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Leaching WiFi

  • Wireless
  • Laptops
  • Connection
  • Wireless Networking
Last response: in Wireless Networking
July 4, 2010 6:44:56 PM

I do not have a wireless set-up in my home, but when I get on my laptop I have a list of networks that I can choose to connect to. Some say they are secure, some do not. I've never even tried to connect to any of the unsecure networks, but was wondering if this is okay to do so.

The reason I ask is because I would like to connect to one of those networks while using my laptop in other areas of the house.

I have some questions I'd like to ask.

1. Is connecting to someone's wireless network considered illegal to do? I honestly do not know!

2. If I was to connect to one of the unsecure networks, would they know?

3. How would they know if I connected?

4. Also, since I'm getting their wireless signal in my house, where ever that signal is coming from would have to be a close neighbor, correct?

5. How far will a wireless signal typically reach? I have big oak trees all around in my neighborhood and would think they would seriously affect a signal.

I am asking these questions because I certainly do not want to do anything illegal and cause myself or anyone else any trouble! So, if anyone knows the correct answers to my questions, please let me know.

In the mean time, I'll just stay connected on my desktop.

Thanks in advance and...


More about : leaching wifi

a b F Wireless
a b D Laptop
July 5, 2010 2:03:13 AM

1) It's illegal in most jurisdictions. Though one might argue the windfall principle -- fruit from a tree overhanging your garden wall is fair game.
2) Chances are they would never discover -- especially if you didn't abuse it.
3) They could check their router's log. Or spot your MAC ID or an extra IP address from checking the Attached Devices list in the router.
4) Reliable wireless range isn't all that far, so chances are it's an immediate neighbour. If the signal level is below 30% it probably won't be viable. Means that if they detect an intruder you may be a suspect.
5) Line of sight 1000feet 300metres but that's ignoring obstructions in their house and yours (plus aforementioned oak trees). Probably 50feet and three walls is max for reliable connection.
a b F Wireless
a b D Laptop
July 5, 2010 5:57:13 AM

[#0005ff]Some unsecured networks might turn out to be public but only on a pay for basis. Some hotels don't secure their networks but you get only as far as a. IE login screen which wants your card details before letting you go any further. [/#000ff]