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I noticed that someone in my neighborhood has been really generous and is sharing the WLAN without any security. So, I could easily connect to the access point and browse the internet.

Is it possible to send a message to the administrator of the access point?

Maybe they aren't aware of it and whoever is in the range could connect to the WiFi.

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When you are connected to the Internet through the open access point, you can visit a site such as to get the IP address of the Internet connection and then do a reverse lookup on this to identify the name associated with it - this will probably identify the ISP providing the internet service and maybe also the actual account name if the service user has a fixed IP address. Sometimes the account name will equate to the account holder's email address (or at least their mailbox address at their ISP) so you can contact them OR you could contact the ISP and ask them to get in touch with their customer by providing the IP address/reverse lookup address and the time at which you connected.

You may also be able to use arp to identify a printer on the user's network and print them a message.

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Using the printer would be a bit creepy, but really entertaining. It may be illegal though... – sound2man Aug 17 '11 at 20:50

Take a notebook computer and walk around the neighborhood - see which house is emitting the signal by its strength as you get close to each house. You'll find the signal is strongest by the house where the base is located.

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A useful tool for this is netstumbler. It won't exactly give you a pointing arrow, but it will give you a clear readout on the signal strength. Even audio cues if you want! I love the tool. – apathos Aug 17 '11 at 2:13

Depending on the signal strength, you might be able to narrow it down to the homes immediately next to yours. You could then maybe leave a note on the doors.

Also, if you find shared folders on your network, they may belong to this person and if they aren't password protected, you may find a name in there. Although I'm not sure how legal this would be.

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Thanks, talking about legality, as much as I wish to notify the admin, I donot want to sniff around someone's network and get into a trouble... Signal Strength wise I am not sure, how I can somehow localize or triangulate the persons geographic location.. I think, having a look at the shared folders is something which I prefer to do.. Any other approaches apart from the one mentioned above ? – Aug 16 '11 at 22:22
Again, this is likely illegal, but you could leave a text file in the user's Desktop folder explaining the situation. Unfortunately, the cinic in me says "no good deed goes unpunished" in this case. You'll get in trouble and the stealthy hackers will go unnoticed. – Hand-E-Food Aug 16 '11 at 23:16
I donot see any shared folders, I just see Windows Network nothing else.. – Aug 17 '11 at 11:42

You are better off doing nothing. In many areas it is illegal to connect and use an open access point without permission.

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I cannot stay silent, I would rather try to find somehow and inform the Admin. If not me, Someone else might piggyback on the free internet connection that is being offered in my neighborhood. – Aug 17 '11 at 11:44

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