How to boost WiFi reception - How to get free internet?

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Archaea

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Moral/Ethical issues aside - Purely from a technical standpoint.

I am amazed at how many unsecured wifi signals I recieve in the city. Unfortuantely, all of them are only at 1 bar signal strength and though I can connect there is not enough signal too receive data. I have both a laptop and a desktop PC. I am wondering if there is some sort of Access point signal amplifier that could take a WiFi signal and amplify it or even just some sort of repeater that would just pass the WiFi signal.

One of my co-workers informed me of this, which I'm investigating further.

http://www.turnpoint.net/wireless/has.html


Does anyone know of any WiFi cards that have an external jack for an additional external antennae for both laptop or desktop?

Does anyone know of a particular access point that would amplify or repeat the signal?
 

Archaea

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google is your friend :rolleyes:

I'm asking more along the lines of what products people have had good exp. with in this area...You're google search you linked me has nothing to do with what I'm talking about.
 

xXaNaXx

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if you actually go to some of those links, there are plenty of products for boosting the signal like what you want to do
 

PopeKevinI

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How to boost WiFi: make sure you have a good card, and get a better antenna. Simple as that.

How to get free internet: Steal someone's broadband, get arrested, go to jail. Use free internet connection in prison library.
 

Archaea

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not eveyone's a hacker...I have no interest in hacking...absolutely none...

Though saving 45 bucks a month on a cable modem/high speed internet bill sounds like a pretty good idea. I don't download massive amounts of anything. I check my e-mail and use ebay regularly and that's about it.
 

DragonNOA1

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No but you are leaching my precious bandwidth w/o asking.

Haha IBTC. In B4 the Close.
 

[H]exx

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From the tech stand point, just go with an "amplifyer" using the old skool pringles can trick. All it does it boosts your ant.

So yeah, pretty much the above that has been mentioned already.
 

Archaea

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problem is that I have an internal wi-fi card....an actual repeater type device would be excellent. Or an access point - - - if it amplified the incomming signal in anyway.
 

PopeKevinI

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Archaea said:
not eveyone's a hacker...I have no interest in hacking...absolutely none...

Though saving 45 bucks a month on a cable modem/high speed internet bill sounds like a pretty good idea. I don't download massive amounts of anything. I check my e-mail and use ebay regularly and that's about it.
See, the thing is from a legal standpoint, it doesn't matter what you do with the bandwidth you use. The fact of the matter is that you would be using someone else's bandwidth and that's illegal in its own right. "I was just checking my e-mail" doesn't wash...it's still breaking the law.
 

valorfkee

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not eveyone's a hacker...I have no interest in hacking...absolutely none...

Though saving 45 bucks a month on a cable modem/high speed internet bill sounds like a pretty good idea. I don't download massive amounts of anything. I check my e-mail and use ebay regularly and that's about it.
It does not matter how benign your reasons are, theft is still theft.
Even though out of ignorance someone leaves the "door unlocked"
to their account, you are not entitled to the free use of it any more
than to an unlocked vehicle or home. How about getting a job and paying
for it like everyone else?

Tom in Tulsa
 

PopeKevinI

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Archaea said:
problem is that I have an internal wi-fi card....an actual repeater type device would be excellent. Or an access point - - - if it amplified the incomming signal in anyway.
A lot of access points and routers support bridging; basically, they act as the wireless connection for any PC connected to them. I've used this before to connect three PCs on a NetGear router to one of our WAPs at work. It was cheaper than buying cards for each PC :D

That way you can get a WAP/router that supports bridging and interchangable antennas and connect more than one PC.

Now that I think about it, I know a couple of guys who do that. Their houses are ~600 meters apart and work on a Wireless G LAN. They have dual directional amplified antennas on their chimneys, pointing at one another. Those are attached to bridging WAPs. They tell me it gets impressive speeds.
 

Archaea

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I do have a job, and I do work as hard as anyone else...I along with anyone here would like to pocket an extra 600 a year than spend it on something that's free. It will only be a few more years before I think most cities will have free wireless anyway...Philadelphia already has it...The whole city has free internet. There are several unsecured hotspots around my house, and if you drive through the city they are everywhere. I've used them from time to time to check my e-mail ect when I'm out, nothing more.

Stealing has different categories.

one type, nearly every example hurts the other person either through loss of goods, or undue financial burden.

another and very rare type that (I can't even think of any other examples right now), causes absolutely no undue financial burden, or loss of goods. The bandwidth I would take up to occassionally surf on a 6mb cable line (the same thing I pay 45 a month for now and for the last 5 or 6 years have been paying), through a neighbor family who uses their 6mb cable line to do the same thing would be absolutely unnoticable, and if they ever choose to secure their WiFi I would make no attempt to access it any further...
 

mac_cnc

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I would have to firmly agree here. Why dont you go to the neighbors house and ask them to maybe give them a small fee every month in exchange for the connection. Then you can do it with a clear conctience (sp?). My 2 cents
 

Archaea

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that would be a possibility...and 25 bucks a month is better than 45...but that still does't solve the original delima
 

PopeKevinI

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mac_cnc said:
I would have to firmly agree here. Why dont you go to the neighbors house and ask them to maybe give them a small fee every month in exchange for the connection. Then you can do it with a clear conctience (sp?). My 2 cents
That would be asking his neighbors to violate their TOS.
 

valorfkee

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I would have to firmly agree here. Why dont you go to the neighbors house and ask them to maybe give them a small fee every month in exchange for the connection. Then you can do it with a clear conctience (sp?). My 2 cents
This would be a good way to go, both parties can benefit. If I had a neighbor who
would be a "light" user, I would be all over a scheme to save myself some bucks
by sharing my connection. You could earn some points by helping them implement
encryption, too.

