I recently discovered and would like to use Xfinity Wifi around town. However, it seems like a remarkably dangerous thing to do, even if you do confirm an access point's location via their geo-location app (e.g. high population density locations). They have a security profile that you can download but it only works with some access points - perhaps it's an encryption key of some sort?

Is this access point any more or less secure than other public wifi access points? It's not as open as a fully public wifi AP - you need Comcast credentials to join... but it's also a single sign-on design. If the "security profile" is used does this change the relative security of the connection?

1 Answer 1



Because there is no encryption over the wifi connection between your device and the xfinity gateway you are vulnerable to a man in the middle attack at the least!

Additionally, xfinity public wifi does not allow VPN connections which severely limit the security you could hope to give yourself. It is considered a breach of ToS as seen here.

My advice is to stay away from any public wifi especially those that do not allow VPN use.

Also note that it is very difficult to determine the physical location of an access point so you are still vulnerable to an evil twin attack.

Update 1

It appears that VPNs now work with xfinity [citation needed] based on my own experiment today but the speeds are insanely throttled.

Also note that they appear to offer and suggest you use their app to connect through which presumably uses a VPN they control although that also means they could (probably do) intercept all traffic (even SSL) to make sure you arent violating any ToS -eg torrenting.

  • xfinity does not allow VPN connection do you have a reference? Is this only for the public WiFi? Jan 26, 2016 at 1:24
  • @NeilSmithline, this was from personal experimentation and yes only for the public wifi (I'll add that clarification as well as a reference if I can find it). Jan 26, 2016 at 13:05
  • TOS seems to say VPN is OK. Did I misread? Jan 26, 2016 at 14:35
  • It is allowed when connecting via a residential gateway the public wifi is not a residential gateway... Jan 26, 2016 at 16:31
  • @MatthewPeters are you sure? When I look at the link you provide, it doesn't mention “residential gateway” at any point.
    – amara
    Nov 6, 2016 at 1:56

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