Sunday, March 08, 2015

Can you get by on free WiFi? Not a good idea


Ryan Knutson writes about his experiences doing without normal cellular service (he put the phone on airplane mode) and piggybacking on free WiFi wherever he could find it, in New York City and on a trip to Dallas, notes in the Wall Street Journal here.   ("It's free."....)  

I don’t see how he gets by at home without paying for something.  Is it legal to piggyback onto someone else’s?  It shouldn’t be possible or easy if password protected.  I don’t think that private routers are really for public consumption, and that seems dangerous.
   
I did test my own, and I found that the router signal drops before I get to the end of the driveway, and the phone switches to Verizon LTE (which I pay for).  It’s a good thing for anyone to test on his own setup this while walking in the neighborhood, maybe to breakfast.   So no one could get it even from the street very easily.  Oh, the NSA could, somehow.  
   
In rare cases, people have been arrested for "poaching" on WiFi in businesses by sitting outside and not purchasing anything as customers.  

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