Should You Share an Internet Connection with Your Neighbor?

An IP Address Filter provides a good start towards wireless security, but you need to enable encryption in order to discourage determined hackers …

Sharing an Internet connection with other household members or even neighbors is easier than ever. All you need is a solid wireless router with enough reach to give all parties lag- and trouble-free access to the Internet. All you need for that is to set up a wireless router in a location that is ideal for everyone, share the access key and you are good to go. You can add wireless repeaters and other hardware to the mix if you need to cover a wider area.

There are however issues that you may want to consider before going all in on the idea. There is first the issue of ownership and all the responsibilities that come with it.

The subscriber is basically responsible for all activities. Your neighbors’ kids downloading music from the Internet, illegal activities such as fraud or spam, or even hacking or computer sabotage. Law enforcement, lawyers and the ISP will be knocking at the subscribers’ door first, or even worse, smash it wide open in the night. And while that’s without doubt a horror scenario, I’d personally would not want to experience it first hand.

Other issues may come up. Since you are sharing bandwidth, you may experience downloading, streaming or even connectivity issues on the Internet. While you may be able to upgrade your line for a fee, you may still experience less than optimal situations especially in the evening or on weekends.

You also have to consider the possibility that your neighbors move away, and when they do, they are likely unwilling to pay whatever you have agreed on for the monthly broadband plan. This could mean that you would overpay for an expensive plan that you do not need anymore.

Another aspect to consider is the availability of the Internet connection itself. Imagine your Internet connection going down on a day where you are not at home. Your neighbors cannot call your ISP to get the issue resolved, and they probably cannot get into your house either to reset the modem. This may not be a problem if you are back in the evening, but what if it happens while you are on vacation?

You are also sharing a local network with your neighbors, which can make it a lot easier for them to hack into your computer. And while that is again something that is not likely to happen, it is still a possibility.

Depending on your Internet Service Provider’s terms of service it may be forbidden to share the connection with another household or person. Abuse can lead to termination of service, fees and even legal action in court.

Would I share my Internet connection? I certainly would with my family, and a few close friends. I’d still have a bad feeling during that time.

Do you share your Internet with someone else? If so, why?

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