Open up your WiFi network!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by lamina, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. lamina macrumors 68000

    lamina

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Location:
    Niagara
    #1
    With the prevalence of handheld wifi-enabled devices, it is only kind to open up your network for others to use.

    I live in an area that has some university students. Often they will hop onto my network. Fine by me if they are just doing some light surfing. Now and then one of them will be downloading big files over the network, so I simply ban their MAC address. At the same time, I guess it would be fair to filter any actual neighbouring computers out, since they all have broadband anyway, and there's no reason to use my network.

    An open wifi network is a gesture of goodwill towards your fellow human being. It's great to be able to check the bus schedule on my iPod touch while I'm walking down the street, or to receive email wherever I am.
     
  2. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
  3. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #3
    Nice gesture until someone decides to do something illegal and you're held responsible.

    Plus, if you don't use encryption, any traffic you send that isn't via SSH or SSL is unencrypted and available to anyone. For example, MacRumors doesn't have SSL, so if you're logging into MR over an unencrypted network, someone with the right software (which is freely available) can grab your username and password.
     
  4. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #4
    I tried lamina, but my network ended up getting completely jammed. The neighbors were downloading too much porn perhaps. Believe me, I'm with you but I had to give up. :(
     
  5. alFR macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    #5
    Great idea, but you really need to separate the public part of your lan from the private by using something like a FON router.
     
  6. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #6
    Not to mention that if your isp has a cap you could get shut off with everyone streaming off your network.
     
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #7
    If you have a spare wireless router, and you route the traffic through a filter, you can have complete control over what end users can do and see. And then there's fun like Upside-Down-Ternet. :D
     
  8. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #8
    Hahaha, that's probably the second-coolest thing I've seen all week!
     
  9. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    And reduce my LAN security as well as leaving myself open to every little porn surfer and illegal file sharer who might wish to anonymise himself via my network?

    Fsck no!

    Recommended for the naive, gullible and plain dumb only....
     
  10. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    As with Communism, this relies on everyone doing it, and no-one taking advantage of anyone else.

    (And as we know, Communism is EVIL.)
     
  11. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #11
    Did I read the post right or did the OP not just say to open up your networks and then go on to say how they banned students, neighbours and other people?

    So you're basically asking people to open their networks for you to freeload off?

    Nice! :rolleyes:


    I don't think my wi-if is secure, so anyone can use it.
     
  12. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #12
    while i would love to since i know how it feels to be shut out. its just not reasonable or practical.
     
  13. LinuXtreme macrumors regular

    LinuXtreme

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    Near Aspen
    #13
    What the OP described doing was blocking the MAC addresses of people who abused the privilege of using his open network or didn't have any need for it (neighbors who have their own wireless).
     
  14. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603

    2nyRiggz

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2005
    Location:
    Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
    #14
    If you're helping me pay the bill then fine...being kind to others is cool but I don't think they'll be kind to me...downloading big files etc..

    I'll pass.


    Bless
     
  15. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #15
    yes, but then that requires you to manage you wireless daily, even more. not worth the hassle methinks.
     
  16. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #16
    You either open you network or you don't. Anything else is just double standards.
     
  17. Schnebar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #17
    Our wireless is called YouJustFoundAFreeWifiHotspot

    We are not really living downtown but I guess the only way someone would see it is if they were like walking up the street. Even-though I doubt the signal from the airport express could make it to the street. I just thought it would be funny if someone looking for a open wifi saw that.
     
  18. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #18
    I disagree, in that I think that, even if you open it up, you should at least take some precautions. It's fine for people to surf on your net, but not if they're going to illegal locations. And it's fine to download images (part of surfing), but not to upload files (maybe) or download big files (also your call).
     
  19. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #19
    Such activities would most-likely be violating your ISP's terms of use, as well as breaking the law.
     
  20. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #20
    Opening up a WiFi network might violate the ISP's TOS, but it's not illegal.
     
  21. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #21
    If you have broadband cable internet, it can be classified as sharing your cable connection, which is very much illegal.

    Link
     
  22. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #22
    Interesting that they provide no links, and that the "Click here to see federal statutes that prohibit the assistance of theft of services offered over a cable system." does not, in fact, link to anywhere.

    If it were easily prosecutable, I doubt FON would have been allowed to take off. I'm wary of accepting Time Warner's word for what is a prosecutable offense. In fact, if it were so blatantly illegal, one must wonder why wireless access points have non-secure options.
     
  23. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #23
    Strange, that link seems to work for me.

    But here's a link to the DoJ: http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime/47usc553.htm

    47 § 553:
    (1) No person shall intercept or receive or assist in intercepting or receiving any communications service offered over a cable system, unless specifically authorized to do so by a cable operator or as may otherwise be specifically authorized by law.​
     
  24. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #24
    I don't open my networks, but, again, I don't think this is a prosecutable offense for people who have open wireless networks, with the possible exception of those who blatantly advertise their presence. Otherwise, it'd be too easy to simply go down any street and track anyone with an open network.

    However, since my internet is via FiOS, this wouldn't apply to me anyway. ;)
     
  25. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #25
    You're right, it's not an easily prosecutable offense unless you can prove the owner of the network purposefully left his/her wifi unlocked for the access of others. (Although, this wouldn't be too difficult if the SSID was "free_internet!")

    ...But just because it isn't an easily prosecutable offense, is not a reason to purposefully break the law.
     

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