2 Macs and 2 PCs + 1 Airport Express HELP!

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by gusanitoverde, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. gusanitoverde macrumors 6502

    gusanitoverde

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Location:
    Northern California
    #1
    I live in a small apartment complex, I am a current client of a cable company and I have high speed internet. I live on the upper floor, then there is a pool in the center of the complex and my brother lives in the bottom floor. Both of us are mac users, I have an powermac G4 Dual 1.42 and he has an iMac G4, 1 Gz. I want to get my brother to share the same internet connection using airport express. I called my cable company asking if I could share internet connection and they told me that it was illegal. But then I rephrased the question and I asked them if I could share a wireless signal to my brother from my computer and get his computer to enter to the internet. The costumer service rep said: How would we find out? I don't see why not. So I am puzzled.

    Guys, is this legal or not? Can my brother share my internet signal through airport?

    Now that we got excited about it, 2 more computer users in our apartment complex want to join me and use my signal to connect also, split the costs on the bill (pretty cheap for everyone) so it will be a total of 4 connected to my signal. Is this legal?

    Now the second problem. As I mentioned, my brother is a mac user just like me. My friends are PC users. What do they need to connect to my signal? Is there such thing as an airport card for PC?

    :confused:
     
  2. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    #2
    To me, illegal implies that something is "against the law". That is, if something is illegal, it violates some statute, ordenance, resolution, etc. of a municipality, state, etc.

    Something tells me that it is very unlikely that there is a "law" in your municipality that prohibits sharing cable internet connection.

    In actuality I think what is going on is that it is against the cable company's "rules", or "terms of service", to share the internet connection. Something tells me that if you read the terms of service that you signed when you got the internet connection, that jail time and/or fines are not part of the penalty for breaking any of the "rules". I think the worst they can do to you is terminate your cable internet connection.

    And anyway, it is possible for them to find out you have more than one computer connected to the internet unless you set up a router. I don't think the Airport express can function as a router. Or am I wrong about that?
     
  3. erickg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    #3

    Your friends on the pcs will need something called a wireless pci adapter if they are on stationary computers (looks like this http://www.netgear.com/products/details/WG311.php) or a wireless pc card for their laptop (looks like this http://www.netgear.com/products/details/WG511.php). The airport express broadcasts at 54Mbps (802.11g), however I believe that signal reaches much less far than 802.11b which is at 11Mbps. I believe the range is 50ft versus 150ft on the airport express (i.e. the range of 802.11g is 50ft and 802.11b 150ft), so in all likelihood your friends can pick up the much cheaper 802.11b cards which run at 11Mbps (they are around 15 bucks for the stationary). Also, even if your friends' computers are within 50 feet of the airport express, it may still be best to get the cheaper cards unless you are planning to transfer files between the different computers on the network as your internet connection surely isn't 54Mbps.

    I hope this helps! :)

    [edit] asif is right, much better/easier to get a USB wifi, haven't really looked in to these things myself as I use an ibook and the airport extreme card comes built in.
     
  4. asif786 macrumors 65816

    asif786

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK.
    #4
    yep, your friends will be able to connect fine - they can jsut pick up some cheapass usb wifi adapters from a comp. wholesaler (i.e. compusa)

    in fact, these things can often be found in the discount area, people now generally want 802.11g (54mbit) as opposed to 801.11b (11mbit) so the cards have gone down in price.

    hth,
    /asif
     
  5. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #5
    anubis, sharing the internet connection in the manner that the original poster described could carry a harsher penalty than just termination. This is a civil offense because it's a violation of the contract, so the potential penalty could be a very stiff fine, which may be settled out of court in arbitration or, if the cable company wants to make an example of the original poster, it could even be dragged out into court. This is no different than buying a distribution amplifier to share your cable TV with your neighbors, and it makes little difference whether the neighbors pitch in for the monthly bill.

    gusatinoverde, what you're trying to do is extremely easy. You're probably already unwittingly sharing your 'net with neighbors if you haven't set up any security features on the express.
     
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #6
    I agree it may be a contact violation, which falls under civil law. However "civil offence" and "stiff fine" implies that a government body would assess and enforce a penalty, like a traffic fine or a bylaw infraction, which is not true.

    A contact dispute is purely between the two parties to the contract. The cable company might charge a penalty, the subscriber may dispute it, and the case may go before a civil court for a judgement based on the contract terms. But it is up to the cable company to gain a judgement and damages; no other organization is going to issue a fine, especially in advance of a judgement.

    If you said "it is a breach of contract and you could be charged a very stiff penalty from the cable company" I would agree with you completely.
     
  7. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #7
    CanadaRAM you're right, I should have chosen my words better. The penalties for contract violation might even be written somewhere in the fine (no pun) print.
     
  8. gusanitoverde thread starter macrumors 6502

    gusanitoverde

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Location:
    Northern California
    #8
    Thanks for your responses

    I am still in square 1. Lets say the regular cable providers like Adelphia Comcast, or Cox Communications. I understand that I have a license to hook up many computers to the same line. As I explained the costumer rep from my cable company that I would share the connection wirelessly with my bro, she was a little puzzled and said that there was nothing wrong with it. I always thought that it was illegal. But as I asked in person another cable man that came to my aparment, he confessed that he himself had more than one computer hooked to the same internet connection, and he encouraged me to share it.

    So that's why I am so confused. :confused:
     
  9. Brian Haworth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA, USA
    #9
    I don't see why anyone would even find out about it. Make it a closed network and it won't show up unless you know the name and password.
     

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