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New research has revealed millions of people in the UK have accessed their neighbours’ broadband without permission. It’s thought up to 2.7million Britons may be piggybacking Wi-Fi when their own internet went down, with a third of perpetrators taking just half an hour or less to figure out the Wi-Fi password correctly. The study from satellite broadband provider Konnect found a fifth of offenders spent over two hours guessing passwords, while five percent spent weeks trying out various potential combinations.
When trying to guess a password, their neighbour’s name was the most likely starting point, with 30 percent trying this out first. Next was pet names (28 percent) followed by the names of their neighbour’s children (24 percent).
The research found that an additional 1.6million Brits also ‘piggybacked’ off their neighbours’ broadband after getting previous permission to use their Wi-Fi.
Once they managed to get the keys to a Wi-Fi connection they don’t pay for, the average time offenders use their neighbours’ broadband is a whopping 52 days.
While one in 20 offenders said they used their neighbours’ broadband for over a year.
Speaking about the findings, James Soames, the global marketing director for Konnect, said: “In 2022 most people expect to have a reliable internet connection but as this research shows, that is not the case for millions of households across the UK.
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“Having a connection to the internet plays such a vital role in people’s ability to get on with their lives, that we’re seeing some extreme measures taken to get online – such as hacking into your neighbour’s Wi-Fi or travelling over 60 miles.
“The good news is that with satellite broadband, you can get an internet connection even in places where fibre is not an option.”
If you’re worried about having your broadband hacked into by a neighbour, there are a few things you can do right away to protect yourself.
The best thing you can do is change your Wi-Fi password immediately.
To help make your broadband as difficult to hack as possible, choose a password that features a combination of upper and lower case characters as well as numbers and special symbols.
Other things you can do to protect your connection is updating your router’s firmware, hiding SSID / Wi-Fi name and even using a VPN on your router to protect your connection even further.
1/ NordVPN – Save 59%
NordVPN is our pick for the best VPN provider on the planet. With its beautifully designed apps, NordVPN makes it simple to protect yourself online and unlock streaming catalogues from around the world. It has software for iOS and Android, Windows and Mac, Fire TV Stick, and even your Wi-Fi router. The firm is so committed to privacy that its headquarters are in Panama, which has no data retention laws – so NordVPN isn’t required to keep any data on record. Apple and Google Pay are supported too
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2/ ExpressVPN – Save 49%
Closely behind NordVPN is ExpressVPN, which is one of the pricier options on the market. However, ExpressVPN offers a premium service to its subscribers, with servers in more countries than any other provider on this list. For those who need to switch their IP address to somewhere off the beaten track, ExpressVPN is a must-buy. It also offers some impressive video streaming performance
24/7 Customer Support: Yes | One-Month, Six-Months, and One-Year Plans Available | 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee: Yes
3/ Surfshark VPN – Save 82%
Surfshark VPN is the final VPN provider to nab a place on our podium. Surfshark provides some of the best value bundles available of any VPN – with monthly subscriptions dropping below £2 with some deals. Despite that low price, Surfshark offers something that neither NordVPN or ExpressVPN can match: an unlimited number of devices connected to the same account. Yes, that means you can use your login on any number of iOS, Android, Windows, games consoles, streaming dongles, or Wi-Fi routers
24/7 Customer Support: Yes | One-Month, Six-Months, and Two-Year Plans Available | 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee: Yes
4/ CyberGhost VPN – Save 82%
CyberGhost VPN is clearly confident about its offering, the VPN provider not only includes the longest money-back guarantee period of any firm in this list (a whopping 45-days compared to the standard 30-day refund period) but it also offers a free seven-day trial when you download its mobile app on iOS or Android. With 91 countries and more than 7,500 servers available, there’s no shortage of choice with this nifty VPN
24/7 Customer Support: Yes | One-Month, One-Year, Two Years, Three Year Plans Available | 45-Day Money-Back Guarantee: Yes
5/ Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN – Save 81%
If you’re willing to sign-up to a longer contract, PIA has some mind-boggling savings available. And with 24/7 customer service and a 30-day money-back guarantee, there’s no reason to be nervous about a three-year deal with this great VPN provider. With features like a dedicated IP address and split-tunnelling, there’s a lot to like!
24/7 Customer Support: Yes | One-Month, One-Year, Three Year Plans Available | 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee: Yes
If you’re unsure whether subscribing to a Virtual Private Network, VPN, will boost your video streaming habits – why not try a free subscription to dip your toe in the water? Unlike most free providers, ProtonVPN doesn’t limit the amount of data that you can use, which is perfect for streaming. Your download speeds might be a little lacklustre compared to paid options in this article, including from ProtonVPN itself, but that’s not an issue if you’re using this provider as a trial
24/7 Customer Support: No | One-Month, One-Year, and Two-Year Plans Available | 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee: Yes
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