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Saving Another $10 on Cable Internet

This article was written by in Internet. 10 comments.


My wireless connection is protected by password in order to dissuade people piggybacking off my service. When I installed the wireless router, in addition to adding this security, I described the wireless network using my apartment number.

Doing so may end up saving me money on my Comcast bill each month. A neighbor, while using his older computer with a new wireless card, saw my wireless network was reachable but protected with a password. He appraoched me and offered me $10 per month to share my cable internet service.

I set the connection up on his computer and provided him with the password so he could test the wireless accessibility for a few days. It appears he’s mainly using the internet for talking to friends or relatives in Russia using Skype.

If everything works out, it’s $10 off my cable bill. I’ll monitor the traffic just to see how much he’s using. This also means I’m assuming the risk if he plans to do anything illegal, but judging from his computer set-up, that’s unlikely. Also unlikely is coming close to the 600 GB per month bandwidth limit.

See who else is talking about Comcast via pfblogs.org.

Updated December 20, 2011 and originally published March 5, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Jonathan

Good idea… I actually thought about approaching my neighbors about this, but decided against it for some reason. Probably just shy.

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avatar Curious Stranger

Feel free to do what you like, but I really wouldn’t be promoting this idea without making it clear to folks that it could very well get their service cancelled.

From your Comcast Terms of Use:

Prohibited uses include, but are not limited to, using the Service, Customer Equipment, or the Comcast Equipment to:

[...]

xi. resell the Service or otherwise make available to anyone outside the Premises the ability to use the Service (i.e. wi-fi, or other methods of networking), in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, or on a bundled or unbundled basis. The Service is for personal and non-commercial use only and you agree not to use the Service for operation as an Internet service provider or for any business enterprise or purpose, or as an end-point on a non-Comcast local area network or wide area network;

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avatar Paranoid Lawyer

I’d be less concerned with getting your service cancelled, since Comcast could never figure it out, and even if they did, there are alternatives. I’d be more concerned with him doing untoward things on an IP address registered to me–think computer hacking, defamatory postings, downloading child porn, file sharing, etc. Im not neceessarily opposed to your plan to make some money, but I would get some written proof from him acknowledging that he is using your IP address, and that he will not engage in any illegal behavior on your network. Just to put the fear of God into him, make clear that you reserve the right to cooperate with any law enforcement investigation, or to set up packet sniffing protocols to document his activity on your network.

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avatar jim

This is a great idea!

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avatar Curious Stranger

“since Comcast could never figure it out, and even if they did, there are alternatives. I’d be more concerned with him doing untoward things on an IP address registered to me”

Comcast would figure it out when he complains that his neighbor was the one that caused his service to be shutdown, not him. And in many places, there aren’t alternatives to Comcast. I’m just saying, make sure folks are aware of the consequences before offering this up as advice.

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avatar RS

My question is why is it only $10? If the two of you are splitting it, why wouldn’t he be paying half? My internet costs $40.

I am friends with both of my neighbors in my new neighborhood here and they have often asked if we could all share a connection. I am just not sure about it. I use my connection to play games sometimes…I am not sure how badly I would be effected if we were sharing. I know that the 2 of them would definitely do it, it is just that I am house in the middle, so they need me.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,500 (Platinum)

Curious: I am not advising others to do this. I’m taking a risk, just as others who do this (it’s pretty widespread from what I understand, and many just leave their connections open without a password) take a risk.

RS: What he pays me doesn’t matter. If the connection is stable and we decide to go ahead, then it’s $10 per month I wouldn’t otherwise have had. His use of the internet shouldn’t affest mine unless it’s pushing the bandiwdth limit. If the connection doesn’t work out and he doesn’t want to go ahead with a deal, it’s a few days he was able to talk to his friends overseas for free. I’m not too concerned.

If we decide to go ahead with the deal, I’ll make it clear that I’m the one taking the risk and I’ll be monitoring traffic.

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avatar Brian

Flexo, seems like the other guy is getting the better end of this deal – he’s paying a small fraction of the total bill, getting the same service you are receiving, and you are assuming all the risk.

I agree with RS, if you’re going to go through with this then I’d atleast ask for half the ongoing costs.

There is also the risk of the guy not paying up each month…you can’t exactly take him to small claims court to collect.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,500 (Platinum)

No, but I can change the password, and the payment will be in advance of the month. I’ll let him know I’d like $20… we’ll see how it goes.

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avatar Jeremy

I have no qualms about this, however (and I’ll qualify with this to say I’m a computer geek):

(1) I’d setup two subnets, one for my apartment (wired and wireless), and another subnet just for his wireless. This way, you can monitor exactly what he does, and put it in a sandbox. If his computer buddy comes over and messes with his machine, he can’t hack your computer or computers.

(2) I’d do some bandwidth shaping and monitoring for his subnet. If he doesn’t pay up by the required date, you can switch off the subnet. I would check the logs daily, if not weekly. Make sure he’s not downloading something that would have the FBI at your door. Zero tolerance.

This may be overkill, but I wouldn’t trust his computer being on the same network as my network. Unfortunately, this would cost a little in time and money to impliment.

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