General Question

lostinyoureyes's avatar

Is it OK to ask my neighbour to share their internet?

Asked by lostinyoureyes (1051 points ) 1 month ago

I live in an apartment complex and don’t have internet set up. Would I be making my neighbour next door uncomfortable if I ask her if she would mind sharing her internet connection? I would offer to pay part of the bill of course. If you were my neighbour, are there any particular reasons you would want to say no?

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28 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I’d say if you’re wiling to pay half the bill I don’t see why she wouldn’t let you.

canidmajor's avatar

I assume you’re asking about a wifi connection?
Personally, I would feel uncomfortable unless I knew someone very well, for privacy reasons.
She may do her banking and/or other sensitive transactions online.

lostinyoureyes's avatar

@canidmajor Yes, I mean wifi connection. That’s what I was thinking… I don’t want to put her in a weird position. Thanks.

filmfann's avatar

It only requires minimal skills to hack someones computer if they have access to their wifi. I wouldn’t allow it.

CWOTUS's avatar

There are a number of reasons why it’s not going to be a good idea for your neighbor to want to share her wifi, including:
1. Problems with security on your system that could end up affecting her security and privacy;
2. She’d have to give you her password, and if she (like so many users) has a password that is the root of many of her other passwords (or exactly the same as many of her other passwords), then she’d be inadvertently letting you right into those systems;
3. Sometimes when you have problems with connectivity, the only way to resolve the problem is to reboot the modem and/or router, and she won’t want to be bothered by having to reset her equipment because you’re having a problem;
4. Who would make service calls to the ISP and wait around for someone to come and fix the problem, should the equipment malfunction?
5. Would you be offering to split the cost of her router, as well as her monthly charges?

I think it’s going to be an awkward request at best, and the only way that she’d be willing to do as you suggest is that she’s not very tech savvy in the first place – so you’d be taking advantage of her.

In addition to the listed reasons why not to do this (from her perspective), those apply to you, too. If she doesn’t have good security on her system, then yours would be at risk as well as hers, and so forth.

hearkat's avatar

No, it is not OK.

We recently had a guy that lives a couple doors down come knock on our door and ask if he could use ours – he then said the name of the one he is detecting, and it wasn’t ours. We did not want him on our network for privacy and security reasons, as mentioned above; so we were relieved that he wasn’t picking up signal at his house, because it would have been awkward to have to say no.

Response moderated
ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Yeah, bad idea on so many levels.

johnpowell's avatar

I live in a tiny apartment complex and it is pretty much all students that move in in September. For the first month I just leave the network open with no password and change the SSID to “Open until Sept 30”. I route all my traffic through a VPN so people swiping banking info isn’t a real concern.

I have a password on mine now but I share with the woman across the hall and she brings me a twelve-pack a few times a month.

Edit :: I should add that I approached her about using my connection. I helped her get a couch up the stairs and we had a few beers and I brought it up.

Pachy's avatar

Not okay either to ask or to do it surreptitiously.

AshlynM's avatar

Maybe only as a temporary solution until you can get your own connection. You could try asking her and if she says no, case closed. We get many neighbors’ signals but all of them are password protected.

johnpowell's avatar

@AshlynM :: That is why I leave mine open when the students are moving in. A lot of the time people haven’t thought about Internet when they first move in. So I give them a few weeks for Comcast to come out and hook up theirs.

JLeslie's avatar

If I was friends with my neighbor and trusted them I think it is a great idea. Save some money. I guess the only thing that might cause some worry is if you would give the password to other people who I might not know. I guess there is the possibility of people hacking into my Internet or computer or whatever the security problem might be. I certainly would have shared the cost with my last few neighbors if our houses were close enough together if they wanted to. I completely trusted them with my house key, codes, etc.

My wifi password is a crazy Netgear password, it has nothing to do with passwords I commonly use.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have my router set up with main and guest accounts. The accounts have different passwords and privileges. For example, “guest” cannot use printer.

