Can wireless connections clash?

  montyburns 16:56 01 Dec 06
Locked

We used to be the only wireless network that our PC would pick up - now it shows four!

Seems like when the others are active, our connection is more likely to drop, and we get the annoying "old fashioned" dialup prompt

Are these other networks degrading ours?

Ours is showing signal strength of five bars, the others only one

Interestingly, couldn't get on ours, but one of the others was not secure, so just used that to download my emails! ;-)

I don't intend to do this again, but out of interest, while connected to someone else's connection, does it compromise our security?

Cheers

  postie24 18:36 01 Dec 06

As long as your network is secured with wpa your security will be fine.Did you know its illegal to use someone elses network without them knowing.If your signal is showing five bars their signal wont be degrading yours.If you can find out whos network your using,it would be worth telling them to apply encryption to their network otherwise they could be in for a few problems with their security

  mgmcc 21:19 01 Dec 06

If your wireless network's performance is being degraded by that of a neighbour's, try changing to a different channel to minimise interference. The default is normally "11" so try changing to something like "7" or "4". It's trial & error!

<<< while connected to someone else's connection, does it compromise our security? >>>

Yes, because you must be connecting to an "unsecured" network and, by default, probably have "File & Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks" enabled. Having folders set as "Shared" in your PC would make it vulnerable.

  montyburns 17:37 02 Dec 06

"Did you know its illegal to use someone elses network without them knowing.If your signal is showing five bars their signal wont be degrading yours.If you can find out whos network your using,it would be worth telling them to apply encryption to their network otherwise they could be in for a few problems with their security"

Yes, I do know it's illegal, and would not have done it except couldn't get on ours, and had to check mails quickly before going out for the evening

If I knew how to find out who's it was, then I would indeed let them know that they could be compromising their own security

  postie24 18:36 02 Dec 06

Knock on a few neighbours doors and ask them if they are using a wireless network,thats how to find out whos network you was using.

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