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An alternate solution to internet and cable

January 28, 2008

My internet and cable aren’t being installed until Saturday. Yet here I am, on the internet from the comfort of my own apartment. That’s right, I’m mooching off someone else’s unsecured connection.

How unethical do you consider this? I know some people who do it regularly as their primary source of internet. I usually do it in situations like this–I don’t have legitimate access to the internet, but I have a legitimate desire to be on it!

To be honest, I’m not certain of the security concerns of this. If I’m connected to their network, could they potentially access my computer? I don’t think so.

I spent the day settling in to my new apartment. While I filled up my new Ikea dresser, it tipped over and nearly killed me. No worries, the only casualty was a barely noticeable cosmetic piece we are going to try to repair later this week. I listened to NPR all day, and I am pretty sure that once my six month deal runs out for cable, I will be able to do without it. I’m not going to lie, I’ll miss some of the absolute crap TV shows that I watch but my life is probably better off without them (example: Real Housewives of Orange County). The shows that I really love (when there isn’t a writers strike) are all available online (Office and Grey’s).

Internet I couldn’t live without…. but could I just mooch off a neighbors connection? I probably wouldn’t. Not only because of the moral concerns, but because it may not be reliable and completely secure. What do you think?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. SavingDiva permalink
    January 28, 2008 3:17 pm

    I have a friend a lot of friends that use their neighbors’ connection. It’s tough to say if I would do it…probably not. I don’t really use my internet at home too often…so when my bill increase, I will just cancel the service.

  2. Frugal Bachelor permalink
    January 29, 2008 1:24 am

    Your computer is less secure being on an untrusted network. They can access any services you have enabled on your computer (for example, if you have file sharing on they could access your files), and could hack into your computer much more easily than if you were behind a firewall (if there are any outstanding security vulnerabilities – which there always seem to be).

    Also, they could monitor/log any unencrypted traffic between you and the internet. Theoretically they could even basically hijack the internet and redirect for example citibank.com to their own version to steal your passwords.

    Of course, if this just some person in your apartment complex who left their router unprotected, all of this is highly unlikely. Personally, I wouldn’t have too many qualms about using a neighbor’s connection – it even adds extra layer of anonymity if doing shady things (such as downloading music, movies, etc.)

  3. Andrew Stevens permalink
    January 30, 2008 12:25 am

    I think what you’re doing right now is mostly ethical, since it’s temporary and you’re doing it because you don’t have legitimate access. However, if you decided to forego legitimate access in order to keep free riding, I consider that unethical.

    Also, it’s not necessarily a victimless crime since you could cause them bandwidth issues, particularly if you both decide to do some downloading at the same time. This isn’t a problem if you’re just surfing the Web and checking your email.

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