macbook wireless range???

thebiggoose

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 17, 2006
266
0
I'm planning on getting a MacBook but until my parents stop being tightwads...we're stuck with dial-up. We live in a pretty nice sub though, and almost eveyone here has a wireless network in their house. Now, Our house is the second highest spot in the county and theer are houses with wireless networks maybe 200 feet away. How far do you think my range could get?
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,199
5
Adelaide, Australia
It's not legal to join someone's wireless network without their permission, so make sure you ask first. Nevertheless, it'd have to be an extraordinary router to give you reception at 200 feet. Most household routers won't even get close to that broadcast radius. :eek:
 

purelithium

macrumors 6502
May 28, 2006
355
0
Kingston, Canada
thebiggoose said:
I'm planning on getting a MacBook but until my parents stop being tightwads...we're stuck with dial-up. We live in a pretty nice sub though, and almost eveyone here has a wireless network in their house. Now, Our house is the second highest spot in the county and theer are houses with wireless networks maybe 200 feet away. How far do you think my range could get?

Wow, Dialup? In most cases, Highspeed Lite, or Regular Highspeed is only a couple bucks more than dialup... geez. Tell your parents to Join this century ;)
 

RollTide

macrumors 6502
Mar 9, 2006
448
0
Alabama
I'm so excited, Bellsouth predicts that in the next 2 years we MAY have high speed here. But, I'm so happy with my 28.8 kb a sec its ok:rolleyes:
 

vv-tim

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2006
366
0
mad jew said:
It's not legal to join someone's wireless network without their permission, so make sure you ask first. Nevertheless, it'd have to be an extraordinary router to give you reception at 200 feet. Most household routers won't even get close to that broadcast radius. :eek:
It's not illegal to join open wireless domains. This has been discussed quite a few times on big sites like Slashdot. A good comparison I heard was "joining an open wireless network is like walking into an open house with a billboard screaming 'come in!!!!'". Open wireless networks literally "scream" their presence.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,199
5
Adelaide, Australia
vv-tim said:
It's not illegal to join open wireless domains. This has been discussed quite a few times on big sites like Slashdot.

Slashdot's probably not the greatest legal advice to be had on the internet though.


vv-tim said:
A good comparison I heard was "joining an open wireless network is like walking into an open house with a billboard screaming 'come in!!!!'". Open wireless networks literally "scream" their presence.

And then eating the food from their fridge... Even if it were technically legal, it's not morally right. I'm sure if the owner of the network doesn't mind, then asking won't hurt. Just because something isn't locked down, doesn't make it free for all. :)
 

benthewraith

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2006
3,083
80
Miami, FL
Mad Jew said:
And then eating the food from their fridge... Even if it were technically legal, it's not morally right. I'm sure if the owner of the network doesn't mind, then asking won't hurt. Just because something isn't locked down, doesn't make it free for all.
Not entirely true. All routers now tell you to set security or expect others to use their network. If I could find a way to prevent P2P, i'd let others use my network (seriously, two computers on a 3 Mbps connection? It's not going to affect me too much if someone uses it).

If you really want to connect, just build a cantenna, it should be able to amplify the wireless signal significantly. ;)
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,199
5
Adelaide, Australia
benthewraith said:
All routers now tell you to set security or expect others to use their network.

Even if that were true, it wouldn't apply to older routers and it misses the point. Joining a neighbour's wireless network and using their bandwidth for your own uses, without asking, is neither legal nor right. :)
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
I have to agree with mad jew. Regardless of legality, it's not ethical. If you are sure they wouldn't mind, asking them wouldn't matter. If you're afraid to ask, it means you know or strongly suspect they'd mind.
 

thebiggoose

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 17, 2006
266
0
I'll defineately ask first...i woudl never do it w/o asking...anyways my neighbor is one of my best friends and my other neighbor is a good friend...what's a cantenna??? please help
 

thebiggoose

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 17, 2006
266
0
do you think i could use a regular big antenna for a cb radio...could that work if i hooked it up?
 

thebiggoose

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 17, 2006
266
0
also...what are some cheap high speed providers...i dont think we get sbc or verizon here yet?
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
thebiggoose said:
do you think i could use a regular big antenna for a cb radio...could that work if i hooked it up?
No... different frequencies require different antennas.
 

vv-tim

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2006
366
0
mad jew said:
Even if that were true, it wouldn't apply to older routers and it misses the point. Joining a neighbour's wireless network and using their bandwidth for your own uses, without asking, is neither legal nor right. :)
If you're not harming anything, it's hardly an ethics issue. And it's not illegal -- at all --. I challenge you to find a law that disallows the joining of public networks.

And really... asking them if it's ok? If someone came up to my house and asked if they could connect to my WiFi, I'd just kind of look at them strangely. If I didn't want people on my connection, I'd enable WEP. Even early routers have WEP protection.


There's a whole "sport" (for the super-nerds) called wardriving that involves going around towns looking for WiFi spots. If you have a problem with it, ethically, then don't do it... it's like the vegetarians who say noone should be allowed to eat meat, hah.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,199
5
Adelaide, Australia
vv-tim said:
If you're not harming anything, it's hardly an ethics issue. And it's not illegal -- at all --. I challenge you to find a law that disallows the joining of public networks.

But it's not a public network. If you can't see that it's courteous to ask before using somebody's private wireless network, then we're obviously very different people.

Oh, and I eat meat. :confused:
 

xfiftyfour

macrumors 68030
Apr 14, 2006
2,573
0
Clemson, SC
i'm sorry, but i'm of the mindset that if you don't want people jacking your bandwidth, then take the easy precautions to stop it.

perhaps if he drags down their network, his neighbors will start wising up.. they certainly don't leave their cars unlocked and the keys in the ignition, right? use some common sense.

oh, and to the OP: if your macbook can't see their network or gets a really poor signal.. don't expect much faster speeds than your dial-up.
 

janey

macrumors 603
Dec 20, 2002
5,319
0
sunny los angeles
The MacBooks have ridiculously good antennas though, I'm picking up 3x the number of wireless networks that any other computer in the same area is getting, and I can connect to most of them too! Hell, in fact sometimes the list of wireless networks is so huge there's a scrollable list of them ;)

/. is the worst place for legal advice. However, IANAL, but wireless networks are a semi gray area, as in if you don't do anything but connect to the network it's the maintainer's bloody stupidity and fault for doing so, it's just illegal to be h4x0ring it so you can connect to a base station with added security (i.e. WPA/WEP, etc.).

If you seriously insist on keeping others out, MAC filtering and WPA/WEP are utterly useless alone or with dumbarsed passwords that can be bruteforced except to keep out the nub scriptkiddies. If you're that paranoid, just go wired, it's so much harder to gain access to a wired network..
 

thebiggoose

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 17, 2006
266
0
janey said:
The MacBooks have ridiculously good antennas though, I'm picking up 3x the number of wireless networks that any other computer in the same area is getting, and I can connect to most of them too! Hell, in fact sometimes the list of wireless networks is so huge there's a scrollable list of them ;)
did the winky face mean u were being sarcastic...becaues I hope not...