Comcast Xfinity is one of, if not the most widely available internet providers in the US. And along with bringing cable internet to every town, suburb, and metropolis, Xfinity is also using your modem to spread its Wi-Fi signal across the country.
How to Turn Xfinity Wi-Fi Internet Sharing On or Off
Yes, we’re talking about the modem you rent for $13 a month. Xfinity is using your modem to give everyone, including those that aren’t Xfinity customers, Wi-Fi access through more than eight million hotspots.
But before you get table-flipping mad, let’s talk about how Xfinity Wi-Fi internet on the go works, how you can turn it off, and what to do if it’s not working. After all, more Wi-Fi could be a good thing, right?
How to get Xfinity Wi-Fi internet on the go
If you have a compatible Xfinity Wi-Fi modem, your Wi-Fi hotspot is automatically turned on. That means you can search for the “xfinitywifi” network to hop on your own hotspot—or hop on a hotspot generated by someone else’s Xfinity modem.
Xfinity stresses that the hotspots are entirely separate from your home Wi-Fi network. That means your personal data allowance shouldn’t get used up, and your internet speed shouldn’t slow down if someone logs into your hotspot.
Some people remain skeptical about this, though, and we can’t say we blame them. So jump ahead if you want to know how to turn off your modem’s Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot.
How much does an Xfinity WiFi On Demand pass cost?
As of December 17, 2020, Xfinity WiFi on Demand passes are no longer available for purchase.
However, Xfinity mobile and Xfinity internet customers with a Fast plan or above get access to the Wi-Fi hotspots for free.
If you need Wi-Fi and an Xfinity hotspot is available, you don’t need to exchange passwords to get your Xfinity internet on the go—you’ll use your own Xfinity account info to sign in.
Find out what your Xfinity internet plan is
Don’t remember what Xfinity Wi-Fi plan you signed up for? We feel you—all those plan names kind of blend together after a while. But there’s an easy way to check your Xfinity plan details.
Sign in to your Xfinity account and take a look at a PDF of your billing statement. You should find your plan name on page three. Ah, yes, the “Performa-Gig-Ultra-High-Speed-Blastoff” plan. We remember now.
How to find Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots
How to turn your Xfinity home hotspot on or off
Some of us remain skeptical about whether sharing our Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot reduces our internet speed and eats up our data cap or not. And even though Xfinity swears its public hotspot feature doesn’t take away from your home internet plan, you can still opt to turn off that hotspot if you like.
Here’s how to turn off your Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot:
- Go to your Xfinity account and sign in.
- Click the Internet link below your billing information.
- Click on the name of your modem in the list of your internet devices.
- Find Home hotspot under your internet device settings. Toggle it on or off.
- You may need to confirm your decision to turn the hotspot on or off, and you may also see a confirmation message that your hotspot is now turned off.
What if you don’t see a place to switch your home hotspot on or off? More than likely, your modem doesn’t support the home hotspot feature. That also means it’s not sharing a hotspot to the public, so rest easy.
What to do if your Xfinity hotspot isn’t working
Throwing a party and your guests can’t hop on your Xfinity Wi-Fi? Or maybe your neighbors need to borrow your signal, but they can’t find a hotspot?
The answer could be as simple as remembering that you recently set up your new Xfinity Wi-Fi modem, which takes up to 24 hours to start broadcasting that hotspot signal. But if you suspect user error or something else, here’s what to do if your Xfinity hotspot is giving you trouble:
- Grab a Wi-Fi-enabled device like your tablet or cell phone and take a look at the available networks.
- Connect your device to the “xfinitywifi” hotspot network. If you don’t see “xfinitywifi” listed, make sure the hotspot is turned on.
- Open your web browser and try visiting a website of your choice. (Google is always a good go-to.)
- You should be automatically redirected to the Xfinity Wi-Fi sign-in page. You can sign in to your Xfinity account here and start browsing the web, or pay for a Wi-Fi On Demand pass if you’re not an Xfinity customer.
- If you’re still having trouble connecting to the Wi-Fi hotspot, check to see how many Wi-Fi bars your device has. If you only have one or two bars, try moving closer to where the hotspot signal is coming from.
But wait! What if your Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot is working too well, and your wireless devices always connect to it instead of your home network?
Well, you can always manually select your home network any time your device automatically connects to the xfinitywifi hotspot. But if you want to learn how to make your device prioritize your home network over the hotspot network, we recommend checking out Xfinity’s connection guides for various Mac and PC devices.
Other Internet provider options
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Yes, you can share your Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot with up to five devices in your home. If your visitors are also Xfinity customers, they can easily hop on your hotspot by signing into their Xfinity account. If your visitors aren’t Xfinity customers, they can also use your hotspot for free.
Xfinity states that your internet speed will not slow down if someone connects to the Wi-Fi hotspot network that your Gateway modem is broadcasting. However, your Wi-Fi network may see slower speeds—but this is normal because Wi-Fi tends to slow down as more devices connect to it.
To address the issue of slower Wi-Fi speeds, Xfinity says it has optimized its Wi-Fi “to support robust usage.”1
But heads up: a 2018 test by Speedify, a VPN company, shows that enabling Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots may bump up your electric bill.2 This is because broadcasting the hotspot signal puts additional stress on your modem.
Xfinity states that the owner of the Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot is not accountable for any activities and data usage taking place on their hotspot. That’s a huge sigh of relief, especially if strangers are using your hotspot.
Your home address won’t show up on the Xfinity WiFi Hotspots app maps or the web-based hotspot location map.
However, Xfinity does say that, in the future, they might use general indicators of Xfinity Wi-Fi home hotspot availability around a neighborhood, but only in a manner that assures the privacy of our customers.” So it may be worth keeping an eye on what kind of information is shared through the hotspot location app and map if this is something that concerns you.
The Xfinity Wi-Fi access pass, also known as the Xfinity WiFi On Demand pass, allowed you to purchase hotspot access even if you weren't an existing Xfinity customer. Xfinity discontinued this service option as of December 17, 2020.
Turn your phone into a mobile hotspot.
Find out more about Xfinity internet.
- Xfinity, “Xfinity Wi-Fi Home Hotspots FAQs”
- Speedify, “Is Your Comcast Public Hotspot Costing You Real Money?”