Come on, ‘fess up - have you ever attempted to ‘borrow’ your neighbours’ wireless broadband? More than one in three of us has, and one in three of those has done so successfully, says new research from fibre-to-the-home broadband provider Hyperoptic.
Londoners are the most likely to try and swipe Wi-Fi from people living nearby, with the other 60% having given it a shot, according to Hyperoptic's survey of 2,000 British adults. They're also the most successful at doing so, with over 50% having hit the motherlode.
Almost a third of those surveyed across the country said they'd attempted to guess other people's passwords in order to 'borrow' their wireless broadband, and again Londoners were shown to have no shame when it comes to whipping Wi-Fi, with just under half admitting they'd done just that.
Scots were shown to have more scruples about how they access the internet, with just 20% of those surveyed having successfully stolen Wi-Fi and just 18% having attempted to guess a Wi-Fi password.
When it comes to age groups, those between 35 and 44 are the most likely to embezzle bandwidth. Unsurprisingly, those aged over 55 are the least likely to do it, followed by, surprisingly, those aged between 18 and 24. Kids these days, eh? Too lazy to even tap someone else's internet…
But with UK communications big dog Ofcom reporting earlier this year that eight in 10 adults in the UK have internet access, and it being an arrestable offence, what's with all the Wi-Fi thieving? Well, the most common reason given was speed - or lack of it.
Over a third of those surveyed said the reason they 'borrowed' their neighbour's wireless broadband was because their own was so slow. However, even ignoring the moral implications of doing this, you're unlikely to get better speeds, as Hyperoptic's managing director explained.
Dana Tobak said: 'Stealing' other people's Wi-Fi cannot be condoned and is highly likely to have a detrimental effect on the connection your neighbours are receiving - and paying for.
"Many customers of standard broadband already battle with a slow and unreliable service that doesn't allow everyone in the home to make the most of the internet at the same time, let alone carry unwanted surfers sneaking on to the network."
So what's the answer? Well, if your broadband is slower than a sea anemone, consider upgrading to fibre optic broadband, which is much faster than regular broadband. If you can't get fibre yet, look into how to improve your current broadband by doing stuff like repositioning your router.
Either way, remember to put a password on your Wi-Fi so it won't be 'borrowed' - apparently there's a lot of that going on…