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advise re - piggybacking my broadband connection

(25 Posts)
harleyd Sun 24-Aug-08 20:18:28

next door neighbour has asked me politely if he can use the internet off my broadband
in theory i dont mind, but can anybody tell me if this can leave me open to possible trouble?
i havent much of a clue about how this works
can he be added to my hub connection, or would my connection then be open for possibly anyone else in the street to use?
would he have a separate ip address, would i be responsible for his usage and browsing etc?
thanks in advance

SofiaAmes Sun 24-Aug-08 20:28:54

If you have wireless, then just put a password on the wireless part of the network and give it to your neighbor. However, bear in mind that this does give your neighbor relatively easy access (if he's a computer geek) to your computer's files. And if your neighbor uses the broadband for things like downloading music it can slow the whole connection down for you too. (And if he illegally downloads it can also open you up to criminal liability issues). Also, I'm not sure, but the UK has funny rules about sharing internet connections, so you may want to check if it's legal. It really depends if this is someone you know and trust, or not.

TheArmadillo Sun 24-Aug-08 20:30:11

As far as your internet provider is concerned, your connection is your responsibility, so if (for instance) he was to download copyrighted material and your isp got wind of it, it would be you who took the flak. As for the IP, it would be seperate as he's be accessing your network with his own IP, however if anything can be traced back to a user, again it's your connection in the eyes of the ISP.

Speed can also be a concern; even if he is not downloading a lot, some programs can slow down connection speed for everyone else on the network. If you have a download limit then again, he'd be using up yours.

Security is an issue too, not necessarily threats from him as such, but if his computer is not secure viruses & malicious software can potentially get to your pc through his.

Finally, speaking as someone with 3 PC's,a Wii, a DS and an Xbox 360 all connecting to one internet connection through a home network: Home networks are a Bitch! If something goes slightly wrong you can lose connection entirely, and your ISP won't provide support in most cases.

TheArmadillo Sun 24-Aug-08 20:30:58

that was from dp btw. In essence it isn't a good idea.

thisisyesterday Sun 24-Aug-08 20:33:29

well, you need to make sure you have a really good firewall on your pc.
if he is using it while yours is turned off it isn't an issue, but technically even with a firewall if you are logging into things like mumsnet or whatever without encryption then anyone on a local network could access your password etc.

now, this is normal, but obviously if your neighbour got hold of information, he also knows other things about you (name, address etc etc) so you need to be really careful about making sure that any time you're entering personal info (particularly credit card details etc) that the site you're on is using a secure server (address will start https://)

thisisyesterday Sun 24-Aug-08 20:34:42

btw, a lot of people do this. we used to, and dp wanted to put a sign on our house to let people know they could use our connection. we like to spread the internet love.

it can be absolutely fine. you just need to be careful

harleyd Sun 24-Aug-08 20:36:43

thanks for the reply smile
tbh he took me by surprise knocking the door tonight, i just said to him i didnt really know how it worked so i would look into it
but the more i think about the less i like the idea
i do get on with him, but at the same time i dont want to be liable for someone elses browsing history iykwim

harleyd Sun 24-Aug-08 20:38:05

thanks also thisisyesterday, x-posted

harleyd Sun 24-Aug-08 20:41:08

thanks all of you, lol, im now having small brain explosions thinking about possible implications..

thisisyesterday Sun 24-Aug-08 20:44:44

harleyd, dp says that you wouldn't be responsible for anythig he looked at/downloaded.

I know that's a direct contradiction to armadillo's dp, but that's men for you. maybe not a straightcut as it seems?
I dunno, I know that dp would never do anything that would jeopardise us in that way, so I tend to trust him, and he does know his stuff (works in the business)

ChairmanMiao Sun 24-Aug-08 20:46:17

Why doesn't the tightarse get his own broadband connection?

TheArmadillo Sun 24-Aug-08 20:47:06

providers like virgin are starting to cut connection speeds of those who download illegally. If neighbour say downloads illegal stuff on hd's connection then her provider might cut her speed - doesn't matter which computer it was done on it;s the same connection.

thisisyesterday Sun 24-Aug-08 20:58:09

because why pay for something when you can get it free?
I dunno, I like my neighbours, and would trust them not to abuse my connection or put me at risk. plus, if the speed of connection was cut then they'd lose out too!

