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How do I block neighbors from stealing my wifi? Answered

I am new, and this is my first forum question - hopefully I will post some instructables soon! My dsl speeds have become very slow in general and horrible at certain times of the day. Of course, this could be caused partly by the daily cycle of general usage in my area, however I suspect that some neighbors are piggybacking through my wifi and killing my bandwidth. One reason for this is that even when my computer is off my modem registers activity. Is there anyway to block this either mechanically or otherwise? One key is that we live in a house where there is only one possible direction that people could hijack from - everyone else is way to far away. (unless, of course, they have been hanging out on this site and are using collanders and coffee cans...) For mechanical, I was thinking some kind of directional metal shield. I don't know if this would work, though. (my computer is opposite from the other houses so it wouldn't block me.) Any advice, or instructable how to do this would be appreciated. Thanks! -btw, I wouldn't mind sharing if I didn't think it was killing my dl speeds....

Discussions

I don't broadcast my SSID -- and then I filter MAC addresses, only allowing my own ;) If I wanted to go even further -- I'd enable WEP (it's an older router, I don't have the fancy new stuff :p).

wep is fairly "crackable" but it would discourage the most novices that steal wireless.

Because that would be stealing someone's wifi.

and what is wrong with stealing somthing when it is already in your house (the signal) and it is not like it cost them more

If you don't understand, just wait until someone pulls a gun on you and takes your wallet, then shoots you in the leg and beats you unconscious. After you get through your six months or so of physical therapy and rehad, you might possibly get a clue that stealing is wrong. If you don't, well, maybe it'll take multiple tries.

uhm that is not in their house, you cant read can you?

Cool. So go visit your friend the crack dealer, and when he robs and beats you in his house, think about how it isn't really stealing, since after all your money was already in his house, so that makes it his, right?

. Turtle has a point. How is using radio waves that ppl have beamed onto my property, without my permission, stealing? I don't think it's proper to do so, but I don't see it as stealing. If you don't want me using your WiFi, keep your signal off my property (or at least learn how to use encryption).
. If I throw dollar bills in your backyard, should I expect you to gather them up and return them or should I expect you to keep them?

It's not like the dollar bills - (which, incidentally, I think the answer is yes, if you threw dollar bills into my backyard but had no intention of giving them to me I would return them). They're not purposefully beaming them onto your propery, and in many cases would choose not to if they could/would. Just because I drop something over the fence doesn't make it yours; property isn't "finders keepers, losers weepers". You're stealing bandwidth - slowing down their connection, even by an imperceptible amount, is taking resources (from speed and download limit) that are rightfully theirs since they are paying for them.

> They're not purposefully beaming them onto your propery
. So, if I crank my 2 MW stereo up, because I am not "purposefully" disturbing your sleep by bombarding your property with my information, it is OK?
.
> and in many cases would choose not to if they could/would
. Then they should turn off the transmitter or get a directional antenna.
.
> Just because I drop something over the fence doesn't make it yours
. If you dump something on my property I have every right to keep it and/or have you prosecuted for littering my property and/or trespassing.
.
> property isn't "finders keepers, losers weepers".
. If I find it on my property, it does. What were you doing trespassing?

>>. So, if I crank my 2 MW stereo up, because I am not "purposefully" disturbing your sleep by bombarding your property with my information, it is OK?

But it doesn't compare because my wifi doesn't bother you. It can't, in any way - in fact you want it.

>>. Then they should turn off the transmitter or get a directional antenna.

Why? Them broadcasting a signal doesn't give you the right to use the signal.

The law upholds this stance quite clearly.

" 752.795 Prohibited conduct.

Sec. 5.

A person shall not intentionally and without authorization or by exceeding valid authorization do any of the following:

(a) Access or cause access to be made to a computer program, computer, computer system, or computer network to acquire, alter, damage, delete, or destroy property or otherwise use the service of a computer program, computer, computer system, or computer network.

(b) Insert or attach or knowingly create the opportunity for an unknowing and unwanted insertion or attachment of a set of instructions or a computer program into a computer program, computer, computer system, or computer network, that is intended to acquire, alter, damage, delete, disrupt, or destroy property or otherwise use the services of a computer program, computer, computer system, or computer network. This subdivision does not prohibit conduct protected under section 5 of article I of the state constitution of 1963 or under the first amendment of the constitution of the United States."

