HOUSTON -

Finding and using free wireless Internet in Houston just got a whole lot easier. But how does it work? And is your information safe?

If you have a Wireless Gateway modem, your neighbors, friends and even strangers can connect to your Internet connection for free. Comcast is flipping a switch Tuesday, turning 50,000 regular modems into personal hot spots. The company expects to add 100,000 more by the end of June. If you're concerned about public access to your Internet connection, you can opt out. To disable the Xfinity WiFi feature on your Wireless Gateway, call 1-800-XFINITY or visit My Account at http://customer.comcast.com/, Click on "Users & Preferences", and then select "Manage Xfinity WiFi."

Comcast told Local 2 there are no privacy issues. A Comcast spokesman said the hotspot works as a separate signal, and won't allow the public to access your private data, information, or home network. As many as five people at a time can use your personal hotspot; and Comcast said your bandwidth and speed will not be affected because the hotspot is considered entirely separate from your device.

The hotspot network is free to Comcast customers; but the company is allowing a free trial for anyone who wants to see how it works. Click here to find out more about the free trial.