Speedify Brings Comcast “xfinitywifi” Zombie Hotspots Back to Life

Ryan Van Dongen Blog, Improve Internet Reliability

Tired of your xfinitywifi hotspot not working?

By mikeh

Managing Wi-Fi on my smartphone is annoying. At home, I use Wi-Fi to get fast Internet without using my monthly cellular data. But when I leave the house, my Wi-Fi radio is still on, auto-connecting to known networks. Very often, that network will be a Comcast “xfinitywifi” free Wi-Fi hotspot, and that’s where the trouble starts.

These Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots cover many US cities. Sometimes, Xfinity is the only connection available. But after I join one out of desperation, my phone automatically attaches to them everywhere I go. “Why is Facebook taking 10 minutes to load?” I wonder. Then I realize my phone has connected to one of Comcast’s many zombie hotspots.

Why do I keep getting stuck on broken “xfinitywifi” free wifi hotspots?

Smartphones are bad at detecting poor Wi-Fi networks, and they default to Wi-Fi instead of LTE when it’s available. Connecting to a bad Wi-Fi hotspot is often the same as having no internet at all.

This leads to most people in “Comcast Country” either telling their phones to “Forget” the Xfinity Wi-Fi network so it won’t connect, or actually turning off their phone’s Wi-Fi to get off the broken hotspot. But once they do this, their phone won’t join other working Wi-Fi hotspots either, wasting valuable 4G data.

On the hunt for zombie hotspots

I wanted to see if Speedify would really solve this problem by intelligently choosing the best connection in real-time. I would leave my Wi-Fi radio on, and if it connects to an Xfinity hotspot and the bandwidth is good, I’d enjoy a nice speed boost and save cellular usage. If the connection is bad, Speedify will automatically pipe my Facebook feed through the LTE connection. This should be a win-win!

To prove this, I biked around Philadelphia connecting to Xfinity hotspots. Some of them were unusable, some of them were surprisingly fast. Here’s what I found:

Rittenhouse Square

First, I went to Rittenhouse Square Park at 19th and Walnut St. There was an Xfinity hotspot accessible on the NW corner. This one was pretty fast:

Xfinity (in Mb/s) LTE (in Mb/s) Speedify Bonding (in Mb/s)
15.90 18.06 31.36

Using the Speedtest.net app, I clocked this Xfinity hotspot at 15.9 Mb/s. This is a case where Speedify can save your phone’s data limit. Since the free hotspot is plenty fast to watch a YouTube video in the park, Speedify will prefer that connection. But since we also care about speed, I tested the combined Wi-Fi+LTE performance. Speedify was able to use my Sprint LTE connection in conjunction with Xfinity Wi-Fi for a total bandwidth of 31.36 Mb/s!

Chinatown

Next, I headed over to Chinatown at 10th and Arch St. Here, I was connected to a dreaded zombie hotspot!

Xfinity (in Mb/s) LTE (in Mb/s) Speedify Bonding (in Mb/s)
0.64 5.67 7.10

Usually, this would be a problem scenario. My phone connects to the hotspot, but the hotspot’s internet is unusably slow. YouTube fails to load video, Facebook takes several minutes to update, etc. But Speedify detects the poor hotspot performance and prioritized my LTE for a decent 7.10 Mb/s connection.

Wawa (Washington Square)

Finally, I rode to the Wawa at Washington Square Park (9th and Walnut). The Xfinity hotspot here was faster than my 4G connection:

Xfinity (in Mb/s) LTE (in Mb/s) Speedify Bonding (in Mb/s)
13.63 9.37 18.74

The nice thing about Speedify is its flexibility. The channel bonding technology is always able to give me the best available network experience. Here, Speedify was able to bond the stronger Xfinity connection with my weaker LTE signal for total of 18.74 Mb/s.

Speedify fixes Comcast’s “free” Wi-Fi

When they work, Xfinity hotspots can be a godsend. They’re ubiquitous, they’re “free” (with a $200/month Comcast account that is), and some of the time they provide a solid internet connection. However, when they don’t work, they’re frustrating and really interrupt your browsing experience.

Speedify uses Xfinity intelligently, so you can enjoy their benefits without getting bitten by zombie hotspots.

Get Online Security and Privacy with Speedify

Along with the revolutionary technology to combine multiple connections, Speedify is also a fast next-generation VPN for mobility. This means that it encrypts all online communications between your device and the Internet, so that your online privacy is enforced and you get protected from cyber hackers looking to steal your sensitive data, such as credit cards, Facebook account, etc.

Leave the zombies to the other world and enjoy a fast, reliable and secure Internet experience. Get started with Speedify today for FREE – no strings attached, no email sign-up necessary, no logging of data!

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