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Home Forums General Discussion How to live off-grid p90

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    Noted that today’s ITN news reports the latest person to be charged under the Communications Act 2003 and possibly under the Computer Misuse Act, for piggybacking on somebody else’s broadband connection. The police claim this arrest will act as a deterrent to those intending to go “war-surfing”, perhaps in their quest to remain off-grid?


    Meanwhile, loads of hedge fund managers are allowed to trade insolvently, and kids can wander arond with guns, but hey the guy sitting on a wall was low hanging fruit.


    Quite agree. My comments were exceedingly muted, because when your MP is the Secretary of State for Defence your blood boils at the misuse of our once proud armed services and other British weapons on a global scale; at his role in passing this country’s most draconian and illiberal legislation; and the deceit he practices on the nation.

    However, one source of pleasure available to us north of Hadrian’s Wall – SNP won the Scottish elections with support from the Green’s two MSPs.


    Well, I think we should take them on – from now on this thread is the place to post good places for war surfing, not that any of us have tried them ourselves of course.

    I will go first – The Macdonalds just oppposite Warren Street Station in London. You sit at the window facing out towards the station on the high charis so thoughtfully provided by the management, and get a great signal.


    Seven Dials, Covent Garden WC2 – you sit on the clock tower in the middle and get a signal from nearby office.

    Nick Rosen

    While the “free” WiFi internet sounds so catchy… I have a moral dilemma here. Many home users are negligent or ignorant when setting up their wireless home connection and don’t secure it with a password. So, the neighbour teen can connect with his laptop to that account and download anything (including child porn) – and the owner of the account will be charged by the police, if they go after the “porn downloader”.

    Do you still find piggybacking on others’ account such a good idea?

    Nick Rosen

    I appreciate the moral problems surrounding downloads and I do not mind spending a monthly £7-10 on broadband connection, however I very much resent to have to pay on top of this the landline line rental to BT (and instalation at £129) without which there seems to be no way of connecting up (cable is not an option in my building). The satelite options which I have seen seem to be far too expensive (starting at £30/m). Does anybody know of a way out of this impass?


    Talk to your neighbors, find out who already has broadband,and offer to split the costs with them.Then run a cable to every one who wants internet access. Most of the time you there will not be much change in download speed, though serious gamers would probably notice. No laws are broken,no-one is cheated, or anonymously implicated and everyone is happy.


    Several mobile phone companies are doing mobile ‘broadband’ at reasonable prices now.

    You plug a USB-thingy in (you can think of it as a phone with no screen or buttons) and you get varying speed dependant on signal strength – anything from dial-up speed up to almost as good as the average home connection. A travelling friend just got one from Three for £7.50 per month (3GB/month usage limit) – half the normal price cos he already had a phone contract with them! I’ve yet to have a go on it but I may be tempted to dump my on-grid cable connection for one of these.


    We got Mobile Brodband here in the states when we went off-grid, and I absolutely love it! I can be on line, even surf the web on the road while the hubby drives if I want. It is a little expensive for the option we’ve chosen, about $65.00/mo. with all the taxes, but it is an unlimited service, and it seems that plans are starting to get more affordable.

    I really like geeko’s idea of sharing the connection/cost with neighbors to help all involved. I think it would take something like a Hub (in our case, wireless hub would be the way to go, since the nearest neighbor is about 1/2 mi. or more as the crow flys). I think the basic technology would be similar to setting up a wireless home network. Not sure exactly how to do that, or what kind of signal strength one would need to make it happen.


    — We got Mobile Brodband here in the states when we went off-grid, and I absolutely love it! —

    I get the feeling something is being lost here.

    A pertinent question would have to be… What is ‘off-grid’?

    To which you’d have to add… Is wireless broadband ‘off-grid’?

    If ‘off-grid’ is a ‘spiritual’ refresher, or a vacation, sure.

    If it’s a way of life, or something more political, maybe there are contradictions as far as mobile broadband is concerned.

    Obviously most of us can’t pretend to be able to ditch all our modern comforts,

    but I fear getting mobile broadband, while claiming the kudos that come with being ‘off grid’ is a little disingenuous.

    That said, there’s little to be gained by being too purist, by witholding ‘off-gridded-ness’ from those people who are trying to be off-grid but who don’t, understandably, completely ‘disconnect’… Offgriddedness is obviously a process…

    But surely there’s a fine line, and those of us aiming to go off-grid need to check ourselves… Are we merely ‘hiding’ our grid links from ourselves and others in order to kid ourselves and others into thinking we’re becoming more independent? As always, and even more so here, it seems important to trace the causal connections of our lives, not just those we can see, but those associated with our reliances, however ‘off-grid’ they might appear to be.

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