Would you use a neighbour's broadband?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Money Saving Polls
85 replies 14.2K views


  • pavlovs_dogpavlovs_dog Forumite
    10.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    i believe bandwidth theft is the term most commonly applied to this?

    not sure what i'd do in this situation. my PC picks up another network but it is secured, so ive never been tempted.

    i know my younger brother, who does not have net access at his house, uses a neighbour's wireless internet via his PSP. whilst it doesnt cost him anything, its far from convenient, as its only on intermitently.

    part of me thinks it their own fault for leaving it unsecured, part of me thinks piggybacking off something that someone else is paying for is wrong.

    another part of me thinks that the reason attitudes are generally so laid back towards this is that wireless hotspots are both increasingly more common and increasingly free to use. i *know* this isnt the case with bandwidth theft, but it does seem to be the way that the internet is heading. whether anything which is such a lucrative source of money making will ever be free to use and available to all in the uk (wirelessly or otherwise) remains to be seen, but it certainly seems like a possibility for the future.
    know thyself
    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
  • irishwench69irishwench69 Forumite
    807 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Well I voted 'E'.....

    I get it in my package anyway, but got to say think it's pretty dammed cheeky for people to do this :mad:

    Guess as people say - make sure your connection is secure!

    IW x
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 222 :beer:
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  • i think that if a person doesn't secure their network, its their own fault. But as people have mentioned previously, if someone's getting their internet for free, maybe they don't mind sharing....

    Therefore, if they don't have an access key, they're telling the world that they don't really mind.
    Financially upset - but I haven't spent any money since Thursday last week!
  • Daft_MonkeyDaft_Monkey Forumite
    138 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I was sharing my own broadband connection with my neighbour in my old house. He got his high speed access and I got half of my ISP fees for a couple of years. Very nice arrangement.
    Closer to the subject of the poll, I have recently moved to a new house and while waiting for my broadband to be transfered accross, I've detected an unsecured wireless network. Out of curiocity I connected to it. They were using the same wireless router as I did but still had the default IP address range and the default admin router password.
    From their network and ISP account names, I traced the router to a small company accross the street. A couple of days later I paid them a visit and tried to explain to them that their wireless network was unprotected and anyone could get access not only to the Internet but also to their internal network. The manager I was talking to looked at me rather buffled and denied the existence of any wireless network. I did find my conversation with him rather entertaining as I could see the router on a desk behind him. Even after pointing that to him he had a hard time believing me!
    In the end he called their IT guy who had no idea either and was trying to convince me that the wireless network I was seeing was probably his brother's free access one two streets up from our location.
    In the end I asked him, is your network called XXXXX? his reply was yes, is your ASP YYYYYY? his reply once again yes, is your account name ZZZZZZ? his reply yes and finaly is one of the machines on your network called AAAAAA? and his answer was again yes. It has to be your router then, I told him.
    They still did not look that convinced.
    Few days later their wireless network disappeared and few weeks later reappeared as a secured network.
    I did not access their network further, firstly because I thought it was unfair on them and equivalent to stealing and secondly because I will never trust an unsecured wireless network with my traffic.
  • looby-loo_2looby-loo_2 Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    I use wireless at work. I came home one day and accidentally connected to my neighbours. Went to tell them and the bloke said 'oh no, not ours, we all have our own passwords'
    Could not get them to understand this was not the same as a secure connection.
    I don't bother to use it as I have my own connection and rrely reach the monthly limit anyway.

    Occasionally I have left the switch on wireless after work and connected up at home and wandered off. I've returned to the computer and used it for a couple of mins before I have realised. It's automatic so not my fault but I've wondered how I would proove it??
    Doing voluntary work overseas for as long as it takes .......
    My DD might make the odd post for me
  • pinguapingua Forumite
    1.7K Posts
    When we move last month we used / borrowed neighbours networks till ours was sorted. Not for anything important - just checking up on here!!!!!!

    We have since told 2 of the 3 unsecured networks they need security. The one mum next door does not underdtand this stuff(neither do I really) so hubbie is going to help her with all the security stuff.

    I do think people are not aware of how to secure(or why) their networks. I know I would be one of these people without hubbie to do it all. Not many people we know are clued up on it to be honest.
  • jackbremerjackbremer Forumite
    223 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I currently have 8 wireless connections in my flat, 3 of which are unsecured.
    1 of them is a great 8mbit connection through Virgin, so unlocked an insecure I can even configure port forwarding for utorrent - awesome.
    Another is less reliable a connection, but has been useful in the past...
    The other doesn't allow regular www connectivity but I can happily play online poker through it.

    Fantastic, thanks everyone - you've saved me spending money on a BT line AND on Broadband - a saving of at least £25 per month - now that IS moneysaving!

    As far as I'm concerned, they may have unlimited connections - an unsecured wireless connection is like a lighthouse - it's a public good and it doesn't matter if other people connect. Of course in reality, there are limits and speed concerns but they aren't my concerns.

    If they leave them unsecured it's like when someone leaves something of value outside their house which may be of use to someone else - share and share alike.
    If they didn't want other people on their network they would have read the manual and secured their router- it's so easy to do.

    Really, everyone should hide their SSID and use MAC filtering - then there's no need at all for passwords...
  • catalonia13catalonia13 Forumite
    493 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    OK, I'm sure many of you will laugh at this question but - how do I know if my wireless connection on my laptop is secure?!
    Make the most of life, it is not a rehearsal!
  • reehsetinreehsetin Forumite
    4.9K Posts
    those with unsecured networks, at least make sure your computers are clean, someone managed to use their neighbours network and stumbled across some very dodgy sites they'd been using,

    have my own connection and as soon as i knew about securing the network it was secured. if i got desperate and didnt have the net would log on quickly, wouldnt do anything personal on it though

    really annoying there were some unsecured networks at work that i used for general browsing but secured now and i have nothing, boo hoo
    Yes Your Dukeiness :D
  • machtzumachtzu Forumite
    73 Posts
    My friend who lives a few doors down found neighbours on both sides had open wireless networks, every router seems to have the user/pass admin/admin so he managed to screw around with their network switching the broadband off and locking them out of the router until they realised they ought to have it protected.

    Stupidity is never a defence...
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