It’s mid-month – the 17th to be exact, St. Patrick’s Day for those who mark it – and we’ve almost reached our monthly limit for data transfer from our Internet provider.
A few months ago, realizing we were wasting money on a limitless Internet package, we downsized our plan to a “lite” version. Everything’s been fine so far but there have been occasional hesitations that appear to be beyond what we should expect with this service. I’ve long suspected that someone else is using our “open” connection to the ‘net via our wireless router. That will change today when Derek puts a password on it. Now that we have iPhones we see how easy it is to use someone else’s Internet connection. Wherever you are, if you go online with the iPhone it will bring up a list of available wireless connections so you can choose to use them. If a wireless connection is open, it’s available to be used to go on the web.
Lots of people have iPhones and laptops. Someone could ostensibly be in a nearby home and using our wireless connection. And that would explain why at this mid-point of the month, Rogers has let us know that we’ve used 75% of our available data transfer. If we get too close to the limit we will have to go Internet-less for the balance of the month! Seriously, it’s too expensive to pay-as-you-go every time you download a photo or load a web page.
The other possibility is that we are using a lot more data without realizing it because of the iPhones. These wonderful hand-helds display full colour photos in a heartbeat. They do almost everything a desktop computer can do and that may explain part of the huge usage. I suspect it’s a combination of both scenarios, with the wireless poachers being an ongoing issue.
Step one: put a password on the wireless router. Step two: don’t download anything we don’t have to. Step three: punch holes in bottoms of tin cans, attach strings, and prepare to use!