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Idea for free internet.

Submitted by Triconick in Piracy

Hey all, i have been thinking about a way to get "free" internet. Let me know what you think about the idea, and any suggestions. okay, so on to the idea. A long time ago i saw a post by hak5, they turned a old direct TV satellite dish into a long range wifi device. A quick google search will yield results on how to build one. Where I currently live, there is a large amount of woods, but there are also alot of houses around the perimeter of the woods. The basic idea would be to setup a few of theses wifi satellite dishes, have them connect to open wifi networks and then use some software like Connectify Dispatch to combine all of the connections into one fast and free internet line. I assume you could do this in a city but instead of using peoples open home networks use Starbucks or Burger king 's free wifi.

Tl;Dr: Make long range wifi receivers, connect them to wifi, and then use software to make it into one fast internet line.

Let me know what you think, thanks.

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selver wrote (edited )

That's called a mesh network. They already exist, some on a very large scale. Folks in my city are experimenting with using antennas to send wifi from one apartment to another across the street (works for up to 200mb/s or something), so one person can pay for a good connection, and then share or sell it to others.

In Spain (I think that's where) the ISP companies were not running lines out to rural areas, so people starting creating a mesh network with long range receivers, and that's what's widely used now.

Edit: the thing in Spain is called Guifi.net

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Yoshii wrote

While I like and endorse the idea, it's bad in "first world" countries, especially the UK and North America. ISP's generally have a clause in their contract that explicitly bans distribution, paid or free, to other households or as a public access point. On top of that, there's generally a lot more interference and pollution in said countries alongside technicalities such as private land , both of which can complicate things depending on where you live. There are probably loopholes that you could exploit or create, but that depends on your creativity.

As far as simplicity, it really is that simple. Set up two dishes and create a direct link. The biggest issue is getting the hardware and creating a stable connection in terms of alignment. It's otherwise a great method of granting a more fair method of internet access for people that live in rural or poverty-stricken areas. With evolving tech, you can even get a solid gigabit connection depending on how much you spend. You can check multiple channels and videos, including a video on LinusTechTips that demonstrated a long-range approach.

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lookin4 wrote

Tl;Dr: Make long range wifi receivers, connect them to wifi, and then use software to make it into one fast internet line.

After reading your text I remain curious, but skeptic. Is it really that simple? Do the original operators of the WiFi get notice of this unintentionally share of bandwidth - or does the satellite act like a usual client? When they are reading the logs I am pretty sure they will recognize the increasing size of transferred data, which may result in narrowing down the range or discontinue the service.

Let me know what you think, thanks.

Basically a good idea, but not literally radical, because someone needs to be a customer of a provider. It reproduces capitalism while the means of production remain in the hands of a few.

It is probably better (but not more easy by all means) to set-up mesh networks. Have you ever heard of Freifunk?

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Triconick wrote

To your first question: From what I can see from build guides on the internet, It is very simple, and there are different ways of doing it. (One way is to use a usb wifi adapter, the other way is to "replace" one of the wifi antennas on a linksys wifi router. [ the antennas unscrew on linksys router and you can use a coax cable ] ) Also where i live (East coast USA [Small Town America kinda] If some one has a open wifi network, they are really not that tech savy, and they never check use or bandwidth or would know how.

I have not herd of a mesh network, but i will do some googleing, and no i have not heard of Freifunk, whats that?

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lookin4 wrote

I am sorry, I think I can not offer a proper description or explain the ideas and goals in detail. Mainly because I am a non-native speaker of the english language, so it will surely lack of easy language and I have no profound knowledge about mesh-networking.

Freifunk is a grassroots-movement whose goals are to de-centralise and de-commercialize the connections to the internet and to promote connections among the participants to empower communications, file transfers and information without being dependent on the internet (and therefor commercial providers and their policies on which hardware you must use, for what purpose do you use the service, at what cost, how much privacy is granted, ...). With mesh-networking everybody connects with everyone, so there is no hierarchy and almighty authority who is in control and could act oppressor.

