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Sharing Wireless Broadband
Old 10-28-2009, 10:34 PM   #1
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Sharing Wireless Broadband

it seems once you have a web or phone link to the outside world, there are lots of cost effective options for security, telephone, web access, long distance, and so on, however, broadband or landlines are not competitive or cheap themselves.

anyone as cheap as I am and thought about sharing expense of your wireless broadband with neighbours? Seems to me it would be easy to do, especially if there are no video downloading "youths" (under 50) in the deal.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:40 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kroeran View Post
it seems once you have a web or phone link to the outside world, there are lots of cost effective options for security, telephone, web access, long distance, and so on, however, broadband or landlines are not competitive or cheap themselves.

anyone as cheap as I am and thought about sharing expense of your wireless broadband with neighbours? Seems to me it would be easy to do, especially if there are no video downloading "youths" (under 50) in the deal.
I think you'll find that sharing among multiple residences is not permitted under the terms of service for most of these services. I know that's not what you asked, but I thought I'd offer it up.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:45 PM   #3
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Whoever owns the router will have much insight into the personal lives of their neighbors.

The obvious one (porn) along with the not so obvious like maybe web sites/searches dealing with financial issues, physical or mental ailments, etc.

I've a coworker who had neighbors stealing his and he let them because he could use his router log to identify their web surfing habits, along with following the myspace type links to figure out which one was which. He knew who had looked up herpes medications, which married guy liked checking out the men seeking men section of craigslist, etc. great fun.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:48 PM   #4
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Whoever owns the router will have much insight into the personal lives of their neighbors.

The obvious one (porn) along with the not so obvious like maybe web sites/searches dealing with financial issues, physical or mental ailments, etc.
is there a technical way to respond to this?
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:52 PM   #5
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I think you'll find that sharing among multiple residences is not permitted under the terms of service for most of these services. I know that's not what you asked, but I thought I'd offer it up.
What he said. In other words, it's stealing. Stealing is wrong.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:52 PM   #6
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I think you'll find that sharing among multiple residences is not permitted under the terms of service for most of these services. I know that's not what you asked, but I thought I'd offer it up.
I wonder how it works for coffee shops and other institutions that provide open access...if they pay extra...maybe thats different

might be more to the point to "let" neighbours freeride, and maybe expect a bottle of wine or something once in a while...assuming such sharing is done by light users...I agree there is an ethical barrier
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:55 PM   #7
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I'm not sure what you mean, like are you saying is there a way the neighbor who doesn't own the wireless equipment to ensure his or her web surfing privacy? Maybe trust?

There are a million different types of wireless setups and home computer setups in fact I'm not even 100% certain said coworker was using the router or network software on his rig to see what pages they were hitting, but technically when everything is going thru one access point that single access point can be set up to monitor traffic. All web surfing is is requests for resources for certain internet addresses going out (that's oversimplified) and responses coming back.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:57 PM   #8
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The ethical thing is weird, I mean is it allowed to let 10 friends come over to watch the UFC pay per view fights? What about just one neighbor who comes over almost every other night with beer because you have all-NBA pass and you're both fans of a certain team?

I never really thought about it.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:41 PM   #9
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is there a technical way to respond to this?
Yes, but we have to know what kind of response you want.

In all seriousness, he who owns the router has an easy task to determine what web-sites you visitare visited. S/he has slightly harder task determining who visited them (you or another neighbour). S/he won't be able to get your banking info if you do it online. At least s/he won't get it by watching what goes through the router but there are other ways. Don't share with an uber-geek.
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:01 AM   #10
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I'm all for saving money, but not to the point of stealing products or services. In addition, while residential broadband ain't free, I consider the bang-for-the-buck to be pretty darn good.

And, I like the idea that my comms are private (to include my online banking, etc). I don't think I want to give that up.

There are legal ways to get free broadband--people can go to the library or anywhere with a wifi hotspot.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:48 AM   #11
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but technically when everything is going thru one access point that single access point can be set up to monitor traffic.
Like with Network Magic. I have used this product for several years to setup and manage the six computers and my Sage (TV) setup on my home network.

And I just noticed, the Wi-Fi connections for our two newly acquired Blackberry Storm2s.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:35 AM   #12
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The ethical thing is weird, I mean is it allowed to let 10 friends come over to watch the UFC pay per view fights? What about just one neighbor who comes over almost every other night with beer because you have all-NBA pass and you're both fans of a certain team?

