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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.


Triconick wrote (edited )

Okay, so I have been looking for the original video from Hak5 ( 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)

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

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.


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.


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.