Who, What, Where, When and Wi-Fi

by Glenn McDonald

26 August 2012

People are customizing their network names, knowing full well that friends, neighbors and passersby are scanning for free wi-fi all the time.
3d render of WI-FI concept on blue screen. Image from Shutterstock.com

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!

Topics: wi-fi
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