Friday, November 04, 2005

Open WiFi: close it or advertise it

Barb is out for the evening at a special function and I've got Tyler and Sydney. What's the easiest thing to make for dinner? Reservations of course! We headed down to the local pub for something to eat; just me and the kids. It's nothing fancy, just a place for good food.

While I was waiting for the bill, I pulled out my Dell Axim and (like I often do) turned the WiFi on. Sure enough, there was an open WiFi network in the pub, called (what else) "Linksys". I did use it for a few minutes and I hit a few sites, I left a few comments; I even downloaded a podcast.

I've discussed open WiFi networks before, and while you can argue both sides of using it for free or not, I've got a new message for everyone: If you have a WiFi network, do one of two things so we don't have to debate the ethics: either close it up or advertise it as open. If folks did one or the other, we wouldn't have to make a decision to "borrow" bandwidth or not and we'd all sleep much better.

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