Sharing wifi with your neighbours

Sharing your Wifi with your Neighbours: the Pros and Cons

To reduce monthly costs or simply if you get along with a neighbour, it is possible to set up a wifi share. Internet connection sharing can indeed make sense to avoid the multiplication of subscriptions, but nevertheless, this practice is not without a few risks.

What is the impact on the speed of the wifi?

Sharing your wifi with a neighbour will definitely effect the speed of the wifi, whether you have a fiber connection or not. Be aware that for normal internet browsing, with little audio and video streaming, a rate of 1 Mbit/s per person is considered satisfactory. If you're sharing your wifi with say 2 neighbours, plus yourself, it will be necessary to have a minimum flow of 3 Mbit/s for a comfortable navigation. Some free sites, like Speedzilla, offer the service to measure the bandwidth available on an ADSL band and will allow you to estimate the consequences of WiFi sharing on your browsing speed.

What is the impact on your security?

Shared wifi will not be without effect on the security of your computer data: a neighbour who connects to your wifi will have access to all files shared on the local network. These include the iTunes library, shared network directory content, and DLNA multimedia devices. Therefore, you will need to be especially careful about files left on the local network, to risk data piracy. It would be sensible to make sure you know this person and trust them, to avoid something like this happening!

What is the legal impact?

Sharing your wifi with a neighbour is not 'illegal' as such, however it would most likley be against the terms of service from your ISP, and therefore breaking your contract with the broadband supplier. If you are going to consider this, it would definitely be worth checking the Terms and Conditions of your provider before doing so.

Moreover, if your neighbour decided to download files illegally and the High Authority realises it, it would be you who is responsible as holder of the wifi subscription. In the end, you would risk a heavy fine, or even the suspension of your internet line by your ISP.