Can I use this wireless network?

  Earthsea 17:39 16 Jul 2007

My laptop detects an unsecured wireless network where I live but I don't know where it's coming from. There are no hotspots where I am (I've checked) so can anyone tell me its probable source and whether or not I'm allowed to use it? I can connect to it easily and it works fine.

It's called 'Belkin54g' and the speed varies between 54 Mbps and 1 or 2 Mbps, often settling at 5.5 Mbps. It's configured for open access.

I live near an industrial estate with a very large (and famous) factory. Could this be the source?

I'm new to this wireless thing as you can probably tell!

  cream. 17:43 16 Jul 2007

No. You can not use it.

It would be stealing and you could be prosecuted for using it. If you are caught.

  Earthsea 18:07 16 Jul 2007

Ok, thanks. Like I said, I'm new to wireless LAN so can you answer the points I raised? Why aren't I allowed if it's configured for open access? Where is it coming from? Windows just asked if I wanted to connect to it, I didn't do anything!

  postie24 18:14 16 Jul 2007

Its configured for open access because whosever it is hasnt bothered to set up any encryption on it.
It will be comin from a neighbours house,no more than 2-3 doors away.
As Percy Vere states,its illegal to steal anybodys bandwidth.
If they noticed there connection slowing down or suspected someone was using their network,it is possible to find out who has been using it.

  skidzy 18:15 16 Jul 2007

We have had this question before and if you decide to whats commonly known as (Piggybacking) the connection,you can be prosecuted and your computer equipment confiscated.

However in my opinion,anyone using an unsecured network...deserves all they get ! click here

  Earthsea 18:20 16 Jul 2007

Thanks everyone, I won't be using it then! I think prosecution and confiscation would be a bit harsh for doing something illegal unknowingly, though! I didn't know it belonged to a neighbour. How are others supposed to know this?

  postie24 18:27 16 Jul 2007

They need to ask on this forum :))
Yep best get your own internet connection.


  skidzy 18:29 16 Jul 2007

Maybe if your friendly with your neighbour,if indeed it is there connection...have a word and advise them they really need to secure there connection.

  Earthsea 19:05 16 Jul 2007

postie24, I do have my own Internet connection! I found the other one when I switched the WLAN button on and only used it by way of experimentation. I've never even heard of 'piggybacking' (in the computer sense).

skidzy, will do, I think they know as little about wireless networks as I do!

Thanks everyone, I'll click as resolved now.

  irishrapter 19:18 16 Jul 2007

Just curious but, how would someone find the person that is stealing their bandwidth?

  Earthsea 19:55 16 Jul 2007

I've just been speaking to a friend about this and she asked how can someone know whether an open access network isn't purposely set up like that for others to use? I said I'd ask on the forum.....

Anyone know?

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