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42% of Worldwide Households Expected To Have Wi-Fi By 2016

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the this-seems-like-a-high-estimate dept.

Wireless Networking 91

retroworks writes "'Wi-Fi network use will nearly double in homes around the world come 2016, according to new Strategy Analytics research. Already used in some 439 million households worldwide, equivalent to 25% of all households, Wi-Fi home network penetration will expand to 42%.' The report says China already has the highest home Wi-Fi use."

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Channel Crowding (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39608561)

I hope there appears some solution to the channel crowding already extant with so many home wireless networks. With only channels 1-11 available, and those overlapping with each other, it's already difficult to try to find a clear niche of spectrum. I live in a rural town about 30 miles from the nearest major metropolitan area, and still I count around 15 wireless networks within detectable range.

Basically, it's all just too crowded.

Either the FCC needs to open up some more surrounding spectrum to use, 5ghz networks need to pick up in popularity, or some other technology needs to become available.

Re:Channel Crowding (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39608655)

It would certainly be nice for the FCC to cut out some more spectrum, I'd say that WiFi has proven to be of enormous value despite living in the wireless war zone that is 2.4GHz, and is amply deserving of more.

In the meantime(and/or forever, since it seems to be an accepted truth that any available spectrum is either the god-given right of legacy broadcasters or must be sweethearted to a cellular Telco as quickly as possible lest the terrorists win) it would be nice for access points to 'back off' more intelligently.

A limited number of AP deployments are actually looking for maximum range. The rest only actually want enough range to handle the X devices in the household; and any spillover is useless or worse. It would be useful for the client and the access point to be able to exchange information with each other on signal quality, and settle on minimum levels needed for the distance and speed required.

Re:Channel Crowding (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39608717)

Wifi improvements are achieved because of the limited spectrum. The problem with the "more power" approach is obvious. The virtually same problem exists with "more bandwidth". More bandwidth will not lessen the congestion, because access points will use wider bands instead of allowing more access points to use non-overlapping bands.

Re:Channel Crowding (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39609921)

2.4GHz is overcrowded, but 5GHz is sorely underused. Don't blame the FCC, blame device manufacturers for not make 5GHz-capable products.

Re:Channel Crowding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39610441)

Hard to accept that so many android phones made at this far after 2008 still have no clue that the 5.4 Ghz Wireless N standard exists. A year before the first Android G1 came out I bought this dinosaur of a laptop, and it can use N on both bands... both the band and the N standard ( draft and full ) have been out for a very long time. And yet, a phone that is 4 years newer is blind and forced me to re-enable the 2.4 Ghz band so that I can do SMB sharing with my LAN.

It is a shame that so much tech is so stubbornly sticky just to save "them" a few cents per unit... It cases us many more cents worth of daily headaches for years.

Re:Channel Crowding (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614815)

They do, and have been for years. Blame people who still go out and buy 2.4Ghz devices; since buying more would surely make prices go down (as always with this sort of thing).

Re:Channel Crowding (4, Interesting)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39609017)

I wish I had mod points for you, I really do...

In my apartment, there are literally 30+ networks within range at all times, and to make matter worse, they channel surf up and down the band constantly. It didn't matter what channel you picked, if it was clear enough to be attractive, within a few minutes there would be a handful of other networks camped on top of yours as they constantly searched for clean channels.

I ended up having to go completely hard-lined because I couldn't even pull down 5 meg on a wireless-N connection 15 feet from the router, so now I've got wires across my ceilings and around doorways and shit all over my apartment, but at least I can pull down the 30 meg service I'm paying for. I just did a quick search with the Wifi scanner app on my phone just now and there are 12 networks parked on channel 5, 7 on channel 7, and the rest are just sitting here chasing each other up the band as I watch in real-time.

There needs to be a better way for routers to communicate with each other when they are within interference range and negotiate channel assignments because it's only going to get worse as more phones and shit come out with built in hotspots of their own, not to mention automobiles out in front of the damn building as well competing for spectrum.

Re:Channel Crowding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39611695)

a wireless-N connection

Are you using the 5GHz band?

I've found that even in densely populated areas, the 5G band is usually pretty clear.

