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Ernie_Fergler
Re: Wireless Internet
goldhiller wrote:

kent,

we have a panel antenna (think small pizza box)mounted up on the roof for the WLAN. Fastened to the tv antenna mast just above the tripod. Hard-wire cable runs from that into attic, down a stud bay to the basement and then up thru the floor to where the PC is located on the first floor. There the cable is plugged into a little 12VDC "injector" which is about half the size of a pack of ciggies. Then a cable from there to the puter would be "standard", but I'm feeding a wireless router so it goes to that instead.

The antenna doesn't have to be up that high at all. Can literally be a foot off the ground.....so long as it has line of sight to the repeater/tower.

We paid $125 for equipment and install......which included up to 150' of cable. (300' is the functional limit) Antenna belongs to us now, but has to be configured with all the proper settings that allow that antenna to access this WLAN. The provider does that configuring from his end....and does not, of course......give out that info or he'd have no paying subscribers. Everyone who found out would simply log on for free. Or.......he would spend all his time reconfiguring to thwart them.

If/when we ever go a different route or WLAN supplier, he will "release" this thing so it's free to reconfigure for a different networks settings. (I know how to log onto it, just can't access the screens with the info or make changes without the passwords. (yes, plural)

PS- There may be an easy way to find out just who owns that router you're tapping. Unless they changed the name of it (SSID) then it likely shows up on your screen with the name of the manufacturer as the SSID. I know the log-in addy of numerous brands, but if I didn't know one..it's easy to Google. Then you would log-on and configure so that it only allows you to use it. Do this via Mac addy. Block all except yours. Then allow them to use it for say 30 minutes and then block 'em for the next 15 or so. Then back on again. Then off. They'll think it's a provider problem and get hot under the collar. If/when you hear the shouting and swearing...there's the owner. LOL

Using the "on-off" method, they won't likely suspect what's actually going on and so won't take any steps to secure the critter. So.....you can have a liitle *fun* with them whenever you're short on entertainment for the night.

Ya know........there's always the possibility that they already have *an arrangement* with one or more of their neighbors as concerns splitting internet access costs. Might be that's the only reason the wireless router is there. And/or other folks could also be hitchhiking without their knowledge. You might hear lots of folks wailing when they can't get on. Wow...this could be fun. LOL

:D I like the way you think. it was a good read...

old534770
Re: Wireless Internet

Greetings

I hate to be a kill joy, but "borrowing" internet access is in many states as well as local jurisdictions, a crime, at least a misdemeanor, and in many states, a 4th degree felony. I believe there may also be some Federal laws to run afoul of.

I would suggest asking your neighbors. Does your townhouse complex have an owner's association? You might inquire of them. I would find out and ask before just doing in this case.

Internet access is so easy to get now, why not get your own. I would find it hard to believe that if so many folks around you have all these wireless routers, that your townhouse complex is not serviced by at least one or two service providers.

My cable provider, Cox, does not require me to have their cable service to get Internet services from them, and again, in many states, the telcos can no longer require you to buy a voice line from them to get DSL.

Again ask around - be brave, walk up and knock on the door. What are they going to do but say no, and you might meet some nice people. :)

Ernie_Fergler
Re: Wireless Internet
old534770 wrote:

Greetings

I hate to be a kill joy, but "borrowing" internet access is in many states as well as local jurisdictions, a crime, at least a misdemeanor, and in many states, a 4th degree felony. I believe there may also be some Federal laws to run afoul of.

I would suggest asking your neighbors. Does your townhouse complex have an owner's association? You might inquire of them. I would find out and ask before just doing in this case.

Internet access is so easy to get now, why not get your own. I would find it hard to believe that if so many folks around you have all these wireless routers, that your townhouse complex is not serviced by at least one or two service providers.

My cable provider, Cox, does not require me to have their cable service to get Internet services from them, and again, in many states, the telcos can no longer require you to buy a voice line from them to get DSL.

Again ask around - be brave, walk up and knock on the door. What are they going to do but say no, and you might meet some nice people. :)

Well,if a person will not safe guard his net access, then that is not MY problem. He might just end up a lot worse.

goldhiller
Re: Wireless Internet

old,

I understand what you're saying......but it just doesn't jibe with reality these days. To further/better explain, I'm going to copy and paste a post I recently made on a different building forum when this very same subject came up......yet once again. I stand by what I said there.
-------------------------------------------------

The whole wireless world has become a quagmire to be sure. Like it or not, the world is a different place today than it was even 10 years ago and the changes will continue to come. You can count on it.

So let's approach the subject of bandwidth "stealing", who all is getting "injured" by that, who's responsible, what should be done to make it "fair" to all involved, who should be arrested/jailed....and just how you're gonna enforce that........at what expense to society.

