Thursday, June 9, 2011

Discouraging People From Joining Your WiFi Network

Have you ever taken a look at all the personal wireless networks around your home? If you live in a house, you might notice a couple of your neighbors' networks. But, if you live in an apartment or condo, you could easily be within range of ten or more wireless networks.

Each wireless network can be given a specific name to identify it. For security reasons, wireless networks can also be configured to not broadcast their name, but people rarely do this on home networks.

Since your network is broadcasting its name, people can see it. If your network requires a password, then they can attempt to join it by repeatedly trying different passwords.

To avoid this, I've given my home wireless networks names to dissuade people from joining them by naming them with financial rates to look as if they're metered: $4.95/minute is the name of my Airport Express network, and my two home base station networks are named $9.95/minute and $12.95/minute.

Over the years I've had a number of guests over to my house who would try to join my neighbor's wireless networks before asking me the name of my network. They've always had a good laugh when I told them the name. They usually comment that they were trying to access all of the other networks and stayed away from the $12.95/minute network just in case it could some how run up a bill on their device.

13 comments:

Timmy said...

Interesting advice you give about WiFi networks. Thanks for sharing.

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Jonathan Cohen said...

I use MurderDeathKill as the SSID, or something else that looks disturbing without promising violence...

carterson2 said...

I read once where a guy named his network, "Your dog shit on my yard".

Hysterical.

sen said...

Really?
This is quite pointless.
If the network is secured, then people who are likely to pay for it are not going to get on it without knowing the password.

If its not secured and someone has to break in.. they're not going to be concerned about being billed.

Mackaber said...

I have my Wi-Fi open... I hack Everyone that goes inside without permission ;)

STAYCE said...

I always leave mine open. I believe people have the right to information, plus you can always restrict their access to google or similar on a good router. I also enjoy trying to hack into their iphones;) For years I've used the SSID "Flat 1-A, bring beer". Only twice did I ever receive free beers at my door, both times were in SF.

Gary said...

I was staying at a hotel in Denver with apartments next door. Best one I saw was "get-your-own-damn-internet" and "notyours". But there were about 12 WAPs that were showing up on my laptop and only a handful were protected.

frogstarr78 said...

Cool idea!

I used to keep my wifi open too until this article: http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/04/25/1415259/Bizarre-Porn-Raid-Underscores-Wi-Fi-Privacy-Risks

Anon7rYGUjYJ said...

There's an access point near where I live called "IHateMyNeighbours" :(

Will Dwinnell said...

Classic!

Rauenzahner said...

Pretty funny, but I still prefer to hide my SSID. Windows sometimes has problems when you hide the SSID, but - whatever. Not a problem in my household.

Oh and of course WPA it. And do Mac Address filtering if you're supah paranoid. :P

Shelley Mullins said...

We have bandwidth caps here in Canada, so you can be sure that everyone, me included, locks down his or her wifi networks. Our costs would be astronomical otherwise.

Merry said...

I'm stealing all the time.. :) most of the people do not have a password and I can use it for free

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