketing as the “Supersonic Gateway” as part of their package Xfinity “Supersonic Bundle” deal). Here are 3 of the most popular Wi-Fi 6E routers on the market at the moment:
- TP-Link AXE5400: up to 5400Mbps (2402 Mbps on the 6GHz, 2402Mbps on the 5GHz band, 574 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band)
- Asus RT-AXE7800: up to 5400Mbps (2402 Mbps on the 6GHz, 4804Mbps on the 5GHz band, 574 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band)
- Amazon eero Pro: up to 1300Mbps
So do yourself a favor – cut your Comcast bill while simultaneously preventing Comcast from driving up its profit margins on your back. And, while you’re at it, you should also easily cut your Xfinity DVR/TV Box fee, as it’s costing you at least $120/year.
I used to have Comcast and I definitely bought my own modem and wifi router. It’s crazy how expensive the internet is from comcast. I recently moved to Japan, fiber runs into my apartment, $40 per month depending on the exchange rate for the only tier there is, fast! When I do speed tests usually it hits around 250Mbps download and 290Mbps upload to several different servers around me.
I’m jealous. ISP’s in the U.S. have a monopoly, w/ the help of the government. In other countries, they view the internet as a right (as it should be), with more competition and/or price regulation.
Grrreat consumer reporting! I replaced my modem with the Motorola SB6141, if price is a concern, ebay has certified refurb for $40., Why would u pay $120. every year for a $40. item?
I do rent my modem for now anyway. In part because when I set it up and had some issues every time I had a problem and needed assistance they immediately blame the device I use and say contact them then they would say contact comcast and got sick of it.
As far as the xfinitywifi I would be ok with it actually using my modem to share it to others. The speed reduction if any should be pretty minimal on my end from other using it. However, I decided to use your link and disable it because I get annoyed that when I am out and about my phone will connect to a xfinitywifi then when I get home it joins that again instead of my service I actually pay for.
At times it is nice that I can use the xfinitywifi when I am other places or at someones house and don’t have a need to ask for their wifi password just use the slightly slower xfinitywifi.
Thanks for the good article.
I’m wondering why your article isn’t pinnable??? Was gonna save it on Pinterest
but not able to.
This article does the honor of informing customers about Comcast’s dubious practices and you have convinced me to not even bother to join Comcast.
We don’t use the word ‘dubious’ enough anymore. Good word.
It’s just an extra $10 a month, I’ve few subscriptions that I don’t use anymore but still keep giving them that 9 or 10 bucks a month. It’s not the end of the world. I’m not gonna take all that money with me when I die. Whenever I’m charged with fine or penalty, within my mind, I treat it as a donation and I don’t have a guilt or bad feeling that I lost money for that. Just a state of my mind but thanks for your informative post. I found your site while looking for what comcast provided modem has it for reviews.
$10 a month here, $10 a month there – it all adds up. Why pay (and simultaneously get dumped on by an abusive mega-company) for something you absolutely don’t need?
Are you a Comcast bot??
Please that retarded $10 bucks a month and give it to the UNICEF, WWF or the charity of your choice, instead of paying a giant douchecompany
Some of us do not mind paying it. If you do, that is your problem. At least we get support with the fees.
You still get tech support with your own equipment, both from Comcast for the service side, and from your hardware manufacture on the hardware side. That said though, you probably wouldn’t even need support on your equipment, I have had my own equipment for about 4 years now, and never needed support. Now Comcast’s service has gone out several times but has yet been related to my own equipment. I refused to pay for somthing to be in my home that slows down my connection, is inferior hardware, no return on investment, and they open my network up to potential security issues, creates conflict with my other wireless devices, is using my service to provide a paid internet service, thats just nuts to me. Not to mention the costs for the amount of power per year having that extra SSID running with the second antenna broadcasting out. Nope. If you want to “donate” 10 dollars a month. I can always use the cash.
Wow did not realize this and have already paid 3 times what the unit would have cost me. Not to mention i still do not own it! Not a big fan of comcast ot their tier plans, but in my neighborhood they are the only game in town!
Hi I am looking to replace my fathers comcast modem and router. He also has phone with comcast which would be best for hime the Motorola DOCSIS 3.0 SB6141 cable modem or the newer MB7420 model.
And will the TP-Link Wireless-N router work?
What options do I have to replace my leased equipment with one that also includes the ability to keep access to Xfinity Voice (eMTA portion of the modem)?
xfinity does provide a list of compatible devices, but if you want their Voice then there was only one option to buy and it was over $200 when I checked – good job I dont need their voice! Again spend $50 or so to get your own voice iva internet at $0 per month transfer a google number and us calls are free international very low
Thanks G.E for your informative post. Keep them coming. I’m gonna buy a modem ASAP, been paying that rental for over 2 years.
I’m confused. In the next to last post, does “voice” refer to the voice commands spoken into the X1 remote or is it referring to the land-line telephone? Thanks.
