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Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 09:44 AM   #1
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Wireless connection--am I bad?

We cancelled our cable internet broadband connection. It wasn't all that fast. It would bog down on occasion. It was expensive. The cable company is irritating. We switched to Clearwire, a wireless broadband service. Generally it works pretty good and fast but sometimes no. Like this morning.

So I have my laptop at home today. There is someone in our neighborhood with an unsecure wireless connection so I am connecting through him. Very fast. It is great. I have done this a few times now. My questions:

--Is this morally wrong? Am I somehow hurting this guy?

--Am I exposing myself to hackers or otherwise putting my computer at risk? I am not doing anything important, just surfing around the internet. No online banking or anything.
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 10:02 AM   #2
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

You are actually committing a crime in many jurisdictions. You may be reducing his bandwidth. Depending on your security (firewalls, etc) he may be able to 'see' your resources, including your files if you have file and printer sharing turned on. He may be able to record your wireless 'conversations'; many of these like email and web postings are clear text. Even if you're using some kind of encryption, the conversation can be recorded and decrypted at leisure.

Not a bad idea if its an open "hotspot" or someone advertising its ok to use their connection. And you have the right security requisites.
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 10:06 AM   #3
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

http://www.infoworld.com/article/05/08/08/HNwifi_1.html

Now that you've posted that you're aware you're using his connection, if he's capturing your data, he can show you have complicit knowledge that you were using it.

Put on the foil hat now! Nail sheet metal over the windows!

Seriously, unless he's a geek, he'll probably never know.
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 10:11 AM   #4
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

hmm. I will be putting a wireless network in my house soon. Can there be 2 different computers surfing on the same connection at different sites?
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 10:15 AM   #5
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

There are 4 other wireless networks in my area and mine is the only one that is secured. I have one that has a stronger signal than even mine so the computer wants to link to it...have to tell it No, bad boy..stay..sit.

I have never used the other connections..and have actually told the PC to just ignore anyother signal except mine. That keeps DW from accidentally breaking the law.

Firewalls are good to have.
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 10:19 AM   #6
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddythebeagle
hmm. I will be putting a wireless network in my house soon. Can there be 2 different computers surfing on the same connection at different sites?
Yes.

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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 10:28 AM   #7
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

I had neighbors that were getting a free ride from my network until I locked it down. My service runs ~46 bucks a month and I'm not sharing anymore.
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 10:32 AM   #8
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

You could have changed your SSID to "Call 555-1212 for access, $10 a month"
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 10:42 AM   #9
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
I had neighbors that were getting a free ride from my network until I locked it down. My service runs ~46 bucks a month and I'm not sharing anymore.
Did it effect your connection? Slow you down or anything?
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 10:45 AM   #10
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Did it effect your connection?* Slow you down or anything?*
Yep, my speed would slow down to a grinding halt around 5-6pm. As soon as I locked down my network (I'm a very lazy IT person at home-->stuff does NOT get done), there were SBC and Comcast trucks lining my street the following week
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 10:47 AM   #11
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

The gist of the responses is that "I am bad." I'll take it under advisement.
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 10:58 AM   #12
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
The gist of the responses is that "I am bad." I'll take it under advisement.
Hmmmm. When she was good she was good, but when she was bad she was absolutely awesome!!!

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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 11:34 AM   #13
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

Naughty, naughty girl.

Do note that cable modems share a common media "channel" thats going to be capable of roughly 27-36Mb/s depending on how old your cable companies data gear is. That means everyone on your street, perhaps neighborhood (up to the nearest cable "big box" that has a switch or router) is sharing that media. Many cable companies are giving 2-4Mb/s per user, throttled at your cable modem. So 10-15 people all start downloading big files at the same time, you're going to get crap for throughput even though you're not doing much.

Usually when the kids get home from school to when people come home from work are the times the shared media take a beating...3-7ish in the evening. And weekends.

DSL can be better as you have your own slice all the way to the phone company CO that terminates your DSL line, but even there some older setups or where they went cheap might have you getting 384-768Kb/s for yourself up to that termination point, and then 32 people sharing 10Mb/s into the backbone router. Thats still going to suck when everyone turns on the computer at the same time.

I got a cable internet hookup the day after at&t offered it in my old mcmansion neighborhood. Speed was incredible...for about a year and a half until the neighborhood saturation increased. Around 4-5pm it'd slow to a crawl.

People sharing your wireless from a distance can also create similar problems. Someone far, far away from the router might pick up your SSID and bond to you, get a connection, and be able to use it, but distance and interference might cause extensive retransmissions. In a wireless world, you're usually again sharing a limited bandwidth and throughput between all wireless users. If someone 600 feet away is hooked up to your access point, but they're requiring 3-5 retransmits per packet, they might be eating most of the wireless bandwidth before it even gets to the routers WAN side.
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 11:47 AM   #14
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

Quote:
Yep, my speed would slow down to a grinding halt around 5-6pm. As soon as I locked down my network (I'm a very lazy IT person at home-->stuff does NOT get done), there were SBC and Comcast trucks lining my street the following week
I guess that since I live in the sticks, I can assume that I wont need the lead based paint and window treatments that CFB is selling for security.
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 11:48 AM   #15
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

You're such an uber-geek, CFB *


I've actually haven't experienced performance degradation since I encrypted my network. *What baffles me to this day is when my network became *unencrypted* all of sudden. * So now I check every other day to make sure my pants aren't down.
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 11:49 AM   #16
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

I check everyday to make sure my pants ARE down...
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 11:55 AM   #17
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Have Funds, Will Retire
I check everyday to make sure my pants ARE down...*
Yep, you caught the sexual innuendo of the day. My mind is perpetually in the gutter. I should've been a man...
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 12:04 PM   #18
 
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
We cancelled our cable internet broadband connection. It wasn't all that fast. It would bog down on occasion. It was expensive. The cable company is irritating. We switched to Clearwire, a wireless broadband service. Generally it works pretty good and fast but sometimes no. Like this morning.
Martha,

Was DSL available in your area? - I switched from Dial-up with an extra phone line and AOL for DSL. Got rid of AOL and the Phone line for a savings of $45 per month. DSL costs me $25 a month, so I am still saving $20 a month.

How much if Clearwire?
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 12:05 PM   #19
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

I woke up this morning, and it looked so pretty out, that I thought I'd leave it out all day...
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?
Old 02-20-2006, 12:14 PM   #20
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Re: Wireless connection--am I bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Martha,

Was DSL available in your area? - I switched from Dial-up with an extra phone line and AOL for DSL. Got rid of AOL and the Phone line for a savings of $45 per month. DSL costs me $25 a month, so I am still saving $20 a month.

How much if Clearwire?
No DSL at all in our area. The only options are Clearwire at $19.95 and cable at about $50.
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