Comcast Xfinity - few details without asking the thieves

wutang112878

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Nov 5, 2007
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I'm considering going to Xfinity. Currently I've just got the old DVR and the old cable modem setup. I've got a few things I'd like to sort out and I think the Xfinity sales people would just tell me whatever I need to hear to get me to switch.

1 - Does Xfinity turn that special box into a Wifi hotspot for others around you to use? I'm not super security crazy but I just dont like the idea of this.

2 - Where does the box have to be setup? I've got a closet in my office that I basically turned into a server room and it has a coax input, electrical outlets and a network line that goes from the closet to my living room. I connect my cable modem to a switch which powers my laptop, a VOIP device and serves as the input to living room network. In my living room I've got my wireless router for my house which is also hard-wired to my tv. I'd like to keep this setup and dont want to put the wireless router in my closet because the reception isnt very good downstairs and I found it interferes with my wireless keyboard and mouse. So can I put the Xfinity box in the closet?

3 - How do the DVRs connect? Are they just plugged into a coax? The reason I ask is that with the ability to watch a show in any room, I'm wondering if the coax from outside has to run to the Xfinity box and then from there get fed out to the rest of the house so thats the connection point for all the boxes.

4 - Can you actually administer the Xfinity box? Basically I want to be able to log into it and create my own password and turn off the Wifi. I also work from home so the administration / security piece is pretty crucial to me.
 

DanoooME

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Mar 16, 2008
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Richmond, VA
1. Basically yes, it is secure with your own username and password you set up yourself. We have a 3 BR apt and it's in one of the bedrooms.
2. It should be able to go anywhere. The BR the box is in acts as my wife's office and she has her door closed frequently. I don't have any issues with wireless reception.
3. DVRs do plug into coax. Our apartment complex is brand new, so all of the wiring was already built into the walls, and the outside connections were already run, but it's your standard coax connections to the boxes and from outside.
4. Yes, they have you set up an account to administer everything, even from a mobile app. I've never tried turning off the Wifi, so I don't know if that's possible, but I'm guessing you can.

Hope this helps.
 

wutang112878

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Nov 5, 2007
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You are awesome. Now the only thing I need to confirm is turning the Wifi off, but I have to imagine I can do that if I get to administer the thing
 

SumnerH

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Jul 18, 2005
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You can also buy your own surfboard and wifi router rather than using theirs, which you can administer as usual. This is generally a lot cheaper, too, since they charge you $5-10/month to rent theirs and you can buy them for a total of $80 or so.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Nov 16, 2004
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I wouldn't bother with the Comcast router / wifi combo. It's really a piece of crap and as Sumner said, they'll charge you $10 a month.

I went from getting about 20mb / second with the Comcast Combo Box to over 200mb/second with a Surfboard Modem and Archer Router. Total investment was about $150 or break even in 15 months.

If you do stick with that piece of crap, go here to turn off the Xfiniti Wifi Hotspot:

http://customer.xfinity.com/help-and-support/internet/disable-xfinity-wifi-home-hotspot/
 

wutang112878

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Nov 5, 2007
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Ah, so this is even better. I thought when I went to Xfinity I had to get their wifi combo router. But I'm actually thinking of converting over one of my VOIP lines to a comcast landline which I'm guessing is going to have to come off of the combo in which case I'm back to square 1
 

rymflaherty

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Jun 27, 2010
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Norfolk
Unless they've changed things (I moved about 9 months ago and no longer have XFinity) they allowed you to opt out of the Wi-Fi hot spot stuff.
I wasn't thrilled about that either so I was happy to see they had clear instructions nn how to turn that off, but it turned out I had equipment that wasn't even compatible with that so itnwas a non-issue.
 

Boggs26

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Jul 12, 2005
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Ashburnham, MA
You can also buy your own surfboard and wifi router rather than using theirs, which you can administer as usual. This is generally a lot cheaper, too, since they charge you $5-10/month to rent theirs and you can buy them for a total of $80 or so.
So I have a very good Wireless router of my own and would be interested in the surfboard modem. How difficult is it to switch from their equipment to mine? Do I just have to return their modem and tell them I have my own equipment? Or is there some big process I have to go through?

Edit: which model surfboard do you recommend?
 

HriniakPosterChild

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Jul 6, 2006
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You'll need to CAT5-connect a PC directly to your new modem, open a browser, and have your account number handy to fill in some forms when they sniff the new equipment connected to their network. Once you do that and the new equipment is provisioned, it's no big deal.
 

Boggs26

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Jul 12, 2005
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Ashburnham, MA
Ok, that sounds simple enough. Will there be significant performance differences based on which surfboard I get? Seems like there is a pretty large price range (from $70-$200 or so).
 

NortheasternPJ

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Nov 16, 2004
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I went with the 6141. (Tried to link to amazon but it won't work)

It's cheaper at this point than the 6121 and can do 343 megs. I couldn't justify or find a great reason to go to a higher model.

You'll need to CAT5-connect a PC directly to your new modem, open a browser, and have your account number handy to fill in some forms when they sniff the new equipment connected to their network. Once you do that and the new equipment is provisioned, it's no big deal.
You're showing your age here, cat 5 / 5e is so 2006. Go Cat6 at least!
 

HriniakPosterChild

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Jul 6, 2006
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I went with the 6141. (Tried to link to amazon but it won't work)

It's cheaper at this point than the 6121 and can do 343 megs. I couldn't justify or find a great reason to go to a higher model.



You're showing your age here, cat 5 / 5e is so 2006. Go Cat6 at least!
I show my age everywhere I go. I had cat6 run through my walls in 2004, and that stuff is stiffer than a coat hanger.
 

wutang112878

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Nov 5, 2007
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Now that this has taking a networking tangent, does anyone know how to wire cat5 connectors? I had my house rewired and I had my electrician run Cat5 to each room, but I wasnt specific enough. In the panel in my basement I have 1 line as a source that then is basically split into 6 lines that go back up to the various bedrooms and I've never been able to get any of these cables to work. I think the proper setup is to have a switch so my 1 source line then gets split out by the switch and not split out by being hard-wired together. Make sense??
 

DrBlinky

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Jun 18, 2002
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Cranston, RI
Now that this has taking a networking tangent, does anyone know how to wire cat5 connectors? I had my house rewired and I had my electrician run Cat5 to each room, but I wasnt specific enough. In the panel in my basement I have 1 line as a source that then is basically split into 6 lines that go back up to the various bedrooms and I've never been able to get any of these cables to work. I think the proper setup is to have a switch so my 1 source line then gets split out by the switch and not split out by being hard-wired together. Make sense??
Correct. The switch is going to serve as the traffic cop directing all the packets where they need to go. With everything spliced into a single cable, nothing's going to work properly. An electrician really spliced them all into one? I understand electricians aren't necessarily network techs, but I would have thought they would have known better than that.
 

wutang112878

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Nov 5, 2007
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Yeah, I was pretty shocked too. The line that goes directly from my closet/server room to my living room works perfectly and it was maybe a month after he left that I went to try out all the other network wiring in the house. He had to wire my entire addition and it did it at a favor price so I wasnt about to demand he come back in fix it because I didnt have a use for any of the other wiring anyway. I just figured I could fix this on my own before I needed it because it looks like all I need to do is wire all the individual wires into a Cat5 connector and then plug those into a switch.

This is what it looks like, the office closet which is my mini server room is the source. The first time I looked at it I thought he misunderstood what I wanted and his intent was for me to be able to plug in an active Cat5 line into my server room and then use 1 of the lines in the receiving room, but that doesnt even work and I'm assuming its because the splicing weakens the connection so much.