>>. If I find it on my property, it does. What were you doing trespassing?

I wasn't, I stayed on my side of the fence but I accidentally dropped it on the other side while I was doing something else.

. Yes, the law is on your side - no argument there. I'm just saying that I think the law is wrong. I don't see why someone should be penalized because someone else was too lazy|ignorant|stoopid to lock down their WiFi. If I don't want the ppl driving down the street to see into my house, I don't broadcast my photons into the street - I close the curtains.

By the same logic a woman who walks through a dark alley in a bad part of town in the middle of the night deserves it if she is raped. No, it isn't a smart thing to do - but it certainly doesn't make it right to attack her.

. ROFLMAO. So if I disagree with you, I am in favor of rape? . OK. I'll bite. Yes, if one knowingly puts oneself in harm's way, then one has to accept some responsibility for the consequences. It doesn't make any harm done to you "right", but if you're foolish enough to stand on the railroad tracks, I'm not going to feel too sorry for you when you get hit by the train.

Blaming the victim now? Standing on train tracks is a fair bit different than say... using an ATM at night. But, at least you'll get out of jury duty with that philosophy :p

. And an ATM or living room is a fair bit different than the original dark-alley-in-a-bad-part-of-town. . Not saying that anyone has the right to harm another, just that if you tweak the bull's nose, you're gonna get the horn. The rapist should be prosecuted to the full extent ... and the rapee should be told to stay out of dark alleys in the bad part of town.

(might be a double post - some site shenanigans might have prevented the first attempt at posting)


and the rapee should be told to stay out of dark alleys in the bad part of town.

This is the general attitude that sets the tone of rape shield laws (that is a tone of opposition to this sort of thing)... We say things like this to make ourselves feel better and safer... "Oh, I won't ever walk anywhere after midnight, so that can't happen to me." This is a very dangerous attitude for anyone to take because in reality - we're just saying things.

Bear in mind that it is possible to convict the criminal while blaming the victim - these are not mutually exclusive cases.

. I can't figure out what any of this has to do with rape shield laws, but I'm no lawyer. . > it is possible to convict the criminal while blaming the victim . That is exactly what I am saying. If I walk into a Black Panther meeting and say "I hate stinking African-Americans" (substitute a racial slur), that does not legally justify the Panthers cleaning the floor with my honky butt, but I deserve it. If I leave my car unlocked and the keys in the ignition, are you going to absolve me of all blame when it gets stolen?

>Ding, ding! Everyone back to their corners.

Change the PRO icon to ESQ.
Nominate Lithium Rain for a seat on the Supreme Court<

the ominous voice of reason - he/she who represents themselve's is a fool

No, of course not - merely an analogy, an extension of the same logic. The reasoning is, however, a bit of a slippery slope.

Either you believe that

  • The hypothetical woman partially deserves it. Ergo it's partially justified, so it's partially OK, and not wrong, and the criminal in the case has a legitimate defense (She was asking for it). Since he has a legitimate defense, perhaps he should get off; or you believe that
  • Rape is wrong in all situations, therefore it is never justified. If it is never justified, there is never any situation where anyone may acceptably commit the crime- therefore no defense for it, and no situation under which he may say "She had it coming".

Standing on the train tracks you are deliberately attempting to be hit. You have no reasonable expectation of not getting hit by a train if you stay put long enough. Walking in the alley at night isn't wise, since the odds are much higher of bad things happening, but you have every right to be left alone, and to prosecute those responsible if you are not.

Why are those the only two choices? . > The hypothetical woman partially deserves it. . Not deserves to be assaulted - but I don't think any person, man or woman, who deliberately puts themselves in harms ways deserves a lot of sympathy, either. > Ergo it's partially justified ... has a legitimate defense . Not ergo, non sequitur. It would NOT be justified. The perpetrators should be prosecuted and locked away. But it certainly wouldn't be unexpected. . . No person that is minding their own business deserves to be assaulted, but if they knowingly choose to mind their business under a hornet's nest, I'll get rid of the hornets, but don't expect me to offer my shoulder to cry on.

Because either she deserves it or not...not really another choice there. (The other bits follow from there.) >>I don't think any person, man or woman, who deliberately puts themselves in harms ways deserves a lot of sympathy, either. Perhaps not - but then we weren't discussing sympathy, we were discussing whether it's right to take advantage of them. ;) Not unexpected? Perhaps, but still not right. My point is this: it is never okay to take advantage of the unwise lady, no matter how lazy, stupid, or unthinking she may seem or be.

