Got bandwidth?

Steven Sekelik

EAGLE COUNTY – A few nights ago, my partner and I decided to jump in the Ford Escape and head up to the Eagle Domino’s to grab a few pies in preparation for another late night of diagnosing and troubleshooting a garage full of virus-infested computer systems that littered the workbench. On the way to the pizza shop, I whipped out my super hi-tech $32 wi-fi (wireless) network locator, which resembles one of those “beam me up” gadgets that Capt. Kirk so religiously used in “Star Trek.” I flipped her open and started scanning. Immediately, I received strong wireless signals in all directions. My partner noticed that the bars on the locator outnumbered the bars on his cell phone. We turned to each other and nodded in silent agreement to, as my daughter would say, take the “long-cut” to Dominos. We moved through downtown Eagle, and then took Highway 6 through the roundabout, as well as Eagle’s business route. Regardless of direction, the wi-fi locator picked up a strong wireless signal. After picking up the pies, we decided to continue our network-probing techniques using the laptop and a hi-gain wi-fi antenna. We found over 70 wireless networks in the area. Shockingly, over two-thirds were unsecured!With the widespread availability of broadband Internet access, coupled with the latest wireless-enabled devices, being connected to an unsecured wi-fi network can potentially leave connected computers susceptible to outside intruders attempting to access your system resources. Most importantly, an unsecured wi-fi network can drastically reduce Internet speed. Anyone with a wireless-enabled network card can easily access the unsecured network and use it as an Internet hot spot. If you are running an unsecured network that is connected to a DSL or cable modem connection, it’s possible that one or more of your neighbors may be sucking up your bandwidth to score the latest collection of top 40 music hits available for download via their favorite peer-to-peer file sharing or music application. After all, being the kind neighbor you are, you don’t mind sharing, do you? Got bandwidth?For more information on wireless networking and security, contact Interworkz Training and Consulting Inc. at 376-2233, visit, or e-mail Vail, Colorado

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