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

Responses: 30


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?

What Is Your Motivation?

Unprotected Wifi is the owner's issue

Listen man, if someone is leaving their Internet open for the public without password = they go to hell. That's not anyone issue - of course we should enjoy this type of idiots free internet! The only thing that should be illegal is if some one steals passwords or break passwords (or in tech language - hacks).
—Guest Junky

For an elderly neighbour

Wanting to share with an elderly neighbour just to help her out. She cooks for me a lovely Sunday lunch. But I haven't started doing it yet, as we don't know how.
—Guest jon m

Living in a dual-family residence

I'm in a rental duplex that provides Wifi... looking to hook up my desktop PC... .
—Guest KWH

Sharing with neighbour

I shared with my neighbour when I moved house before my Internet was installed. It worked fine and am thinking of canceling my Internet when contract ends as £40 a month is ridiculous, and I no longer need Sky TV as have got a smart TV.
—Guest Rachel

Scratch each others back

My neighbor uses our signal and in turn mows our yard and shovels snow. I'm disabled and unable to. Also gotta hand it to the 15 & 13 yr old from earlier comment. Smart and resourceful. They'll grow to be well rounded successful adults. Wish there were more like them. :-)
—Guest scottc1

Because I am grateful

When I am visiting San Diego, or some other place where I do not live, I am always so thankful when someone has an unsecured Wifi, because I like using the Internet.
—Guest LW

Because I'm super poor

I have a computer, but a monthly fee of $40 or more is something I can't afford... . The economy out there is pretty rough.
—Guest Poor motherfucker

Trusting people

Sometimes the roommates I live with hand out our Wifi keycode to strangers. It's one thing if they're a guest in our home. But it's another thing if they're one of the nearby neighbors in this apartment complex, because many of them can afford to do drugs every day but not pay for their own Internet... .
—Guest Upset

Worry or not

I consider myself pretty ethical. Here's my take. If you pay for Wifi and don't want to share it is your responsibility to password protect it. I never attempt to overcome security - that would be trespassing, yet I don't worry about using unsecured airwaves, other than the possible risk of being over watched (like with a bank account). I suspect there are plenty of people that pay for way more than they use.
—Guest Cici

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

What Is Your Motivation?

Stealing From or Sharing Wi-Fi Access with Neighbors

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