I think we're all way too miserly in this country sometimes. what's wrong with sharing???? why is the stock response 2get your own"?

sorry, going off on a tangent, and harleyd, can totally understand why if you aren't really clued up it can seem daunting/scary. not saying that everyone should share connections (or anything else for tha tmatter), but it's always worth an ask isn't it?

harleyd Sun 24-Aug-08 20:59:41

chairmanmiao - im imagining its because he cant afford it
im happy to share the 'internet love' as thsisyesterday says..but not if its gonna get me in bother

ChairmanMiao Sun 24-Aug-08 21:15:30

I think if you're going to let him use it, you could quite reasonably ask him to pay half.

MrsMuddle Sun 24-Aug-08 21:25:14

Why should he pay half? The OP isn't losing anything by sharing it with him. It's not costing her more if he shares it with her.

That would be like asking for petrol money from someone if you gave them a lift to a place that you were going to anyway.

Friends and neighbours should help each other out. That seems to be a marker of a civilsed society. I'm sure her neighbour will reciprocate somehow.

TheBlonde Sun 24-Aug-08 21:33:09

It was on the news last week relating to this story about illegal file sharing

The prog I saw said if someone else was using your connection they would pursue you

Don't share is my advice

teacosy Sun 24-Aug-08 21:38:08

Does anyone know how you can stop people accessing your broadband? Ours does slow down at times and my ebay account did get hacked. How do you go about locking it off to others?

harleyd Sun 24-Aug-08 21:41:38

i wouldnt have even thought about asking him to pay half..thats bizarre. im more than happy to share, as ive said if its not gonna get me into any trouble
blimey, its not something that would have even crossed my mind

EachPeachPearMum Sun 24-Aug-08 21:42:07

I think it depends how well you know him tbh.
Bearing in mind, he could use it for anything, and I don't think he would get a separate IP- it would be though yours, as the IP will be on the router, not your PC IYSWIM.

thisisyesterday Sun 24-Aug-08 21:47:54

lol, dp says just don't use wireless. it's evil and will kill you.

but erm, you should enable the WPA

thisisyesterday Sun 24-Aug-08 21:48:12

wep vs wpa

ChairmanMiao Sun 24-Aug-08 21:49:35

harleyd you could lose out in that your connection may seem to slow down

I'd ask him to pay half - if I were getting a lift from someone daily, i'd offer petrol money, that's my analogy. Paying towards it would be how I'd be helping out my friends and neighbours. Why wait for an opportunity to reciprocate?

Having said that, I think sharing internet connections is dodgy and I wouldn't be asking or offering, meself.

SofiaAmes Sun 24-Aug-08 22:17:26

teacosy, unless you have wireless, it's not an issue that you control. If you have wireless, you need to put a password on it. Either your ISP (internet service provider) or the maker of your wireless modem/router should be able to talk you through it.

MrVibrating Mon 25-Aug-08 00:10:42


1. You would probably be breaking your contract with your broadband provider.

2. Your contract with your broadband provider would make you liable to them for his use of the connection. So if they were fined or otherwise suffered a loss due to him downloading illegal stuff (or worse, using your connection to host illegal stuff for other people to download), you would be liable to make good their losses.

3. You would probably not be liablie for criminal prosecution for anything your neighbour did, unless you had reason to believe he was going to use the connection for something illegal, or were recklessly negligent as to his use.

4. If he paid you for the use of the connection, you could be committing a crime because you are obtaining a benefit through deception (of the broadband provider).

5. His IP (on the internet) would be the same as yours. Only your router logs (if you have them, and only then if your router is configured to do it) would be able to show whether he had downloaded illegal material, or you had. And because it would be easy for you to interfere with those logs they would not be very good evidence in your defence.

6. To stop people sharing your wireless broadband you need to turn on security. Your broadband provider should help you with this, as it is in their interest to stop their bandwidth being syphoned. Unfortunately, Windows XP makes this stupidly difficult (although Vista is better).

7. I am not an internet security expert, but I believe it would be possible for anyone on your wireless network to intercept your internet traffic, possibly even over a a 'secure' (https) connection. Using this they may be able to break in to your PC. But then this is also possible when you log in to any public wireless network. Take a good look at other people around you next time you are surfing the web in Starbucks.

Having said all that, some people are convinced enough that access to the internet should be free (in the sense of free beer) to create open hotspots.

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