Re:Channel Crowding (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39612195)

I have tried, but there was little improvement. This community is mainly young professionals, and I'd bet every single occupied unit is pumping out either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz or both, if they're rocking a dual-band router (which many must be, as I see many of the same SSID's on both bands). There are about 6 buildings here clustered around a central courtyard, each building has ~50 units, and the buildings are maybe 100' apart.

It doesn't even matter anyway, because most devices are still 2.4 GHz and likely will be for a while. I've gone hard-lined here in my house, but I still have a ton of devices than need wifi on the 2.4 GHz band, laptops, netbooks, tablets, our phones. I don't know why the hell it's taking so long for 5 GHz to catch on, or if device manufacturers just get a deal on the old shit or what, but it's obvious there needs to be some sort of protocol or regulation built in to these devices to teach them how to play nice together, even though they are on different networks. It doesn't seem like it would be that difficult to program them to communicate and cooperate to ensure good QoS on their respective LANs.

Re:Channel Crowding (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39616823)

Considering that there is no standard and that there is a myriad of manufacturers, it would be an enormous task to get them to coordinate on such programming. Without such coordination, QoS would be useless as it would be single manufacturer only for each QoS model.

Re:Channel Crowding (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39616497)

One of my clients is on the 21st floor of a building in Houston. He wanted to go WiFi. About six months later, he was having major connectivity problems. According to the access points and a few other wireless utilities, the entire spectrum is flooded! His office is basically acting as one giant parabolic dish collecting this shit. One of my WiFi utilities crashed when it reached just over 100 AP in range.

Re:Channel Crowding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39623267)

Use a Cantenna. Simply a large-diameter tin can, poke a hole 5cm from the bottom and stick the router antenna through. No math required, in my experience. Point the cantenna to your laptop and your SNR (->bitrate) should be much better.
Also works wonders if you want to give a friend down the road free net access.

I switched to UTP a year ago (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39608585)

Cheaper, faster, more reliable, doesn't have compatibility issues and unlike wifi adapters lasts much longer than two years. It requires some work to set up but you only have to do it once.

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39608629)

Good luck convincing people to spend hundreds running Unshielded Twisted Pair throughout their houses when a $30 wireless router works straight out of the box, and it lets you move around the house without plugging/unplugging.

Parent must be a charter member of Luddites for the Loss.

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (2)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39608695)

Hundreds? Cable is very cheap, it only cost me about 10$. And the big problem with wifi that it does not work out of the box, you have to configure it for every computer and OS you have, and repeat the process after every big update, and if there are no problems it works. Also, you forgot to include the cost of the adapters, which more than doubles the cost.

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39608727)

The cable isn't the part that makes it expensive. The install is. Easy enough when building new, nut a retrofit is another problem. Figure fifty bucks a pop and it adds up.

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39608733)

Nice strawman, but Wifi adapters come built-in with every new laptop, tablet, cell phone, etc.

p.s. $10 cable? LOL. Now I know you're trolling. Provide a web link to a reputable company for a 500+ ft spool or it didn't happen.

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39608865)

It cost him only $10. You don't know the length. If you need 500ft, you're going to pay about $40 for Cat5e, which is all you need. I've had wired (twisted pair) Ethernet since the early nineties. I've also had wireless since about 2000. The wired network always works, and it's always fast. The wireless network never lives up to the performance expectations, it is more of a configuration hassle and network security problems keep cropping up (braindead WPS being the latest), but it's also without alternative for connecting mobile devices.

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 2 years ago | (#39609197)

You also need to buy and install RJ45 wall sockets, unless you want to let the cables dangle out of the walls all over the place.

I agree with using wired connections if you are in the construction phase anyway and you know where devices will be placed later on. But that will be at least as expensive as a normal home wlan router. And I would not want to retrofit a house with it.

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | more than 2 years ago | (#39612787)

I'm pretty much convinced these days that building yourself in with fixed walls and assuming you'll know where you want things is idiotic. When I get around to renovating/building my own house, I'm going to try as hard as I can to do all the walls in some type of quick-release panelling specifically so it'll be easier to retrofit later.

Although I suspect double-brick + a false ceiling would be more then adequate, since it'd be hard to end up having too many sockets, and you can blank those off anyway.

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39609645)

p.s. $10 cable? LOL. Now I know you're trolling. Provide a web link to a reputable company for a 500+ ft spool or it didn't happen.

That is a brilliantly deluded statement.

