Call To Use My Wireless

May 1, 2006

The SSID broadcast name of my wireless access point reads “to_use_call_853-2098.” So when I saw a strange device on my network this evening, and nobody had called, I cut them off.

I guess it has to be one my neighbors in the building. The signal probably doesn’t go far enough for it to be the house just East of me. So it’s someone in one of the four units in my apartment building. You’d think that if someone was intentionally using my WiFi signal they’d at least let me know. Especially with the message containing my phone number. (“None of your usual wireless access points are available. Do you want to join ‘to_use_call_853-2098’? Yes/No”)

But I guess it could just as easily be inadvertent. Computers and PDAs and even Tivos have wireless capabilities these days and these devices don’t always inform you that they have found a network to participate on – they just do it. Manufacturers make them that way to avoid support calls.

Anyway, it’s not like I’m mad about it. I’d just really like to know who’s using my connection and for what. Now things aren’t so open around here. I’ve implemented an access control list by MAC address. They’ll still see the access point along with its invitation to call me, but they won’t get any service out of it unless I manually add them to my list. I guess I probably should have done this a while back.

So what do you do to secure your wireless signal?

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No comments yet

  1. I don’t. So long as I can get a fast signal, I leave it wide open. Not only is it easier, but I think if you’re gonna give something away, then just do it and stop thinking about it. (Like loaning money).

  2. Yeah, that’s always been my attitude before. Maybe I wouldn’t have been quite as quick to lock it up if the router hadn’t been crashing every day for the last week. Frustrating! It sort of made me want to circle my wagons. Perhaps I’ll reconsider.

  3. Just ditch your wireless. Thanks to city of Milwaukee officals, soon everyone in town will be able to get free or very cheap wireless.


  4. People using my wireless doesn’t bother me much either, but since all of the other folks in my complex are so crazy about keeping theirs locked down I did too.

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