Is your Wi-Fi secure? Do you "borrow" other peoples Wi-Fi?


macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 14, 2005
Danville, VA
Just as the title says, is your wireless network secure? Personally I have no password, and my SSID is "Belkin AP." :) There really is nobody around me who would leech off of it so I never bothered. If I lived in a city I might secure it. Personally I don't care if somebody "borrows" my network for a few minutes, but not long term.

Personally I've hopped on quite a few networks to look something up with my iPod Touch, or I'll drive around a neighborhood till I find an open network and use Google Maps to get directions. I don't see anything wrong with that as long as Im not doing anything malicious, or illegal.

So do you guys secure you networks? And do you see anything wrong with "borrowing" someones network for a few minutes. Im not talking about leeching off your neighbors Wi-Fi 24/7, just using someones network for a little bit.


macrumors 604
Sep 7, 2006
Texas, unfortunately.
No password on mine. We're far enough apart from our neighbors that they would have to be standing at our property line to get a signal.

I don't usually borrow other people's networks. I've done it once or twice, but most of the time it isn't really worth the hassle.


macrumors 601
Feb 19, 2008
Invisible, WPA password protected here. However, if I pick up open wifi, I feel no problem with accessing. Way faster than 3G.


macrumors 601
Sep 26, 2006
WPA2 Personal and both are hidden. Being hidden introduces a few problems, but been too lazy to change it back.

Always on the hunt for free wifi. Unfortunately, most ppl's here in Sydney are far too clever.

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
I kept my secure. Simple and easy to do. Now I have borrowed others wireless before. Hell for an entire summer I leach off some one else wireless because they left it open. I used the other person's because I was having trouble getting the one were I was staying working.

Now in my college days one of my neighbors left there wireless unsecured and on default settings. Took me all of 30 sec to get into it. first time I just changed the wireless name to tell them that they needed to change the default password at least.

Next time I really screwed with it and lock them out of there own wireless. I heard a lot of cussing and yelling so I went back in and unlock it but it was funny.


Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
New Zealand
WPA2 on mine. When I bought my house, I found that one of the neighbours had an open network. I confess to using it a couple of times before I got my own connection in (nothing major, probably less than 5 MB all up).


Dec 12, 2007
We only use the wifi on a turn-on, turn-off basis. Mostly, our computers are on the desk so we're wired right in.

Borrowing other peoples, I don't think twice about it. If they name their network something like "Don't steal my internet" but then don't have it secured - it would be amoral issue that I decide on an individual basis. :p


macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
St. Louis, MO
WPA password here. I don't hide the SSID though, it's more convenient for me to have it visible and hiding it does nothing to protect your network.


macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
Canada, eh?
I have a password on mine. I give it freely to anyone who visits me, but it's to keep snoops and neighbors out. I have a ton of wireless networks around me, and a couple of them do appear to be unsecured. You never know, though, with an unsecured network, if they're running a honeypot or a packet sniffer or something... it's just as risky for you to be using their internet as it is for them to expose their connection to others.

Years ago I visited my sister as she first moved into a high-rise condo in Toronto. It was going to be days before her internet was hooked up. I discovered that one of her neighbors had an open WiFi connection, but to get the best signal, you basically had to sit inside the garbage room on her floor (beside the garbage chute). Sure enough, if you were to have tossed your garbage bag out, you would have found me crouched in the room with my laptop...


macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2008
Ottawa, ON
Secured with WPA, MAC filtering and IP reservations(there are actually no free IPs on the network though someone could spoof/jump one for the machines that are sometimes not physically in the house).

I secure because when I didn't my jerkoff neighbours torrented a bunch of material and ended up breaking my cap for the month. Locked it down with WEP and told them to **** off, they did it again so I stopped being so generous to others wandering who might want to use it briefly because of these idiots.


macrumors 6502a
May 16, 2006
WPA2 personal. If without internet access at home, I have been known to borrow any open wifi networks, but they are few and far between these days.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2009
Brooklyn, NY
I have a protected WEP network with a really simple password, but no one lives close enough to get a signal off my network, and if there is an unprotected network, I will use it, I have no issue with it, if they didnt want people using it, they would protect it.

250th post w00t!


macrumors 68020
Mar 4, 2007
WPA2 Personal for me, and once connected you have to figure out our ip address range and then steal one of our computer's ips to get our proxy to let you on the internet. But they would just use our neighbors instead. Much faster and much less security (five digit wep key)

And yeah, I dont mind using an unsecured wifi when our internet is out to check MR/weather/news with a text only browser. (through a VPN)


macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2007
WPA2 Personal + Hidden.

I've hopped onto others' connection when I didn't have one. I don't stay on it too long.


macrumors 68020
Apr 12, 2006
Long Island
WPA2 Personal

I used to leave it open because I didn't want the hassle of friends coming over and having to type a password.

At some point, my internet started really crawling. My lovely neighbor next door decided to leach his entire house off my router. I cut him off by putting his MAC addresses in the dissallow list, but he had the nerve to change a couple of his ethernet cards. He actually told me his internet stopped working, I offered to fix it but he refused. He had a "friend" that did his networking for him.

The day after I cut him off for the second time, his kid came over and was telling me his internet stopped working.

Some people just suck...

Then again...

I work in NYC and they don't allow wireless into our networks (for good reason). Some of my co-workers would hunt down wireless routers and use the default password for the router. I would say 6 times out of 10, they would be able to get in and add themselves to the router.

Sorry for the long story, in short, secure your router, change the default admin password...


macrumors 603
Apr 10, 2008
WPA2 Personal in my house, I activate the guest account sometimes but even that is password protected which I give to my friends when they come over. And I have used unprotected WI-FI in the past but only for short periods of time like if I'm visiting someone or something like that.
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