Providing Free WiFi from Home

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

I live in a relatively small city and thought it'd be fun to see if
there were any wi-fi hotspots in town. I knew a couple of the local
college campuses provided free wireless but I doubted anywhere else
did. So imagine my surprise when I plugged in my card and found 3
networks from my apartment bedroom! I don't live near any businesses
so I'm guessing these are coming from the other apartments around me.
I set up my own wireless access point by way of my cable internet
provider and told some of the people in my building to feel free to
log onto it. I'm completely supportive of the free wireless nation
dream that seems to have died out due to commercialism, but I was
wondering if its legal to provide such a service and if many other
people have done the same. I called up my ISP and asked them about the
number of computers I could have hooked to my network and he said 4 or
5 at a time won't draw any suspicion at all. Thanks,
11 answers Last reply
More about providing free wifi home
  1. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    In article <f9480de7.0405071116.704f888d@posting.google.com>,
    adymross@yahoo.com says...
    > I live in a relatively small city and thought it'd be fun to see if
    > there were any wi-fi hotspots in town. I knew a couple of the local
    > college campuses provided free wireless but I doubted anywhere else
    > did. So imagine my surprise when I plugged in my card and found 3
    > networks from my apartment bedroom! I don't live near any businesses
    > so I'm guessing these are coming from the other apartments around me.
    > I set up my own wireless access point by way of my cable internet
    > provider and told some of the people in my building to feel free to
    > log onto it. I'm completely supportive of the free wireless nation
    > dream that seems to have died out due to commercialism, but I was
    > wondering if its legal to provide such a service and if many other
    > people have done the same. I called up my ISP and asked them about the
    > number of computers I could have hooked to my network and he said 4 or
    > 5 at a time won't draw any suspicion at all. Thanks,
    >
    Don't just take the person you spoke with's word on the subject. Be sure
    you re-read your ISP's terms of service agreement to see if you are
    precluded from allowing your bandwidth to be used by others...
    --

    Ben E. Brady
    http://www.clariondeveloper.com/wepgen
    FREE! Effectively manage your Wi-Fi network.
    Change your WEP keys often!

    http://www.clariondeveloper.com/webcloak
    FREE! Encrypt email addresses on your web site!
    Keep spam bots from sending you spam!

    http://www.firewallreporting.com
    Personal firewall log analysis tools for
    ZoneAlarm, BlackICE, WinRoute Pro and Windows XP
    Take stock of your firewall settings and take action against intruders.

    http://www.videoprofessorscam.com
    Don't get stung by this scam!
  2. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Adym Roxx wrote:
    > I live in a relatively small city and thought it'd be fun to see if
    > there were any wi-fi hotspots in town. I knew a couple of the local
    > college campuses provided free wireless but I doubted anywhere else
    > did. So imagine my surprise when I plugged in my card and found 3
    > networks from my apartment bedroom! I don't live near any businesses
    > so I'm guessing these are coming from the other apartments around me.
    > I set up my own wireless access point by way of my cable internet
    > provider and told some of the people in my building to feel free to
    > log onto it. I'm completely supportive of the free wireless nation
    > dream that seems to have died out due to commercialism, but I was
    > wondering if its legal to provide such a service and if many other
    > people have done the same. I called up my ISP and asked them about the
    > number of computers I could have hooked to my network and he said 4 or
    > 5 at a time won't draw any suspicion at all. Thanks,
    Sharing your connection is certainly gracious of you, but you should be
    aware of certain possible problems.

    1) People sharing your Internet connection are also sharing your local
    network connection. That is, if you have any shares available on your
    conputer(s), you could be vulnerable someone accessing you computer,
    seeing your data, even deleting data.

    2) You have certain legal obligations and obligations based on your
    contract with your ISP. For example, not to spam, probably not to run
    servers, etc. Unless you make changes to your network to prevent users
    from abusing the connection, you could be denied access by your ISP. If
    someone using your connection, for example, distributes copyrighted
    material, you could be charged by the RIAA, since the distribution
    originated from your ISP assigned IP address.