Not So! I bought my mother a Modem so they would stop harassing and threatening her! Said she must upgrade or will lose her service! She is 62, thats the 1st shame on them! I bought the TG862G. The first thing that pissed me off was they upgraded the firmware and locked me out of the modem! Meaning no admin access and allowing them to see and change my wireless passwords. I have opted out online and my modem is still broadcasting, goes away when I unplug power! I thought well I will fix that. I set the modem to bridge mode and hooked up a router. Guess what… Its still broadcasting xfinitywifi. The last shameful thing is they are charging her 188$ a month and sent a letter saying its going up again. Mind you they automatically renewed her 2yr contract 2x and failed to state the new increases. The last agent I talked to pissed me off. Actually said the bill is high Because…. There are No Promotions on the Acct!!!! No Sh*t, thats why Im calling… This last part is my cancellation bargaining chip. Shes had C*mCast for 10yrs and paid on time…. Thats why I even write on the checks every month Pay To: C*mCast! That *=U
We have had Comcast for about two years after several years of same hassle with AT&T! I purchased my own modem(not sure model, I believe Netgear) and it was to-do first 6 mo. Then they raised our “guaranteed “rate and when I called, they said ALL rates went up. So frickin guarantee don’t mean sh#t!! After that, was all downhill! I called a couple times and it would help for few days then same old sh#t! Now, my wife uses most of time and internet goes down literally 10-12 times DAILY! Thought it may be obsolete modem which is only 2 yrs. old. If you say they can’t affect MY modem then I have no clue. The two big GIANTS of provider industry are Comcast and AT&T; you either take one or the other. They got you right by the cajones!!
Dumb ass autocorrect!! Should say first 6 mo. SO-SO.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THIS ARTICLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just bought my own modem and router. Going to hook it up today. What do I do with the comcast modem-router that I was renting? Send it back? And do I just call them up and tell them I’m done with it so stop charging me?
You have to drop it off at a Comcast service location (and make sure you get a receipt).
and save that receipt because they will keep charging you and saying that you did not return the equipment when you did. And then you have to find your receipt and prove it to them when they gave you that receipt in the first place.
I fell over a cable “installed” across my livingroom floor to a tv box that NEVER worked, & after 1 year they determined yes it did NOT work like I said, sent a new box (charged me $20 for sending working box) then when mgr. came out he pulled the cable up off the floor, but refused to take the tv box (I never used or wanted) so now they are charging me $2.50 a month for “unreturned inactivated equipment” for the box. I’m disabled & can’t get the box out myself. Then went 2 mo with no internet bc they said my modem was working when it was not, when they FINALLY came out with a new one he stayed on his cell phone & “forgot”? the tv box I begged him to take. My ins.co. ate the injury expenses, wish there were lawyers in this 1-hick town but I’m not well enough to sue anybody anyway. They just keep screwing & screwing me.
This was a outstanding informative post you have shared on this page about the output of Comcast public wiffi hotspot ,But if want to connect more devices with the wireless router then you must secure then you must secure the transmission medium of sending a packets over a network by using the switching techniques with router because technique also send a message to the user if someone try to hack your system files over a network ,so this device provide high security to the files on a system .
I had purchased my router from Comcast when I moved (I paid too much, but it was easier) but after a few years Comcast recently contacted me and said they didn’t support that model anymore, and that it didn’t handle my upgraded Internet speed. I tried the manufacturer’s site and sure enough, it wasn’t supported (there were no further firmware updates). Comcast had been providing the firmware updates until the manufacturer’s support ended. Comcast also said that they wouldn’t be able to support the router or diagnose any Internet issue if it was my own router/modem (I might be mistaken if they said this after support ended). I suspected it was just a scam to get me to pay the rental, but when I tested the wireless between the old and new router, I did see a doubling of the speed over wireless with the new router, and I could now use the xFi app, but of course I am paying $11 per month now. I also have 5Ghz support in addition to 2.4Ghz.
On the topic of xFi, I live in an apartment building, and I occasionally get a message that a new device has connected to my network, but it’s not any of my devices. I block that device, but am not sure why they are connecting to my router, or if I get notified even when they aren’t truly connected, but are just trying to connect. The modem does support wired networking over cable (called MoCA), so I wonder if a filter is needed Lastly, while wired connections typically are faster, I found that the Ethernet card in my new laptop only supported 100Mbps, so my wireless was actually faster! I use Internet Speed Test (www.speedtest.net, or mobile app downloads) to test my speed, and my iPhone app shows the fastest speed. With my service of “Performance Pro Internet”, on my iPhone I get 179Mbps down, and 6Mbps up, which is higher than the rated 150/5, however with my laptop right next to the phone I only get 77Mbps down and 6Mbps up. Now I’m wondering why my laptop wireless only goes up to 77Mbps, when it’s connected through a 5Ghz 802.11ac connection (which reportedly supports up to 1,300Mbps). Maybe my antivirus is slowing things down?
