So pretty soon I am going to be moving in next door to my brother and one of the advantages is my computer may be able to pick up his wifi. So assuming i have his permission, is it morally ok to use his wifi, hence not having to pay for internet. We are going to work out a deal. To me its fine because its not like an illegal cable deal or anything, but just curious of the opinion of CAF. How about using any Wifi a laptop can pick up that’s not locked?


My opinion, even if you work out a deal with your brother and he has full knowledge you are using his wifi connection, you are still stealing from the company that supplies the connection. Its still stealing no matter how much you try to justify it.


I see your point but is it implicit when you have internet particularly with a router that it can only be used for the home its installed? If I had a strong router that reached five houses and knew it wouldn’t affect my connection, I would let people use it, but that’s me.


Well if you don’t have a problem with it, why not just tell the company you are going to use your brother’s connection and see how they take the news. Its stealing a product from a company, no matter how good you try to make it sound.


Touché I did a search and it seems as if the ISP doesn’t allow for that, Guess I’ll get my own or rely on 4G for awhille. Usually you gotta bundle it with a home phone too which I don’t want. I will give you this round


It isn’t stealing at all. It is just internet connection that you are getting. And since it is your family member and he is fully aware of you using his internet connection and consents to it, then it is not stealing.


I would advise against it.




If he makes you part of his network, gives you the password to his modem, that would be up to him. I do not see that as stealing. You’re in the network, just a little farther away from the equipment. Have you already tried this out? You may find you can’t get onto his network reliably.

However, using anyone else’s wifi is definitely stealing and you might not be protected from hackers while you are on it - after all, it’s not secure to you and so it’s not secure to others.


Now why in the world would it be stealing if you have worked out a deal with your brother? It would not hurt to give a call to the ISP and ask whether their contract somehow limits your brother to only computers inside his four walls, but I personally have never heard of such a contract. The only real limit to a consumer Internet connection is the available bandwidth that is distributed among the computers sharing it. Often times, you can have a real problem if you start to allow other people to share the connection. This is a technical limitation and not any legal problem, though.

It would be wrong, and possibly illegal, for you to use a neighbor’s unlocked WiFi connection. In addition to the bandwidth sharing problem I outlined above.


This is exactly what I thought but I’ve done research and this is what I found from the ISP

“If you subscribe to a Broadband Service, you may connect multiple computers/devices within a single home to your modem and/or router to access the Service, but only through a single Verizon-issued IP address. You also may not exceed the bandwidth usage limitations that Verizon may establish from time to time for the Service, or use the Service to host any type of server. Violation of this section may result in bandwidth restrictions on your Service or suspension or termination of your Service.”

The bold part seems to be what is burning me here. I didnt test it anyway probably wouldn’t have worked well with Madden Online :rolleyes:


Hello, My neighbor who is the Pastor of a Church, non catholic, and his wife
gave me permission to use their Wifi. They pay for the service and know my
income is very limited as I’m older and disabled, so they don’t mind at all.
When you pay for router service you are allowed more then one person use
per router. I don’t know what the limit of users are per router but I do not feel I
am stealing from the company, as its paid for by Pastor E and I have his consent
to use his account. Since I live alone and there are 3 people at his house, only 4 people use it.
I am thankful for their act of charity towards me and help out in little ways when I can.
They are very sweet people and very kind. I am lucky to have them as neighbors.
God bless, Greatnana


Beware the armchair theologians who find moral complications in all aspects of life. There is certainly nothing wrong with using your brother’s wifi with his permission, any more than if you were to borrow his car. Notice that your bolded statement does not say “house,” but the abstract concept of “home.” As another poster suggested, have him create a network and put you on it.


OK, then, that ends that! :frowning: They’ve just sealed up your entry point. Then again, what about when you take the laptop out in the garden…:confused:


None of these reasons would matter to a person who uses a *secured *wifi connection with a password and permission. I think the analysis still comes back to whether the ISP *agreement *permits it.

Even that may be ambiguous. For example, I have a password secured wifi router and routinely give the password to guests in my home if they need to check their email, etc. on their smartphone or tablet.

Honestly, I don’t know what my ISP thinks of it, but I allow visitors in my home to share my utilities, including fixed price utilities like my telephone or cable TV or internet connection. Heaven knows what the agreement says. I don’t recall ever reading it.


Permission is the key issue. We all need to know and understand the terms of use.



Sometimes the Terms of service or EULA are illegal.


One must remember that there is, in this case, a difference between what is morally acceptable and what is permitted by a contract.

There is no moral problem whatsoever with sharing a service, in particular if the subscriber works out some sort of recompense arrangement with the person they’re sharing with, so if the original poster makes a contribution to his brother’s costs of maintaining that service, then there’s absolutely no moral issue whatsoever.

Now on the matter of the contract the OP’s brother has with the ISP, well that’s between him and them. If he’s running a secured network then only authorised users can log on to it. Certainly the ISP is never going to find out that the users are a couple of feet outside the boundaries of their customer’s property.

This is just a ‘temporal regulation’, it’s not a matter of sin. Yes, there’s a risk involved in doing so (of being cut off), but so long as both brothers are aware of this risk, then it’s up to them whether they decide to accept it or not.


From the show “The Big Bang Theory”:

Penny: Sheldon have you changed your wireless password again?
Sheldon: Yes, it’s “Penny get your own WiFi”; no spaces.


I would think common sense would be better than scrupulosity - but it’s good to know about the caution against being mistaken for a hacker or criminal. When I was not yet able to afford my own Internet for a little while after getting this laptop, I admit I piggybacked. As much as possible, I went to the public places like McDonald’s and bought a coffee or tea at least; later the library got wi-fi.

But there were times I piggybacked at home, on whatever signal I could find including neighbors. I was not trying to hack their computers or anything, I just wanted internet access. But now I realize I shouldn’t have done it for the reasons I am now more aware of. :o


I don’t think you understand the morality of breech of contract. When you enter into a contract with someone you are pledging to abide by the terms of that contract. When you knowingly cheat on the terms of that contract then you are guilty of lying. The only reason that the wifi case looks appealing is that you don’t see how it costs the ISP any more when you let someone use your service. But that’s just because you are not familiar with the economics of being an ISP. If everyone started sharing their wifi with 4 or 5 neighbors then the ISP would either go out of business or quadruple their rates.


Does the same apply to letting someone watch tv at your house? Or letting them ride in your car? Or letting someone make a call from your phone? Why or why not?

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