I do this so visitors can use my internet without me worrying too much. I would do it in a heartbeat if my neighbor lived close enough to do so.

JLeslie's avatar

@LuckyGuy If I ever move next door to you I plan on splitting the cost so we can share. Are we the only jellies so far that think it is ok? I guess maybe we have had positive neighbor experiences.

johnpowell's avatar

I think it is okay too and do it. I think it is more about my hatred of Comcast than trying to save cash or helping my neighbor.

Seek's avatar

I use my neighbor’s connection. He and the hubs are friends these days – all mowing each other’s lawns and shit. He uses my printer when he needs to, I use his internet connection.

I’ve disallowed info-sharing between our computers, for what that’s worth, but he and his girlfriend aren’t very computer-literate, and I’m not interested in hacking their shit, so it works out.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek Male bonding.

dappled_leaves's avatar

There’s nothing wrong with asking, but you should both be aware of the risks. If you don’t trust each other, don’t bother. I mean, you might trust her with all your information, and that’s terrific – but are you prepared for her to start knocking on your door, accusing you of stealing her identity? People often turn out to be weirder than we predict.

jca's avatar

I wouldn’t ask if I were you and I wouldn’t say yes if I were your neighbor. Unless she’s desperate for money and needs the help (and assuming you’d be paying no less than 50%), I think it’s not worth the risk, the hassle, the issues.

jerv's avatar

It depends on your neighbor. If they’re tech-savvy enough to setup a guest network like @LuckyGuy then no problem. If they use the same password for their router that they do for the bank, I wouldn’t trust the network enough to want to use it in the first place. If they’re friends, fine; if not, then my own trust issues would nix the idea.

@CWOTUS Re: point #2, mine is totally unrelated for pretty much that reason.

gailcalled's avatar

I have a modem and a router and DSL and a monopolistic server who uses outdated equipment and has too few repairmen and there are wires through acres of woods that repair trucks can’t get to and it rains a lot and the wires short. (See @CWOTUS‘s items 3 and 4).

During the past ten days, I have taken notes. I have recycled the modem and the Apple airport over forty times. Anyone piggybacked onto my WiFi would have gone mad; I almost did.

I do have a friend who comes over and uses my WiFi due to an issue relating to his wife’s arcane chronic illness: he is often frustrated by the internet disconnecting; he cannot call my server because he is not me (and I am not going to tell even him my password, last four digits of my SSS and my father’s middle name.) He ends up usually going to the library and using their computer.

johnpowell's avatar

So all the folks against sharing how exactly you you go about stealing your neighbors banking info? I can do it since I have been doing this shit since I was 15 with a dial-up modem. But most people can’t.

I will roll the dice because I can see what people do since my router logs almost all activity.

I assume and have checked that most people that use the open network I provide mostly dork around on Facebook and Gmail.

It is pretty fucked if you sit around thinking your neighbors are looking for kiddie porn on your wifi. More likely to get a lightning bolt to your face.

canidmajor's avatar

@johnpowell: most people don’t know how to steal banking info (for example), you’re right, but unless I know someone very well I don’t know that they don’t know how. I wouldn’t take the chance.

johnpowell's avatar

That is the difference between us. I will roll the dice. I generally think that people are good and won’t fuck me over. In this case I have logged everything everyone has done along with their unique MAC address.

If the cops come knocking I have tons of logs stored.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@johnpowell Do you think they would still use it if they knew you were logging their usage? I’m guessing you can learn a lot about them from the logs.
Mitch spends a lot of time on grinder; Mary logs into brides fifteen times per day; Maria is logged in FB all day; While Maxilimilian maniacally manipulates his margin accounts.

canidmajor's avatar

@johnpowell: Maybe the difference between us is that you have the know-how and willingness to track and log all the activity of your neighbors. I’m sure I could learn how, but I have no desire to be tracking my neighbors’ internet usage. You’re not really “rolling the dice”, here, as there would be very little risk, legal or otherwise.

flo's avatar

Asking a perfect stranger, not okay to ask.

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