|Tragedy of the commons: WiFi version
||[Apr. 8th, 2009|02:12 am]
For years now I've run an open wireless network at home. I'm in agreement with Schneier here. Sadly, my network is no longer open.
It always annoyed me that everyone else's network was password protected. On the rare occasion when you need it, such as when you're traveling and the person you're staying with doesn't have a wireless router, a neighbor's open wireless can be a life-saver. Since we don't have a culture of open networks, I'm forced to pack my wireless router when I travel.
Unfortunately, some of my neighbors seem to have decided to steal my wireless permanently. They must be running bit-torrent or something, because my connection quality is seriously degraded. In classic tragedy-of-the-commons fashion, they've forced me to protect my network.
Actually, the admin interface to my router doesn't work any more, so I can't even do that. I'm just plugging my laptop directly into the modem for now; I'm going to have to get a new router. I've had seriously bad luck with wireless routers: this is the third one to die on me in as many years. The only category of electronics I've had worse luck with are hard drives — six failures in two years. Fortunately that will never happen again, because I've switched to SSDs. Seriously, those of you still on hard drives have no idea what you're missing.