When is it sharing and when is it stealing? Sharing would presume that the owner of the router has given others permission to use his/her bandwidth. Stealing presumes they haven't. The involved ISP, of course, looks at both scenarios as stealing because sharing or "stealing" personal bandwidth/internet access means they are selling fewer subscriptions. Not fair really, is it? Therefore one subscription/connection per computer should be the rule, right? Sounds like the Microsoft approach, doesn't it? Everybody loves those guys.

Or.........is it stealing if you reside outside the confines of the house/property, but sharing if you reside within? In either case........how many folks can you share with before you are morally abusing the price you pay for the subscription? Who shall decide? Who shall enforce the ruling? How much shall we all pay in higher taxes to support the internet bandwidth police division?

I'm sure that book publishers would like legislation stating that you can't legally loan your books to anyone else. For your eyes and your eyes only. Libraries should be shut down. Maybe phone companies would like the same; it's your phone account and no one else can legally use it...even with your permission.

Leaving the neighbors with half a tank of gas after using their car, eating their food, etc.....without their permission......are not viable comparisons. When you use/share someone else's bandwidth it doesn't cost them any more money to replace what you used.

And most people with even common broadband connection speeds will notice no difference in response times even if someone else is "sharing" bandwidth at the same moment. Maybe...... if the "stealer/sharer" is downloading a 2 hour movie or similar.

The "try every door till you find one open" scenario doesn't cut it either. Not unless the manufacturers of the wireless cards and the OS are also to be held liable. The computer/system you purchased from the manufacturer automatically goes hunting for a connection as soon as it's turned on, doesn't it? Not much different than Media Player availing us with the ability to rip and burn music from CDs is it? This used to be the exclusive domain of "illegal" pirating software. Today it's not. MS includes it in their package. However, MS still goes to great lengths to prevent folks from "stealing" their goods, don't they? Hypocrits are everywhere. Kinda wonder if Bill Gates is reading this. Doubt it.

Bottom line is that if someone is going to install a wireless router these days and they don't want "unauthorized" people using the thing.........it should be/is the owner's sole responsibility to secure the critter. Same as if some gal doesn't want guys gawking at her breasts. Cover 'em up. Duh. To do otherwise (leave 'em exposed to whatever degree) IMPLIES CONSENT AND/OR DESIRE for gawking. However...... touching without authorized consent is still a no-no.....and would be comparable to using that router to access someone's personal info on their personal computer. How tuff is this all to grasp?

If folks don't want to learn how to secure their router........ but yet wish to hold others responsible for "unauthorized usage of bandwidth"........that is wholly unacceptable and tough cookies, IMO. If you won't secure it, but will whine if someone uses your bandwidth...... then don't buy one. Either that or hire someone to secure it. Yes, actually get out your billfold and pay those who have learned to do what you refuse to.

This is all further complicated for metro dwellers where many people carry I-pods or similar devices and intended free wireless access is available as you walk/drive down any street. These devices will readily and automatically grab onto any available access point...switching seamlessly as you move out of one coverage area and into another. How much time and effort shall a person devote to figuring out if the current connection is intended access or unintended access? The notion itself is absurd considering the state of affairs.

I can light up my LT at one particular client's house in town, see four unsecured SSIDs that all say "Linksys"....and connect thru any of them. No hacking involved. Guess why. It's what they and their neighbors all bought locally....and none of them have reconfigured/secured their router. All of those routers are still on the default settings. None of them have any idea which one they're logged on to at any given moment (haven't since day-one).....neither do their kids when they come home from college for the weekend with their LTs.....and none of these folks really understand or care....no matter how many times I've explained it to 'em. They're more interested in their soap operas & Entertainment Tonight. All these households have ISP subscriptions, but might be using the neighbors instead. When/if this happens ......should they be arrested for stealing bandwidth.....laziness.........or ignorance?

Technology is readily outpacing the average consumer/user's ability/desire to keep up with all the nuances of wireless configuration, usage and security. The current and outdated "laws" need to adjust to reality. Example - The RIAA recently lost a case against a student accused of illegally downloading/sharing copyrighted music. Why? Because he was running a wireless router and there is no way that anyone can determine via a log of IP addies....just who actually did that downloading/seeding thru that router. Even if said router was secured by the owner.......it can still be hacked and used by anyone who knows how.

These thoughts, ramblings and opinions are from a 57 YO man who grew up on a livestock & grain farm, acquired his very first computer in Jan/2000 (which he didn't even know how to turn on)....and has never attended a computer class of any kind. If I can secure a wireless router........