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39610801)

He never said he paid retail. I grabbed a spool out of a skip at university many years ago, a leftover from their own network expansion, and I think I still have some left.

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614841)

If you need 500+ ft you wire your computer, I'm pretty sure you'll need more than a single wifi adapter to cover all of it as well.

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#39608761)

Oh yes, you have to *type in a password* to use the Wifi. How ever will ordinary people learn how to do something as complicated and technical as that?

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39608937)

I get paid to help people type in passwords. The problem isn't that they can't type in a password. The problem is that they don't know which password. It's probably better this way too, because if people chose passwords for themselves, they'd choose 5 character dictionary words.

Why do you think WPS exists? Press a button here, press a button there, done. People still call to be told to do that. And then it doesn't work because every security minded technician turns WPS off due to the colossal design flaw in WPS-PIN.

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39608815)

"And the big problem with wifi that it does not work out of the box, you have to configure it for every computer and OS you have, and repeat the process after every big update, and if there are no problems it works."

Or you could use a real operating system. I configured my wifi router exactly once, and that was to enable security. Any new machine, including anybody who visits, needs the SSID and password. That's it.

Have you actually used wifi since the 90s?

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39608667)

UTP is a good idea, to bring the Wifi where it needs to be for good performance. Stationary computers are still best served by wired networks, but many people also have mobile computers: laptops and smart phones.

(Just make sure that the WPS backdoor is turned off and actually off.)

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (2)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#39608687)

It requires some work to set up but you only have to do it once.

Of course you look like an idiot wandering around the house with your tablet and a 50' cable... assuming you can find a tablet that has a jack to plug it into.

I agree wired is best, but for a lot of stuff wired makes no sense, or isn't even an option. I don't want to use a cable when using my laptop on the kitchen table, or out in the balcony on a sunny day, or the living room couch... and we have several devices that are wifi only:

iPhone (sure I could use 3G when at home but that's slower)
Blackberry (doesn't actually have a data plan at the moment)
2x Nintendo 3DS

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39608793)

You are right, and I did keep the old wifi router because of the phones. But as every phone today has a microUSB port it should be possible to connect them to a networked computer for someone without wifi (I don't know about you but I simply can't imagine "wandering around" while browsing. Even when I'm not home I always find me a table to sit down to, or a bench if I'm outside).

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (1)

fa2k (881632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39608853)

as every phone today has a microUSB port it should be possible to connect them to a networked computer for someone without wifi

Android can do this ("reverse tethering") if rooted. IMHO it should be supported by default though, useful in offices where there is no wi-fi, in hotels with wired connections and especially in places with obnoxious captive web portals that require you to type a password if inactive for 15 mins.

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39608887)

And there's a convenient RJ-42 outlet near those tables and benches?

Wandering about doesn't mean using it while walking. At home, I use my netbook from my bed, from my desk, at the kitchen, at the balcony, in the bathroom, at the couch in the living room, ...

Would it still cost me "about $10" to get the net all around my house without cables getting under my legs all the time? I think just installing outlets in those 6 places would take me down a few hundred, without actual cable laying.

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#39611185)

(I don't know about you but I simply can't imagine "wandering around" while browsing. Even when I'm not home I always find me a table to sit down to, or a bench if I'm outside).

Sure... and if you start downloading something at a table, while logged into another PC doing some remote admin and then decide to relocate to a bench outside.

Me... I just pickup the laptop and walk from the table to the bench.

You apparently have to wait for the download to complete or pause it, terminate your active connections, unplug and neatly put away a cable (or just leave a mess of cables all over the place), move to the new locations, plug in, re-establish connections...

But as every phone today has a microUSB port it should be possible to connect them to a networked computer for someone without wifi

Even if it was possible.. if I wanted to check my email from my phone, why on earth would I want to attach it to a computer first?

And that still wouldn't get the Nintendo 3DS's online...

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (1)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | more than 2 years ago | (#39609341)

So when my wife is browsing the net form her iPad and my daughter is downloading to her smartphone through the WiFi, and my son connects his Nintendo 3DS to the network, exactly how are they going to replace this with UTP?


I have 3 (stationary) PCs and my TVs connected on UTP, but more and more devices are just not suitable for it. And there are just so many. Between us, the family now have close to 20 network capable devices (everything from DSis and iPods to PCs and TV decoders). Cabling for all of that would make the house look like a bowl of spaghetti. Not really a realistic option for most people, is it?

