Is It OK To Use Your Neighbor’s Wi-Fi? [Poll]

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Last week we asked you what version of Windows you are running. We had 1,394 responses. I was shocked at the results! It looks like 47% of you or 652 readers are using Windows 7!  Windows XP came in second place with 36% or  500 votes. I had expected Windows XP to still be in the lead, as most companies are still using it as their main operating system.

Third place was held by Windows Vista and then there were 13 votes for Windows 2000, 9 votes for Windows 98/ME, 8 votes for Windows 95 and 6 votes for Windows NT.


7 of you said you were using older versions of Windows and according to the comments that include Windows 3.11! Very interesting indeed. I personally have a XP desktop, Windows 7 tablet and various older machines running around. I am pleasantly surprised by the Windows 7 machines.

We saw our own Mark O’Neill having issues with it in the comments. If you want my advice, get a new hard drive and do a clean install of Windows 7!

Here are the full poll results:

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This week’s poll is asking you if it is OK to use your neighbor’s Wi-Fi.  Open access points or easily hackable WEP access points are hard to resist, especially if you are strapped for cash.

There are a lot of reasons not to steal Wi-Fi. You can have your data stolen or contract a virus. The network you are connecting to could be set up to do harm to you.  I have set up many wireless networks that push users’ DNS queries to bring them to being rickrolled regardless of what they type in.

Then there is the breach of your neighbor’s contract with their Internet provider. They agree not to share their Internet connection with others via open networks.

On the other hand if you have no Internet and your neighbor has left their Wi-Fi access point wide open, it is hard to resist.  We have people that would rather use their neighbors net instead of paying $50 or even $80 a month. Over the course of a year that all adds up. So what is a regular Joe supposed to do?

Our morals should tell us stealing is wrong but some people say that it is NOT stealing.  Is it stealing? Is it wrong?

What do you do? We would love to hear from you in the comments as well!

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Comments (49)
  • amonkey

    I apologize. I should have been clear as to what I was referring as “BS”..

    “to use it is tantamount to trespassing”

    And no, I do not currently believe any of the available wi-fi signals are harmful.

    However, as I am not referring to any damages being done via water or wireless, my point is, they are allowing their wireless to enter my house without my consent. I believe it is my right to use it as they have done nothing to prevent my access.

    I do have my own Internet connection. As the basic “high-speed” that is available in my area tops at out at 40k down and 7k up.

    However, my son really enjoys my neighbors branch that over hangs our fence. Though the neighbor did try to legally have us remove the tire swing, he was instructed he could remove the branch at his own expense as we were within our rights based on the property laws.

    I agree wholeheartedly that using a neighbors Internet for illegal activities is wrong in more ways than one. That said, using your own connection for illegal activities is wrong.

  • David

    “BS” – no reason to get snarky. That said, I respectfully disagree, just off the top of my head, on the basis of availability of resources and potential and real harm.

    A wi-fi signal “seeping” into your house does not, in any way currently understood, proven or believed (aside from the aluminum foil hat wearing set) deprive you of the use of your house. It does not in any way currently understood, proven or believed, damage your property, or cost you money in lost time or increased effort. The seeping of their water into your property does.

    On the other hand, using the internet connection for which they have paid via their wi-fi signal does carry the potential of depriving them of resources in terms of available bandwidth, and costing them money by way of bandwidtch overuse charges. To say nothing of the legal liability were you to use their connection for illegal purposes.

    The example that equates damaging water leaks to benign wi-fi leaks is a flawed example that does not take into account the potential for harm.

  • amonkey

    Is it ok for the ISP to provide open access by default and then tell you not to let anyone use it?

  • amonkey

    Then the elderly neighbor shouldn’t have a computer.

    Would you have a gun, and not know how to use it?

    Besides, the ISP should set things up properly.

  • amonkey

    That being said, their “water” is seeping into my house because they left their faucet on. If I use that water, I am now stealing what is theirs.

    BS, if you are seeping anything into my house it is mine and I will use it how I choose.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.