How to Use a Neighbor's Wi-Fi Internet Connection

Wireless network signals travel for hundreds of feet from the location of the access point; if that point is connected to the Internet, anyone within the radius of the signal can, in principle, access the Internet over that Wi-Fi network. You can connect to a Wi-Fi network belonging to your neighbor, as long as you acquire their authorization in advance.

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You can share your neighbor's Wi-Fi network, if they authorize you.

Step

Click "Start," then "Control panel."

Step

Select "Network and Internet," then click "Network and Sharing Center."

Step

Click "Manage wireless networks" on the left side of the window. A list of wireless networks within range of your computer appears.

Step

Find your neighbor's Wi-Fi network on the list. If it's not listed, you aren't getting a strong enough signal to use it from your location. Try an alternate location.

Step

Ask your neighbor if they allow you to use their Wi-Fi network. Do not join the network without having secured this authorization, for several reasons: it is illegal to access computing or network resources without the owner's authorization; your neighbor can be held liable for any adverse consequences arising from your Internet activities; and the network bandwidth you use may impact the performance of applications your neighbor needs to run on his or her network.

Step

Obtain the network key from your neighbor. Many Wi-Fi networks are encrypted and require a key.

Step

Follow Steps 1 through 3 to bring up the list of wireless networks in range of your computer. Click the entry for the neighbor's network, then click "Connect." Enter the network key when prompted. After a short delay, your computer will join your neighbor's Wi-Fi network and you can start accessing the Internet.