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The Lighter Side of 2.4 GHz

It’s a familiar contemporary scenario. You sit down in a public place – coffee shop, hotel lobby, funeral parlor – pull out your laptop, and start looking for local wi-fi networks to hijack.


There’s something slightly but discernibly thrilling about jumping on someone else’s network. It feels sneaky. When I’m in a new place and find a signal that’s not password protected, there’s a little taste of espionage about it. Perhaps I’m a deep cover CIA operative, confirming an embassy rendezvous with the beautiful but deadly French attache. I can’t help it, I’m prone to these sorts of fantasies. Then I realize I’m at a barbeque shack in Durham.


At any rate, I’ve noticed that an interesting trend has emerged in recent years, concerning wi-fi naming conventions. Rather than go with the default network name – linksys, 2WIRE415 – people are customizing their wi-fi name, knowing full well that friends, neighbors and passersby are scanning for free wi-fi access all the time. Apparently, this has been fashionable in college dorms for years, with various wi-fi names creating a perpetual, usually profane dialogue in the 2.4 GHz frequency spectrum.


Click around enough, and you’ll find plenty of websites, blogs and Twitter threads dedicated to the art of the funny wi-fi name. I’ve compiled below my current top 25 wi-fi names, with hyperlinked annotations, as necessary.


Feel free to post your own discoveries, or creations, in the comments field below.


25. International Terrorist Network


24. Deep Thought


23. Will connect for beer


22. FBI Surveillance Van 7


21. PlzBringVodkaToApt1310


20. Neuromancer


19. Blinksys-182


18. Connect for identity theft


17. Trapped in router send help!


16. No Wi-Fi For You


15. Skynet


14. My Neighbors Suck


13. Don’t Even


12. Only If You Help Me Pay For It


11. That 70’s Router


10. Sorry, you can’t use this


9. Nope, not this one either


8. We Can Hear You Having Sex


7. NCC1701


6. Pretty Fly for a WiFi


5.  AllYourBandWidthRbelongToUS


4. Abraham Linksys


3. Router? I Hardly Knew Her!


2. Stop using our network, Steve


1. Hey You Kids, Get Off My LAN!

Glenn McDonald writes about popular culture from his home in lovely Chapel Hill, NC. His humor essays have been described as "grammatically consistent" and "remarkably frequent". He is editor of the Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me daily news quiz at NPR.org, and a film critic at the Raleigh News & Observer. He lives virtually at www.glenn-mcdonald.com.


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