Hmmm - Wireless Internet Access - what is considered stealing?

United States
January 28, 2007 7:31pm CST
Okay, I'm going to admit it. I'm sitting in the parking lot of a hotel using the wireless internet on my laptop right now. I have a connection at my house, but it's down and I'll have to wait until tomorrow to get it fixed because the computer tech guys won't be there until then. So there was some business that couldn't wait, so I came here. My question is, am I stealing the internet? To keep people from doing this, you can secure your connection with a key - that's what we did at my mother's house this weekend. So is it still STEALING if they don't have the key on it, but you're not staying at the hotel? *grin* And better yet, how many of you all go out looking for internet in places, also? (I suddenly feel like a very bad person...*gulp* I'm stealing internet just so I can be on mylot *ack*)
11 people like this
67 responses
@misskatonic (3726)
• United States
29 Jan 07
I've done that. I don't mind using open cooperate connections - it's not like 'm taking bandwidth away from some person who only has so much. If it's not secured, then I say there's no harm. I've used airport wireless, hotel wireless, all kinds of things like that before.
3 people like this
• United States
29 Jan 07
Thanks - what I think would be really cool is if Wal-Mart would start to offer wireless. Dude, people would never leave that place - it's going to be possible to completely LIVE at walmart without ever going home, soon. Hmmm...now that would be an idea *grin*.
1 person likes this
@pr4pyaar (306)
• India
29 Jan 07
Heah thatz a real good idea, living in walmart and aving alll the fun :P , but am sure the big guys ll find out a way, i mean if we can think of this, so can they, right.... but it ofcourse ll stay up ungaurded until it becomes a real problem... until then, just go enjoy it... i m sure no one is at loss... it is as good as window shopping :D
@AskAlly (3627)
• Canada
29 Jan 07
I did not even know you could do that! I knew about satelite but not wireless internet. PS I talked about starting a support group for those of us who are addicted to MyLot. Taking into consideration what you are doing; I hereby nominate you president! All in favour say "AYE" LOL
• United States
29 Jan 07
*laugh* I thought about how addicted I must be to sit in this parking lot for hours just to post on mylot. talk about having issues!! *grin* But I do have some sort of excuse...I just reached my 100th post and saw that I have a 9 rating, AND I'm about to make my first $10 off of mylot. The moment I make that money I'm heading straight for iTunes - how long does it take for them to transfer the money over, anyway?
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jan 07
lol, I vote aye, she's willing to do time for MYLOT
• United States
29 Jan 07
*laugh* I did get a bit nervous - there was a guard looking vehicle driving around out there...I left and went to walmart and came back *grin*. Can you see me explaining that to a judge... "Sir, I was only trying to find out what people thought about creating a Utopia at walmart and how soon they pack before a trip..."
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jan 07
I dont see anything worng with it as long as your not doing anything illegal. I protect mine because I dont want the guy next door downloading kid pron, then the police showing up at my house because the network id is linked to me. . As long as your not doing anything to get them in trouble, BORROW away.
@brokentia (10396)
• United States
29 Jan 07
ha ha Borrow away...that's cute! :) You have a good point! I wouldn't want someone doing anything illegal either and then I get blamed for it! But mine is locked also.
@MrNiceGuy (4147)
• United States
29 Jan 07
I think its not fair, but if people aren't going to put the encryption or password on their connection, they are just asking for. I say go for it, if its there, just do it.
2 people like this
• United States
29 Jan 07
*grin* well, I found out about it because of my BF, actually - in the dorm he's staying in, he can't use his PSP because we have this hokie program protecting the internet connection and you can't deal with it on the PSP - so he will occasionally go to that parking lot to update is PSP...there are other places to go, but when you're in a hurry and you don't want to have to buy anything, booyaah...there it is...drive thru internet :D
@babyanj (131)
• Philippines
29 Jan 07
Well, technically that internet connection is meant for the hotel guests and though you're not exactly inside the hotel... you're in the hotel premises, so you're sort of a guest, just not a paying guest... right? Hehe. I've never really tried doing that, I dunno if I'll ever be um, desperate enough to do the same thing, but everyone's gotta do what they gotta do. =)
2 people like this
• United States
29 Jan 07
*laugh* I AM A GUEST!!! Talk about rationalizing something *grin* - what if I've been a guest there in the PAST...think that would fly in court?? *grin*
• Canada
29 Jan 07
I don't consider it stealing when someone did not take the time to protect their internet connection. So when I connect without entering the wireless access keys, I don't feel guilty. However, if I somehow get the key and then access the wireless internet which is owned by someone else, then I think that should be considered stealing because it is not mine and I have no right to it.
