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My situation: I live in an populated area with many wireless networks. One is open and always on. If that was my network, that would mean I didn't mind other people using it. But I'd like to ask, and know who it is, before doing that. The problem: I have no idea who it is. Is there any way that wireless networks can publish more info than just the network name? If so, how could I see that?

Also, is there a way to tell if its some kind of honeypot trap? It's odd that all the networks in my building fade in and out as I walk around, but this one maintains full strength, like it's not coming from a normal wireless router.

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My garage is open, that does not mean you can use anything in it..this is an assumption on your part. – Moab Sep 24 '11 at 19:10
How is trespassing on a person's property related to this question? – bryan Sep 25 '11 at 7:15
@bryan - in many jurisdictions, using someone's network (wired or wireless) is illegal even though it may be unprotected. – Rory Alsop Sep 26 '11 at 14:43

Its best not to use unknown wireless networks. First off, it may be illegal in your jurisdiction. Its no different than stealing other peoples cable or water. It is a service they pay for, and just because its open does not mean that you have the right to use it.

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He's looking for methods to ask permission. – hyperslug Sep 24 '11 at 14:27
@hyperslug - you do not have permission to go looking for permission, in general. If a contact address is broadcast, try contacting them, otherwise you could find yourself in trouble. – Rory Alsop Sep 26 '11 at 14:46

Guess the routers admin password (might be left as the default), then in connection settings there is probably an email address.

Alternatively, check if their computer shows on the network - the computer name may contain their full name, especially if it's a Mac.

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This free program gives more detail but they have control over the name of the WiFi:

iSSiDer 2.0

an airports wifi active

Do you have any shops in the area: coffee, bookstore, school, hospital, etc? Do you always a strong signal? inSSIDer can also pick up your WiFi box, iPhones (including people who drive pass or stop at traffic lights outside your home, if in range), possibly a network-linked Xbox.

It could be a free city-wide WiFi setup (more are happening but they generally have this in the name). To find out, set search to local and enter 'free WiFi service'.

You should be able to dismiss some of the signals, but you may have to go and knock on doors.

As for the ' HoneyPot', I'm not able to tell but if you are not sure and don't have permission to use, do not.

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Get nmap

  1. Find computers using Windows

    nmap -O (your network range might be different)

  2. Use the command net send to send a message to those computers

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Doing this in some jurisdictions is an offence - in the UK, the Computer Misuse Act you could be fined for doing this. – Rory Alsop Sep 26 '11 at 14:45
Many things done on a computer may constitute an offense, depending on the local laws. I'm happy to leave it to the individual to decide what to do. We are here to discuss technical issues that apply to the specific question and broader scenarios. The information in the answers here apply to private networks too and will be of use to network admins. I dislike all the suggestions of illegality. – bryan Sep 26 '11 at 17:42
It is not a suggestion - it IS illegal in most of the US and UK and many other areas. Stack Exchange will not be wanting to give advice that might be construed as breaking the law. I get paid to do this, and it is still a challenge making sure I have all the legal pieces in place to avoid law enforcement challenges raised by the very companies that hire me. – Rory Alsop Sep 26 '11 at 20:31
using nmap and net send is in no way illegal. It is not for you to decide what is and is not illegal, that is for the courts of given jurisdiction. – bryan Sep 26 '11 at 20:59
nmap will be in many instances, and net send almost always is. I don't decide. courts already have - feel free to discuss in chat rather than here – Rory Alsop Sep 26 '11 at 21:00

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