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Readers Respond: Stealing From or Sharing Wi-Fi Access with Neighbors

Responses: 21


Because wireless transmissions from broadband routers extend through walls and outside buildings, it's relatively easily to pick up Wi-Fi signals from the home networks of neighbors. If set up without security features like encryption turned on, anyone nearby can easily join these networks and access its Internet connection plus any other shared resources. This is sometimes called piggybacking. Done without someone's permission, it is often considered an unethical practice and may also be illegal.

If you piggyback, or open up your home network for others to use, what is your reason for doing so?

Con Cast = evil company

Con_cast is not a good/fair Company. I provide Tech-support for-neighbor's system. Combined usage is never over 250GB max (? 300gb now? ) I know she is overpaying ...
—Guest OldTechy

Helping a friend

My friend is very poor. He has a computer, so I share my network with him.
—Guest jayant

Stealing if you're not paying

My neighbor begs and asks for any and everything. The last thing I want is for her to get free Internet.
—Guest Stealing if your not payin

For a retired school teacher

My neighbor, who lives in the duplex adjacent to mine, is a sweet, retired school teacher on a fixed income (health reasons). I am a former teacher and have similar health problems. We have become good friends, and someone recently gave her a refurbished computer. I have invited her to connect to the Internet using my Wi-Fi. Only trouble right now is figuring out what she needs to have in order to do that. A family member (computer geek) got me set up.
—Guest Catmutt

Helping disadvantaged people seems fair

I do not share my Comcast at this time. However, if there was someone that had limited utilities of some sort I would not hesitate to share. Why not?

Helping out mom-in-law

She's 84 and just learning to use a computer. She has the condo across the hall from us, and we let her piggyback on ours. She's a sweetheart, and that's what families do.
—Guest Dave

Sharing with an elderly neighbour

I do it for an elderly neighbour so she can Skype to her sister on the east coast. She is very excited about being able to use a computer. She is also very nervous about using it... thinks she will break it. I told her the letter writing days are over she can e-mail now. She even offered to split the cost, but i said no... she's on a pension.
—Guest chlomyster

A community service

(My motivation is) to be a part of a wider community. I can share my connection and use others bandwidth if I'm out and about.
—Guest Rab

'Split it.' (the monthly bills)

Me as a 15 year old and my neighbor as a 13 year old do yard work and babysitting, split our monthly bill for Wi-Fi connection and such so we can stay online through our Xbox 360's. As long as we're friends or alive, bills and Wi-Fi coverage will be easy to pay for.
—Guest lucky

A trial before switching from dial-up

I used dial at home up until I noticed unsecure networks in range. When those disappeared I asked a neighbor and was given access to a secure network. But since my neighbor's network is often turned off, I broke down and paid for my own cable network. I keep it locked.
—Guest JohnTony

Recommend using a hotspot gateway

i suggest using a hotspot gateway for wireless network. That protects your private network from guest wireless users.
—Guest hotspot gateway

ISPs are the thieves!

The grossly inflated Wifi fees charged constitutes ROBBERY WITHOUT A GUN! The rural area we live in barely has service, let alone 4G, high speed, low speed, no speed....Air waves are where you find them-right now they are trying to figure out how to monitor and charge people for "oxygen usage"....More business owners are offering "free WiFi" while you shop, eat, drink or sleep at their establishments helping smartphone and laptop users access the interwebs without being held hostage....
—Guest 59merlot

For an elderly neighbor

My neighbor is 85 years old and cannot afford Internet, so I am setting her up to use my connection. She only uses it for email to stay in touch with her daughter overseas, although I feel she should use for a lot more research.
—Guest teaky

I'm with NLVSkydiver

The ISPs are making a ridiculous amount of money from people who are too stupid to realize that they are being screwed. In some of the southeast-asian countries internet service is one-tenth what we pay here for five times the 'speed.' What do you fools think it costs your cable company to send any number of bits across cables that have been in place for the last thirty years? I don't know what is wrong with me that causes me to be so constantly amazed by the stupidity and recklessness of American (I will not use the insulting term: 'consumers' though some of you reading this surely are) buyers. It is as if the majority of the American Public is asleep.
—Guest e-0

Cable company payback!

I voluntarily share my encrypted network with my neighbors and we split the cost of the high speed cable. Why? It is because the cable company’s service is so dramatically overpriced. It is also a protest against the cable industry's blatant disregard of FCC regulations and federal court rulings allowing private ownership of cable boxes. The cable industry takes in over three billion dollars a year in unearned profits from box (equipment) rentals. Therefore, we have introduced our own 50% discount on high speed cable!

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