Is using someone else's wifi a sin?

We’re going up in the mountains and our chalet does not have internet connection. However, someone else around has connection and it’s possible to use it. Would it be a sin to use someone else’s internet connection?

If someone has an unsecured wifi hotspot it is in my opinion totally acceptable to use it. Many businesses provide free internet access, and that is ofc not an issue to use that. Surf away. The real question is why on earth would you not secure your wifi? They are asking for potential trouble but i would not feel guilty at all for using it.

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Hmmm … to me that’s a little bit like saying if a random stranger leaves their window open that makes it fine for you to sneak into their house through it and take things. They may be acting very imprudently, but that is still no excuse for you to steal. And taking something that someone else has paid for without their knowledge or consent is usually theft.

I dont consider myself a thief and i certainly know the difference between using bandwidth and entering a persons home. In many places in Europe its hard to find an area that doesnt have many free and open wifi spots available. This is certainly an issue that will become more common in the future and i’m sure there are many people more knowledgeable than i about this, i just stated my personal opinion. I dont believe using an open network to read this site, as an example, is a sin.

God Bless and have a great day :slight_smile:

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Using the sort of free wifi that is, for example, provided by a public library or at a hotel as a service to patrons is one thing. Such services are well advertised and intended for public use, of course it is fine to take advantage of them. These are indirectly paid for by the user through taxes or costs of your room or whatnot.

If you’re in a cabin in the woods and your neighbour has wifi intended for their own and their household’s use and not yours, which they and not you pay for, then it doesn’t matter if they haven’t secured it, or what you think of the matter, it is theft. You have, without permission and with no other right, taken something valuable from them that they have bought by paying money for it. It is the same thing morally as sneaking in through their open window and taking money from their wallets.

I stand corrected and will discuss it next Saturday at confession.

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God bless. Thank you for taking my comments so well.

It is very easy for us to somehow, because things like Internet access or digital music and movies are not objects that you can physically see, think of them as not actually being property, or not valuable property, and so not think that there is anything wrong with just taking them via riding someone else’s wifi or illegally downloading music or movies for free. Fact is that they are someone’s property - and it can end up costing that person a lot of money!

Simple rule - if in doubt just talk to the person whose wifi it is. They might be fine with you using it as long as they know you are doing so.

I am coming in late to the discussion and just want to add a thought. First, though, I really like the way this thread progressed and the back and forth ended well. Wifi is not able to travel extensive distances from the router, so there is a chance that you could figure out the source and ask the owner for permission to use. Hopefully, this will also bring their attention to the fact that they should secure their router. I suggest this as I have done this in FL when we are visiting my MIL who lives in a housing community. When I saw the open spot it didn’t take much to find out where it was and they let me join in. Then I helped them secure their router before we left.

I’ve heard of some people leaving their wifi open since they’ve used others, so they figure they’re “giving back.” But, how do you tell who they are?

I’d also recommend being careful with public signals.

Public wifi signals tend to be named in an indicative way - i.e. “free” or “hotel” or “public” in their names.

Remember that depending on the supplier, there may be usage limits on the internet account connected to the wifi signal. You aren’t to know that you might be causing the owner of the signal to incur extra charges by ‘piggybacking’ on it.

Mountee has the right idea: simply approach the owner of the signal and ask if it’s ok to make use of it. They might be perfectly ok with it, but it would be completely wrong to use it without permission. After all, while you’re using it, there’s less bandwidth available to them and they might actually need it for some reason you don’t know.

I wouldn’t feel guilty about it either.

Your feelings - or mine - have nothing to do with the matter.

Excuse me? The OP was looking for opinions on wether or not it was acceptable to use an open Wifi connection and I gave my opinion. First thing I do is look for an open wifi connection becuase 1 it preserves the battery and 2 more importanly if you cell phone provider has a data limit, you aren’t consuming data when connected to wifi.

Having more people on a Wi-Fi connection slows it down. I guess it would be stealing time.

That’s news to me. I’ve got 8 devices on one Wi-Fi and have never noticed a difference.

When I first saw this in the sidebar I thought it read; “Is using someone else’s wife a sin?!” :eek:

You mean you aren’t consuming YOUR data. You ARE consuming someone else’s data - someone who may have data limits as well (hence some places that offer free wifi will put limits on how much may be downloaded) - and in the process costing them money and/or slowing down/otherwise interfering with their Internet connection.

Like I said, no problems if they intend the wifi to be available to the public. Big problems if they don’t.

The best analogy I can think of is this. Imagine one day you see your neighbour’s car parked in his or her driveway, with door unlocked, key in the ignition. You think to yourself ‘gee, I ought to use his car to do my errands today - I mean it’s just sitting there, and it would save me paying for my own petrol and wearing out the tyres and engine of my car.’

Clearly it would, but just as clearly this is only because your neighbour would be the one paying for the petrol and having their tyres and engine worn out by your use of their car. That would make it wrong of you to make them pay when you should.

Equally clearly, and very simply - their car is THEIR property, for their use, and not yours to take or use without their consent or other very good reason such as emergency. After all, you do not know whether your neighbour will need his car for his own errands while hou are
driving it, and as owner his needs and wants take priority over yours (again, emergency excepted).

Since in this case you have neither permission nor any other justification for taking his car, I am sure you will agree that it would be wrong.

Not everyone is fortunate to have as good an Internet service as you. This is especially so in rural areas. So it behooves us to be considerate a out such things.

I would agree–using someone else’s wifi which is not a public wifi (like in restaurants, hotels, and other such places which may advertise that they are offering this service) is a form of theft.

Just because it is common (along with rampant theft of intellectual property on the internet) does not make it right. The fact that someone failed to secure their wifi is not, ipso facto, permission to use his property (by virtue of the fact that this other person is the one who is paying for the service). Certainly it is prudent to secure one’s wifi, but failure to do so is not the same as granting permission to use the wifi.

As Catholics, we aren’t called to do just the minimum or live the way “everyone else” does. We are called to be holy, and taking without permission simply because “it’s there” or “it’s free” or “they should know better” is not living up to that call to holiness.

You might not notice a difference if you’re on RoadRunner Ultra or something like that.

I purchased a lower-tier plan. Some years back I noticed that my internet speed got slow, but a network search couldn’t locate any other computers. Yet the modem box lights were flashing even when I was the only person home and not using the computer. Then someone told me that the new gaming consoles had built-in wi-fi connections. The neighbors all had kids. I secured my router, which instantly increased my internet speed when it locked out the kid.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: Best answer.

It is pretty cool having Netflex on a gaming console, the picture quality is OUTSTANDING.

I have 7.5 down Centruy Link DSL and seeing a comment that speed might be comproised with Wifi, so I downloaded a speed test app for my phone and tested at 6.40 down and 1.1 up.

Before I upgraded my modem last year that included wifi capability, most of my neighbors had secured wifi access. To be honest, in this day and age, those who don’t are the naive ones thinking that nothing can go wrong from it when all of a sudden they get a notice from their ISP notifying them of illegal downloading from their IP address.

My brother-in-law who is a tech geek was able to get my mom & step-dad set up on an unsecured wifi, but you cann’t even get the signal in the driveway, much less sitting in a parked car in the street in front of the house.

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