Skip to content

How to Turn Off Your Xfinity Wi-Fi Hotspot

Having issues with the Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot on your home network? In this guide, I‘ll explain what these controversial hotspots are, address security concerns, and most importantly, show you step-by-step how to disable the hotspot on your Xfinity router.

What is Xfinity Wi-Fi and How Does it Work?

First, let‘s cover the basics. Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots are secondary networks that Comcast has enabled on customers‘ home and business Internet modems. Since 2013, they‘ve been controversially leveraging their customers‘ hardware to provide public Wi-Fi access.

Here‘s how it works: your Xfinity modem broadcasts two signals simultaneously – your private home Wi-Fi, and a "public" hotspot network. While Comcast claims they use separate antennas, the hotspot still relies on the same physical modem hardware as your personal connection.

The idea is that other Xfinity customers can conveniently access Wi-Fi through these hotspots when they‘re out and about. The hotspot signal is encrypted and initially only visible to other Xfinity account holders.

As an Xfinity Internet subscriber, you don‘t get charged any additional fees for keeping your hotspot enabled. However, there are valid security concerns with this arrangement, which I‘ll dig into next.

Security Risks of Xfinity Wi-Fi Hotspots

Despite Comcast claiming otherwise, cybersecurity experts warn the Xfinity hotspots pose the following risks:

  • Since it broadcasts from your home modem, your hardware could potentially be compromised via the hotspot network. Any flaws that allow access to the hotspot could be leveraged to breach your private connection.

  • Your laptop, phone, or tablet may automatically connect to Xfinity hotspots as you move around town, without you realizing it. This allows your device to transmit data and emails over public Wi-Fi without your knowledge.

  • Any Xfinity subscriber could access your home hotspot. This includes bad actors who may attempt to find vulnerabilities in your particular modem firmware and exploit them to breach your personal network.

  • In 2017, a major flaw was revealed that allowed spoofing Xfinity customer identities by using fake MAC addresses through the hotspots. This demonstrates the risks of the system.

For these reasons, many IT and security professionals recommend completely disabling your Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot unless you specifically need it for guests. By default, the hotspot capability remains on, opening up an additional attack vector into your home network.

How Prevalent Are Xfinity Wi-Fi Hotspots?

To understand the scale of this issue, it helps to look at some numbers:

  • 18 million – Estimated number of Xfinity hotspots nationwide as of 2018, many in customer homes.

  • Approx 50% – Percentage of Xfinity Internet customers estimated to have an active hotspot on their modem currently.

  • Up to 1Gbps – Speed of Xfinity‘s hotspot connectivity, on par with their residential service tiers.

  • 8-10 million – Projected number of hotspots Comcast hoped to activate on home networks by the end of 2018.

It‘s clear this program has succeeded in deploying millions of public Wi-Fi access points leveraged from residential connections. However, research shows only around half of customers take steps to disable the hotspot.

Documented Security Issues

In addition to the theoretical vulnerabilities above, there have been several documented security issues related to Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots:

  • 2017 – Researchers disclosed a flaw that allowed impersonating legitimate Xfinity subscribers by spoofing MAC addresses. This compromised Wi-Fi security.

  • 2021 – A study found inconsistent encryption methods across different Xfinity hotspot locations, including vulnerable WEP encryption.

  • 2022 – Security firm Kaspersky revealed over 100 actively exploited firmware vulnerabilities affecting 19 different router models, including some Xfinity gateway modems.

These examples further validate why relying on your ISP‘s equipment and defaults may not be the wisest approach for protecting your home network.

Step-by-Step: How to Turn Off Xfinity Wi-Fi Hotspot

If you wish to disable your Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot due to the concerns outlined above, the good news is it only takes a few minutes.