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 2 years ago | (#39609557)

Rather hard to connect a cable to a TouchPad, Lumia 900 or the like.

Re:I switched to UTP a year ago (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614831)

I still don't get how I plug the UTP into my cell phone, or my PSP. I also feel it to be slightly uncomfortable going around the house with my laptop and a very very long cable following me around.

UTP is great for desktops, and is what's most commonly used. Regrettably, average joe tends to buy more laptop/netbook/tablet/cellphone than desktops.

It's below 42% right now??? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39608587)

I haven't visited anyone without wifi in over a decade.

Sudden realization of selection bias...happens so much to us nerds :)

Re:It's below 42% right now??? (3, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39608777)

I don't think it's nerds so much as location: you will see different wifi prevalence in, say, the United States versus Uganda.

Re:It's below 42% right now??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39611319)

There is that magic number once again ... 42 ...

Re:It's below 42% right now??? (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39609049)

I was surprised as well, although to be fair I know a few people that made the leap and cut their terrestrial internet completely, doing everything via their mobile networks (they're uncapped, obviously; I'm sure if they get hit with the 2GB caps they'll be back to cable/dsl).

So the ~58% without wifi may not all be using old tech or anything, although I'm sure most are...

42% (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39608631)

Wi-Fi's the Answer to Everything.

Re:42% (1)

Anonymousslashdot (2601035) | more than 2 years ago | (#39611811)

You mean it's the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything else ? Hmm, tricky...

Worldwide??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39608645)

A large percentage of households wordwide don't even have electricity.

Wifi is well down the list after running water and drains.

Re:Worldwide??? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39608765)

I've got a laundry list of intestinal pathogens that says it'd be a bad idea; but there isn't any particular reason to expect that WiFi would lag running water, sewage systems, or a power grid that stays up more than it goes down...

Good civil engineering is Not Cheap. It is also Not Fast and tends to require longish periods of comparatively competent, not-too-shortsightedly-exploitative governance. It also need't be terribly high tech(though it can be), so areas that have enjoyed reasonable wealth and stability have examples going back quite some time.

WiFi, on the other hand, has teeny capital costs and can be(shoddily) installed in about 5 minutes. And, thanks to the requirements of mobile devices, it consumes little enough power that a car battery, the alternator of a dodgy motorbike, your illegal unmetered hand-splice off a utility line, or just about anything else larger than a 'C' cell is ample.

It isn't entirely clear that the motive is there(since people generally only want WiFi if they have a device to connect and a network to connect to, which both cost money); but if it were it would be trivial to have broad WiFi coverage well before they upgrade the open sewers and communal disease taps...

Re:Worldwide??? (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614855)

I fail to see how you can install WiFi in 5 minutes if there's no electricity.

Re:Worldwide??? (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39608797)

The international energy agency estimates [iea.org] that 80.5% of households worldwide have electricity. I don't think half of those having Wifi is completely implausible.

But but but... (3, Funny)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 2 years ago | (#39608703)

But there are people that are allergic to WiFi signals!
Almost half the households in the world having WiFi will cause all these people to leave populated areas and seek refuge in remote areas!

Nothing but good could come of this :)

Re:But but but... (3, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39608927)

There are magnetic shielding bracelets that protect you from toxic wifi signals.

Re:But but but... (2)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39611153)

They only protect the bloodstream. What you need is a metalic hat protector made from a very thin strip of tin. http://s.houghi.org/xs2t4f.png [houghi.org]

Re:But but but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39608939)

Don't forget the luddites!

I actually just turned down the wifi router of my new cable package, instead keeping the cable modem of the old package. Just 'cause cheap router security would be one more headache to look after. It's a 700sq-ft apartment; wifi isn't that big a deal, and I long ago burried the cables discretely. Totally minor, just one nice little plus for peace of mind.

But WTFDIK, I run Linux for godsakes.

Re:But but but... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39610825)

There were issues in the UK with that, and Virgin internet. They started deploying their hundred-meg broadband a while ago (must be over a year now), but as part of the installation installed something they called the SuperHub. A cable modem, router and AP combined, but with no way to disable the router part and seriously buggy firmware. Once installed, no uninstalling - they refused to reauthorise any older device. Eventually, after months of trying to fix the firmware and much customer complaining, they finally released an update that allowed it to be used as a pure modem.

