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Are You a Wi-Fi Interloper?

Updated on December 1, 2012

With homes, condos and apartments all having their own Wi-Fi networks, are you sure there is no interloper pilfering (i.e., stealing) your signal, using the Internet for free? Probably not. Especially in apartments and condos, where everyone is adjacent to one another. A recent poll tells the story, 32% of those polled indicated they did try to steal a neighbors Wi-Fi signal to avoid paying for it. In the US, there 200 million homes with it.

Not all interlopers are kids, some are criminals who are downloading child porn or other nefarious activities. Police now have units to deal with cyber crime and may be knocking at your door because of the IP address you have, but, another person is also using without your knowledge. The police can get a warrant to search your house to locate criminal activity.

They use a device called a "Moocherhunter" that has a directional antenna to find other devices connected to the wireless router. The device measures the distance between a wireless router and the devices connected to. The further the distance, the more suspect it is. Some interlopers can get the signal from across the street. All Internet subscribers have no expectation of privacy a Court ruled. That is because all IP addresses are available to the public. Also, when you connect to a wireless router, you are broadcasting a signal into the public area, whether you know it or not.


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    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 5 years ago from Nottingham UK

      It shows the need to protect your wifi and block off the signal. Although maybe we can also blame manufacturers whose technology allows products to pick up wifi from sources sutomatically on the move.