Is Verizon Limiting WiFi Access To Only Registered Computers?

from the please,-make-my-service-less-useful... dept

While companies like Speakeasy continue to win customers by telling people they can do whatever they want with the broadband connection into the home, it looks like Verizon may be going in the other direction. An article in the NY Times suggests that Verizon is rolling out a new system that limits WiFi to only “registered” computers. Unfortunately, the article isn’t clear at all, and the issue gets confused because the writer, who was blocked, knows she was using a neighbor’s WiFi who was actually connected via SBC. The way the article is written, it sounds like she thought Verizon was somehow getting in the way and blocking her SBC borrowing, when it’s pretty obvious that she just picked up the signal from someone else’s Verizon-connected WiFi. The more interesting question, though, is whether or not Verizon really is requiring users to “register” every computer they want to log on to an account. If they are, it’s a ridiculous and backwards thinking policy. While there’s nothing wrong with keeping those you don’t want off your WiFi, shouldn’t it be up to the person paying for the connection? All Verizon has done is made it much more difficult for its own customers to use WiFi in a useful way. There are plenty of situations where there are perfectly good reasons to open up your WiFi to a “non-registered” computer (someone is visiting and wants to use their computer, you buy another computer, you bring home a work laptop, etc.), and Verizon has just made that much more difficult. Also, why should Verizon need to know how many computers I have accessing the connection? They’re just selling the connection. All the more reason to go with a more customer friendly broadband ISP.

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Comments on “Is Verizon Limiting WiFi Access To Only Registered Computers?”

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Griffon says:

why would any paper publish an article this bad?

The person who wrote that was simple an idiot, and she clearly has not a clue about how this stuff works. Most cable/dsl devices that come from the Carrier will grab your mac address and prevent you from switching around computers without reloading the proprietary software, this is really more about only giving out one IP though. This is one of many reasons SOHO equipment is booming, particularly home gateways. In most cases you reset the cable/dsl device (a couple minutes) and it will dump the cached mac and you are good to go. As far as wifi goes, please there are so many variables and the author is so clueless that it’s impossible speculate, but the odds that major ISP would start to enforce something like mac locking is pretty unlikely (though given verizons customer service on the cel side, I guess not impossible).

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