Re:But but but... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39609057)

There was this extremely funny article about such "sensitive" people complaining about a new cell phone tower that was causing them problems. There was only one problem, the antenna wasn't actually hooked up yet and wasn't broadcasting any signals, yet people reported having problems the moment the antenna came up anyway. As far as I know none of these people have actually managed to detect in studies whether they're kept in a room that's shielded or flooded with EM waves, it's just a mental reaction to thinking they're being exposed.

Re:But but but... (1)

jools33 (252092) | more than 2 years ago | (#39611263)

You joke of course - but here in Sweden [electrosensitivity.org] they take this very seriously. I worked as a consultant on a project for a few days - and every time we walked past one of the offices we were supposed to ensure that our mobile phones were switched off. They had stripped the office of all possible forms of source signal. It was quite ridiculous. The fact that the same person lived in a city of approximately 1.5 million people - of which a very large percentage use mobile phones most of the time meant that unless the sufferer lived their life in a Faraday cage - they were gonna have a pretty hard time of it...

Worldwide? WORLDWIDE!?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39608729)

Clearly the authors have never been to the favelas of Sao Paulo or Port-au-Prince or sub-Saharan Africa, where families fit 10 homes in the space of an American one car garage. It's bad enough they try to make claims covering "every single home on the planet", but to claim that nearly half of every single one will run wifi!?! Didn't read. Won't read. If TFS is even remotely accurate, TFA will be a waste of time and rife with errors.

Overrated (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#39608731)

Wireless is so overrated. A million more random issues, including but not limited to every other electronic device giving out interference. I have randomly been unable to access shares over wireless networks, randomly been unable to connect, lost connection whenever the wireless phone rang or someone used the microwave. it is not worth the hassle.
Also it is significantly slower to transferring files (the new N is slower then gigabit and the old common stuff is way slower then the old 100 cable).

Re:Overrated (2)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39610791)

Wired is overrated. Too much hardware to maintain too many bad plugs, wires all over, fixed locations, etc. The speed isn't used, nor the bandwidth.

My AppleTV is wired. That's it. I only have a 20 MB/sec plan so N is fast enough for 2-3 devices at a time and doesn't saturate with a single device pulling torrents down.

Also anecdotally I've rarely had the issues you mention. Quickly remedied with a channel change or power cycle.

On the bonus side my printer is in a room on its own, no PC hanging off and no network port required. I can print from my phone and pick up the print at my leisure. It's nice.

Ad Hoc Mesh Networks (4, Interesting)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 2 years ago | (#39608751)

If wifi does hit this density, does it make ad-hoc mesh networks a reasonable alternative using a protocol like B.A.T.M.A.N. [wikipedia.org] ? The throughput would be nowhere near the fat pipes of big fiber, and the latency would be killer, but it would be extremely difficult for the government to shutdown.

Re:Ad Hoc Mesh Networks (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39609101)

Not to mention effectively being limited to your town or city, extremely few areas have so dense population you have an unbroken wifi connection to neighboring cities. If they do, those few houses would become an immense choke point. I'd much rather go with a virtual network on top of my regular Internet connection.

Re:Ad Hoc Mesh Networks (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 2 years ago | (#39609525)

Not to mention effectively being limited to your town or city, extremely few areas have so dense population you have an unbroken wifi connection to neighboring cities. If they do, those few houses would become an immense choke point. I'd much rather go with a virtual network on top of my regular Internet connection.

I've got a wireless virtual network on top of my neighbor's wireless. There's a row of about 10 cabins here. My neighbor gets the wired internet connection and serves me an IP address with his bog-standard Netgear router. I have an Alfa Network high-powered Wifi interface that I use to pull in the signal. I serve IP addresses through a GSky high powered Wifi interface to cabins further up from me. It doesn't take anything more than those two interfaces on a lowly netbook with a couple free USB ports and Ubuntu running. It's pretty damned stable, too. Together we can blanket a mile-long lake with Wifi, albeit slowly.

But becuse the place is seasonal for most people here, there are rarely more than three people using it at any one time.

Re:Ad Hoc Mesh Networks (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39609805)

I've got a wireless virtual network on top of my neighbor's wireless. [...] I serve IP addresses through a GSky high powered Wifi interface to cabins further up from me.

