Forgive me--I, too, have stolen Wi-Fi - InformationWeek

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7/11/2005
06:36 PM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
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Forgive me--I, too, have stolen Wi-Fi

With word that someone is being prosecuted for stealing Wi-Fi access, I just can't keep it in any longer. Yes, I feel a confession coming on. Do you have a tale of stolen Wi-Fi you need to get off your chest? Read mine, then share your own tale of misbegotten Wi-Fi access. We'll get through this together.

With word that someone is being prosecuted for stealing Wi-Fi access, I just can't keep it in any longer. Yes, I feel a confession coming on. Do you have a tale of stolen Wi-Fi you need to get off your chest? Read mine, then share your own tale of misbegotten Wi-Fi access. We'll get through this together.My story is particularly embarrassing, because when I was stealing Wi-Fi access, I was actually bragging about it. In this August 2002 column, I touted the future of wireless, how if an idiot like me could hook up a wireless network in his home, then the wireless march was on, whether corporate IT embraced it or not. Then, two weeks after this column ran, I unplugged my Netgear MR314 router because I was having trouble connecting. I went upstairs, where my wife was using the computer I'd hooked up to our wireless network.

"Are you online," I ask. "Yes," she says. "Oops," I say.

Turns out, I'd hooked into what must have been a neighbor's Netgear wireless router, and like most of the clueless Wi-Fi population, neither of us had renamed the network from factory settings or turned on encryption. So in fact my column was right that the wireless revolution was upon us. Though I was wrong in saying, as I did, "The technology was profoundly easy," since I managed to screw it up.

Who knew I had also committed a crime? (Hey, I stopped once I knew what I'd done.)

Got a Wi-Fi-snatching confession of your own? Share. You'll feel better. I do.

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