Use Neighbor's Router-Do They Know?

September 23, 2007 at 17:48:49
Specs: XP Home SP2, 2.6 Gb/512Mb
Hypothetical Situation:

Let's say I don't have a wireless router in my house. Let's say I bought a wireless ready laptop. Let's say I powered it up, tested the wireless connection, I was able to connect to the internet.

Does the person who owns the router - hypothetically a neighbor - know that a laptop from another house is hypothetically connected to it?

Please, I'm not looking to get into a discussion of whether it's right or wrong - I feel it's wrong. I'm just curious, from a technology point of view, if the hypothetical system can be seen by the owner of the hypothetical router.

See More: Use Neighbors Router-Do They Know?

Report •

September 23, 2007 at 19:09:17
Hypothetical question like this elicit hypothetical answer below ...

You're walking down the street in Hypotheticalville and in front of you is a gentleman who ... read the rest HERE.


Report •

September 23, 2007 at 19:18:44
The hypothetical neighbor might have a hypothetical router that keeps a hypothetical log. Also, if this hypothetical neighbor actually cared, he could use not-so-hypothetical tools to watch the hypothetically errant traffic. This assumes the hypothetical neighbor has the hypothetical skills and knowledge necessary to hypothetically realize his hypothetical wireless router is hypothetically available to more hypothetical people than just him.
Hypothetical count: 13

Report •

September 23, 2007 at 19:19:43
If the person owning the router is not savvy enough to secure their router, they are not going to notice you are on it unless you do major downloads and those impact service.

I can understand the moral issue.

My opinion but there are a lot of laws these days but the ones who make them [and those behind them] are completely immoral.

With that at one end and being perfectly moral on the other, I think jumping on and checking email, for example, would not even show up on the richter scale.

Are you ready for where Microsoft wants you to go today?

Report •

Related Solutions

September 24, 2007 at 05:46:27
Futher to the hypothetical question, since I am not wireless savvy - yet - if I hypothetically looked at the network connections on my laptop and only saw my hypothetical laptop, what does that mean? Why wouldn't I see any of the hypothetical neighbor's systems? Is it as simple as they could be switched off?

Report •

September 24, 2007 at 18:01:03
Should you be able to see yourself in Ad Hoc Mode? It seems kinda pointless to attempt a wireless connection with yourself, but I've never left Infrastructure Mode, so I legitimately don't know.

Back to the "hypothetical," your question is best left to some sort of Telecommunications engineer, but I'll throw this out: Many things can cause the signal to disappear. The router could be turned off, something was turned on between you and the router, your laptop was moved into a dead zone, something was opened/closed, a butterfly in Brazil flapped its wings, etc.

Report •

September 25, 2007 at 08:46:18
I believe you may have missed the point of my question. I am not attempting a wireless connection to myself.

Let's start with the fact that all the systems in my house are wired to a 4 port router, except for this new hypothetical laptop, which is actually my hypothetical son's laptop. My systems are XP, the laptop is Vista (hypothetically speaking, of course). This is the first Vista machine I've hypothetically sat in front of.

On my XP machines I can go into My Network places and see shared drives, printers, etc. On the Vista machine, I tried (briefly) to find a simliar place to look at the other devices on the wireless network (I don't recall exactly where I looked) but the only system I saw was my son's hypothetical laptop. I assumed I would see any other devices that were attached to the wireless router since the laptop was hypothetically now part of that network.

What I was actually trying to determine is whether or not my hypothetical neighbor could see my son's hypothetical laptop. My son will be buying his own wireless router, which we will secure, but I'm just trying to learn as much as I can about wirless networks in the meantime. Having this hypothetical situation to play with has it's hypothetical educational advantages.

Report •

September 25, 2007 at 17:13:45
Could he? Yeah, probably, if he knew where to look. Would he? If his wireless access point is left insecure, I doubt he'd even know where to look.

As a real world example, I've used my neighbor's unsecured wireless router before, and he never knew.

Report •

October 4, 2007 at 23:37:21
to the answere of DarbyDad yes neighbour can be able to notify his router that it is being used by some one through router's routing table but he cant locate your position. as he is not using GPS. but ur neighbour get alert if and only if he feel that the speed is slow and for that porpose he open the routing table for checkup.

Thank you

Report •

October 11, 2007 at 10:26:55

To answer your original question, the person who owns the router can look at the router's settings and see the devices connected to it. From that table he would be able to see your laptop. However, as was mentioned previously, if the person did not know how to secure his own router, it's doubtful he knows how to look up the devices using it.

As for your second question, it has nothing to do with the router and more to do with the new operating system. In XP, when you look at My Network Places, it fills with the other computers and devices on the network through a feature of Windows called network discovery. On Vista, this feature is turned off by default and can be turned on through your network settings in control panel. Since network discovery was turned off, it did not look for other devices on the network you were connected to and thus only showed the computer you were on. Had the laptop been an XP box, and you had done the same thing, you would have seen all the other computers connected to the router you were connected to.

Report •

October 11, 2007 at 14:10:11
So if my hypothetical neighbor is running XP, he can see my son's hypothetical laptop in his My Network Places even though my son cannot, by default, see my neighbor's systems. Right?

Report •

October 11, 2007 at 14:38:33
Maybe; my wireless computers tend not to show up on my Network Places, unless a connection was previously established. If it's really an issue, just issue these commands on his laptop:
sc config lanmanserver start= disabled
net stop server

Report •

October 15, 2007 at 01:49:41

Ghost Surf and a decent firewall would, in theory, make you invisible to you neighbour.

But, consider this, most internet traffic is now decrypted and stored, so say your neighbour looks at some really illegal stuff, the authorities track the traffic back and start analysing it. Then, oh no, they have a load of traffic coming from your machine. You ever typed in a username?

Don't do it.

Report •

December 10, 2007 at 20:09:50
This is pretty funny, I have the identical, I mean identical situation. I have four computers hooked up in my house to a wired router and when I bought my son a laptop this weekend he turned it on and bam, he was on the internet without even knowing it. When I went to figure out how(since I have never had wireless or Vista before) I had 4 neighbors that it was picking up on and 2 were unsecure. The way I took it in the instruction is that if you set the network to public(which I think it is by default) It does not show up in network neighborhood of someone else. When I was messing around with it I did see a couple of the neighbors computers though. I have now found a ethernet wire and hooked him up to my wired network.

Report •

December 11, 2007 at 01:33:50
domass: It would be wise to disable the wifi nic/connection in your son's laptop, even though you now have him connected to your system via a cat-5 cct...

Report •

Ask Question