Tom In Tulsa
 

PopeKevinI

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Archaea said:
I do have a job, and I do work as hard as anyone else...I along with anyone here would like to pocket an extra 600 a year than spend it on something that's free. It will only be a few more years before I think most cities will have free wireless anyway...Philadelphia already has it...The whole city has free internet. There are several unsecured hotspots around my house, and if you drive through the city they are everywhere. I've used them from time to time to check my e-mail ect when I'm out, nothing more.
IT. IS. NOT. FREE.

These people pay for their internet service. They do not have the right to redistribute it. If you use their internet without their permission, you're stealing it and accessing a computer network without authorization--I believe that's a felony these days.

If you use it with permission, you ask them to assume the risk of being caught violating TOS. From what I've heard, the phone companies treat it no different than sharing a cable line.

In all reality, they probably wouldn't care if you used it. I have friends who can't get DSL come to my house to make use of my bandwidth all the time. If you're determined to do it, just talk to your neighbors...but NEVER, EVER access a WAP without permission. If you get caught, you won't like the results.
 

valorfkee

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If you use it with permission, you ask them to assume the risk of being caught violating TOS. From what I've heard, the phone companies treat it no different than sharing a cable line.
Yep, if it is prohibited, I guess you are just out of luck.
 

PopeKevinI

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valorfkee said:
Yep, if it is prohibited, I guess you are just out of luck.
There's always dialup for $10 a month. e-mail and eBay don't exactly require broadband, now do they? :D
 

Archaea

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I have a comparison I just thought of tonight.

For the moral/ethical delima.

An anology

Let's say my neighbor has blue grass in his yard and I have dirt. His grass is expensive and beautiful, my yard is terrible. He spends big money each year growing out his lawn, watering it, fertillizing it, and maintaining it. His grass spreads into my yard. The grass is now on my property and is therefore available for me to cultivate and grow. I could split the growth up into pieces and distribute it all over my yard, without any concern. Soon I would have blue grass all over my yard with no real expense to me.

Could this not be the same thing for the WiFi :confused:

His unsecured WiFi has come onto my property, I have not taken it...He has left it unsecured and it has wondered onto my property. I have access to this WiFi signal because it is on my property...The fact that I spread it around my property with a digital amplifier or repeater is no different as long as his WiFi is on my yard.

;)

I wonder if that would hold water in a court of law.

If the guys has his network secured all bets are off and the use is definately breaking the law in my opinion...but if the network is unsecured, it's fair game in my mind.

It's not hard to lock down a WiFi setup...the instructions included in most routers tell you it is necessary and show you step by step how to do it.

Thoughts?
 

valorfkee

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For the moral/ethical delima.
Interesting that theft could even begin to be considered a
"moral dilemma"!

There is plenty of case law as to who is entitled to do what
with radio signals. The bottom line, using a connection that
someone else is paying for, without their permission, is theft
plain and simple. Here is a story about a wi-fi theft that just
appeared:

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050707/ap_on_hi_te/techbits_wi_fi_theft_1

Like others have said, just try asking the guy. If you can't afford 10 or
15 bucks for a dialup connection maybe he will let you share.

Tom In Tulsa
 

bob

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PopeKevinI said:
How to boost WiFi: make sure you have a good card, and get a better antenna. Simple as that
Im using a cheap Ralink RT2500 card I bought new for $9.99 on flea-bay. Bought an LMR-100a 3 meter extension cable, and grabbed a soup can. Reception strength is -50dB @ 1/3 mile, when its 90 degrees F outside on a clear day.
 

Malk-a-mite

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Going to explain this once more.

Your neighbor is paying for internet access, you are currently not.

Regardless of how you connect to the network, once you make you of the neighbor's internet access or access the data (systems) on their network you could be charged with tresspassing. It's a wierd angle on the law but one that has been used before.
And since I just posted this in another thread:
http://www.eff.org/spam/20011218_eff_trespasstc_analysis.html

You can argue all you want about the moral applications of connecting to a unsecured network, but once you start using the network you have moved from accessing the wi-fi to crossing multiple networks that you would otherwise not have access to.
 

PopeKevinI

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Archaea said:
I have a comparison I just thought of tonight.

For the moral/ethical delima.

