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Fri Sep 12, 2014, 07:40 PM

What a service technician told my neighbor, which I can't quite believe:

Tiny as this backwater town is, it was fully wired for fibre optic cable a few years ago. A neighbor who just bought a house on our block knows a phone company technician who told her that since she has a router and a wall plug for a modem, she doesn't need to pay for isp service at all; that in fact she doesn't even need a modem due to the fibre optic cable. Supposedly she can just plug a modem cord into the jack with the other end plugged into her computer. Or something. I don't quite entirely follow.

This sounds fishy and even possibly illegal if true. But he works for the phone company and claims to know. Couldn't he turn her in for theft of service or something if they parted ways? I want to warn her but don't want to sound like the ignoramus I am either. I just don't trust people who try to tell somebody how to do something for 'free'. This town is tiny and remote, but I know in L.A. they had people who went around with devices that could tell whether tv cable was being piggybacked illegally.

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Response to IrishAyes (Original post)

Fri Sep 12, 2014, 07:49 PM

1. I think your first impressions are right and wouldn't presume his story to be true.

 

From curiosity I would try it, that's me, but I wouldn't use it without having it in writing in some way that it's OK.

Remember when you could just highjack cable service with a coaxial cable? Well, that wasn't legal either.

Good luck!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 12, 2014, 07:58 PM

2. Highjacking tv cable with coaxial was what I meant by 'piggybacking'.

And the phone company's certainly not going to give her anything in writing to allow free use of their service. More like a court summons or something.

I piggyback an open wifi signal from the church across the street with permission too, but that's different. I've noticed there are devices sold to hack someone's locked signal but I wouldn't do that and I KNOW that's illegal.

With today's technology, I bet the phone company can see who's using the fibre optic cable they installed, too. Right from their central office located about 45 miles away.

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Response to IrishAyes (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 12, 2014, 08:19 PM

3. You're right about "can see who's using", it applies to dial up, broadband, coax, fiber, WiFi.

 

Early cable and Internet were one-way conduits of data.

These days, it's very hard to access anything without having to send data back upstream to the provider, which is why they can and do catch your identity as well as the details of what you do.

What, you visited Bed Bath and Beyond and like the Tuscany Terry Towel collection?

If you did, they know that or can determine that you went there if they want to.

I don't know if it's yet been settled that the do or don't gather and store all of this data for possible use at a later date, but it's been suggested that they do.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 12, 2014, 11:59 PM

7. That's a large part of the reason I use a good vpn and always clear my history when closing.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #3)

Sat Sep 13, 2014, 09:38 PM

8. Something just occurred to me, and you'll probably know the answer.

If a person uses an excellent vpn, does the service provider still know when you're online even though they can't track you afterwards?

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Response to IrishAyes (Reply #8)

Sat Sep 13, 2014, 09:58 PM

9. I'm not sure, but am guessing that they can if they want to.

 

There might be a level of anonymity but they still know if bandwidth is being used and could identify what hardware is using it, after the fact if not in real time.

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Response to IrishAyes (Reply #8)

Fri Oct 3, 2014, 04:12 PM

10. If they are providing signal.

 

They can see data. All a VPN does is to encrypt the packets. The headers of the data tell where it came from, and where it wants to go to. If it is going out of one of their concentrators, routers, swithces or other network equipment, it is quite easy for them to monitor its use, who is using it, and how much data they are pumping through. Due to the encryption, they may not be able to tell WHAT it is, but they will know that there is data flowing.

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Response to IrishAyes (Original post)

Fri Sep 12, 2014, 08:50 PM

4. if it works without paying for it

it is a problem with how the utility set it up. But she doesn't heed a router or a modem. She should plug the ethernet cable in to the wall outlet and she can plug the other end into her computer. If she wants wireless, though, she will have to put a wireless router in there. But if she just wants a line plugged in to the computer she can just plug it in. No need for a modem.

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Response to IrishAyes (Original post)

Fri Sep 12, 2014, 09:10 PM

5. Our small town got fiber under the stimulus

but no one has come forward to do "the last mile" so only the city hall has access. It's less than 100 ft. from my apartment but I am stuck with crappy dsl.

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Response to Mnpaul (Reply #5)

Fri Sep 12, 2014, 11:50 PM

6. I don't blame you for being mad .

But DSL still beats the hell outta piggybacking a weak wifi signal that comes and goes at will even though it's 'free'.

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