    I think sharing is an excellent choice. But you need to be careful.
  3. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Adym Roxx wrote:

    > I'm completely supportive of the free wireless nation
    > dream that seems to have died out due to commercialism, but I was
    > wondering if its legal to provide such a service and if many other
    > people have done the same. I called up my ISP and asked them about the
    > number of computers I could have hooked to my network and he said 4 or
    > 5 at a time won't draw any suspicion at all. Thanks,

    My concern would be someone using it for illegal purposes. Also, there may
    be something in your AUP, that prohibits sharing with neighbours.

    --

    Fundamentalism is fundamentally wrong.

    To reply to this message, replace everything to the left of "@" with
    james.knott.
  4. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Adym Roxx wrote:

    > I live in a relatively small city and thought it'd be fun to see if
    > there were any wi-fi hotspots in town. I knew a couple of the local
    > college campuses provided free wireless but I doubted anywhere else
    > did. So imagine my surprise when I plugged in my card and found 3
    > networks from my apartment bedroom! I don't live near any businesses
    > so I'm guessing these are coming from the other apartments around me.
    > I set up my own wireless access point by way of my cable internet
    > provider and told some of the people in my building to feel free to
    > log onto it. I'm completely supportive of the free wireless nation
    > dream that seems to have died out due to commercialism, but I was
    > wondering if its legal to provide such a service and if many other
    > people have done the same. I called up my ISP and asked them about the
    > number of computers I could have hooked to my network and he said 4 or
    > 5 at a time won't draw any suspicion at all. Thanks,

    "Free wireless nation dream" is a good way to phrase it. No matter how
    much you rationalize it, bandwidth costs money. Somebody somewhere is
    paying for it, even if it isn't you.

    If you support a nation of free wireless access, go ahead and install
    the national infrastructure, hire the multitude of personnel to design,
    install and maintain it, and feel free to tell the whole country that
    bandwidth is "on the house". I know I'd appreciate it if I had a 1Gb
    connection to the internet and you paid for it.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Rôgêr wrote:

    > If you support a nation of free wireless access, go ahead and install
    > the national infrastructure, hire the multitude of personnel to design,
    > install and maintain it, and feel free to tell the whole country that
    > bandwidth is "on the house". I know I'd appreciate it if I had a 1Gb
    > connection to the internet and you paid for it.
    >

    I'd even buy him a beer or two, to show my appreciation. ;-)

    --

    Fundamentalism is fundamentally wrong.

    To reply to this message, replace everything to the left of "@" with
    james.knott.
  6. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Sat, 08 May 2004 19:14:11 GMT, James Knott <bit_bucket@rogers.com>
    wrote:

    >Rôgêr wrote:
    >
    >> If you support a nation of free wireless access, go ahead and install
    >> the national infrastructure, hire the multitude of personnel to design,
    >> install and maintain it, and feel free to tell the whole country that
    >> bandwidth is "on the house". I know I'd appreciate it if I had a 1Gb
    >> connection to the internet and you paid for it.
    >>
    Eventually, given enough time, YEARS, this will happen. Not too sure
    about the 1Gb part though.
    >
    >I'd even buy him a beer or two, to show my appreciation. ;-)
    Enough people do this and you could open your own bar!
  7. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Sun, 09 May 2004 01:50:59 GMT, in alt.internet.wireless , "gary"
    <pleasenospam@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

    >I notice nobody has a nation of free telephone yet, and it's been well over
    >a century. Cheap telephone, yes (some places), subsidized, yes (most
    >places), but free?

    Define "free". Name me something you think is free, other than perhaps air
    or thought, and I suspect we can find how you're paying for it.

    FWIW I get "free" telephone calls. I pay 15.99 line rental, and can call as
    much as I like.

    >I do think the no-charge model is the best way to exploit wifi, but that
    >doesn't equate to free. It means hotspots that aren't specifically trying to
    >make a profit off it. It means your coffe might cost a penny more,

    exactly.