2 people like this
• United States
29 Jan 07
Now I agree with you there - that would DEFINITELY be stealing...but I've heard stories of people driving around neighborhoods with their laptops open looking for wi-fi *laugh*...now THAT'S pitiful...if I did THAT for mylot, I'd as you guys to have me committed *grin*.
@tenzen (114)
• Philippines
29 Jan 07
Well its not stealing per se. Its like leaving your door open. So people go in and just take stuff, because you left it open. People with wifi should beef up their security, even on the basic level (like putting passwords up). If they don't lock up their doors, people who CAN and WANT to steal WILL steal.
• United States
29 Jan 07
well, I know i put a password on ours...but I do have a question - if too many people get on it, would it slow it down? I mean, a hotel would be prepared I'm sure for however many people they have rooms for...but for a residential ... would that slow it down?
@jbrooks0127 (2326)
• United States
29 Jan 07
In a word....YES....it is stealing. The reason places like the hotel have an open system is to make it easy for people who stay at thier hotels. Of course you are not the first and won't be the last to do this but when you are not thier customer you are stealing. However it is highly unlikely they are going to run right out and nab you. The next time you need a motel just go to one of thiers.
• United States
29 Jan 07
See, this is where I'm trying to really decide - they could easily give their customers and access code when the check in and keep it on a secure network. I understand where you're coming from, and normally, I probably would have agreed with you... I think I'm just trying to make excuses now *grin*...
29 Jan 07
Well i know people can get done for this if traced. personally i wouldn't do it unless your a customer because chances are they have someone who's watching the network and then they'll notice your using it this way. I'd suggest going to a cafe that provides it. Buy one cup of tea or coffe and just hog it until closing time, if possible find a place that stays open late. lol.. Kudos for being creative tho. i've never known any one to do this, well sit in a parking lot. =)
• United States
30 Jan 07
unfortunately, i can't claim the idea as my own - i actually got it from my brother who used to drive to denny's to get some of his work done *grin*. I never realized that Denny's offered wireless...i'm behind on the times, really.
• United States
29 Jan 07
It's not stealing. Well it doesn't look so bad because you're doing it for myLot anyway LOL... I used to work for a DSL provider and a lot of times people are calling to say their DSL is not working but why could they tap into their neighbor's wireless connection and they have the same provider. If they didn't want others to be able to use it, yes there's a key you should put on it. But then again, hotel guests don't get set up with a key for the free wireless connection right. Are you sure you can't do it with your neighbors' connection so you won't have to go far? :-)
• United States
30 Jan 07
*laugh* weeeelll, technically, there are places on campus I could go, but the whole problem was that I set up a wireless connection at my mothers and had to call customer support for it to work - well, it screwed everythign else up when I got back to school and so now I've reset everything again and I'm just HOPING I'll still be able to get on at the house when I go back to visit :S ...
@idrob2006 (317)
• Indonesia
29 Jan 07
I dont think it is considered as stealing, since they are fully aware that if they do not want anyone to get internet access from their place they should put a key on it. If they dont, it might be their marketing technique to attract more guests or just simply people who would like to use internet and have a cup of coffee or tea in their hotel no? :)
• United States
30 Jan 07
Well, something did cross my mind...I wonder if it could be compared to swimming in their outdoor hotel pool and not actually being a guest there? I'm sure they don't allow that kind of thing...but of course, they do have a fence around it, and it is about 27 degrees outside, so I don't believe they'd have a problem with that right now *grin*.
