Is it safe sharing WiFi with neighbours?

6/1/2022

Security

It is not safe sharing wifi with your neighbor. This is because your neighbor will be able to access all of the devices and networks that are connected to the router. This includes all of the data that is being shared on those networks.

Sharing Wifi with your neighbor can be a great idea, but it can also be risky. The risks depend on what you share and how you share it. If you want to share wifi with your neighbors, ensure you have secure passwords for all your devices and networks.

Let Us Know More About On How To Share And The Risk Of Sharing Wifi

Providing a neighbor with temporary internet access appears to be a neighborly gesture. Before you do anything, ensure you know the dangers of sharing your internet.

Worried? While that may seem a little extreme, some concern is understandable.

The quick response to your question is that, if you don’t take measures, someone on her computer with bad intentions may hurt you in a number of ways. Let’s look at how it works.

TRUST

The term “sharing your internet connection” must first be defined.

One of the biggest benefits of using a router is that it serves as a firewall between a reputable or secure network, like the local network to which all of your PCs are attached, and an insecure network, like the internet.

You implicitly trust all the devices connected to your local network on the “trusted” side of the router. You’re confident that you’ve taken all necessary precautions to keep them safe and know the users’ skill and knowledge levels. The bottom line is that a fair level of safety must be connected with allowing those machines to speak with one another.

The main advantage of trusting every machine on the trusted side of the network is that you don’t need to take as many extra security measures to protect them from one another.The most obvious example is that you probably don’t need a firewall on every computer1; the router’s firewall, which protects them from untrusted internet, is likely sufficient.

Internet Sharing

I assume that by providing your neighbor a password, you mean that you’re giving them your existing Wi-Fi password, and they’re joining via wireless.

That suggests their machine is connected to the router’s trustworthy side.

This has a significant impact on the trust dynamic.

You have no idea how much you can trust your neighbor or the other individuals that live in her home.

In other words, you’ve allowed an untrusted connection into your router’s previously trusted side.

Gone Wrong?

There are various ways in which this could cause you problems.

  • It has the potential to infect your systems with viruses.

    You have no idea how up-to-date your neighbors are on computer security. Their devices may have never been updated, never run anti-virus software, and be infected with malware in large quantities. Your PCs could be at risk from threats originating from these poorly managed systems.
  • It has the potential to gain access to your machine.

    There’s a chance your neighbor has direct access to your equipment. If you’ve enabled remote desktop, they might be able to access your device and log in.
  • It could be used to sneak a peek at your information.

    It’s possible that your neighbor will access files on your PCs over Windows networking. The configuration of your network determines how much of the data on your computer is visible. In the worst situation, your neighbor could be able to access every file on your PC. The risk that your neighbor might access “some” of your data (depending on your network settings) is more common.

What will you do?

There are four possibilities:

1. Refuse politely.

The most straightforward and safest response is to decline politely. Perhaps you could explain that you’ve heard horror stories and don’t want to put yourself or your neighbor in danger of a problem or misunderstanding.

2. Access for visitors

If your router enables “guest access,” it will automatically perform part of the network isolation we’re searching for. Grant access to that “guest” network to your neighbors.

It’s vital to note that this does not address the issues of liability or bandwidth. Those are still around. However, it can be a secure technique to safeguard your computers from those of your neighbors.

3. Another router

If your router does not permit guest access, another safe option is to purchase a second router.

Your neighbor’s router would link to router #1, and the internet would connect to router #1.

All of your PCs would be connected to router #2, which would be connected to the LAN side of router #1. Router #2 keeps the untrusted/trusted divide in place, with all of your machines connected to a trusted local network and everything else (including your neighbor and the internet) on the other side of the router.

Setting this up right can be time-consuming and doesn’t address the liability or bandwidth issues that a guest network does. In all honesty, I would replace your present router with a guest network-capable one if you were going to buy another one anyhow.

4. Direct entry

If you wish to let your neighbor use your internet connection without using any of the ways outlined so far, you should at least consider lowering your risk. To protect yourself against viruses or data snooping, I would double-check that the firewall is turned on on all of the computers linked to your LAN.

Can My Neighbor See My Network Traffic If I Share Wi-Fi With Them?

While sharing Wi-Fi with your neighbor may appear to be a pleasant gesture, be aware that you are putting your own devices at risk.

If you allow someone to use your Wi-Fi, they can access your entire network.

What they can see is determined by a variety of factors. Even if they are unlikely to be able to view your traffic, I hope you trust them.

A wireless network connection

It’s critical to remember that a wireless connection is a link to your network, regardless of how your hardware is configured. It’s the same as connecting your linked machine to your network using a cable.

A network configuration in which several computers are connected to the internet through a single device: a wireless router. Some computers are connected by wired connections, while others are connected via wireless connections.

