Well, you’re probably getting pretty used to the idea of your private information being accessible to the government, but how do you feel about sharing it with people who happen to have the same internet provider as you?
Uproxx is reporting that Comcast is planning to turn customer’s private WiFi “gateways” into public Wi-Fi zones. The thinking behind it goes something like this: if you’re a Comcast customer, and you’re far from your network, why not see if there are some other Comcast subscribers in the neighborhood and use their WiFi? It’s all a part of Comcast’s node program.
The reason this idea should be reconsidered is fairly obvious: first of all, allowing any person, or collection of people, in your neighborhood to share your WiFi will downgrade the quality of your WiFi considerably. Tom Nagel, senior vice president of business development for Comcast, dismissed this notion by saying that the signal available to the visiting public and the signal of the original user will not be the same. Put another way: “Our broadband customers will continue to get the service that they are paying for,” says Nagel. We here at FlashRouters are not so certain.
Then there’s also the issue of security. If anyone can just hop onto my WiFi network, doesn’t that potentially threaten my information (credit-card data, e-mails)?
If you’re using the latest version of Comcast’s WiFi “gateway”, then be warned: this initiative is the default option. If you’d like to reject it outright (something we wholeheartedly recommend) you must choose to opt out of it. So call Comcast and do this right away.