I tend to get a a fair number of puzzled and paranoid stares when I let people know that I provide an open, free-for-all, uninhibited wireless network at home. This is usually followed by the “stealing of bandwidth” or “security” queries, which I brush over with an “I don’t care, maybe I’m a communist” comment because I’ve never bothered to build a justified argument. I simply believe that bandwidth should be as free as possible for everyone.
Fortunately Bruce Schneier has hit the nail on the head and put some juice behind my arguments with his Wired column “Steal This Wi-Fi”. I’m pretty sure I was aware of Mr Schneier’s sentiments in this regard before this column was published – I suspect it is mentioned in one of his books – and this was probably the inspiration for me to emulate this behaviour in my own home setup. Well worth the read – make no mistake, Bruce is a really smart guy.
Unlike me, living in a country with a scarcity of bandwidth is something Bruce probably does not have to contend with very much. This can dramatically increase the cost of the “theft” of bandwidth, but at the same time this is strongly contested by arguing for the increased value of providing free access in a bandwidth-poor country.
Link to article.