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How To Get Around Comcast's Data Cap

newtekie1

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#1
This is a little guide on how to, temporarily, get around Comcast's data cap. It assumed you have a little networking knowledge, but really not much more than you needed to setup your home network to begin with.

If you only care about the trick, and not any notes or information, just scroll down to the bolded and underlined "This is the trick:".

First of all, I'd like to say that Comcast actually offers unlimited data if you want to pay for it. You can go here and sign up for unlimited data for an extra $50 a month. If you are regularly going over your data limit, and it is enough to cost you $50 or more a month, this might worth considering for you. I've also heard, if you call and argue with them on the phone, they'll give you the unlimited data for $25 a month, but I haven't actually tried that myself. So YMMV.

So this trick relies on all of those Xfinity hotspots that Comcast has installed in pretty much every customer's home/business, that are totally free for Comcast customers to use. The thing with these hotspots is Comcast does not track how much data you use when you are connected to the hotspots. So we can use that to our advantage. Everyone hated them when they started showing up, but now I've figured out how to use against Comcast(plus I actually find them very useful when I'm out and about).

A big note here, I say temporarily, because this method is not perfect. First, I've found that over time, for whatever reason, the connection speed will get slower and slower and eventually drop out completely. You'll still be connected to the hotspot, but you won't have internet. So you have to disconnect and then reconnect to the hotspot. I assume this is probably something Comcast as built into the Hotspots to stop people from just staying connected to them for extended periods of time. Second, in my experience, the connection speed is a lot slower than what I actually get from Comcast directly. My normal connection is 150Mbps, the connection I get through the hotspot is 15-25Mbps. Still very usable, and still enough to stream 1080p youtube and netflix(or 720p if multiple people are doing it at the same time), but noticeably slower than 150Mbps. Though, I also have to point out that I don't actually have a Comcast modem in my home, I own my own, so I have to connect to the Hotspot from my neighbor's modem. So these problems might be a result of the weak signal to which I'm connecting. If you have a comcast issued modem, with a hotspot right in your house, your results might be better. I use my main Comcast connection for most of the money, but if I start to get really close to the data cap, I switch over to use the trick for the last few days of the month just to get me through the month without an overage charge. Forwarding ports won't work, so anything you have forwarded will not work. However, online gaming seems to work just fine, at least on PC, I haven't tried any of the consoles.

Obviously, most people with home network, and multiple computers/devices, probably don't want to be bothered to switch them all over to use a Comcast hotspot individually. That is annoying, and plus Comcast limits you to only 10 devices on your account using their hotspots. Also, it would break any internal network you have, since none of the devices would be able to communicate with eachother.

So, we want a way connect to a Comcast hotspot with one device, but then have your entire network use that single connection to the Comcast hotspot.

This is the trick:

What you will need:
  • A Router Seperate From The Comcast Modem/Router - It doesn't have to be anything fancy. I already have a router seperate from my Comcast modem, and I actually recommend everyone else does as well. So get one. This is the router that I use personally, but obviously not everyone wants to spend $190 on a router, so something like this would also be a good option for only ~$50. But really, you can use any decent router, do a little research and pick one you like if you don't already have one.
  • A spare computer that you don't need to be on your network - It must have a wireless adapter and a wired network port and run Windows.
    • This computer will NOT be on your network when you use the trick. It will act as a go between between the Cocmast Hotspot and the WAN port on your router.
    • There is a way to do this with a computer that is on your network IF that computer has a wifi card, and two ethernet ports. It is a little more complicated to set up, but I'll go over that.

Setting it up:

I'm going to assume that you already have your home network setup using your separate router. If you don't, get everything up and running on the separate router now.

This is how you do it if you are using a spare computer that you don't need to be on your network:
  1. On the spare computer, connect the wireless to the Xfinity Hotspot and go through the process to get the internet working through just the hotspot on the spare computer
  2. Unplug your current Comcast modem from the WAN port on your router
  3. Connect a network cable from the LAN port on the spare computer to the WAN port on your router
  4. In Windows on the spare computer, go to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings
    • or Settings > Network & Interent > Change Adapter Options
  5. Right Click on your wifi adapter that is connected to the Comcast hotspot
  6. Select Properties
  7. Click on the "Sharing" tab in the WiFi Properties window
  8. Check the box next to "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection"
  9. Press OK
  10. Restart your router(you may not need to do this, but sometimes you do to get the router to get a new IP address on the WAN port)
This is how you do it if you are using a computer that is already on your network and you want it to stay connected to your network:
  1. Disconnect both the LAN ports on the computer.
  2. Connect the computer wirelessly to the Comcast Hotspot and make sure it has internet when connect just to the Comcast hotspot
  3. Unplug your current Comcast modem from the WAN port on your router
  4. Connect a network cable from one of the LAN ports on the computer to the WAN port on your router
  5. In Windows on the computer, go to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings
    • or Settings > Network & Interent > Change Adapter Options
  6. Take note of the name of the ethernet adapter that has the cable plugged into it
  7. Right Click on the WiFi adapter
  8. Select Properties
  9. Click on the "Sharing" tab in the WiFi Properties window
  10. Check the box next to "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection"
  11. In the drop down box, select the name of the ethernet adapter that you noted early that has the cable connected to the WAN port of the router
  12. Press OK
  13. Connect the second LAN port on the computer to your LAN(either a LAN port on the router or a network switch connect to a LAN port on your router)
  14. Restart your router(you may not need to do this, but sometimes you do to get the router to get a new IP address on the WAN port)
That's it, your entire network should now be getting an Internet connection through the Comcast hotspot.
 
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#2
Ehhhh I just paid for unlimited data. Much easier and more cost effective
 

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#3
Ehhhh I just paid for unlimited data. Much easier and more cost effective
Easier to just pay for unlimited for sure, but I'm a huge cheap ass...:laugh:
 
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#4
So the trick is your using the Hotspot?
The few times I've tried an Xfinity Hotspot it was slower than molasses. (someone else's connection) Can you get any speed from it?

I tend to watch the cap and rarely go over it. And i don't have any Comcast network equipment
 

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#5
For those of you who are screaming "OMG this is illegal!" The OP is telling you to use another resource, provided free of charge by the ISP. There is nothing wrong with that as it is part of the service you are paying for......Carry on:D
 

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#6
So the trick is your using the Hotspot?
The few times I've tried an Xfinity Hotspot it was slower than molasses. (someone else's connection) Can you get any speed from it?

I tend to watch the cap and rarely go over it. And i don't have any Comcast network equipment
Yes, this trick connects your entire network through a single connection to a hotspot.

Speeds are going to vary depending on how good of a connection you get to the hotspot. Like I said, when I'm connected to a hotspot from my neighbors(because I don't have Comcast's equipment), I get between 15-25Mbps. This is connecting with a Wireless AC connection.
 

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#7
They not capped mine for well over 3 years now, $50 a month and a phone call each year to tell them i will not pay more as seen as Verizon do 100mb up\down for $40.
 

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#8
Ha I have done this while deployed for completely different reasons. Fun to see how it works to get around the nonsense that is concast.

Definitely excited that verizon has the option for unlimited 5G hotspots in home and will probably go that route if AT&T doesn't get their FIOS here anytime soon.
 

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#9
For all the money they make by gouging its customers you think they would have no cap.

Ha I have done this while deployed for completely different reasons. Fun to see how it works to get around the nonsense that is concast.

Definitely excited that verizon has the option for unlimited 5G hotspots in home and will probably go that route if AT&T doesn't get their FIOS here anytime soon.
They are working on ftth in older neighborhoods now.
 

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#10
They are working on ftth in older neighborhoods now.
Had AT&T's FTTH for about 3 months, I switched back to Comcast. AT&T's service was insanely unreliable. It would go down every night randomly in the middle of the night, then again during the day randomly. So every morning I would have to power cycle all of the equipment when I work up, then I'd have to do it again when I got home from work. Every single day!
 
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#11
Its because everyone is cutting the cable. They realize the money is in speed and internet access streaming. I hit about 700Gb a month so the cap is 1000Gb, doesn't really bother me, can't really blame them for trying.
 

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#12
Had AT&T's FTTH for about 3 months, I switched back to Comcast. AT&T's service was insanely unreliable. It would go down every night randomly in the middle of the night, then again during the day randomly. So every morning I would have to power cycle all of the equipment when I work up, then I'd have to do it again when I got home from work. Every single day!
Something was wrong at the VRAD or CO at that point
 

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#13
Something was wrong at the VRAD or CO at that point
Nah, it's just the AT&T service in generally in the NWI/South Suburb area. They spent so long not putting any money into their infrastructure in my area, it just can't support the FTTH. I was hoping FTTH would be better than their other services, but it wasn't.
 

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#14
Nah, it's just the AT&T service in generally in the NWI/South Suburb area. They spent so long not putting any money into their infrastructure in my area, it just can't support the FTTH. I was hoping FTTH would be better than their other services, but it wasn't.
I used to work for them, once in a blue moon it would be a card at 1 end or the other
 
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#15
Its because everyone is cutting the cable. They realize the money is in speed and internet access streaming. I hit about 700Gb a month so the cap is 1000Gb, doesn't really bother me, can't really blame them for trying.
No, the money definitely isn't in the ISP aspect. The money is still solidly in the bloated, high margin video subscriptions, and they are losing video subscribers hand over fist. That's why you get penalized for not having a video subscription, and they keep raising prices, capping packages, and inventing new fees for internet packages. If they don't have you paying $150 a month for the 5 channels you'd actually watch (considering the carriage fees from the content companies only add up to about $20 per customer), they have to recoup some of that money somehow. That's how they managed to post an extra $1 billion in revenue despite losing close to a million video subscribers last year.
 
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#16
I have Fios which does not have a data limit. What is Comcasts data limit?
 
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#17
No, the money definitely isn't in the ISP aspect. The money is still solidly in the bloated, high margin video subscriptions, and they are losing video subscribers hand over fist. That's why you get penalized for not having a video subscription, and they keep raising prices, capping packages, and inventing new fees for internet packages. If they don't have you paying $150 a month for the 5 channels you'd actually watch (considering the carriage fees from the content companies only add up to about $20 per customer), they have to recoup some of that money somehow. That's how they managed to post an extra $1 billion in revenue despite losing close to a million video subscribers last year.
What video subscription? You mean the TV package? It's a business, It's always about money.

I have Fios which does not have a data limit. What is Comcasts data limit?
1024GB
 
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#18
I have Fios which does not have a data limit. What is Comcasts data limit?
1TB per month. Two allowed violation "graces" before big overages.
 
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#19
I have a better solution, use an ISP that provides unlimited access as a standard part of their service.
I have Fios which does not have a data limit. What is Comcasts data limit?
Like this.

Comcast and most other "Cable" based ISP's come as close as they can to breaking the law without actually breaking it. They're effectively thieves.
 
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#20
I have a better solution, use an ISP that provides unlimited access as a standard part of their service.

Like this.

Comcast and most other "Cable" based ISP's are come as close as they can to breaking the law without actually breaking it. They effectively thieves.
Welp sadly where I live no one offers unlimited anymore without an extra charge.
 
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#21
What video subscription? You mean the TV package? It's a business, It's always about money.
Yeah I know, it's ALWAYS about money. Internet subs don't make them anywhere near as much money as the TV packages. There's like 800-1000% markup on TV packages, especially when the packages are structured in a way where you have to get 2 or 3 "add-on" packages in order to get the channels you want. Ever notice that basic never includes the more popular kids' channels? You get Nickelodeon and maybe Disney but you need the $20 "Family Pack" to get Nick Jr, Disney Kids, Sprout, Noggin, Boomerang, Discovery Kids, and all the other stuff the kids want? Or how they always give you Food Network but you need the $10 "Variety" package to get the Cooking Channel - even if you never watch any of the other 19 channels that comes with it? And let's not even mention the premiums... $25 a month for HBO/Cinemax just to watch Game of Thrones (because their movie selection gets moldy and repetitive REAL fast).

Welp sadly where I live no one offers unlimited anymore without an extra charge.
Our fiber ISP (who also sells IPTV and VoIP) uses their uncapped data as a marketing tool. They always put NO DATA CAPS in big print in every one of their print ads for the past 8 years to lure people away from the cable company (who has a 500GB cap) and AT&T (not sure what theirs is but I know they have one). I'd bet 90% of their customers don't even come close (although I've been known to burn up 2-3TB some months because I share my Plex server lol!) but there's just something very enticing about just knowing that you HAVE the unlimited if you ever need it without worrying about a big ass bill or warning at the end of the month.

These stats were reset about 2 weeks ago when I updated pfSense.. So I'm on track for about 1TB this month - and I really haven't done any downloading, this is just streaming and VPN.
 
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#22
No, the money definitely isn't in the ISP aspect. The money is still solidly in the bloated, high margin video subscriptions, and they are losing video subscribers hand over fist. That's why you get penalized for not having a video subscription, and they keep raising prices, capping packages, and inventing new fees for internet packages. If they don't have you paying $150 a month for the 5 channels you'd actually watch (considering the carriage fees from the content companies only add up to about $20 per customer), they have to recoup some of that money somehow. That's how they managed to post an extra $1 billion in revenue despite losing close to a million video subscribers last year.

That status quo isn't going to be maintained in the near foreseeable future as they're in full damage control/borderline panic. They've been snipping channels in their lineup here to keep their revenue numbers up and have things look well on their surface this isn't a sustainable strategy and is a matter of time.

Lastest casualty:

"Fuse's loss of Comcast comes as TV providers face pressure to cut down on underperforming niche channels in their lineups to reduce the costs that are driving customers to streaming services and online channel bundles like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTubeTV."

https://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/c...fuse-music-channel/ar-BBRCVy8?ocid=spartanntp
 

hat

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#23
Data caps never used to be a thing here in the US. I cut out cable TV long ago, before I even had 5m/512k service back in like 2012. Now, I have 100/10 speed, but a 1TB data cap. It used to be 250GB, but they increased the cap, the speed, and the price of course, for my particular package a year or two ago.

I really don't understand how bandwidth can be considered a finite resource like it is. The hardware (from my modem all the way up to crazy switches and whatnot on ISP end) either works or it doesn't, it's either transmitting data, or it's not. It's not like a gas station or something, where some dude with a big truck has to come deliver more bandwidth on a regular basis. I think all data caps should be illegal for that reason. Hardware can't handle it? Then you shouldn't be advertising speeds you can't offer! Also illegal. Given that data caps didn't used to exist in the past, it seems either a cash grab to still charge users in a roundabout way for using cheaper, superior services like Netflix etc, or a way to limit use due to the infrastructure not being to handle more people actually using their connections they pay for... or both! Yeah, probably both.
 
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#24
That status quo isn't going to be maintained in the near foreseeable future as they're in full damage control/borderline panic. They've been snipping channels in their lineup here to keep their revenue numbers up and have things look well on their surface this isn't a sustainable strategy and is a matter of time.

Lastest casualty:

"Fuse's loss of Comcast comes as TV providers face pressure to cut down on underperforming niche channels in their lineups to reduce the costs that are driving customers to streaming services and online channel bundles like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTubeTV."

https://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/c...fuse-music-channel/ar-BBRCVy8?ocid=spartanntp
Niche channels cost pennies or less per customer. Fuse is a rare indie channel and can be easily dropped due to the fact that JLo has no leverage to force them to keep it once the co tract expired, but makes no real financial impact anyway. Because of the archaic content delivery contract model, pretty much all of the "why am I forced to pay for this?" niche channels are basically forced on the provider by the owners of larger networks. It goes something like "If you want to be able to carry ESPN and Disney, you're also going to carry these 5 piece of shit channels that we would never be able to sell on their own for $0.10 each per subscriber." No video provider - even the behemoths - can afford to lose ESPN and Disney, so they cave. (Oh and ESPN is the single most expensive channel in BY FAR in every lineup (about $9.00 ber subscriber), Disney is second at a little over $2.00) and they are NOT allowed to be excluded from the basic package - which is why the base package is so expensive to begin with). All other popular channels (premiums excluded) are under $2.00, with many under $1.00. and as I said, niche channels are usually $0.50 or less.
 
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newtekie1

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#25
1TB per month. Two allowed violation "graces" before big overages.
To be specific, the overage is $10 per 50GB over, with a maximum of $200 per month overage. If you are pretty consistently going over 1274GB per month, it makes sense to just pay for the $50 unlimited data.
 
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