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Old 07-24-2014, 11:08 AM
satron satron is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 18
Default I can see other people's networks

Yesterday, my wifi router died (lightening surge), so I hooked up my computer directly to the Xplornet module (Motorola Canopy service) on the antenna. (Actually, for complete disclosure, it was hooked up through a D-Link Gigabit Switch - with nothing else attached - the switch has no wireless capability).

And, clicking on Network in Windows Explorer, I saw several computers and a printer from someone else's network(s), including:
HP Officejet Pro 8600

I could click on the Media links to these computers, and see, and play their music. I could click on the printer and saw its ink levels, its IP address ( and its Mac address. I didn't attempt anything further.

Further, connecting my Mac Air to the switch, I could see
Jennifer Roesch's iMac

Note - I am using a desktop, nothing is connected to the network (except the Mac for a short time when I checked it out). My desktop has no wireless capability - only an ethernet jack. There is no wireless router operating in the house, and certainly no wireless device connected to my desktop. Just an ethernet cable going from the desktop to the switch from there to the Motorola module on the antenna.

So, this morning, I was on the phone with Brittany of Xplornet support. And, after an hour, she said that there is nothing that they could do. I said that this wasn't satisfactory - since if I could see other people's computers, they could see mine. So - she had a supervisor call me back.

A few minutes after the call ended, my Internet connection went down, and then came back up with a different IP address - presumably Xplornet working on the issue. Now I could no longer see the other networks. Problem solved - or so I thought.

However, when the supervisor called, he was adamant that there was no problem at the Xplornet end - never had been. I could not possibly be seeing another network through their system - and that my computer had to be "picking up signals". He was unable to say how a computer with no wireless capability, connected only to the Xplornet module, could possibly be picking up other signals - since he was "not a PC technician". He said I should call hardware manufacturer to ask them how I am linking to these networks.

So - has anyone else seen other people's networks on their systems? Is there any possible explanation other than a severe security breach in Xplornet's setup?

PS - I have been generally please with the reliability of the Xplornet wireless service (other than with their throttling policy).
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:18 PM
buttitchi buttitchi is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 213

Somewhere on here is a few posts stating the same thing as you.

In order to share the same IP address, Xplornet makes something like 250 Vlan(virtual lan and your actual IP address is like 192.168.*.*) to use that one IP address. The issue at large is they don't always stay 100% apart from one another. That results in being able to see other computers(dependent on default sharing settings and firewalls) and the ability to probe the Xplornet wireless network right on down the line.

Having a router gives you a hardware firewall from the others to keep them and Xplornet out of your home network.
Hi Diddly Ho, Good Neighborino
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:32 PM
satron satron is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 18

Interesting - so it is a known problem - that they don't address. It could lead to people's info being compromised - and I am sure that their liability would be worse when there is a record showing that they knew about the problem.

Does the same problem exist with the 4G Wireless?
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:36 PM
satron satron is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 18

Also - I have installed a new router.
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Old 07-27-2014, 09:53 PM
dave_ca dave_ca is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 301

You where placed in the same internal network as everyone else on the tower you are on. Interestingly, back 10 years ago, NBtel (now Bell Aliant) had a dsl network deployed that had every user in the province connected to one giant internal network. I could see other peoples computers, etc the same way you could. Except I could see hundreds of them. (NBtel Vibe used to hand out private IP address's presumably to save on having to purchase more public IPv4 addresses)

I think one thing you could do is purchase a static IP address. This would allow your device (router now that it was replaced) to be assigned a public IP address - putting you in a different network then everyone else on the tower. Just having a router, however, will provide you with a good measure of protection.
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