While driving to my aunt & uncle's place for dinner tonight, I bought along the laptop and external WiFi antenna. I ran kismet for each leg of the drive while my Dad drove and my Mom tried to figure out what the heck I was doing. (The audio alerts are quite helpful when doing this.)

The results were interesting. On the way from my parent's house (south Toledo) to aunt & uncle's (in Oregon, just east of Toledo) I found about 47 wireless networks. A surprising number (40%) used encryption. The number of networks named "linksys" outnumbered those named "NETGEAR" by about 3 to 1.

On the way from their place to visit my grandma in the nursing home (Sylvania and Holland-Sylvania), we found about 42 networks. We were on 280 and 475 most of the ride but still managed to find some along the highway.

Then, on the drive from the nursing home back to my parents house we found tons of 'em. A total of 142 networks. On this leg, the number of "linksys" networks seemed out outnumber "NETGEAR" by at least 8:1. What fun! :-)

Tomorrow I'll try the ride to my sister's place southeast of Cleveland, along I-80 and such.

Posted by jzawodn at December 24, 2003 08:09 PM

Reader Comments
# Clark said:

external WiFi antenna

As in one of those big bazooka looking things?

BTW, what does all that stuff on that screenshot mean?

on December 25, 2003 02:56 AM
# Hans said:

The old Lear world headquarters near my work (now since abandoned and has been up for sale for several years now), has a linksys WAP running at relatively strong signals at the main gate. It's off of 20A in Maumee past the Ford plant, on Strayer Road.

on December 25, 2003 04:22 AM
# Jon Gales said:

What kind of antenna? I have a PowerBook and would like something small but powerful enough to make a difference. The built in range is good, but you can never have enough :)

on December 25, 2003 09:47 AM
# tiod said:

Yes I would love more information about antennas and what you were using. Thanks Jeremy, and Merry Christmas!

on December 25, 2003 03:30 PM
# BDKR said:

I wonder when WiFi in the states is going to reach a point of saturation. On Margarita Island in Venezuela we were using WiFi stuff to tie together various parts of the island (it's a rather large island with a crumbling infrastructure). When I say tie together, I mean directional 24db antennaes over distances of up to twenty miles. There wasn't much in the way of WiFi usage there. Just us and another ISP.

We even experimented with making our own antennaes for a while. Funky looking little pie dish things and one design made out a pringle can. We got the plans off the internet.

And the best part was using FloppyFW as a wireless bridge.

A geeks dream!


on December 26, 2003 07:45 AM
# Eric said:

this makes me only want a laptop even more, to go snooping a bit. btw, found ya site when I was bored and searched google's pictures for 'google'.


I miss linux :\

on December 26, 2003 10:37 PM
# jeremy (coincidentally) said:

Interestingly enough, I too came across the site while doing an image search for google. I did this because 'googling' google seemed like an interesting pursuit, and then, after looking at googles cache of google.com and searching for images.google.com on google, I decided to cross over and search for google.com on images.google.com. This ultimately led to looking up simply 'google' and I found this page.

I have a similar pursuit, popular in the UK, not in the Americas...but fun nevertheless...bluetoothing, or bluejacking. I set my phone to recieve bluetooth messages, then randomly in busy places send business cards to whoever has bluetooth enabled. At my university (the one in Alabama...) I found a printer, and sent business cards of funny stuff to it late at night while walking my dog, until the cops showed up because the printer was printing and set off alarms.

Interesting pursuit, Jeremy. Keep up the odd work, and try exploring some of these wifi's, you'd be surprised at what may turn up.

on February 6, 2006 04:55 PM
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