It’s crucial to remember that this is the same as a wireless router, except that the wireless access point is housed in the same box as the router, but in both cases, it’s merely a link to your local network.

Encryption of Wi-Fi

It’s great that your wireless access point uses encryption, but you should know what it does and doesn’t do.

You are not given any protection from your neighbor by it.

If you give your neighbor the key, the encryption has no impact on your security with them. They are, in fact, directly connected to your network, although it appears otherwise. They could virtually connect to your network using a wired connection if you had given them one.

The Wi-Fi password only secures the connection between the computer and the Wi-Fi access point (or encryption key). The key is required for wireless connectivity. This prevents outsiders from accessing your network — those who haven’t been given the password — and protects data delivered wirelessly from being read by others.

There are three major dangers:

  1. Your neighbor may be able to access files or print to your printer if you have PCs sharing files or a printer.
  2. There’s a slim chance your next-door neighbor can “see” part or all of your network data. I term it little because routers don’t usually send traffic to machines that aren’t part of the dialogue.
  3. If your neighbor’s computer gets infected with malware, the software could spread to yours.

The first two are about your neighbor’s intent, which is almost always honest and above board, and you can at least try to discern. On the other hand, the latter is concerned with your neighbor’s ability to keep their computer clear of malware. Even with the best of intentions, I’d be hesitant to take that risk.

To answer your banking worry, I don’t see a problem as long as your bank uses https. This secures the communication channel between your computer and the bank, making it impossible for your neighbor to listen in on your banking conversations even if they were able to monitor your network traffic.

Defending Yourself

So, what can you do if you don’t want to restrict your neighbor’s access to your network?

At the very least, turn on the Windows or equivalent software firewall on every machine on your network. The good news is that this is how Windows works by default in current versions.

The most crucial feature is that there is a router between your local network and the point where your neighbor connects.

As I regularly point out, a router acts as a firewall, protecting you from both a “untrusted” side (usually the internet) and a “trusted” side, which is your local network. This arrangement creates a chain of trust between you and your neighbor.

Another option is to purchase a wireless router specifically designed for this purpose. Wireless routers have become more common in recent years, with one of them — typically referred to as a “guest” network — being isolated from your local network. While the goal is to provide your neighbor access to your home when they visit, this link could also be shared with your neighbor.

One Legal Possibility

Finally, before you agree to share your internet connection with anyone, there’s one more item I want you to consider.

You need to double-check your ISP’s terms of service. It’s possible — perhaps likely — that they expressly ban this sharing (after all, you’re stealing a potential customer).

While it’s doubtful that they’d notice if you shared your connection with a neighbor, you could face some consequences if they did.

Can My Parents See My Search History On Wifi?

The internet is an invaluable resource, whether it’s looking up information about a new product, researching a school assignment, or just trying to figure out what your friends are talking about on social media. However, if your parents can see your search history, they may be able to guess what you’re interested in and potentially embarrass you in front of your friends. To know the answer, click here.

Pros and Cons of Sharing Wi-Fi Connection to your Neighbours

Pros

Setting up a wifi share to save money on your monthly bills or just because you get along with your neighbor is feasible. Although sharing an Internet connection can save money by avoiding several subscriptions, this strategy has certain drawbacks.

Cons

Wifi Speed

Sharing your wifi with a neighbor will surely slow down your wifi, whether or not you have a fiber connection. Be advised that a rate of 1 Mbit/s per person is adequate for basic internet surfing with little audio and video streaming. If you’re sharing your wifi with two neighbors and yourself, a minimum flow of 3 Mbit/s is required for smooth navigation. Some free services, such as Speedzilla, provide a feature that allows you to evaluate the effects of WiFi sharing on your surfing speed by measuring the bandwidth available on an ADSL band.

Unsafe Security

A neighbor who connects to your wifi will have access to all files shared on the local network, which impacts the security of your computer data. The iTunes collection, shared network directory material, and DLNA multimedia devices are all examples. As a result, you’ll need to be extra cautious about files left on the local network to avoid data theft. Make sure you know and trust this individual to avoid something similar from happening!

Legal Impact

Sharing your wifi with a neighbor isn’t technically illegal, but it will certainly violate your ISP’s terms of service, resulting in a breach of your internet contract. If you’re thinking about it, you should double-check your provider’s terms and conditions first.

Furthermore, if your neighbor decides to download files illegally and the High Authority discovers it, you, as the owner of the wifi subscription, will be held liable. In the end, you could face a hefty fine from your ISP and the suspension of your internet service.

Note:

It’s important to note that accessing a password-protected WiFi hotspot does not mean you can sniff the traffic of other machines connected to the same hotspot. Even though all users use the same password to join, the encryption key used for each connection in WPA and WPA2 is distinct.

There are no absolutes, though. Your neighbor might theoretically access your router and jeopardize even HTTPS connections if he had criminal intent or was infected with a specific type of malware.