I never really thought about it.
well, actually setting it up for sharing between households and collecting cash, in direct violation of the liscence, carries civil risk and there is the ethical issue of "stealing" broadband, regardless of enforcability

similar issue to downloading pirated material I suppose
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:31 AM   #13
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Another security issue is if you leave your wireless router unsecured, it is easy to hack or spoof it and get on your network, intercept your traffic (or your sharing neighbor's traffic), log all traffic and crack the ssl encryption on bank transaction type stuff, etc. Do yourselves and neighbors a favor, activate WPA2 or some type of wireless security on the router, give them a nice long randomly generated key, and keep that sucker way more secure for you and your sharing buddies.

Unsecured = someone could drive by your house with a laptop and the right software, have all your secured internet traffic pass through their computer and save it all, then drive off and spend a little time later opening up that bag of goodies and seeing what kind of treats you gave them for Halloween. Vanguard/fidelity acct passwords, bank, credit card passwords, etc. Low hanging fruit gets picked first.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:01 AM   #14
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it is easy ................ crack the ssl encryption on bank transaction type stuff, etc.
I don't think that's ever been done, so it can't be that easy.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:34 AM   #15
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Even going beyond the contractual and ethical considerations, what would really concern me is if the account was in my name, through wireless routers in my house, and my neighbor was downloading kiddie porn, I could be in a LOT of trouble. I tend to border on the paranoid about stuff like this.

Personally, I use both WPA2 encryption AND access lists which only grants access to wireless cards in my house. Yes, a sufficiently savvy and motivated hacker could likely find their way in, but at least the opportunists would look for an easier mark elsewhere.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:41 AM   #16
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is there a technical way to respond to this?
Put two routers behind the modem, one for each user.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:44 AM   #17
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I don't think that's ever been done, so it can't be that easy.

I'm no computer security expert by any means. I didn't mean someone could use brute force to crack 128 bit ssl. Rather something like a man in the middle attack or similar. Unsuspecting user ignores problems with authentification certificate, clicks through, bam. Or some bank with no tech budget doesn't have very good security on their end. Point is, why send sensitive data out into the public when you can slap WPA2 on your router and add an extra layer of security. Don't be the low hanging fruit in other words.
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:09 AM   #18
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it seems once you have a web or phone link to the outside world, there are lots of cost effective options for security, telephone, web access, long distance, and so on, however, broadband or landlines are not competitive or cheap themselves.

anyone as cheap as I am and thought about sharing expense of your wireless broadband with neighbours? Seems to me it would be easy to do, especially if there are no video downloading "youths" (under 50) in the deal.
This is just so not a good idea from a lot of perspectives, many of which have already been mentioned.

But if you are serious and want to try to do it legitmately, call your broadband provider and tell them your plans. If they allow it at all they will probably sell you a commercial account. Be sure to check with your municipality, also and make sure it's Ok with them. You can manage the "youths" downloading video by using a "real" router supports something called quality of service -- basically a feature that allows prioritization of different kinds of traffic. You probably won't find that equipment at Best Buy, though. (Update: Just looked and lo and behold some of the consumer routers actually do have something like QOS).Then you will need to hire a knowledgable techie to configure that equipment for you.

Personally I would not want to be dependent on using my neighbor's service, and I certainly would not want all my traffic going through his network.
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:26 AM   #19
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Another security issue is if you leave your wireless router unsecured, it is easy to hack or spoof it and get on your network, intercept your traffic (or your sharing neighbor's traffic), log all traffic and crack the ssl encryption on bank transaction type stuff, etc. Do yourselves and neighbors a favor, activate WPA2 or some type of wireless security on the router, give them a nice long randomly generated key, and keep that sucker way more secure for you and your sharing buddies.

Unsecured = someone could drive by your house with a laptop and the right software, have all your secured internet traffic pass through their computer and save it all, then drive off and spend a little time later opening up that bag of goodies and seeing what kind of treats you gave them for Halloween. Vanguard/fidelity acct passwords, bank, credit card passwords, etc. Low hanging fruit gets picked first.
My router is unsecured and I know next to nothing about how to secure it. Can anyone point me in the right direction on how to password protect it?
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:38 AM   #20
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My router is unsecured and I know next to nothing about how to secure it. Can anyone point me in the right direction on how to password protect it?
RTFM!

In all seriousness, the manual that came with the router (or its online equivalent) should explain things well enough for an average computer user to turn on basic security. Start there and post any questions along with router make & model and people here can probably help.
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