# Using the neighbour's wireless

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by Syzygys, Dec 31, 2007.

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1. ### PronatalistRegistered Senior Member

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750
Title: Oh, I get it. The internet should only be for rich elites, and definately not for people in poor countries who have no money, that is, if you believe the evil corporations?

Sharing a link, isn't tatamount to leaving your house unlocked and the front door wide open. Well unless you are using MyCrud$oft Windoze, with a new security gap discovered almost every other day? Last edited: Jan 3, 2008 2. ### Google AdSenseGuest Advertisement to hide all adverts. 3. ### StryderKeeper of "good" ideas.Valued Senior Member Messages: 13,101 You are if you are intent on using my bandwidth if I've paid for it. It's enough of a problem dealing with Contention ratios set by ISP's let alone dealing with Bandwidth Hijackers. Some people run websites on their home PC's, when you jack their bandwidth you can cause their website to come to crashing halt. So your OS is suppose to keep an eye on your external harddrive and stop it going walkies? Simply put NO it's not up to the OS to secure your files, if it gets as far as your OS to make that decision then you've let someone into your network too far. In Tsun Tsu's war diaries it pretty much exclaims not to fight the battle on your homeland but to take it to the enemy. Well admittedly you can't go and firewall a malicious hackers machine from the network, but what you can do is put as much distance between them and your 'secured' data. This means locking down your networks as they don't just provide 'access to the internet' they can be manipulated to gain access to your computers if you haven't tightened your security beforehand. (It doesn't take much to Spoof once inside a networks broadcast range, and spoofing could be used to exploit Microsofts OS updates amongst other things.) Believe me I know a little about the philosophy of how to do things Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! Leaving a networked open pretty much undermines your firewall and network security. It's not about OS based security it's about transient information. 4. ### Google AdSenseGuest Advertisement to hide all adverts. 5. ### M1CH43LRegistered Member Messages: 8 Hm, I do not have any security features on, as that does slow down the entire network, instead I have a unique (and sneaky) filtering system, so when anyone attempts to connect, they cannot. However, just because I do not have a security encryption enabled, does not mean I wish from someone to attempt or connect to my network (despite the tantalizing name of the network), that reasoning is ridiculous. It's like stealing food from an morbidly obese person, just because you justify it for yourself, does not mean you have any right at all to do so. 6. ### Google AdSenseGuest Advertisement to hide all adverts. 7. ### StryderKeeper of "good" ideas.Valued Senior Member Messages: 13,101 The simplest method of securing a network is to use a MAC address filter where only systems listed are allowed access. It is possible to clone MAC's however it's more fiddly than just hooking straight in and will likely leave security logs. Obviously securing networks with security keys makes sense to keep everyone out, it shouldn't slow down your network however. The only reason a wireless network is slowed is if there is multiple collisions in regards to frequency, this is usually caused by having alot of neighbours around using similar devices on the same frequency range or by using lots of systems on the same network. 8. ### SyzygysAs a mother, I am telling youValued Senior Member Messages: 12,671 Let's get back to technicals, how do you decide which adapter to use? Most websites I looked up have only price comparison, but I am more interested in strength or distance. Also, is there a difference between card-type or USB-type adapters? One is stronger than the other? Last edited: Jan 3, 2008 9. ### Avatarsmoking revolverValued Senior Member Messages: 19,083 10. ### phlogisticianBannedBanned Messages: 10,342 In the UK it is now a criminal offense to use someone elses network. Not securing your network is not, and never has been an invitation for others to use it. I didn't bother securing my network, because it makes it easier for visitors to my home office to connect. But I have had to now, because I spotted the same machine attaching to my network over a period of days, and that was too much. I renamed my network to the name of their computer, and added 'F* off', so when they next browsed, they would know they had got busted. 11. ### OrleanderOH JOY!!!!Valued Senior Member Messages: 25,817 I don't know where you live, but here they would arrest you. Michigan man arrested for using cafe's free WiFi from his car A Michigan man is being prosecuted for using a cafe's free WiFi... from his car. Sam Peterson was arrested under a Michigan law barring access to anyone else's network without authorization, according to Michigan TV station WOOD. Since the cafe's WiFi network was reserved for customers, and Peterson never came into the cafe, he was essentially piggybacking off of the open network without authorization. The arrest came about because Peterson apparently showed up to the Union Street Cafe to use its free WiFi from the comfort of his car, and he did so every single day. A police officer grew suspicious of Peterson and eventually questioned him as to what he was up to. Peterson, not realizing that what he was doing was (at least) ethically questionable, told the officer exactly what he was doing. "I knew that the Union Street had WiFi. I just went down and checked my e-mail and didn't see a problem with that," Peterson told a reporter. Under Michigan's "Fraudulent access to computers, computer systems, and computer networks" law, Peterson's actions could result in a five-year felony and a$10,000 fine. However, prosecutors do not plan to throw the book at him, as they don't believe that Peterson was aware he was even breaking the law. Instead, he will pay a $400 fine and do 40 hours of community service, and the arrest will not go on his record. Coincidentally, the cafe owner that Peterson was leeching WiFi off of didn't even realize that what Peterson was doing was a crime at the time. Neither did the police officer. "I had a feeling a law was being broken, but I didn't know exactly what," Sparta police chief Andrew Milanowski told the TV station. This is not the first time someone has been arrested for piggybacking on a WiFi connection. In 2005, a Florida man was arrested and hit with a third-degree felony for surfing an open WiFi network from his SUV. Similarly, an Illinois man was arrested in 2006 for, again, using an unsecured WiFi network from his car. He pleaded guilty to the charges and was given one year's court supervision and a$250 fine. A Washington man was also arrested in 2006 for parking outside of a coffee shop and using the open WiFi connection without purchasing anything. And just earlier this year, an Alaska man was arrested for using the WiFi network from the public library after hours to play games from—you guessed it—his car in the parking lot.