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Wireless Internet

That's an interesting concept Goldie, if someone is to stupid to know they are being stolen from, then it's not a theft.
Jack

goldhiller
Re: Wireless Internet

if someone is to stupid to know they are being stolen from, then it's not a theft.
Jack

Interesting interpretation..........with some merit. ;)

However....the ISPs know well enough that people are sharing connections/access. Isn't much they can do about it as concerns technology reality. And isn't much different there than me loaning someone my percussion drill rather than them having to go buy one....or allowing them to use my tablesaw....read my books....or.......or......

But.....I guess my point is really.........the *average* person today doesn't even know/think about if they are "stealing" because much internet access is intended to be free......think motels/hotel/coffe shops/internet cafes/etc,etc. If there's a connection........there's a connection....and they use it. The vast majority of the "computer generation" kids I encounter have less knowledge than I've managed to acquire in the wee hours. And I thought/hoped I could rely on them to teach me when I bought my first puter. (That didn't work out too well. :) )

I think this all somehow relates around free-air access to radio/TV programs in people's noggins. They turn it on.....it makes music/talk/TV shows. What's to question, eh?

This is one big reason (IMO) why this has all become a quagmire. Some free access is intended, but others isn't. How to tell the difference......or why even bother to determine.......when the equipment connects to either in the same manner...with the same ease?

When someone buys and installs a wireless router......they are in effect....and in reality...... setting up a broadcasting/radio station which can and will likely, broadcast beyond the required/desired target.... whether they realize it or not. IF ignorance of the unintended consequence of this is kinda understandable and should be forgiven ......shouldn't that also be applied in the other direction? What's fit for the goose.... is fit for the gander?

Same for tripping the trigger on a firearm. You need to understand exactly how far the bullet will/can travel beyond the target you're shooting at........and how much unintended damage/consequences it can potentionally do. What you want is not always what you get, eh?

And so......IMO... the ultimate responsibility remains with purchaser and owner of said wireless broadcasting equipment. The manuals that come with these devices include the instructions of how to secure that device/network.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Wireless Internet

So if you forget and leave your keys in your car and I take it it's Ok, right? Or if you forget to lock your house and go on vacation I can live in it for the two weeks, no harm no foul. To me the real question should be why should I have to encrypt the signal for a router, lock up my tools, alarm my house, or take any other safegaurd?
Jack

goldhiller
Re: Wireless Internet

Jack,

One of the major points here is that the average computer/LT user doesn't even realize or consider that they are using an intended private connection/access. The machine automatically connects via the "legal" software and hardware that comes installed in the unit from the "legal" manufacturer.....without any coaxing/configuring on their part......and they are connected. They don't know how to check IF that connection is "legal" or not.....and don't question it either.

That is precisely why I say that it is the wireless router owner's responsibility to secure their equipment if they don't want others unintentionally or intentionally using it/trying to use it without their consent. Mine is secured....by me. If someone manages to use it....it will obviously be the result of hacking and prosecutable.

The wireless router has created yet another brave new world.....without easily defined definitions of who is doing what "legally" or "illegally".......intentionally....or unintentionally.

Around here....I cannot have someone arrested for "illegally" hunting on the farm (in season) unless I have a NO HUNTING sign on the fence lines. It's been that way for 30 years. Wildlife game is considered "public domain" and accessible (when in season)....unless the property owner states otherwise.

Please reread my copied and pasted post and carefully consider ALL the points I covered there.

PS- I pay for access and heartily support our local WLAN ISP provider. We buy a year of access at a crack. I also work for him at his house. He appreciates & admires what I can do for him.....and vice-versa.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Wireless Internet

I understand what you are saying, I just think it's sad that the system is designed to make us all theives.
The proper solution, I supose, whould be that the ISP should control access so you would have to register your puter or puters and it wouldn't recognize any others on that line.
Jack

goldhiller
Re: Wireless Internet

Jack,

All of this legal or not legal access.....and the debates about it....may soon enough become a moot point. Google has for years been about the business of trying to set up free wireless access for everyone within the designated coverage areas. Just like "free" TV and radio, this will come at a cost. Much advertising on your screen, to be exact....as if there isn't enough now.

There is also a plan/build-out in action here to provide "free" broadband wireless access to all rural residents within a 9 county area. They've been working on it for a few years. If it comes to pass.... what it means to people like our WLAN provider is frightening. He and his wife have invested mucho $$$ and mucho effort setting up this WLAN network to provide us with broadband and themselves with a living. I suspect when/if this actually comes to pass....they will receive some manner of financial restitution from the state coffers. Sure hope so.....and they do too. They've known about it for over two years now.

The computer & the internet have become virtually indispensible.......even for rural folks. It's a brave (or maybe foolish) new world, and I doubt that it's going away.

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