@hopefoo (1145)
• Malaysia
29 Jan 07
I've discovered in my travels that it's okay for you to use hotels' accounts. They're usually fine with it. If it's locked, you could just walk right up to the concierge or reception and ask for their password. If you want to spend a few extra bucks, have some coffee in the lounge and ask for their password to use.
• United States
30 Jan 07
except I'm not traveling and I live in the area...well, temporarily anyway, as I am a graduate student. i finally gave up and had to restore my computer to a date earlier in the week...linksys really screwed up my settings and I don't know enough about the internet workings to be able to fix it.
• United States
29 Jan 07
If it is unauthorized use, it is stealing. Say your neighbor's lawn furniture blew into the street due to a storm. You don't have to trespass or break into their property to take it. You simply have to go to a public place (the street) and take it back to your place. It's theft.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jan 07
hmmmm...it WAS windy tonight...and the internet did seem to be blowing into my car *grin*...ack...chain gang here I come...
@rsa101 (17104)
• Quezon City, Philippines
29 Jan 07
I do know of places that offer free access to wifi. You don't need to buy anything there just bring your laptops there and you could use their wifi for free. I don't think its stealing since those signals that you receive are there for the picking and i don't think they would mind that your accessing their connection. I believe he doesn't even know there are others connected on theirs.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jan 07
....??? :S Deja vu...
@rsa101 (17104)
• Quezon City, Philippines
29 Jan 07
I do know of places that offer free access to wifi. You don't need to buy anything there just bring your laptops there and you could use their wifi for free. I don't think its stealing since those signals that you receive are there for the picking and i don't think they would mind that your accessing their connection. I believe he doesn't even know there are others connected on theirs.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jan 07
well, no one came and chased me off like i was afraid they would, but one guest looked at me terribly funny as he went in to his hotel room. I suddenly felt very self-conscious...and that made me think that suddenly I wasn't being on the up and up *ack*...I'm a crook!
• United States
29 Jan 07
I wasn't aware you could do that and considering that the hotel has not put up any kind of protection to prevent people in their parking lots to log on, than no you not stealing just MYLOTTING!
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jan 07
Dude, how about this - a business called "mylot parking lot" a parking lot that's a drive in coffee shop where you can stay in your car and do nothing but mylot...you could technically pave your backyard and offer that service *laugh*....
• Grand Junction, Colorado
29 Jan 07
I was just talking to my brother the other day about this very thing as he can access from his home because someone doesn't have their system secured and asked if it was stealing, he said, "No", however, I think that it is. That being said, I have to agree with most of the other responses in that, if you don't want others to use it then use the locks that are provided to prevent it.
• United States
29 Jan 07
Well, after reading some of these other posts, something came up that I didn't really realize. If your home connection isn't secured, then does that mean that any hacker coming around the neighborhood could get your personal information and possibly steal your identity? I wish I understood this stuff a bit more, because I just finished clearing up an identity theft thing from when my wallet was stolen a while back. that's just plain scary...
@Naushil (66)
• India
29 Jan 07
well, if they don't have a pass key, then they probably don't mind 'sharing', and so theres nothing wrong with it..i am currently downloading off my neighbour's t1 connexion;D
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jan 07
Well, it brings up a thought, though - what if neighbors went in on getting one connection for a few houses or apartments? That would be one heck of a cheap bill...I may offer that the next time I get back into an apartment...makes the bills really cheap :D
@jadiel (113)
• United States
29 Jan 07
I like my wireless connection...
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jan 07
ROFL!!! Okay, so is that an invitation for me to borrow yours?
• India
29 Jan 07
See it is not stealing rather its thier carelessness that they did not think of security and hence are inviting misuse like the one you are doing. If they would have been very alert and have put security and then you would have hacked thier system, then it would be stealing not what you are doing right now.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jan 07
See, that makes me wonder about something else, tho...just because a grocery store has stuff outside on the sidewalk doesn't mean that you can just take it...so I kinda wonder if this would kinda be like the same thing? But no, because I don't go to the hotel to purchase internet like I would to purchase something at a store...it's free period...They don't SAY you can't get the internet...