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sharing internet connection

Posted on 2008-10-27
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My neighbor and I are considering splitting our internet cost each month by signing up for one account and using a wireless access point to feed internet to my house.  Neither of us are avid internet users so we can live with modest speeds and bandwidth

First off is this legal?

Secondly, if he has the router and I only have an access point, will I have no privacy?  In other words if I am typing an email will he see what I am typing and will he see where I am surfing?

thanks
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Question by:jasguild
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by:sh0e
ID: 22818661
It's not illegal.  It may be against your ISP's terms of service though.  Some ISPs are known to try to prevent such attempts.

Wireless is inherently interceptable.  Make sure you are using WPA.

It is possible for him to intercept your data (with special software), but there's really no way around that.  Even in that set up, there are ways for you to intercept his data, as long as you are connected.

For practical purposes, just use WPA and make sure he's not up to any funny business.  If he's not technically adept, I wouldn't be all that worried.
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by:jasguild
ID: 22818780
He is very savy in fact he has some networking certification.   To be honest, I am not doing anything illegal on the web so I am not too worried about it but would like to have some privacy just for the principle of it.  

What is WPA?? HOw do I make sure that he is using this.  

jasguild
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by:sh0e
ID: 22818818
Because he is savvy, there is not much you can do other than make sure you can trust him.  Either way, if you guys are connected, you will need to trust him.  It's probably a good thing that he's savvy, as any problems can be solved by him.
Ask the guy to make sure he enables WPA on the access point, he should know what it is.  

Instructions on how to configure WPA on XP:
http://compnetworking.about.com/cs/winxpnetworking/ht/wpainwindowsxp.htm

As configuring WPA may not be easy if you are inexperienced, I would recommend asking the guy to help you out.
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by:jasguild
ID: 22819073
So in a nutt shell what are my risks??

Is it that he may be chekcing out what sites I am surfing on ??  Or is it that he will be able to see my bank account numbers etc.   I truly  trust the guy but you never know.

This is why I would prefer to minimize my risk and know what I am getting into.

jasguild
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sh0e earned 220 total points
ID: 22819180
Most banks use HTTPS://, so it should be fine.  Just be wary if you get warnings about your certificates in your browser.
Yes, in theory he could use Man-In-The-Middle attack and sit between you and the internet, passing the data back and forth.  Meanwhile, he gets a copy of the data, and you don't realize anything has happened.  HTTPS:// (SSL) reduces the risk, and will warn you about invalid certificates.

Wireless eavesdropping is another issue, and is potentially worse, as anyone in range could in theory grab the data.
This is why I recommend you use WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access).  This encrypts the data sent over wireless to reduce the risk eavesdropping.  If WPA is not available, you can also use WEP, which is weaker than WPA but will reduce your risks slightly.  WEP isn't much good for anything more than preventing unintentional use.

Since the guy is network certified, you probably don't have to worry about him configuring the access point correctly.
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