Cool.... is your neighbor aware of all this? ;^)

Re:Ad Hoc Mesh Networks (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 2 years ago | (#39610273)

Cool.... is your neighbor aware of all this? ;^)

Absolutely. It's a rural area. People tend to talk to each other around these parts :-)

Re:Ad Hoc Mesh Networks (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39610839)

"I'd much rather go with a virtual network on top of my regular Internet connection."

If you're doing the activist thing, you'd be better off with both - plus a shared-store CAN as well. Each serves their own niche in the least-regulateable manner.

Car-borne Wifi (1)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 2 years ago | (#39611089)

I would agree, but more car models are coming out with built-in wifi. Along some roads the traffic is so constant to permit ad-hoc mesh networks across the country. That does allow for other possibilities like real real-time traffic monitoring or crash/stoppage reporting, but that's not material to this discussion. What is is that citizens will shortly, if not now, have the ability to talk to each other regularly via a means that the government cannot shut down by simply flipping a switch. That is not only important, but revolutionary.

38 to 40 percent will be (4, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#39608755)

left with the default password on their wifi routers and allowing wifi admin access making them great fun for wardrivers

Re:38 to 40 percent will be (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39610019)

Don't most routers try to convince you to choose a new password when you first set it up now?

Re:38 to 40 percent will be (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614875)

Set it up? Most people don't "set up" routers. They just plug it in. Done.

Re:38 to 40 percent will be (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39610125)

Fire up that bittorrent, scam that pr0n from the net, kiddiezz, them thar routers are OPEN!!!

Re:38 to 40 percent will be (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39610169)

So?

Re:38 to 40 percent will be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39610677)

Of the 20 that I can see from my apartment, none of them are open. It seems to be getting rarer.

Re:38 to 40 percent will be (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39611135)

I see that this is not the case in Belgium. The majority of people have their connections set up by their provider.

That provider configures the router. On the plus side, they configure it so others can use the router as well. On the minus side, only people who have an account at that provider will be able to use it as roaming and (free-)WiFi access.

Since they started doing this, the number of open networks is seriously reduced. Where a few years ago it was extremely easy to do wardriving, this is now a serious chalange. I have not studied it and, but from experience I would say that this is closer to 5% and of those I am not even sure how many are left open on purpose by stores to get people in (pubs and such) and people who are willing to give their access away.

This means that in a city it is not unpossible, but you have to look for it a bit more.

Re:38 to 40 percent will be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39612585)

This is no longer the case, and it is somewhat unfortunate.

Back in the early 2000s, it was common to find unsecured "Linksys" hotspots and you could browse the internet for free. On the flipside, you could also abuse it by hogging bandwidth for extended periods of time (rare) or sniffing plaintext data (very rare).

Nowadays, free wifi is all but dead. The ability to have a password-free "Guest" wifi with throttled bandwidth ,insured by a good Quality of Service (QoS) algorithm as well as an encrypted hotspot for personal use would have solved the previously mentioned problem. Unfortunately, this elegant solution is implemented in a balkanized fashion.

In France, for example, only members from your Internet Service Provider are allowed to hop on your guest wifi, which is a pity. I wish this behavior changed and we could agree on a universal guest access, with reliable QoS for everybody. It has several advantages as it becomes more ubiquitous. I can think of a couple:

-With good QoS, we could enjoy blazing speeds if the wifi owner is not currently using his bandwidth.

-With ubiquitous wifi, our smartphone batteries would last longer (4g eats a lot more power than wifi).

-Mesh networks could make the internet a bit more robust in disaster scenarios.

Alternative networks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39608849)

And there's another thing to consider when you think of all that wireless density. Suppose the wireless users get together and form their own encrypted mesh that isn't so dependent on the local ISP. Neighbourhoods, small towns or even city cores in larger cities could be linked without having a single ISP to oversee and filter their traffic.

My god, all these people could exchange ideas, pron and copyrighted material and there'd be no way to stop them other than to jam their wireless connections.

Just looking for alternatives to what's coming when they enact ACTA and reintroduce SOPA and PIPA. If you think those have been defeated and will never come back again, you're living in a dream world.

Re:Alternative networks? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39608941)

My god, all these people could exchange ideas, pron and copyrighted material and there'd be no way to stop them other than to jam their wireless connections.

