Why do you need the best VPN for Comcast and Xfinity? Oh, let me count the ways.
Comcast is notorious these days for being one of the biggest opponents of net neutrality in 2017, reguarly dumping millions of dollars into the pockets of lobbyists as they try to convince Congress that the internet in its current state, well, it’s just too dang free. The company seems bent on setting up every paid toll lane they can on the web, and will stop at nothing until they can find a way to profit from their customers down to the last dime.
With the passage of a bill just a few months ago that now allows any ISP (including Comcast) to openly sell off your personal data to the highest bidder, it’s more important than ever before that you find a way to better control who can or can’t spy on your connection while it’s in action.
Comcast Crosses the Line
The fight for net neutrality has been a long fought battle by privacy advocates around the globe, but nowhere is that effort more necessary than in the United States. Huge monopolized internet service providers like Comcast loom large over the halls of the House of Representatives, and their reach into the pockets of policymakers is simply unmatched by any other lobby currently operating in DC today.
Last year Comcast spent nearly $15 million trying to convince the United States government that they weren’t making enough money off their current business model, and needed new and inventive ways to exploit their customers even further.
$15 million will get you a lot of ears in Washington, which is why it shouldn’t be a surprise that in April of 2017 President Trump signed a bill into law which made itlegal for ISPs to track, collect, and resell your internet history to anyone with cash to spend on it.
While this bill includes all current ISPs operating within US borders, as Comcast is currently the largest ISP in the marketplace, it’s not hard to see why they spent so much to get it passed through seeing as they have the most to gain.
This legislation is one of the biggest violations of personal internet privacy in the history of the web itself, and until our representatives can’t be tempted by those sweet sweet re-election campaign dollars, it’s likely to only get worse from here.
How Does Your ISP Track You?
For all this to work, Comcast relies on an open connection between your devices, your modem, and their servers in order to be able to effectively track what you’re doing. Although they don’t have the information that shows which individual web pages you’re viewing, they do have rough metadata like IP addresses you’ve connected to, general domains you visit, along with the timestamp of when you visited them.
This data can then be broken down and deciphered by marketing agencies whose sole purpose is to use your own personal information against you and sell you products without your explicit consent.
For a long time ISPs have wanted to be able to collect much of the same data that companies like Google and Facebook vacuum up by the petabyte. They see those companies as exploiting a free source of technically legal income predicated on the fact that if you’re using their lines to access the internet, any information you transmit on those lines (like the web pages you visit or the people you talk to) should theoretically be up for grabs.
And of course, Comcast is far from the only ISP who “donated” millions to lobbying firms in order to get the bill passed. Other major providers like Verizon, Charter, and AT&T all dumped huge fortunes into the middle of the House floor in order to make sure they would be allowed to steal your information for profit, and now that the bill is signed into law, it’s a whole new Wild West for anyone who uses the web inside the United States.
So, How Does it Work?
When you connect to the internet - whether it’s through a desktop ethernet connection or a wireless hotspot on your smartphone - everything inevitably comes back to the modem that you use to connect to your ISP (hence the “provider” in “internet service provider”). No matter how much you might want to get around that fact, Comcast and companies like them control the lines, so they control the access and (for now) there’s no way to get onto the web without going through one of them first.
So when you visit a webpage, first you type what site you want to visit in the URL bar, which usesDNS to translate those words into the IP address of the online destination you’re trying to get to. Your ISP sees that request and then sends back any information it pulled from the server you’re visiting. In that process, the ISP can “scrape” your line for identifying data that advertisers can use to more specifically target you or your family with ads based off that information.
There are still some bureaucratic hoops that the ISPs will need to jump through before they go free-for-all on your browsing data, which means you’ve got some time to get yourself ready before the switch gets flipped, but it won’t be long before all their systems are running at full steam and you’ll need to get yourself protected.
How VPN.com Can Help
Fret not, because there’s still one way left that you can fight back against the corruption that’s consuming Washington dollar by dollar.
By using a VPN recommended by VPN.com, you add a level of encryption to your data stream that prevents your ISP - or anyone else for that matter - from being able to decipher what you’re up to. VPNs use 256-bit AES encryption to secure information like your web browsing history or personal information, so that by the time it gets to your ISP from your device all they’ll be able to see is a jumbled mess of numbers and nothing else. And who wants to buy a bunch of numbers, right?
We may not be able to stop ISPs from using their cash piles to influence Washington however they like, but with a VPN recommended by VPN.com there’s still hope that the consumer can still take control of their digital lives in 2017 and beyond!