Security Expert Bruce Schneier wrote a commentary on Wired yesterday where he admitted that he was using an Open Wi-Fi and that he could not see what was wrong with doing so. He refused to accept security reasons because he said that the computer had to be secured as well and that an Open Wi-Fi would essentially be the same as using Wi-Fi on airports or Internet cafes.
Filesharing did not seem to be a concern as well citing the probability of being caught in the act. He is not concerned about bandwidth stealing either, most likely because he has a flatrate.
I would like to respond to this. A low probability to get caught does not mean that it won't happen. This is my first concern. And the probability rises with every file shared on the Internet. I'm not sure about the law in America but I do know that you are responsible in many countries if a crime can be connected to your IP and that the excuse that you have been running an Open Wi-FI will not help you at all.
Besides file sharing we have the probability that someone is using the open Wi-Fi for hacking, blackmailing, trojans, viruses, child pornography or insults on forums. Depending on your location it could be highly unlikely that this is happening but I would never take this risk in first place.
Bandwidth is another aspect. If someone used all my upload speed to distribute files I would experience slow downs and could not use several applications that require a certain amount of bandwidth. It's not only about the amount of Gigabytes that you transfer, it's also about the impact on the system.
Only to help others out - with Internet - that you do not know ? If your neighbors need Internet so badly they could ask, can't they ?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.