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Old 08-21-2010, 12:44 PM
 
Location: United States
464 posts, read 661,687 times
Reputation: 767

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WOAI has an article on how some restaurants and coffee shops are turning off their WiFi to discourage freeloaders from loitering in the business all day while barely buying anything.

Business owners allege some customers are taking up a table that could seat more people, but the customer has a laptop, orders one coffee, stays for hours and uses space that would otherwise be occupied by paying customers. This can impact a business during peak hours such as lunch time.

There are some ways to counter this besides turning off the WiFi altogether, such as token-based access with a code from your register receipt that is good for an hour or two (Blenz coffee shops up in Canada do this.)

Personally I avoid using public WiFi due to the risks involved, however I'm curious if any other members have witnessed or been "crowded out" by "WiFi freeloaders" here in San Antonio?
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:53 PM
 
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I have a laptop, but I very rarely take it out-and-about outside my apartment.

I don't think they should turn off WIFI just because some are freeloading off of it. Instead impose a time limit. They could remind customers there's a 1-hour courtesy time-limit when they ask for the "password" to log on the network.

For businesses, a "password" secured network should always be utilized and changed every week or every few days if possible.

Last edited by xsa210tx; 08-21-2010 at 01:01 PM..
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Old 08-21-2010, 02:55 PM
 
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This happens alot at the restaurant I manage. We kick them out (politely ask them to free up a table) during lunch. Any other time than that we just let them be
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:09 PM
 
1,131 posts, read 1,503,789 times
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Default "Interesting......."

Quote:
Originally Posted by hillcountrywinefan View Post
WOAI has an article on how some restaurants and coffee shops are turning off their WiFi to discourage freeloaders from loitering in the business all day while barely buying anything.
Hm, I always *did* wonder about how other people felt about this very subject.......
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX via San Antonio, TX
6,165 posts, read 8,646,270 times
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Borders at Huebner Oaks is horrible for this. And to be honest, I did it a few times at the start of the year when I was looking for a job and was sick of being at home alone..just a change of scenery. However, I always tried to stay off to the side in a big chair or at a small table.

But I could for sure tell there were people there that were regular wifi users.

I understand it's one of the few technological advancements that we can get easily around the city, and it's a great option, but when you're hanging out at 4 person table when all you need is a chair and space for one person it's rude. However, if you're going to hog all the wifi go to the library, it's free there too and they actually like having people use their wifi.
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:33 PM
 
Location: southern california
55,647 posts, read 74,585,953 times
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risks of WIFI what risks??
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:58 PM
 
Location: SA/Pipe Creek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
risks of WIFI what risks??
Hackers can utilize Wifi if there is no secure VPN and/or if you don't have good security on your laptop they can access your stuff.

They can also piggyback on the Wifi network and launch Denial of Service attacks, spam bots, and other assorted nasties.
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:38 PM
 
1,316 posts, read 3,020,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HillCountryHotRodMan View Post
Hackers can utilize Wifi if there is no secure VPN and/or if you don't have good security on your laptop they can access your stuff.

They can also piggyback on the Wifi network and launch Denial of Service attacks, spam bots, and other assorted nasties.

Very true! There are even videos on Youtube which show in detail how to hack WIFI networks.

WEP encryption passwords are the easiest to hack (the password is mostly numbers). WPA and WPA2 encryption passwords are much more difficult to hack but it can be done with the right "dictionary file."

So, even secured (password-protected) networks are not 100% safe.
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:43 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
522 posts, read 992,516 times
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can't say i've been to many places that use a lot of wifi. went to get a cup of coffee at starbucks the other day and there was one person sitting outside (in the heat) using wifi for an otherwise uncrowded establishment.

i see wifi like a courtesy. if you're not buying anything, i see excessive use of wifi as quite rude. or rather, excessive use of wifi (and taking up space) at all like any other free service. the soft serve at jason's deli is "free" but you don't go in with a big gulp cup and take it all. it's not the same thing, but you get what i'm saying hopefully.

and i agree with op: unsecured free wifi networks are a travesty of safety.

i think the alternating passwords with receipt is a good idea. or at least needing to request access. a coffee shop back home id that. it was still "free" but if you wanted to use it for the day, you have to request access. it was in a thick urban area and kept neighboring establishments and residents from hogging the bandwidth.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:15 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, Tx
7,660 posts, read 8,131,915 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xsa210tx View Post
Very true! There are even videos on Youtube which show in detail how to hack WIFI networks.

WEP encryption passwords are the easiest to hack (the password is mostly numbers). WPA and WPA2 encryption passwords are much more difficult to hack but it can be done with the right "dictionary file."

So, even secured (password-protected) networks are not 100% safe.
WEP encryption works very well but for a different reason. Kind of like the way a car alarm works. My computer sees 6 networks. Mine and 5 others. 2 of them are WEP encrypted and 3 arent. Of course hackers will start with the unsecured networks.
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