General Question

whattodo2's avatar

Do you pay for wifi or do you piggyback?

Asked by whattodo2 (91 points ) August 3rd, 2008

So many of my city friends get it free, thanks to a neighbor’s unprotected signal. Is that “cheating”?

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22 Answers

girlofscience's avatar

The day we moved into our apartment, the neighbors asked if we were interested in splitting. We pay them half the bill every month, and they gave us their password. Not sure what that counts as.

Indy318's avatar

I have a DSL modem of my own but piggyback off of one of my neighbors (luckily I live in suburbia) because their wi-fi is over 6 Mbps. I would call it slightly taking advantage of my neighbor but I don’t intend on abusing the network in anyway.

marinelife's avatar

It is not illegal in the United States. Without law, it is unclear what the ethics are in this case (as opposed to the lawnmower case), since what you are doing is using spectrum that has no impact on the owner of the wifi network. Legislation needs to catch up and give some guidance here.

It is illegal in Britain.

Vincentt's avatar

I like girlofscience’s method :)

Personally, we have our own wifi-connection, though at times when I couldn’t access them I used to connect to my neighbours’ wi-fi. It isn’t illegal in the Netherlands when they are unprotected (not saying it was :P). When I did use their connection, however, I took care to use it only for the highest-priority stuff and do the rest at school.

iwamoto's avatar

i don’t pay for my wifi signal, i do did pay for the wireless router, and i pay for the internet connection in my home…who pays to be able to transmit or receive a wifi signal anyway ?

i sometimes piggyback when i need to, but luckily that’s not often, i always get the urge to totally board up someone’s unprotected network if they don’t even change the router password, my mouse hovers over the MAC control list tab before i just click it away and continue

i still need to log into an open network and let a packet sniffer run for an hour, pretty interested what i’ll find :)

tinyfaery's avatar

So I guess there really is no absolute when it comes to stealing.

Scrumpulator's avatar

Stealing what? 1’s and 0’s?

gooch's avatar

Yes I pay everyone in my neighborhood has their network secured. I feel like opening up mine but my wife is paranoid of someone messing in our stuff.

justme's avatar

I pay for mine. I noticed that when I’m outside I could pickup on several of my neighbors wifi but I stick with my own.

Melonking's avatar

In one half of my house I pay but on the other half I get it free, something to do with odd walls.

kevbo's avatar

I am a cheapskate and an unscrupulous piggybacker of open networks. I rationalize it as their responsibility to secure their network.

I should add that if I ever got into downloading torrents, I’d probably behave differently, given what I understand about how they clog the internet.

2late2be's avatar

I pay my own, don’t like to be playing or chatting and losing conexion…

jlm11f's avatar

Like gooch, everyone in my neighborhood as a protected network, so i pay. But at college/in the apartments, i have been known to piggyback off some open networks for a quick email check etc.

Lovelocke's avatar

Heh… where are all of the “thievery” heads in this thread? They must still be over on the lawnmower thread.

I carry around my iPod touch and frequently use wifi hotspots. There are places where it’s provided as a free bonus to customers, and there are places where it’s just unprotected signal.

At home? I have a wireless router that can give people signal up to 200 feet in any direction. When they see it come up on their wifi search, they see Lovelocke Wireless.

kevbo's avatar

Speaking of piggybacking, does anyone else pick up networks named after religious themes? My sister’s neighborhood has one (forget what it’s called, but let’s say “Jesus is my savior.”) In recent months, another network in the vicinity was renamed to something (again forget the name) that drew from satanic imagery.

Lovelocke's avatar

Most I see are 2wire routers, linksys, or named after family names.

jlm11f's avatar

@kevbo – i was in columbus recently, and one of the college frat houses had the network name as “jesusfreak”. but MOST network names i have seen are the router names such as “NETGEAR” or “LinkSys”

girlofscience's avatar

I’m going to start a new thread about wireless names!

Lovelocke's avatar

@girl: Cutting Edge!

jlm11f's avatar

@girl – i was thinking the same exact thing haha

skfinkel's avatar

I pay for what I use at my own home. And piggyback when I am out and about—like now when I am visiting my parents in NYC. Lucky for me, someone in this apartment building has an unprotected service—and I am most grateful.

anthony81212's avatar

Our Wi-Fi policy is more communist. Our neighbourhood keeps their wireless unsecured, so anyone in the neighbourhood can have wireless wherever they are in the neighbourhood.

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