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Old 17.11.2012, 17:50
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openwireless.org suggesting you open up your wifi?

Hi all,

During the week I heard of an initiative asking people to open up their wifi [1]. I see that in the past people on here have been very against it [2]. The way I heard it explained was that last week when the storm hit New York, people's phone lines were down, mobiles/cell phones were getting no reception, but they were able to find some active wifi networks, but these had been locked down.

With newer wireless modems you are able to set up a guest network which is separated from your private network, so there should be no greater security issues than being on the internet in general. Priority is given to the primary network, so you should not to see your connection slow down when someone is using the guest network.

There are the legal issues around being responsible for what someone is doing with your internet connection, but as people say it's legal to download music, films etc. for personal use [3] do we have a lot to fear? It appears that the EFF would occasionally help fight legal cases [4] but I assume this would not cover us here in Switzerland?

As my internet connection is not being used for large parts of the day, and if my service will not be degraded by opening it up, is there any reason I shouldn't?

Thanks, and looking forward to hearing lots of opinions



[1] https://openwireless.org/
[2] Internet: Should everyone be compelled to open their wireless networks for free?
[3] Is it really legal to download in Switzerland?
[4] https://www.eff.org/pages/legal-assistance
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Old 17.11.2012, 17:57
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Re: openwireless.org suggesting you open up your wifi?

It is different for every country I suppose.

In Australia, for example, one pays a premium for exceeding their GB quota, hence few would be willing to open up their networks.

In Wädenswil, we opened a free wifi ( by the city Youth Department ) and it was grossly abused. Neighbours tapped in and hogged the line ( presumably ). Once we required compulsory registration ( code by SMS ), it was not too bad with DHCP leases terminating after 60 minutes and aided by a bandwidth manager.

I think with compulsory verification / registration, many more would not mind opening up, but hopefully the city / towns provide a free facility first ( the Billag fees can then be considered as a tax i.e. covering everyone and partially contributing to free wifi ).

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/Home/Arc...ml?cid=5834068

Free Wireless Internet in St Gallen?

http://www.openwireless.ch/

Getting FREE internet access - using a neighbour's connection
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Last edited by jrspet; 17.11.2012 at 18:12.
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Old 17.11.2012, 18:00
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Re: openwireless.org suggesting you open up your wifi?

I have no desire whatsoever to open up my network even on a guest profile. What if someone then next door decided to use it as their primary source of internet? What if two neighbours did? I think it is still open to abuse, and in principle i'm just not comfortable with the idea.
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Old 17.11.2012, 18:25
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Re: openwireless.org suggesting you open up your wifi?

Free wifi will perhaps also be more tourist friendly - working against hoteliers who charge a hefty amount for access, hence another reason why the city / town ought to first provide it as a low speed fair access to all.
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Old 17.11.2012, 19:12
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Re: openwireless.org suggesting you open up your wifi?

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I have no desire whatsoever to open up my network even on a guest profile. What if someone then next door decided to use it as their primary source of internet? What if two neighbours did? I think it is still open to abuse, and in principle i'm just not comfortable with the idea.
What if they did? If it is set that you still get priority it wouldn't hurt you would it? People using your paid for internet when you don't need it isn't really a problem is it? Apart from you pay and they don't. You pay the same anyway so what's the big deal?
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Old 17.11.2012, 19:33
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Re: openwireless.org suggesting you open up your wifi?

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What if they did? If it is set that you still get priority it wouldn't hurt you would it? People using your paid for internet when you don't need it isn't really a problem is it? Apart from you pay and they don't. You pay the same anyway so what's the big deal?
Because the principle of other people not paying for using what I am paying for bothers me, they can get their own internet. Not to mention there is still some risk to opening up even a guest network.

If you don't care then fine, knock yourself out.
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Old 17.11.2012, 19:43
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Re: openwireless.org suggesting you open up your wifi?

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What if they did? If it is set that you still get priority it wouldn't hurt you would it? People using your paid for internet when you don't need it isn't really a problem is it? Apart from you pay and they don't. You pay the same anyway so what's the big deal?
major security flaw?
Such as the possibility on your local network to monitor everything you doing, including private bank data, etc...?
Have you ever heard of firesheep, for example?

People and their utopic ideals...
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Old 17.11.2012, 20:05
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Re: openwireless.org suggesting you open up your wifi?

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major security flaw?
Such as the possibility on your local network to monitor everything you doing, including private bank data, etc...?
Have you ever heard of firesheep, for example?

People and their utopic ideals...
Well, you obviously don't understand the concept of a guest network.

That said, you open yourself up to potential misconfiguration issues and potential router vulnerabilities that can only be exploited from an internal(ish) interface. I'm with Rich, I see no reason to pay for a connection and let you mooch it for free.
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Old 17.11.2012, 21:02
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Re: openwireless.org suggesting you open up your wifi?

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Because the principle of other people not paying for using what I am paying for bothers me, they can get their own internet. Not to mention there is still some risk to opening up even a guest network.

If you don't care then fine, knock yourself out.
Then you're very sad I think the general principle is that lots of people open up the routers. Sometimes somebody uses yours and sometimes when travelling you can use theirs. Not a big deal, annoying if you have cheap skate neighbours but nothing to get stressed about.

Mine is locked, but if everybody opened up I would do so also.
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Old 17.11.2012, 21:38
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Re: openwireless.org suggesting you open up your wifi?

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Then you're very sad I think the general principle is that lots of people open up the routers. Sometimes somebody uses yours and sometimes when travelling you can use theirs. Not a big deal, annoying if you have cheap skate neighbours but nothing to get stressed about.

Mine is locked, but if everybody opened up I would do so also.
Yes, anyone who doesn't want to do it is obviously "very sad". I and the rest of the bandwidth scrooges shall undoubtedly lose a great deal of sleep over that one tonight.
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Old 17.11.2012, 22:19
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Re: openwireless.org suggesting you open up your wifi?

Wouldn't say you 'scrooges' are sad as individuals, but the general mentality itself is. It helps keep an almost-free public resource and virtual civil right hostage to pay-wifi providers, greedy hoteliers, and worrisomely bigbrotheresque monitoring. (Some of the countries declaring the internet as a civil right have also been processing self-conflicted, long-winded law suits trying to decide whether a crime committed over an open network implicates the owner of the access point. The old adage about the postal system applies.)

That said, I'm a sad one myself - despite strongly supporting open access in principle, in practice I haven't made the effort to find a sufficiently zero configuration, low cost, secure device to add as a second, open router. Anyone know of a router with some kind of light access confirmation and flexible bandwidth limiting?

//ata
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