Can I use the WiFi from a Neighboring RV’s Satellite Dish?

Yes!  All you have to do is ask.  I think you’ll find that RVers with 2-way Internet Satellite dishes are a pretty friendly bunch.  Like most RVers in general!  We have the Satellite Dish, ours is a Datastorm, because we *must* have Internet at all times!  We love the Internet and we love to talk about it and share it with our neighbors.  We find that most dish-owners are the same.  So, you might want to look for RVs that look like the photos below and park close by!

Jim and Chris' motorhome with Datastorm

This next photo was taken at a Datastorm Rally.  There were about 60 2-way Internet satellite dishes deployed here!  No problem getting online here!


We don’t leave it wide open however.  The WiFi network that we have set up with our satellite Internet connection has WEP encryption on and you need to know the key in order to use it.  As I said, we’re a friendly sort and we want to talk to you about using the Internet.  We’re happy to share, but we want to know who is using it.

We have a little sign in our window that says, “Want Internet, Ask Us”.  And the name or ‘SSID’ of our Wireless Network is “Want Internet – Ask Us”.  We are probably a little more accessible than some others because we also sell the Datastorms.  But, an informal survey of other dish-owners confirm that they’re happy to share – all ya gotta do is ask.

Please be prepared for a ‘No’ answer though.  There are some people who are very dependent on their Internet connection and need every *bit* of bandwidth they can get.  The systems are expensive, and the monthly service ain’t cheap either ($60 – 200.)  Dish-owners are certainly under no obligation to share, but you’ll find that most of them *want* to. 

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2 Responses to Can I use the WiFi from a Neighboring RV’s Satellite Dish?

  1. Al says:

    I have been following your blogs for a while and find them
    informative. However, I am still fuzzy on a lot of the workings
    of Wi-Fi. My current concern is privacy of the information while using
    a private or public connection. If I connect to a local library or
    a friendly rv neighbors freely
    provided hot spot and ssid with my own laptop and send data to the internet,
    can the library or other provider intercept or read the data? Can someone close by
    with a different wi-fi enabled laptop intercept the data? This is assuming there is no
    WEP encryption being used. If the answer is yes, the data can be read, how do I prevent that?

    Your blank ‘leave a reply box’ goes on past the edge of my page to the right.


  2. chris says:

    Hi Al,
    Great question! I may use it for a future post. Meanwhile, the short answer is:
    Yes, it’s *possible* for someone close by to snatch your data out of the air. It is highly unlikey But it is possible. First of all, the nasty person would need to be connected to the same network as you (that means eery close by) second, they need significant equipment and know-how to do the snatching, and third they need to specifically want *your* data. So, if you see someone in a black trenchcoat and sunglasses following you around the RV parkthen you may want to stop sending your emails! You should never send private information in an email anyway! It’s like writing on a post card.

    The only other information you are transmitting thru the airwaves are the addresses of websites you visit and any data you enter on an unsecured website. Entering data on your bank’s secured website is safe – the bank takes care of the encryption. That means that, even if the nasty person snatches that data out of the air, it will just be jibberish – he would also need to be able to break the encryption to read it.

    Security on your computer is your responsibility – make sure File and Printer sharing is turned off and no one (even the nasty guy in the trenchcoat) can get into your computer. See File and Printer Sharing for an older article I wrote on that. Make sure you have a firewall turned on. Make sure your anti-virus and anti-spyware protection is running and up-to-date.

    More in a future.

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