See also:

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Triconick wrote

Update: due to bad weather on the east coast usa, i have not been able to go out looking for a sat dish, also there is a huge hurricane coming so there will be delays in the build. Hopefully my house wont float away.

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sudo wrote

Don't you think they'll notice that a satellite dish cropped up on top of their building, when there wasn't one there the day before?

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Triconick wrote

Sorry, I must not have conveyed the idea correctly, where i live there is woods, alot of it. the houses are on the wood line. The dishes have a nice range (about a mile, could be more if conditions are right), i would simply find a nice tall tree, climb a ladder and nail the thing to the tree. No one goes into the woods, and especially not looking up in the trees for such things.

Now in terms of a city, or a very suburb type area you would have to put one or more on your roof and just point them at the source of the open wifi. The main idea here is that since its long range, you don't have to put it close to the source, so it would be harder to see.

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sudo wrote

Alright, but how are you going to transmit the signal? Are you saying that your local Burger King already has a giant antenna on the roof broadcasting their WiFi signal? Because if you're trying to pick up the signal from a router with antennas like these from over a mile away... that's not gonna work.

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Triconick wrote (edited )

Hmmm...shit I have seem to made an error, so your saying that a regular house modem will not have enough "horsepower" to send the data back to the dish array, even though i would be able to pick it up with the array?

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sudo wrote

Exactly. I thought your plan was to sneak into the Starbucks/Burger King and hook up a satellite dish to their router, then use that to transmit the signal over a long distance, hence my original comment about them noticing a new satellite dish on top of their building that wasn't there before.

...even though i would be able to pick it up with the array?

Are you sure you would be able to pick up the signal with your satellite dish? I'll admit that I'm not an expert on radio communications, so I might be wrong about this, but my common sense says that there is no way in hell you'll be able to pick up the signal from an off-the-shelf router from over a mile away, even with a satellite dish. It seems like the signal would be so weak by the time it reached you that it would be indistinguishable from background noise.

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Triconick wrote (edited )

Okay, so I have been looking for the original video from Hak5 (Hak5.org is a internet tv show that started in 2005) I can't find it, i have been looking for the past 2 days...any way from what i can remember, they were doing tests with picking up wifi from a moving car and then pointed the thing at a grain silo and was able to pickup the wifi single coming from the top of it. They were using backtrack linux (Now know as kail linux) with the aircrack-ng suite software.

Anyway here is a video that shows off what i am talking about, but its very cringy (low quality)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te97FzUItaI

Also this might help show you what i am talking about...

https://i.redd.it/2ts25n8zdok11.png

EDIT: added this: After some thinking, one could build a box with DC motor inside that could be used to rotate the dish. That way one could nail it to a tree and then remotely "dial in" for best signal results. I illustrated this in fig. A

Fig B. I live in the woods (kinda), and all around the perimeter of the woods are houses. (Note: The woods is not a circle, just used as a example) The idea is no one goes into the woods let alone is looking in a tree for a satellite dish.

Fig C. Just how i would think I would have it all setup, looks easy on paper. The only issue with this setup is that the server would have to have a different NIC for each satellite dish input.

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sudo wrote

I asked a friend of mine who does radio engineering about this (I didn't mention anything about the leeching WiFi part, just that you wanted to pick up a WiFi signal from far away). He said it is possible to pick up a WiFi signal from far away using just a satellite dish on the receiving end, and no special equipment on the transmission end, but he's not sure if a mile is too far away (it might be pushing it, he said). He also said if the router is inside, you might have trouble picking up the signal depending on what type of wall the signal has to go through. Wood walls are ok, brick walls are troublesome, and reinforced concrete will be nigh impossible. Furthermore, according to him, you can't take any old satellite dish and use it - it would have to be a dish that is attenuated to 2.4GHz. Hopefully this helps.

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Triconick wrote

Thank you sudo! I have been doing some research myself and so far you are very correct about the dish needing to be attenuated to the 2.4ghz. From my understanding, most will "work" but for the best results you will need one that is attenuated for 2.4ghz. I am going to start looking in my local junk yards Monday to see if i can find some cheep ones and start testing. I will keep you guys updated as I go.