20 Crazy Things People Do to Get Wi-Fi Connections

Results from a new survey show the unsafe, illegal and downright bizarre things people do for Wi-Fi access.

RELATED TOPICS

In their quest to get Wi-Fi Internet connectivity, people have done some pretty desperate things over the years.

MORE ON CIO.com

Should Retailers Offer Free Wi-Fi to Customers?

How IT Systems Can Help Starbucks Fix Itself

Wi-Fi Just Wants to Be Free, But Not all Businesses Agree

Driving around in sheer panic looking for a Starbucks (but hoping for a Panera, which offers free Wi-Fi) or hopping on a neighbor's unsecured signal has become commonplace. (To read about the Wi-Fi strategies at Starbucks, Panera, McDonald's and Borders, see "Should Retailers Offer Free Wi-Fi to Customers?")

But then there's a whole other level of desperation that comes while some people are searching for the almighty Wi-Fi access point. The evidence: an August 2008 survey of 300 remote employees who work on company-issued laptops. (The survey was commissioned by mobility vendor Fiberlink.)

The survey asked these road warriors: "What interesting or out of the ordinary things have you ever done to get connected to the Internet and/or company network, when working remotely?" Of the open-ended responses, here are the most noteworthy:

"Stolen Wi-Fi from a neighbor."

Editor's note: Nothing says "Howdy, Neighbor!" more than "I'm stealing your Wi-Fi!"

"Had to climb on my mother's roof once. It was so fun. I actually saw a naked neighbor girl."

Editor's note: Is that considered a two-for-one?

"Drove 15 miles away from Old Faithful Geyser to achieve a complete Internet connection, due to static from Geyser emissions energy."

Editor's note: I hate it when that happens.

"Driven to the local coffee shop and purchased a muffin to use their wireless."

Editor's note: That seems reasonable.

"Gone to coffee shop without buying coffee."

Editor's note: Cheapskate!

"Had to 'hack' into a phone line at a hotel to get dial-up to work (many years ago)."

Editor's note: Easy does it, Mitnick.

"I have plugged my laptop into a hospital Ethernet line because the wireless was down."

Editor's note: Glad it wasn't the oxygen line.

"I have researched hotels that do not provide Internet but are nearby wireless hubs to get connection freely."

Editor's note: A little too much time on your hands, sir?

"Plugged into the back of a cash register."

Editor's note: Really? You can do that?

"I went up to the top of a mountain and worked for a week from a tent."

Editor's note: Grizzly Adams meets Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame).

"Turned someone's TV antenna into a wireless internet antenna."

Editor's note: Now that's talent.

"Logged into hotel conference rooms to get the connection for free."

Editor's note: Who hasn't done that?!

"Paid for a cab ride while I worked on the Internet."

Editor's note: That seems a bit "unfare."

"Plugged into electricity from the city of Seattle that was on a pole on the sidewalk, but only for a few minutes."

Editor's note: Well, as long as it was just for a few minutes.

RELATED TOPICS
1 2 Page
The CIO 100 Awards recognize companies using IT in innovative ways. Submit an application today!
View Comments
You Might Like
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies