Wi-Fi Users Would Peek Into Neighbors’ Network, Poll Finds

SAN JOSE, Calif.

A poll conducted by a gateway solution provider says 44 percent of Wi-Fi users would take a peek at their neighbor’s wireless network if they got the chance.

As part of a study into home networking trends, 2Wire Inc. found in a poll of 200 consumers in October that if security measures aren’t in place, even the most well-meaning neighbors might be tempted to access a wireless network. The poll says 21 percent of Wi-Fi users can see their neighbor’s wireless LAN, and one in 25 even admitted to having accidentally logged onto a neighbor’s network. Most could only see device names, but some were able to freely access the Web or view files.

“Most wireless access devices have built-in security features such as encryption and password protection,” says Jaime Fink, director of product management at 2Wire, Inc. “However, users don’t always activate these features or know where to find them. As this survey shows, it’s not enough to rely on neighborly spirit to avoid a security breach, whether accidental or deliberate. The responsibility lies with manufacturers and service providers to provide guidance and ensure users are properly protected.”

Security concerns are acting as a primary factor in preventing users with a wired home network from switching to a wireless network, despite the fact that effective security is easily available, according to the results of 2Wire’s poll.

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