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Thread: Are my neighbors using my wireless network?

  1. #1
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    Default Are my neighbors using my wireless network?

    Are my neighbors using my wireless network?7/26/2008

    Do you suspect your neighbor of using your wireless Internet connection? If your wireless network isn t secured, it could certainly happen. A bandwidth-hogging neighbor could slow your Internet connection. But don t go pointing fingers just yet.

    Your network can reach about 300 feet from your router or modem. In a house it s pretty easy to tell who s in range. Apartment dwellers could name several suspects. But even that knowledge isn t enough to make an accusation. Sometimes people drive around a neighborhood looking for unsecured networks to use.

    http://www.komando.com/tips/index.aspx?id=5208



    GeorgeV
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Are my neighbors using my wireless network?

    A good overview but technically not quite accurate.<ul>[*]MAC addressing uses the hardware encoded address of your wireless device, it is not assigned by you although MAC spoofing is easy and netword adaptors exist that accept MAC address changes. Every network enabled device has a unique MAC address and I use MAC address filtering on my network to allow only those devices I authorise.[*]WPA2 is the best encryption standard but it has some functionality issues... it can be fickle.[*]WEP is pretty secure (not quite as good as WPA2) but for home use its more than adequate provided you use a 128-bit or better still, a 256-bit WEP key. Unfortunately most handheld devices only support up to 128-bit WEP and no WPA/WPA2.[/list]
    You can use most of the standard 128 ASCII characters in a WEP key so for a 128-bit (13 character) key, the possible combinations are 128<sup>13</sup> or 2.5 x 10<sup>27</sup> possible keys. This should take the better part of 4 x 10<sup>13</sup> years to crack using a computer capable of trying 2,000,000 passwords per second.

    Together these do provide pretty good security but make sure that when using ANY wireless network, you check the encryption status of links that are sensitive (Internet banking etc). Most browsers have "lock" icons to show you encrypted connections.

    For encrypted communications, you can use Skype, but MSN,and Yahoo are totally unencrypted.

  3. #3
    zaswing Guest

    Default Re: Are my neighbors using my wireless network?

    Few weeks ago I was rebuilding my routers. For about 1/2 hour I was without the password or encryption or allowed MACs list, on the wireless side (I forgot I did a total reset).

    Suddenly, in the router's connected devices list appeared iPhone-3. I got their MAC address screen shot, dated and all, in case something criminal was going on. And I don't live in an apartment or the city, but someone clearly was using my wireless connection for that very short time, perhaps from the street

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Are my neighbors using my wireless network?

    I always set my router up without connecting it to the net. When I have all the setting (MAC address filtering, WEP key etc) sorted out, then I connect it to the phone line. Its unlikely that anyone would be able to surf your Windows network in that time as they would need to know the names of the servers on your LAN and they aren't easy to find out.

  5. #5
    zaswing Guest

    Default Re: Are my neighbors using my wireless network?

    Of course. Except when you loose track of what you're doing
    which I did while configuring two routers and reset one and, in a state of confusion, forgot the wireless thingie was on by default. I sure hope they didn't get through to my computers. I suspect it was piggyback to use the internet surfing.

  6. #6
    raideron Guest

    Default Re: Are my neighbors using my wireless network?

    There must be a few that looses track or..... I have a fellow worker that alwaysconnects his laptop through someone elses connection at home and at work..Maybe Laptops are different???? But I
    seen him make a connection at his houseand at work many times....

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Are my neighbors using my wireless network?

    There are two sides to this story. Remember, any wireless network that doesn't have WEP or WPA is unencrypted. I have heard of situations where people were deliberately setting up open wireless networks with the sole aim of capturing traffic to obtain passwords etc from unsupecting users who believed they were on a good thing.

    Never trust the security of any open wireless network.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Are my neighbors using my wireless network?


    <BLOCKQUOTE><HR>FrereOP wrote:
    There are two sides to this story. Remember, any wireless network that doesn't have WEP or WPA is unencrypted. I have heard of situations where people were deliberately setting up open wireless networks with the sole aim of capturing traffic to obtain passwords etc from unsupecting users who believed they were on a good thing.

    Never trust the security of any open wireless network.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I know a few people who likwe crewsing at Hot Spots like "Starbucks", and Fast Food Resturants with Hot-Spot access, just to monitor what other people are on their laptops from his laptop..as most people using theses Hot-spots take no precautions..
    GeorgeV
    ZoneAlarm® Extreme Security


    Click here for ZA Support
    Monday-Saturday__ 6am to 10pm Central time
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  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Are my neighbors using my wireless network?

    And e-mail is the biggest problem because user-name, passwords, and the messages themselves are often done in plain text. Don't ever log in and download e-mail over an unencrypted wireless link unless your ISP uses SSL or TLS.

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