    --
    Mark McIntyre
    CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
    CLC readme: <http://www.angelfire.com/ms3/bchambless0/welcome_to_clc.html>


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  8. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On 7 May 2004 12:16:42 -0700, in alt.internet.wireless , adymross@yahoo.com
    (Adym Roxx) wrote:

    >I set up my own wireless access point by way of my cable internet
    >provider and told some of the people in my building to feel free to
    >log onto it.

    Check the following:
    1) your AUP with your provider. Typically they restrict you to access "in
    your own home" and/or "your own family".

    2) your legal obligations in re commercial or illegal use of the line.
    Imagine if someone set up a porn website using your connection, or started
    sharing out their massive mp3 connection.

    3) your own security. Imagine if someone deleted all your personal files or
    obtained your bank details. You need to firewall yourself off from the
    public part of your lan.
    --
    Mark McIntyre
    CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
    CLC readme: <http://www.angelfire.com/ms3/bchambless0/welcome_to_clc.html>


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  9. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    > I do think the no-charge model is the best way to exploit wifi, but that
    > doesn't equate to free. It means hotspots that aren't specifically trying to
    > make a profit off it. It means your coffe might cost a penny more, and your
    > access time might be limited. It means your tax dollar might pay for access
    > points on lampposts in the park. This model is alive and well in many cities
    > (Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas come to mind).
    >
    I had no idea that any city was applying that model *gets ready to
    move*. I completely support that. I think if you told the average
    citizen who doesn't know the difference between a dial-up and dsl
    connection that they could get free net access with a small increase,
    they'd completely support it too. The city I live in is dominated by
    AOL dial-up for the most part. A few $10/month ISP's have cropped up
    lately and is helping level the playing field, but many have no qualms
    with the price. I subscribe to a cable connection for $44/month as do
    many of my friends. There isn't much we can do about it either, for
    the most part its a monopoly. The little hacker inside of me - inside
    of most computer geeks - squeals with delight at the thought of what
    would happen when a free wi-fi mesh is set up, even if that meant a
    drastic reduction in bandwidth and a tax increase. Thats freedom of
    information and part of the Wi Fi Dream.

    On a similar note, I'm not sure if anyone here has ever used Net
    Stumbler before, but its a good way of checking the signal strength of
    wireless networks. I loaded my laptop up with it and took it out for a
    little drive last night with a friend. Our little midwestern city has
    about 70,000 people but within a bit of a circular path from one end
    of town to the other, we picked up on 67 networks. Only about a third
    of those had secured their connection. I didn't try to access any of
    the networks, but the ranges on them at least formed the beginning of
    a mesh. Yeah, security would be a huge problem, but its nice to know
    that there are people out there willing to trust this technology -
    especially in my city, which I would consider pretty backwards in
    terms of technology.

    I still hold my offer to my neighbors in free access, blindly trusting
    them not to host porn sites or illegal mp3's. I still firewall my
    system and do nightly system scans just to be safe. From what I can
    see of my network activity, no one has taken me up on the offer
    anyway. My guess is in the human nature of people being wary of free
    gifts. Especially when its wifi and comes from a network security
    major. Either way, this dream is going to have a hell of a time being
    carried out, but I'll still hope. Thanks for all the input!
  10. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    "Mark McIntyre" <markmcintyre@spamcop.net> wrote in message
    news:imor901b6dstv4ne17l3da2qo4gok35d7r@4ax.com...
    > On Sun, 09 May 2004 01:50:59 GMT, in alt.internet.wireless , "gary"
    > <pleasenospam@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
    >
    > >I notice nobody has a nation of free telephone yet, and it's been well
    over
    > >a century. Cheap telephone, yes (some places), subsidized, yes (most
    > >places), but free?
    >
    > Define "free". Name me something you think is free, other than perhaps air
    > or thought, and I suspect we can find how you're paying for it.
    >
    > FWIW I get "free" telephone calls. I pay 15.99 line rental, and can call
    as
    > much as I like.

    My point exactly. It costs money to create wealth, and there is no free
    lunch. But lots of subsidized lunches, which ain't necessarily a bad thing.