Someone else's laziness, ignorance, stupidity and et. al. are no excuse for exploiting them ;)

. As I said, I don't think it is proper (moral, ethical, whatever), but I don't think it should be illegal, either. If you don't want me reading your info, don't shove it in my face and expect me to ignore it.

In the case of wifi and other such data streams... No one is shoving anything in anyone's face. That is to say, a word like "shove" implies an external force upon you (or whomever). You won't find what you don't look for. Don't want to listen to crappy (pick whatever genre) radio stations? - don't tune your radio to them. Want to join in on HAM radio? Get a license (another case showing that accessibility is not the same as entitlement).

If I find it on my property, it does. What were you doing trespassing?

I've been getting eMail about this because I'm the root author of this thread.... But when I saw the statement above, my immediate memory was of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.... People tried selling the bits that fell into their yards - turns out, it wasn't their right to do so. The irony (to this situation) is that those people, assuming they paid taxes, owned that craft on some level...

That said, Lithium's response is more robust than this one :p

The dollar bills is the wrong analogy. Consider an electrical power line or telephone line which crosses over "your" property. Tapping onto that line and using the power/signal capacity without paying for it is stealing. Since WiFi, like all broadcast, is unbeamed (and by design unbeamable), there is an implicit easement involved. Tapping into that limited signal capacility without paying for it is stealing.

> ...crosses over "your" property.
. Exactly. I have granted the utilities a right-of-way, so the property is no longer exactly mine.
.
> WiFi, like all broadcast, is unbeamed (and by design unbeamable)
. Not true. See, eg, cantenna.
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> Tapping into that limited signal capacility without paying for it is stealing.
. It's not the nice thing to do, but it shouldn't be illegal. If you don't want me using your signal, either keep it away from me or encrypt it. With that in mind, I think the dollar bill analogy holds up well.

your right! lets go sue the radio station because their radio waves are trespassing its not really the same principle, but hey, why not make a few extra bucks

. If radio/TV station broadcast their signal onto my property and don't want me to use their signal, they encrypt it so I can't hear/see it.

Because: 1. It's stealing and 2. Sometimes it does cost more.

Turn on WEP/WPA protection and don't broadcast your SSID

Change your SSID daily. Keep them obscure too.... If you know what I mean ;-)

1. Find your router's IP address 2. Go to this address with your web browser 3. Turn on the encryption to create a network key required for wifi access. 4. If you don't have encrytion, set a password.

1. unplug it when not in use 2. kick all of your neighbors in the shin 3. password protection 4. if possible, install tomato and lower the WiFi length to only around your computers. be sure to check the compatibility.

You could be nice and limit there down/up load speeds to below dial-up levels and this would make some one else's router a more attractive target...

MAC address filtering isn't a surefire method - as MAC addresses can be extracted from passively sniffed packets. Turning off the SSID also isn't surefire for the same reason - it can be worked out from examining packets passively. That's not to say you shouldn't do those things, it's just that they're not effective against a determined and properly equipped intruder - is one of your neighbours such a person? Maybe it's not likely, but the point is, you never know. WPA PSK encryption is the way to go, with a nice long passphrase - it needn't be a random string of jibberish, just something memorable and incredibly unlikey to be guessed - the third line of the chorus of your favourite song, for example "Never gonna make you cry Never gonna say goodbye Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you" -Technically, passphrases made up of real words are vulnerable to dictionary attack, but in practice, dictionary attacks aren't going to be used to try to guess long passphrases containing multiple words. Or you could use a passphrase consisting of a long string of random letters and numbers - but although notionally secure, it may actually be worse, because you'll end up having to write it down somewhere.

You can put a password on it.

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ll.13

10 years ago

If they are on your network then it should be pretty easy to slip them something, Hopefully you only need to transfer it onto their shared folder and when they reboot... anything polymorphic to add effectiveness.

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Danny

11 years ago

you could tuen of ya internet until they agree to go halfs on the wifi connection hehe

1 try turning it off every time you dont need it 2 put a pass on it 3 go over there and complain 4 (if 3 didnt work) go there and beat them to a pulp

Hi All, Thanks for the advice! It sounds like there are plenty of options through the router itself. I will see what I can do with the settings...