An anology

Let's say my neighbor has blue grass in his yard and I have dirt. His grass is expensive and beautiful, my yard is terrible. He spends big money each year growing out his lawn, watering it, fertillizing it, and maintaining it. His grass spreads into my yard. The grass is now on my property and is therefore available for me to cultivate and grow. I could split the growth up into pieces and distribute it all over my yard, without any concern. Soon I would have blue grass all over my yard with no real expense to me.

Could this not be the same thing for the WiFi :confused:

His unsecured WiFi has come onto my property, I have not taken it...He has left it unsecured and it has wondered onto my property. I have access to this WiFi signal because it is on my property...The fact that I spread it around my property with a digital amplifier or repeater is no different as long as his WiFi is on my yard.

;)

I wonder if that would hold water in a court of law.

If the guys has his network secured all bets are off and the use is definately breaking the law in my opinion...but if the network is unsecured, it's fair game in my mind.

It's not hard to lock down a WiFi setup...the instructions included in most routers tell you it is necessary and show you step by step how to do it.

Thoughts?
In a word: no.

Grass reproduces. The blades of grass on your property are not his; they are a product of his.

If I have an apple tree and a limb of it hangs over your yard, you are not entitled to take all the apples you want. But even that is not a fair comparison; bandwidth isn't a tangible property.

As has been said before, failure to lock your car doesn't mean you deserve to have it stolen. An unsecure network may be prone to attacks, but that does not justify the attacks. Nor does it justify your stealing their bandwidth.

There is no dilemma here. It's wrong and illegal to access a network without permission. Period.
 

Oldie

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PopeKevinI said:
There is no dilemma here. It's wrong and illegal to access a network without permission. Period.
Also, don't confuse the owner of the network, with the owner of the property. They are renting access to the network, from the ISP. If you had permission from both the ISP and the owner of the home in question, then you would be perfectly OK. Somehow I doubt you'll get it from the ISP.


 

PopeKevinI

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Oldie said:
Also, don't confuse the owner of the network, with the owner of the property. They are renting access to the network, from the ISP. If you had permission from both the ISP and the owner of the home in question, then you would be perfectly OK. Somehow I doubt you'll get it from the ISP.
At the very least, one should go over the TOS with the neighbor and try to determine whether is specifically bars such use.

I know there was a time when some ISPs tried to limit broadband to a single computer; according to them, the use of a router and multiple PCs was not allowed. I don't think that held up to legal scrutiny.
 

valorfkee

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Archaea likes analogies, so here a popular one suggested by a friend
who is quite high up on the telecom food chain (with slight embellishment
by me):

Archaea, lets assume you have a girlfriend or wife who lives with you,
and that she is also quite attractive. You have a contract with her.
You provide her food and shelter, and one of the benefits of that contract
is that she provides certain services to you, particularly by making one or
more of her three "access ports" available for your use. Now, as luck would
have it, these ports are very popular amongst the neighbors and they enjoy
using them too. As a matter of fact, all three ports can even be used simultaneously
by three neighbors at the same time. This mostly happens while you are at work
or fiddling with your computer, so you don't even notice. Your wife's/girlfriend's
ports are actually quite well constructed and able to easily handle a substantial
amount of traffic without damage, and without any extra maintenance cost to you.
The neighbors don't even have to enter your house to establish their connections,
she goes over on their property when you are not using her ports, and at the times
when you need service, she is always there with an available port for your use.
Now, since your service is not really degraded by the extra traffic, and since there
really is no extra cost to you, her contract with you really isn't being broken, and
all this should be perfecly fine with you, right? No moral "dilemmas".

Tom In Tulsa
 

Blitzrommel

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PopeKevinI said:
There's always dialup for $10 a month. e-mail and eBay don't exactly require broadband, now do they? :D
Pfft. eBay requires broadband nowadays, stupid auctioneers who bloat their auction pages.
 

PopeKevinI

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Blitzrommel said:
Pfft. eBay requires broadband nowadays, stupid auctioneers who bloat their auction pages.
Between the new internet accelerators and some browser tweaks, you can actually make ebay fairly tolerable. It was one of the few sites I could surf on 56k first part of last year.
 

perplex

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wow so many stupid posts to the thread not answering his question - like this one ;)
 

perplex

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if the transmitting wireless router is weak could a powerful reception antenna make up for it? or does both have to match in output strength
 

Malk-a-mite

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Archaea said:
not eveyone's a hacker...I have no interest in hacking...absolutely none...

Though saving 45 bucks a month on a cable modem/high speed internet bill sounds like a pretty good idea. I don't download massive amounts of anything. I check my e-mail and use ebay regularly and that's about it.

So it's the difference between being a safe cracker and a shoplifter.
One takes skill, the other takes ... well, takes what ever they can grab.
It's still theft, no matter how you dress it up. Just because you want something doesn't change it.

Edit:
And since this always comes up, yes the wireless signals are traveling onto your property. You can do anything you feel like with the signals on your property. But guess what, when you connect to the access point, your signals are now on your neighbors property. Funny how that works.
 
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