When Paulo Got DSL

Well, I’m now on DSL; I ordered the service last week, got the self-install kit with modem/wireless router two days ago, and the activation notice came today. Installation was seamless: hooking everything up and installing and configuring the software took just 30 minutes. Cancelling my old — and faithful — dialup account at Allvantage took just two minutes more.

At last, my connection speed actually feels “normal.” Now I can pick up my laptop and carry it to the couch to use the internet without trailing that phone line behind me, and the first twinge of bandwidth guilt — that feeling of needing to use all this lightning-fast throughput to download something — is already setting in.

I’d like to be nice and share my wireless connection freely for neighbors to pick up, but of course I’m concerned about monitoring connections for possible security risks, both technical and national. OS X 10.2.8 has a firewall on it, but I’d still like to know who’s connected to my network at any given time. I tried downloading Kismet, but the documentation was incomprehensible. Now I’m trying MacSniffer (OS X graphical frontend for tcpdump output), but of course, that just gives me a raw, unintelligible flood of data. Anyone got solutions for OS X?

Update: Sensibility has taken hold, and it’s all WEP’d now. Thanks for the advice.


  1. Chris says:

    If just want people you know like your neighbors to be able to use it, you can filter MAC addresses on the router. Enable the filter, then add the MAC address for any computer that you want to allow on the network.

  2. Jason says:

    Your router should be able to give you a list of the MAC addresses of all the current connections, if you just want to know who is connected.

  3. Sparticus says:

    The problem with unrestricted free wi-fi is that people can sniff out your packets as they travel unencoded about the network. Ideally you want to stick a password and encryption on it through WPA and then give away the password freely to neighbours. That way all the packets flying through the air are encoded.

    Also you should probably check that the terms and conditions of your broadband all you to give it away to anyone.