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Wireless Repeater with a Linksys WET11

At my girlfriends apartment I can pickup a faint unencrypted 802.11b signal from a nearby neighbor. Here’s how I created a Wi-Fi repeater to “borrow” that high bandwidth connection.

I bought a Linksys WET11 wireless ethernet bridge.

I connected the Linksys WET11 to an extra Linksys AP I had.

Then I configured the devices like this:

Linksys WET11

ssid – linksys (same as neighbor’s AP)

channel – 6 (same as neighbor’s AP)

IP – static (changed from default

changed default password


ssid – notsleepy (different from neighbor’s AP)

turned off ssid broadcasting

channel – 11 (different from neighbor’s AP)

IP – obtain from AP1 DHCP

turned on encryption

disabled DHCP (obtains from neighbor’s AP)

changed default password

VOILA! Instant boosted signal! I’m mostly transparent except for the fact that I obtain an IP from his AP.

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  1. Someone
    October 11th, 2005 at 18:31 | #1

    Also quite illegal…

    Also probably violates the TOS of the neighbor’s ISP.

    Also could get your girlfriend into hot water with the neighbor, apt. manager, etc., if someone finds out.

    You might not get caught, but at least be sure to not do anything on that connection that the neighbor might not appreciate (like committing other illegal acts, viewing porn, etc.).

  2. Tony Spencer
    October 12th, 2005 at 22:49 | #2

    > Also quite illegal…
    Wrong. There is nothing illegal about receiving public broadcast signal.

    > Also probably violates the TOS of the neighbor’s ISP.
    I’m not a customer of the neighbor’s ISP so I am not bound to the TOS

    > Also could get your girlfriend into hot water with the neighbor, apt. manager, etc., if someone finds out.
    Oh jeez…

    > You might not get caught, but at least be sure to not do anything on that connection that the neighbor might not appreciate
    I’m using it to SPAM you with 50,000 poker emails tomorrow morning. :)

  3. Ed
    October 14th, 2005 at 19:54 | #3


  4. Anonymous
    December 10th, 2005 at 15:46 | #4

    I’m confused. Why do you need an access point AND a bridge to do this? I have a WAP54G access point. Can’t I just set it up as a repeater, give it the target’s SSID and MAC to rebroadcast, and it will boost and rebroadcast the intended foreign signal? Also, why do you have encryption on for your access point. It won’t do any good as information will still flow to your neighbor unencrypted, as his 802.11 network is unencrypted.

  5. lumpu
    April 17th, 2006 at 10:00 | #5

    I love the people that think everything is illegal. open accesspoint useage is NOT illegal in any way, shape or form. NOBODY has ever been arrested or convisted of wireless use, they usually are nabbed for other things that are on the law books.

    I personally set up a similar system with a dish to snag wireless from a mile away and then rebroadcast it for shareing here locally!

  6. sonny
    April 18th, 2006 at 09:46 | #6

    I have an Aztech ADSL WLAN 4 Port Router Model DSL 305EW. I do not use Ethenet cable and I get execellent signal strength wirelessly downstairs for my Notebook as the ADSL is downstairs. However, I have another PC upstairs and the signal strength is “very low”. I am thinking of buying a D-Link or a Linksys Repeater but after finding out that these two brands are not compatible with my Aztech, I am now left in the lurch as to how to increase the signal strength.
    Can anyone kind soul out there assist me in the following:
    1. Is it possible to buy an “universal” wireless repeater where it can be used with any brand of APs.
    2. Is there anyway I can increase the signal strength for my upstairs PC (perhaps using a dish like what “lumpu” mentioned).
    Thank you in advance for your kind assistance.

  7. Scott
    June 3rd, 2006 at 02:57 | #7

    It’s called theft of service OR theft of information services. Take your pick, one could be prosecuted for wardriving either way. People stole cable for years (still do) before the laws against it hit the books. But the law in TX, even though it was created to address theft of cable, is broad enough to include wireless internet. Check your local statutes, of course…

    A person commits theft of service if, with the intent to avoid payment for a service that he or she knows is provided only for compensation—
    — having control over the disposition of services of another to which he or she is not entitled, such person intentionally or knowingly diverts the other’s services to his or her own benefit or to the benefit of another not entitled to them.
    Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 31.04(a)(2).

    A person commits an offense if, without the authorization of the multichannel video or information services provider, the person intentionally or knowingly makes or maintains a connection, whether physically, electrically, electronically, or inductively, to—
    — a cable, wire, or other component of or media attached to a multichannel video or information services system.

    Multichannel video or information services provider means a licensed cable television system, video dial-tone system, multichannel multipoint distribution services system, direct broadcast satellite system, or other system providing video or information services that are distributed by cable, wire, radio frequency, or other media.

  8. Tony Spencer
    June 3rd, 2006 at 09:27 | #8

    Thanks bookworm. You are so knowledgeable. Two gold stars for you!

  9. Anonymous
    June 7th, 2006 at 19:23 | #9

    Tony, kudos to you. Thanks for sharing with us what EVERYONE here has thought of doing, tried doing, or are doing. At least now we can go on about our business instead of trying to figure out how to set it up.

  10. Kendall
    July 17th, 2006 at 10:10 | #10

    Thanks for the info T. Working on a persons
    PC just last week and they have a crappy signal
    from there customer provided WR/Modem.

    Helps a wanna be get the job done now.

    Thanks again.

  11. Hewood
    July 23rd, 2006 at 22:13 | #11

    It is illegal, at least in Florida. And, someone has been charged with a felony.


  12. pdawg
    September 17th, 2006 at 22:35 | #12

    Its totally legit.. man some of you are dumb.. I even e-mailed the major ISP here to see if its legit to share the internet with neighbours.. and they say its legit as long as you aren’t charging for it.. then its good..

  13. Ralph
    September 19th, 2006 at 16:39 | #13

    To pdawg: To paraphrase you: “man you are dumb”. The situation that you are describing is the willing sharing of your ISP. What Tony is describing is his unapproved sharing of someone elses’ ISP. Can you see the difference? If I buy a bag a chips, I can let you have as many as I want. If you buy a big a chips, I can’t take your chips without asking. Is that clear enough? (Why is it always that the people who call others “dumb” are always the dumb ones?)

  14. Nectovelius
    October 28th, 2006 at 23:43 | #14

    Ralph, tony neibhor is sharing is kindly sharing his network with everybody (he just doesn’t know) but legally tony did not hack the guy, did not even crack a password. The network is shared willingly (even if he doesn’t know) the guy has all the control over it so if he doesn’t wanna share he just have to protect it. If my bag of chips says help yourself, take a chip…I can’t blame you for taking one. And remenber those who are ignorant are always WRONG, so too bad for the guy that doesn’t know is sharing the net…

  15. anonytotheextreme
    December 26th, 2006 at 18:10 | #15

    well its still a retarded thing to do.

    heres my take on the subject….


  16. Bart
    January 2nd, 2007 at 14:45 | #16

    Back to the original question… Any recommendations for wireless repeaters that work across vendors? I have a Netgear wireless router, and the signal will not reach my whole house. Best I can tell, Netgear does not sell a repeater, and I’d like to avoid replacing my existing equipment.

  17. GreatJoerb
    July 13th, 2007 at 03:21 | #17

    Ok. I’m a computer novice. What is an SSID? I hope I don’t fan the flames too much, but I just moved and I have to stick my computer out the window to get that lovely public wireless that we all love (almost all). I’m in a shady neihborhood in NYC and would like to avoid sticking my ibook G4 out the window for exteded periods. I’m on the ground floor so it is very visible. Anyway, I almost fully understand everything about the hook up, but can’t I just get a repeater and stick it out my window.Will this even work with Apple’s Airport extreme? Help, please.

  18. Cmills
    January 27th, 2008 at 12:22 | #18

    I work for an ISP. It is responsibility of the user to secure their network. Just like if we get a spamming complaint. Even if the user has no knowledge of the activity, they are still going to be shut off if they don’t take care of it. If someone plays the radio really loud and you can hear it too, you aren’t stealing their music.

  19. jake
    March 5th, 2008 at 16:37 | #19

    xD i love America! My DSL was out for a month and my neighbors kindly “donated” their 6mb/400kbs connection. thinking about doing this and using my 768/128 DSL as backup! Oh and the only thing verizon is good for now in my books is MAYBE FiOS cause their dsl tech support sucks

  20. 2Cert
    June 10th, 2008 at 16:23 | #20

    If someone is stupid enough to not secure their connection then they should be charged for the crime of public stupidity! I have several in my neighborhood that fits this. Don’t use their connections since mine is faster but it’s hard to out power all the shitty connections surrounding me!

  21. ConcernedParent
    January 22nd, 2009 at 16:49 | #21

    My 17 year old is not sleeping enough because the allure of the internet working on her laptop in her room (socializing, watching tv shows) is just too strong. She’s tired all the time and her grades are slipping.
    I’m interested in finding a sneaky way to cause the signal to be weaker at some times to drive her out of her room and in with the rest of her family, and even better if I had a timer to make the internet more difficult after 2am, to make her get some sleep. Any tips? I tried putting the router on a timer, and she discovered it (hard to hide it well enough), I even tried putting pots and pans over the router to see if it would weaken signal (didn’t). Her computer is 50′ from the router..
    She has a Macbook with Airport, and I can’t change the parental control feature on it because the parameters are too limiting for a sr. in hs with all her homework related internet needs. Thanks for your help!