You have two options to turn off the hotspot capabilities on your Xfinity gateway modem:

Via the Xfinity App

  1. Launch the Xfinity app on your iOS or Android device. Sign in with your Xfinity account credentials.

  2. Tap on "See Network" from the menu.

  3. Select "Advanced Settings" on the next screen.

  4. Scroll down and choose "Xfinity WiFi Hotspot."

  5. Slide the toggle switch left to the Off position.

The Xfinity app provides the easiest way to quickly disable your hotspot. Just make sure to have the latest version installed.

Via Xfinity Website

You can also turn off the hotspot through your account dashboard on Comcast‘s website:

  1. Go to and sign in to your Xfinity account.

  2. Click on Settings from the top menu.

  3. Select "Security" then click on "Hotspot."

  4. Click the blue "Turn Off" button on the Hotspot page.

  5. Confirm you want to disable the Xfinity hotspot by clicking "Turn Off" again on the pop-up.

This method works great if you prefer managing your Xfinity services through the web portal.

For Other Devices

The process may be slightly different if accessing your Xfinity gateway admin screen directly through the modem IP address. You can also disable the hotspot through router settings on Windows PCs, Mac computers, and other devices. Refer to Comcast‘s step-by-step instructions for more device-specific guidance.

Instead of Disabling, How to Secure Your Hotspot

If you find the Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot functionality useful for when guests visit, there are a few steps you can take to lock it down:

  • Change your Wi-Fi network names (SSIDs) to be unique rather than the default XFINITY. This makes it harder to identify.

  • Enable your modem‘s firewall to block unwanted access.

  • Set up MAC address filtering on your modem admin page to limit devices allowed to connect.

However, the most guaranteed way to close this potential entry point into your network is still fully disabling the hotspot feature.

Beyond Disabling Hotspot: How to Further Secure Home Network

In addition to turning off your Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot, here are some expert tips to better secure your home wireless network:

Use a strong router password – Change your Wi-Fi password to something random, 20+ characters in length, with numbers, symbols, uppercase and lowercase letters.

Encrypt your network – Make sure your router is using WPA3 or WPA2 encryption, not the outdated WEP.

Update firmware – Download the latest firmware for your gateway modem and router to get security patches.

Enable firewall – Turn on the firewall via your router admin console to control access.

Check connected devices – Periodically review all devices connected to your network and remove any unknown/unused ones.

Use a VPN – Adding a VPN encryption layer like NordVPN or ExpressVPN enhances security.

Consider third-party router – For maximum control, use a standalone router not rented from your ISP.

Following cybersecurity best practices for your home Wi-Fi is crucial to protect your network and devices, especially with vulnerabilities like Xfinity hotspots present.

Common Xfinity Wi-Fi Questions

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about managing Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots:

Do Xfinity hotspots impact my home Internet speed?

No, Comcast says the hotspot and your private Wi-Fi use separate channels, so you shouldn‘t see degraded performance.

Does Xfinity charge for hotspot usage?

No extra fees are charged. However, to access hotspots you need an Xfinity Internet subscription.

Can I see who‘s using my Xfinity hotspot?

Unfortunately no, there is currently no way to view usage details or connected devices through the Xfinity app or web portal.

What‘s the range of an Xfinity hotspot?

Around 45 feet indoors. The signal is transmitted from your modem but intended for use within your residence.

How else can I access Xfinity hotspots?

Non-subscribers can purchase an Xfinity Wi-Fi Pass for $20 monthly to access hotspots without an Xfinity account.

In Summary

I hope this guide has helped explain how to disable the controversial Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots that pose security risks. While the networking technology is clever, it opens up potential vulnerabilities by broadcasting a public network from your private home modem hardware.

Take a few minutes to turn off your Xfinity hotspot using the mobile app or website instructions I provided. You can also enable additional wireless security precautions like updating passwords, firewalls, and encryptions.

Please let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m happy to help you secure your home Wi-Fi network.


Streamr Go

StreamrGo is always about privacy, specifically protecting your privacy online by increasing security and better standard privacy practices.