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One in three Britons admit to stealing their neighbours’ WiFi

October 23, 2014

The survey, carried out by leading Fibre-to-the-Home broadband provider, Hyperoptic, investigated the relationships between neighbours and their networks, outing those in the capital as the most likely to use the WiFi of those living around them. Over HALF (53%) of Londoners admit to success in ‘borrowing' their neighbours' connections and a staggering 60% claim they've attempted to do so.

Almost a THIRD (29%) of those surveyed across the UK admitted attempting access to protected WiFi networks by guessing other people's passwords. Londoners again were also by far the most likely to do so, with just shy of HALF (47%) admitting that they'd used common cues such as dates of birth, pets' names and even license plate numbers to try and get online.

Elsewhere regionally, and following not far behind London, is the North East – almost HALF (48%) of the residents of Tyne & Wear, Teesside, Northumberland and Durham claim to have attempted to use their neighbours' internet connections with 40% being successful. A further 40% also admit to making attempts to de-code other people's WiFi passwords.

Scots are the least likely to ‘lend' broadband - only ONE IN FIVE (20%) claim to have successfully connected to their neighbours' networks and LESS THAN A FIFTH (18%) have tried their luck with passwords.

Generationally, those over the age of 55 are least likely to commit a ‘connection crime' – only ONE IN TEN (10%) admit to using their neighbours' WiFi, closely followed by young adults – LESS THAN A FIFTH (18%) of 18 – 24 year olds have used a nearby residents' internet. Those between the ages of 35 and 44 are the most likely generation to use their neighbours' WiFi – with more than 40% admitting to doing so.

Of all those surveyed, a need for speed was cited as the most common reason. THIRTY FOUR PERCENT of those surveyed across the UK claimed it was the reason behind borrowing behaviour as bandwidth capacities fall short of user expectations.

Dana Tobak, Managing Director of Hyperoptic, said of the research results; "It's a shock to discover so many people admitting to 'borrowing' their neighbours' broadband. ‘Stealing' other people's WiFi cannot be condoned and is highly likely to have a detrimental effect on the connection your neighbours are receiving - and paying for.

"Many customers of standard broadband already battle with a slow and unreliable service that doesn't allow everyone in the home to make the most of the internet at the same time, let alone carry unwanted surfers sneaking on to the network.

"Hacking your neighbours' WiFi isn't just wrong, it simply won't cut it. As life becomes increasingly digitised, the need for broadband reliability – and for speed – cannot be ignored. Hyperoptic gives all residents in a property the chance to enjoy uninterrupted gigabit speeds simultaneously, no ‘borrowing' necessary, and ensures they can do so long term; future-proofing their homes to be compatible with the internet technologies yet to come."

An average UK broadband connection takes around 45 minutes to download a HD movie and around half an hour to download 500 digital photos. Using your neighbours' broadband to carry out these ‘bandwidth heavy' activities will have a negative impact on slower, standard networks and can put ‘WiFi hackers' in trouble with the law should they get caught.

Hyperoptic provides the UK's fastest consumer broadband speeds with its award-winning, Fibre-to-the-Home gigabit service. To find out more, check availability in your building or to register, visit www.hyperoptic.com.

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