Whether or not you agree with the legality of using an open WiFi network without the owner's authorization, one thing is painfully clear: if you're going to leech, try not to do it from a parked car right in front of the building.

12. ### Captain KremmenAll aboard, me Hearties!Valued Senior Member

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I suppose its safer than trying to arrest bank robbers and crack dealers.
They might put up a fight.
You could get shot.

13. ### Avatarsmoking revolverValued Senior Member

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19,083
Nuh huh, you could catch a virus from that criminal's laptop.

14. ### Repo ManValued Senior Member

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4,955
Leaving your keys in your car on a regular basis doesn't mean that you want it to be stolen. But if that is the result of your carelessness, you can't possibly be surprised. The simplest password security will stop the overwhelming majority of people who might be tempted to ride on your coattails. It plainly sends the message "I don't want to share my bandwidth."

If someone with a laptop is in an urban area, and wants to check their email, could you fault them for using the first unsecured wireless connection they find?

Orleander, I've no doubt the Michigan (and Alaskan) laws are a result of "Won't someone think of the children?" Some legislator heard about wardriving, and these laws were the result. Wardriving is the use of unsecured networks for downloading illegal material, such as child porn. Busting some guy checking his email outside of an internet cafe is just ridiculous. Many cities now have publicly funded wireless hotspots. I wonder if it would be illegal to use those if you stay in your car while doing so?

15. ### SyzygysAs a mother, I am telling youValued Senior Member

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12,671
Yes, it is called wireless network adapter, if the computer doesn't have a built-in one. The card-like has to be put in internally like a sound- or videocard, the USB-type is external and you just have to plug in. The question was about their performance difference....I though maybe the card-type had bigger strength. It looks like I actually know more about it than you guys, wrong forum.

Let me rephrase the question: How can I tell which wireless network adapter (D-Link, Belkin, Linksys,etc.) has the biggest strength in the same price category? (\$40-60)

The advantage of the external one is that you can move the antenna more freely, because the USB cabel is usually 4-6 feet long....

Last edited: Jan 3, 2008
16. ### phlogisticianBannedBanned

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10,342
Simple, you buy a bunch of them, and test them.

17. ### Captain KremmenAll aboard, me Hearties!Valued Senior Member

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12,738
Possibly I have completely misunderstood here, but is your solution to purchasing the best of a number of alternatives, to buy them all and give them a go? Given unlimited money to spend, this might be an option.

18. ### Avatarsmoking revolverValued Senior Member

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19,083
Oh, ok, those are called network cards in these parts, so I didn't get what you mean.
To answer your question - they're all roughly the same, same as a mobile phone with an external or internal antenna.

I have good experience with Linksys.

Get an internal card, if you can, it's a lot more convenient. Sorry, adapter.
Before you choose a particular model, read its reviews on the net.

If you live in an area where you have to reach a far away wifi hotspot, use a small yagi antenna.

19. ### SyzygysAs a mother, I am telling youValued Senior Member

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12,671
I already got a Belkin one, not very crazy about it, but I can put it up in the window, thus better reception. A card in the desktop might be convenient, but doesn't give a good reception.
reading reviews doesn't help, almost any product has both positive and negative feedbacks....

20. ### Avatarsmoking revolverValued Senior Member

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And so it is. Nothing's perfect and there's also the user factor.

Really, an external adapter will get you a bit better reception, just because the antenna is on the outside, but that's only a question if you have to access hotspots from further away than intended. That's not an issue if you access wifi networks in cafes, airports, etc.

If you predict that you'll have to access wifi from parks, then better get an external one, or better yet - a seperate external mini yagi antenna.

21. ### nietzschefanThread KillerValued Senior Member

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7,721
Yes and even with a dumbfu** Linksys, after a MAC filter, you can just turn wireless broadcasting off. Then no one even can see your network.

22. ### Avatarsmoking revolverValued Senior Member

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19,083
How many wifi networks can you see from your home?
I count 7 including my own.