If you’re someone who doesn’t want to pay for an internet connection, you might be thinking about just using your neighbor’s Wi-Fi network anytime you have to connect to the internet. However, this can be tricky if you’re not getting permission.
Without getting permission, you could end up getting into legal trouble. Look more into how it can be illegal to use your neighbor’s Wi-Fi network without them knowing.
Depending on how much time and bandwidth you’re using on your neighbor’s Wi-Fi network, they might feel suspicious not long after you’ve connected to their network. They could also not find out for weeks if their internet provider makes them pay for the exact amount of bandwidth they are using.
Once they have noticed someone is using their Wi-Fi network, they can go directly into their network settings to see devices connected. From there, your neighbor could see that you might have a device name that directly leads to you. Depending on the internet provider, your neighbor might also be able to ask for internet logs to see web pages that you might have browsed.
From there, your neighbor might decide to call the police. It’s up to the police to see if they want to do the work to charge you or not. Ensure you know how you could get detected if you use a neighbor’s Wi-Fi network.
In the United States, you have various federal and state laws you have to worry about. Some states simply charge you just by connecting to a network, while some states charge people if it’s found that they caused monetary damage to a security system.
An example of this was a case in 2007 that had someone arrested for simply checking their email account on a cafe’s Wi-Fi network while they were just sitting in their car. Due to laws in Michigan, the state where this case took place, they ended up having to pay a $400 fine and perform 40 hours of community service.
Depending on the state or federal law, you could even end up in prison if you’re using a network illegally. Make sure you use your own Wi-Fi network or get permission if you don’t want to get into legal trouble in the United States.
Around the world, countries have different laws they use to treat people who connect to Wi-Fi networks illegally. For example, it can be found illegal all across Canada if you use a Wi-Fi network without permission.
Some countries do completely allow it as long as you aren’t using a Wi-Fi network to steal information from others. Make sure you know your laws if you’re planning on traveling and connecting to a Wi-Fi network not in your country.
If you’re connecting to a Wi-Fi network every so often to check your email, you’re likely not going to get into legal trouble. However, you need to be ready for anything that could happen.
You’ll want to make sure that you brush up on your legal information, ensuring that you don’t get into trouble. You’ll also want to contact an attorney if you ever get charged for connecting to a Wi-Fi network illegally.