    >
    > >I do think the no-charge model is the best way to exploit wifi, but that
    > >doesn't equate to free. It means hotspots that aren't specifically trying
    to
    > >make a profit off it. It means your coffe might cost a penny more,
    >
    > exactly.
    >
    > --
    > Mark McIntyre
    > CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
    > CLC readme: <http://www.angelfire.com/ms3/bchambless0/welcome_to_clc.html>
    >
    >
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    News==----
    > http://www.newsfeed.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! >100,000
    Newsgroups
    > ---= 19 East/West-Coast Specialized Servers - Total Privacy via Encryption
    =---
  11. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    I just want to be clear on what I meant by the no-cost wifi model in Austin
    and Portland. I'm not talking about a mesh network based on piggyback access
    to people's non-commercial home networks. There are people who advocate
    this, but without agreement from the ISPs involved, it would clearly be
    theft of service.

    In Austin, there is a large and growing community of bookstores,
    coffeeshops, bars, and other businesses (including one movie theater chain)
    that provide free wifi access to the internet. The business owners pay for
    commercial ISP service, and the ISPs fully understand that there is a wifi
    net on the subscriber premises supporting anybody who walks in off the
    street. There is also a city-sponsored program that will soon begin putting
    access points in local parks. There is a large and growing group of people
    who donate their time to install, configure, and maintain free hotspots, and
    to advise the owners and help train the staff.

    There's nothing wrong with the mesh idea per se, but to do it without clear
    agreeement from the ISPs involved is at least unethical. It would certainly
    result in increased traffic, and at some point you would either lose these
    connections, or be forced to start paying for commercial backhaul.

    "Adym Roxx" <adymross@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:f9480de7.0405092235.233e9c61@posting.google.com...
    > > I do think the no-charge model is the best way to exploit wifi, but that
    > > doesn't equate to free. It means hotspots that aren't specifically
    trying to
    > > make a profit off it. It means your coffe might cost a penny more, and
    your
    > > access time might be limited. It means your tax dollar might pay for
    access
    > > points on lampposts in the park. This model is alive and well in many
    cities
    > > (Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas come to mind).
    > >
    > I had no idea that any city was applying that model *gets ready to
    > move*. I completely support that. I think if you told the average
    > citizen who doesn't know the difference between a dial-up and dsl
    > connection that they could get free net access with a small increase,
    > they'd completely support it too. The city I live in is dominated by
    > AOL dial-up for the most part. A few $10/month ISP's have cropped up
    > lately and is helping level the playing field, but many have no qualms
    > with the price. I subscribe to a cable connection for $44/month as do
    > many of my friends. There isn't much we can do about it either, for
    > the most part its a monopoly. The little hacker inside of me - inside
    > of most computer geeks - squeals with delight at the thought of what
    > would happen when a free wi-fi mesh is set up, even if that meant a
    > drastic reduction in bandwidth and a tax increase. Thats freedom of
    > information and part of the Wi Fi Dream.
    >
    > On a similar note, I'm not sure if anyone here has ever used Net
    > Stumbler before, but its a good way of checking the signal strength of
    > wireless networks. I loaded my laptop up with it and took it out for a
    > little drive last night with a friend. Our little midwestern city has
    > about 70,000 people but within a bit of a circular path from one end
    > of town to the other, we picked up on 67 networks. Only about a third
    > of those had secured their connection. I didn't try to access any of
    > the networks, but the ranges on them at least formed the beginning of
    > a mesh. Yeah, security would be a huge problem, but its nice to know
    > that there are people out there willing to trust this technology -
    > especially in my city, which I would consider pretty backwards in
    > terms of technology.
    >
    > I still hold my offer to my neighbors in free access, blindly trusting
    > them not to host porn sites or illegal mp3's. I still firewall my
    > system and do nightly system scans just to be safe. From what I can
    > see of my network activity, no one has taken me up on the offer
    > anyway. My guess is in the human nature of people being wary of free
    > gifts. Especially when its wifi and comes from a network security
    > major. Either way, this dream is going to have a hell of a time being
    > carried out, but I'll still hope. Thanks for all the input!
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