Is it Stealing to Use Someone Else's Wireless Connection?

Philippines
May 15, 2010 12:34am CST
A friend of mine bought a laptop and said she does not worry since she lived in a subdivision, they have an open wireless connection and need not pay to get an ISP anymore. I was thinking if she is going to use her neighbor's open wireless network, it is more or less like stealing electricity or the like, is it correct?
5 responses
@boogerman (1548)
• Philippines
15 May 10
Well, it depends. If the reason stated why there is no need to pay for ISP was because she lives in a subdivision, maybe it is an additional feature to those who live in that particular subdivision, just like on some restaurants and other establishments. Or if it is true that she is going to use an open wi-fi connection from her neighbor, maybe there is an agreement between them to share connection for free and in this case, it would not be considered as stealing as there is authorization by the owner of the router. Or maybe the owner just want to let the connection open for all without protecting it by a password. Anyway, just try asking her for more details why she don't have to pay for internet connection.
• India
15 May 10
MORAL OF THE STORY - THE GREATEST FOOL IS YOUR FRIEND'S NEIGHBOR.
@rosdimy (3936)
• Malaysia
15 May 10
Maybe not. There are neighbours who are tech savvy. They allow neighbours to piggy back their wireless network not because they do not know how to set up a password or a firewall, but because they want to study their neighboures' Internet behaviour. There are software which can track network activities, and the details of each wireless station attached to the network, even when they try to hide themselves. Asking for permission is a good move.
@boogerman (1548)
• Philippines
15 May 10
You have a point there! Maybe the owner has a hidden intention why he/she allows getting piggybanked by others. Monitoring other's activity on the internet could be possible and that could be a reason of letting the router open for all users without using firewall or protecting with a password. The abuser thought that the owner is a fool but maybe he/she was fooled because his/her activity can be monitored by the owner and may lead to invasion of privacy as a consequence. Yes, asking permission is the best move.
@kar295rocks (2119)
• India
15 May 10
Using an unauthorized WiFi connection for one's own use when it is not owned by a person is called PiggyBanking. It is a common act in many places. It is not exactly like stealing electricity, but you see bad luck to the neighbor who has to pay extra every month for the broadband which she does not use.
@boogerman (1548)
• Philippines
15 May 10
Yes, if it is unauthorized, the owner will be disappointed because he/she is going to pay for connection used by others. Anyway, it can avoided by protecting it with a password and turning off the router when not in use so there is less chance of letting it happen again. Nowadays, there are some softwares available for tweaking wi-fi connections with password so using cell phone or broadband stick as a modem can help avoid the 'leeches' who are connected using others' connection without permission. Or better stay at Mc Donald's or Starbucks for a free connection.
• India
15 May 10
Yeah exactly. Make Starbucks your place of residence if you are to enjoy free wifi...
• Philippines
16 May 10
i Don't Think so.. but if he/she dont allow you to, i think that stealing.. but he/she dont mind it. of course it's not.. enjoy using free connection.. :)
@anneshirley (1517)
• Philippines
15 May 10
No, not really because what your friend is using is WiFi or wide fidelity. It has 10m radius and your bill here is fixed. You are not paying by bytes sent and received unlike in electricity bill where you pay according to your consumption. We cannot really call it stealing because this technology is designed to be used by as many people as possible in neighboring places. I also use it at times because it doesn't affect the owner whether I use his connection or not. His bills will stillbe the same because it is on monthly subscription.
@brylle454 (608)
• Philippines
15 May 10
its fine if she has a permission to use the connection