It’s the American way! I wish more people understood how much they can save going out and buying a $55 modem compatible with Comcast and save so much money. I think a lot of people do not think they are tech savvy enough to set it up. Usually the directions are easy to follow, or maybe they have a relative or friend who could help them. Comcast’s business model is based on greed, pure and simple.
#1 It doesn’t slow down your main line (most hotspots are at 60mpbs MAX and a home line is 200-400mbps on a SEPARATE line) and as I use Comcast there is no noticeable difference in internet speeds on either line as the hardware is built to handle both.
#2 An extra wifi antenna running through the modem uses a VERY little amount of extra electricity
It’s meant so guests in your house (who are also Comcast customers) don’t use up your main bandwidth (which is limited, but another issue in itself admittingly)
Telling people to NOT use this service almost seems like a ploy to get people to turn it off (because Comcast WANTS this now that they actually charge people for the main-line bandwidth, yet not the public wifi hotspot)
Congrats you actually are just doing what Comcast WANTS you to do by turning it off…
btw by bandwidth I mean “data”, Comcast limits this to roughly 1TB a month on your main line, if you go over that amount they can charge you anywhere up to $200 depending how far over you went!!! (no joke!)
The way you describe the matter is really quite amazing, Please share your view regularly.
I currently rent the Voice and Data Modem
ARRIS Group, Inc. TG1682G
Serial #: F8A097A8D73B
How would I know which modem to buy?
I updated the post with some modem/router combos for you.
Thank you for your articles. They’re much appreciated.
You listed modem & router recommendations. I’m confused about which one I need. I thought there was a product available that did both of those functions…….sorry – I’m not very techy.
You need both. There are units that do both, but they typically are not great, and it’s better to buy separate in case one fails or gets outdated.
This is the most useful thing I have read on the internet in years. Looking forward to seeing how this affects my service before calling them this weekend. Thanks for sharing!
This thread is really opening my eyes – Thanks to everyone here! I’m nearing the end of my Frontier Triple Play deal and their service for the state I live in has been sold to WAVE Broadband, who I personally wouldn’t recommend to anyone. (That’s just my opinion. I was in ENG and OPS for MCI and other former “big boy telecom players” for many years.) SO – where I live the only choices are Frontier and Comcast – and I left Comcast due to the unending price hikes. Now Frontier/WAVE is hiking their prices too – mine by nearly $90/month on top of what I already pay them – and a cell phone hotspot is not fast enough for everything I do online including streaming my internet radio shows to a satellite via encoder. Now I’m shopping for just internet as my cell phone company has a great deal for Veterans (I’m one!) and I’m going to streaming services for TV. Again, I’m restricted to just Frontier and Comcast, and choosing the lesser of two evils is next to impossible. Any ideas here in the Community? Thanks in advance!
I currently have the Comcast modem/router that supports 1Gbps and also use the voice for a lan line in my house and am interested in getting my own equipment.
The models I viewed above don’t have the phone jacks. Or did I miss it?
Thanks for providing the info on disabling the WiFi hotspot. My kids use that to get around the Internet filtering and limits.
Modems typically don’t have phone jacks, but routers do.
Thank you for your article. Would you recommend just buying a modem router instead of a modem and a router separately? That way it would be simpler and cheaper. It would be to support up to 60 mbps, for 2 people in an 800 sqft apartment. The one I’m looking at is the TP-Link Archer CR500. Would that be a good purchase?
I recommend buying separate. That way you can upgrade the individual component if it becomes obsolete. They are also more reliable as separate components. And often times, buying separate costs less than a combined device.
”However, it still leaves you with an overpriced modem rental fee and a device that uses more electricity than a typical modem/router combo.”
Have you tested this? I bet a combo device uses about the same electricity as a a modem/router. Probably less.
The only reason I am using the XB6 modem is to remove the bandwidth cap of 1TB/month. I had been coming very close several months in a row of over that limit. I only have internet and do all of our TV via streaming so we use a ton of data. Without the XB6 it would cost me an additional $50/month to remove that cap! To me, it was the lesser or two evils.
I ended up disabling the WiFi and disabling the public hotspot as well as put the modem into bridge mode to allow my router to be the smart device in the network.
Use punctuation people! It’s very important, and frustrating for those of us who were actually taught how to write and speak the English language. I have to read some sentences over and over, to comprehend what some of you are trying to say! Example: Let’s eat grandma OR Let’s eat, grandma! See the difference? What a different meaning without a simple comma, huh? And if you still don’t understand after this example, then God bless your heart!! Great site btw! I have recently downgraded my service, returned a rental wifi modem, and a DVR box myself and have saved $25/mo. That’s $300/yr. Woo hoo!!Comcast will eventually pay for screwing their customers all of these years! The mighty always fall eventually, and fall hard! I absolutely despise them, and am a former employee. Greedy and shady to the core!
Sorry to say even if you own your own router they will still make it a hotspot. I’v been all over my account and there is no way of turning it off.
That’s not true – XFinity routers are specifically built for it.