I’ve made this an annual request for the past few years:
Please Open Your Internet Access Points During the Holiday Season.
No matter where you live in the world, the next couple months are filled with some form of traditional, cultural, or religious holiday. Family members will be taking time off from work and their lives to travel around the countries to spend time with family and friends. They will also be taking their laptops and handheld computers with them, dependent upon finding the nearest WIFI open access point to stay in touch.
Many will visit local McDonald’s, Starbucks, Panera Bread, and other chain businesses which typically offer free or paid Internet WIFI points. Still more will be visiting places far from these commercial avenues and hunting the neighborhoods for WIFI signals, praying one will be open for access.
If you have a WIFI wireless system in your home or office, consider opening it up to the public for the next two months. You can still protect your computer securely, while leaving the Internet access open. Read the manual or online instructions on how to protect your computer while opening your WIFI system’s access for the Internet for your particular model. You can close the gate when the holidays are over, knowing a few people out there were more than delighted with their holiday gift of free Internet access.
If you are worried about too many users on your system, let’s look at the reality of the issue. If you have a 54 MB per second wireless router, and the average laptop has a 10 MB per second transfer rate, if each user accessing your router were using the full 10 MB possible, you could only handle 5 users. But who downloads and maxes out their 10 MB transfer rates constantly? Few access more than a few KB at a time, so your router could easily host 10-25 or more users without strain. There are no additional costs or charges from your Internet company for additional users as they can’t count who is using, just that it is being used.
Reality is that if you live in a neighborhood of 15 houses within your WIFI range of 300-500 feet (without an external boosting antenna), how many of your neighbor’s visitors do you think would access your Internet at the same time? One, two, maybe three? More likely zero. But you never know.
As I travel around the country and world, I carry a WIFI detector with me, driving through neighborhoods and towns in my car, slowing down and checking for WIFI signals. When I find a strong one, I’ll park and open my my laptop. I wait and wait until it finds the signal, and then it tells me that it is a secure system that requires a password and user name. I move on down the street, looking for another. I have articles to email to publishers and publish on my blogs. I have emails to send to family and businesses. I have work that needs to be monitored and checked. My life is attached to the Internet. I keep looking until I find that fabulously generous person who has an open Internet access point, and do a mental dance and blessing on their heads with grateful appreciation.
Yes, I could use a cell phone to access, but right now, one cell phone doesn’t work across every country in the world. Nor every place.
The joy that comes from finding that open connection that allows a blogger to blog, someone to email family, friends, or work, or just check the news is magic. Honestly, please consider opening your WIFI Internet access point up during the holidays and give the gift of access to the world.
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network