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Hosting free WiFi

  1. Apr 4, 2008 #1
    Is it legal to host free WiFi access? Especially in places like a cafe if you owned one. Or does one have to pay some additional royalties?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2008 #2
    I think you need a "commercial package" from your ISP if you plan to make money off of using it. I'd contact them to make sure, in case they decide to sue you or something.
     
  4. Apr 4, 2008 #3
    Of course it is! Just set up your router, and make your network public. But do, for your own sake, restrict access to your computers on the network.
     
  5. Apr 4, 2008 #4

    Evo

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    Of course you can provide free WiFi. You will have to pay for the internet access, if you decide to let your customers access it for no charge from you, that's your decision. A lot of places offer it as a perk (they recoup the charges by increasing costs of other services, food, etc...). There is no free lunch.
     
  6. Apr 5, 2008 #5

    Mk

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    The only thing that might scare you away, is that the MPAA and RIAA sue whoever is paying for the internet connection, not the perpetrator of copyright infringement.
     
  7. Apr 5, 2008 #6

    Chi Meson

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    Unless you encrypt your system, you are hosting free WiFi. At least all my neighbors are! :wink:
     
  8. Apr 5, 2008 #7

    Moonbear

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    Several of my neighbors do too. I appreciate their generosity when I need to test whether I'm having a cable outage or network problem. :biggrin:
     
  9. Apr 5, 2008 #8

    ~christina~

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    won't they know though?
     
  10. Apr 5, 2008 #9

    Chi Meson

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    You would be able to detect a drop in your bandwidth if you were streaming video, perhaps. But if you are just, say, posting in some dumb forum, you'd never see the difference. There might be a danger if all my neighbors tapped into my signal at the same time, but all of them already have their own wireless connection.

    I just checked, I'm getting nine signals (including my own) and only two are encrypted.
     
  11. Apr 5, 2008 #10

    Moonbear

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    If they aren't smart enough to put a password on their router (or even change the name from the generic "linksys" ID), I doubt they have a clue anyone else is connected to their router (not like I'm sticking around using their service, just a quick connection to see if their cable is working...9 times out of 10, it's the cable service, so they have no connection either).
     
  12. Apr 5, 2008 #11
    You should hook up to their printer and send them messages like, 'not the blue shirt, the white one looks much better with those jeans' etc. It will make for some interesting stories when their printer starts talking to them.

    Make it say things like 'im so lonely, please sit next to me and keep me company'
     
  13. Apr 5, 2008 #12
    I prefer the direct route, i.e. uploading massive amounts of horse porn on their computer.
     
  14. Apr 6, 2008 #13

    Chi Meson

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    That's the first thing I did with my new MacBook. Our next door neighbors have an Airport Extreme AND an Airport express going in their house. The express is attached to a sound-system, and I tried to play some of my more "difficult" music through it. Didn't work. Then I printed out a photo of our kids waving hello on their super high res printer.

    Even though they are good-natured people, they didn't find it too humorous. Pehaps because each 5 x 11" print from that machine costs over $5.
     
  15. Apr 6, 2008 #14
    See, you went wrong when you decided to get traced. If it had been good old fashioned horse porn, they would have been none-the-wiser.
     
  16. Apr 6, 2008 #15
    I did that to my oldest daughter when I was setting up my home network. She was upstairs on the computer w/printer and I printed "Hello Emily", she came running downstairs screaming. She is a little dramatic. I was going to remote desktop and run SAM to talk to her but I didn't have the heart.
     
  17. Apr 6, 2008 #16
    Looks like we have true hackers in our midst. :rofl:
     
  18. Apr 6, 2008 #17

    Mk

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    By the way, for anybody that wants to password protect their home wi-fi network, make sure you use WPA, not WEP. WEP is old, and takes about 30 seconds to penetrate through the front door.
     
  19. Apr 6, 2008 #18
    There's a sure cause for divorce.
     
  20. Apr 6, 2008 #19
    Yeah, but in general who is going to care enough to try to hack into your network? Most of us are just referring to people who simply have them completely unprotected.

    I use regular 64-bit WEP, but nobody cares enough to try and hack me.
     
  21. Apr 6, 2008 #20

    Mk

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    If they did, you wouldn't know. It can just be fun sometimes to watch a network's traffic and borrow some bandwidth.
     
  22. Apr 7, 2008 #21
  23. Apr 8, 2008 #22

    Mk

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    Poop-Loops, that's kind of like saying who cares enough to target viruses at your computer. Mostly people who write viruses don't have the intention of attacking a specific network or person. In the same way, residential war driving is not intentional, and most war drivers are not out to pick up personal information like passwords and pin numbers, they're just out for kicks, free internet, and watching your traffic.
     
  24. Apr 8, 2008 #23
    A vast majority of virus' are created to target bigger companies. Eventually it will work like a scare tactic.

    For example... I refuse to use Internet Explorer. Virus creators have made it well known they will go to unlimited lengths to wreak havoc on that software... because it's distributed by Microsoft. So I use Mozilla (FireFox). After awhile... I got so used to FF that I just refuse to use IE... but initially, it was to prevent a lot of virus' from entering my domain.

    Most virus' enter your system because of the end users own lack of knowledge. My dad went through 3 hard drives before he finally admitted he was surfing porn sites! lol. After about 10 minutes of nonstop laughing and chuckling, I pointed out the safe way to view pr0n online. :) He's been fine every since.

    As for WiFi... I leave mine open and unsecured because I keep my local machines secure on that network. I leave it open because I hope that in 10 years... everyone will!

    laptops are gaining ground now that they are cheaper to make and it's nice to be able to stop on a residential street, pull out the laptop and Google directions to a long lost friends house you've been driving around looking for for an hour (true story!).
     
  25. Apr 8, 2008 #24

    cristo

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    Alternatively, just pull out your phone and use that. I've downloaded google maps onto my phone and use it all the time-- it really is a life saver!
     
  26. Apr 8, 2008 #25
    Where I live they charge by the kb :(

    using my phone for anything other then text messaging runs up a huge bill :( They've got a nice little monopoly going on here.

    Internet should be free. More specifically, casual browsing and surfing should be free. high speeds, and larger data transfers should still be chargeable. Just my dream though lol
     
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