Jamming all the wireless connections on a nationwide mesh network would be impractical.

There are already people at work on this. It turns out to be not as hard as you might think.

Re:Alternative networks? (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39610145)

And there's another thing to consider when you think of all that wireless density. Suppose the wireless users get together and form their own encrypted mesh that isn't so dependent on the local ISP. Neighbourhoods, small towns or even city cores in larger cities could be linked without having a single ISP to oversee and filter their traffic.

Sooner or later you're gonna have to link back into the backbone.

Re:Alternative networks? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39610853)

Depends - if you have a killer app, people might want access to the mesh in addition to internet even if they are not connected. The only thing I can imagine being so popular is piracy, though. A lot of people would be happy to buy a fancy mesh router if reliable told that somewhere hidden on the network lies a server with ten terabytes of movies, TV and games all ready for the taking.

I wont abandon my Cable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39608895)

I love my cables and wont give them up.

"never gonna give you up, never gonna cut you out, never gonna buy wi-fi...."

Posted from my neighbor's network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39609013)

The remaining 48% still have wifi; 42% only indicates the ones who are actually paying for the service.

Re:Posted from my neighbor's network (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39609021)

And the remaining 10% who can't do subtraction.

So now we need (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39609323)

some technology to inter connect those routers/networks for free internet. Then the corporation can rape the existing Internet to their hearts content.

Re:So now we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39609879)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesh_networking

???

Re:So now we need (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39610045)

I've thought about that, and there's one problem I can't get around.

Most traffic on the internet goes to a few big places. For example, this post will go to Slashdot. So around Slashdot, there is going to need to be some huge wireless pipes. And maybe Slashdot can afford that, but the next-door neighbors of slashdot won't be able to. Ultimately you are going to need some kind of backbone to handle high traffic loads. You can't do it all over 802.11n.

If someone thinks of a way around this problem, please post it because I would be interested in knowing one.

Re:So now we need (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39610827)

I would set up a meshed cacheing network as well. Most people visit the same sites over and over. Have a dynamic cache that propagates to where it is most requested and updates as efficiently as possible. Most content is old by the time you see it anyways.

This solves both congestion and latency issues.

Re:So now we need (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39610989)

That's a cool start, but what about dynamic content? Think how much bandwith the dynamic content on a site like facebook would take.

Re:So now we need (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39610869)

Content-addressible networking. It couldn't completly solve the problem, as it is useless on dynamic content, but it's reduce the load imposed by images, videos and any other unchanging resource to a tiny fraction of what it is today.

Re:So now we need (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39610985)

Yeah, imagine how much bandwith the dynamic text alone takes for a site like Facebook.

another sure-bet prediction (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 2 years ago | (#39609739)

As it's the easiest form of networking, and as all/most portable devices and computers use it, it couldn't be more than a sure bet. I'd like to see these research/forecasting companies lodge a sum of money with an independent trust and if the forecast fails then the cash is donated to charity!

And yet, this year... (1)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | more than 2 years ago | (#39610499)

And yet, this year... I went back to all wired ethernet.

Rather than try to figure out which household was causing
my packet drops and then think up what to say to them to
cause it to stop, I went back to tried and true copper.

No more stuttering streaming and dropouts... plus I can
move files at gigaspeed.

-AI

This is good and bad (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 2 years ago | (#39612243)

The more Wifi we put into houses the most pollution we add to the 2.4GHz band, by 2016 will it even be possible to add any more devices into it?

had to upgrade to 5ghz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39613733)

like many here that claim wireless can be a warzone at times, I live in a fairly rich apartment complex so everyone has wifi and there's even a few wifi routers provided for free by management. At any given time there would be about 30 connections at once, and with only 11 channels, it can get pretty crowded. 36mbps turned out to be 4mbps on average. I bought a wireless N router and had so much more flexibility. I still don't fully understand all of those extra features that came with it but I'm now blazing through the internet. There is a desperate need for a wider spectrum since the internet will soon be absolutely everywhere (as if it isn't with 4g etc..)

Bah to wifi. (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39614197)

I will stick with regular cables for non-portable devices like desktops. I hate having unstable connections, interferences, etc.

I doubt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39616839)

With India having 1/3rd of the World's population, 80% of which can't afford a toilet, I doubt.

42% of households... (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39625291)

and only 1% with something other than the default password?

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