- Terms of Service considerations +Unfortunately, the Terms of Service for many (but not all) ISPs currently have sections that may prohibit users from running an open wireless network. These Terms of Service are generally written very broadly and often purport to prohibit a lot of behaviors that many users engage in regularly—not just open wireless. As part of our movement, we call on ISPs to explicitly permit—and even promote—open wireless.
For users who prefer not to run the risk of violating Terms of Service, other options exist. You might consider switching ISPs or looking into the possibility of upgrading your account to a premium or corporate account where running an open wireless network is not prohibited. Also, give your ISP feedback. Voicing your dissatisfaction with unfavorable Terms of Service is also a good way to combat the proliferation of overly limiting conditions and to help ISPs see market opportunities.
- ISPs that support open wireless +Below are some ISPs that don't forbid running an open wireless connection in their Terms of Service. This list is based on an informal survey and may be out of date or incorrect. We encourage you to seek out ISPs that respect your rights by offering customers the flexibility to open their wireless networks, and this list is a great place to start. (Last updated: July 22, 2014)
- Earthlink (National)
- HughesNet (National)
- Netwood Communications (National)
- Windstream (National)
- Widomaker (National, Regional - Virginia)
- CTI Networks (Regional - Pennsylvania)
- Great Basin (Regional - California, Nevada)
- Integra Telecom (Regional - Western US)
- Sonic.net (Regional - California)
- AtlasOK (Regional - NE Oklahoma)
- Garden Valley Telephone Company (Regional - NW Minnesota)
- HiPoint (Local - Chicago)
- LMI (Local - Berkeley)
- MonkeyBrains (Local - Eastern San Francisco)
The more the merrier. Do you know another ISP that promotes (or doesn't forbid) running an open wireless network? Let us know! Email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about it. And if you're an ISP looking to woo new, liberty-loving customers, email email@example.com so we can discuss it with you and get your company listed.
Changes? We strive to keep this list as up to date as possible. If there are changes to an ISP's terms of service or availability of service that affect this list, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- How to enable the guest networking feature on your router +Newer routers often have a guest networking feature. We have written up easy how-to guides to help you set up an open wireless system on your router.
- What about captive portals? +Oftentimes, logging onto an open wireless network in an airport or cafe takes you to a login page where you either have to enter your credentials or click an "I agree" button (agreeing to certain terms of service) before being connected to the Internet. This is known as a captive portal (or a catch-and-release).
The Open Wireless Movement seeks to create an environment where devices can connect to "openwireless.org" networks seamlessly and easily; captive portals, which are a barrier between the user and a connection, are the antithesis of good design for openness.
Captive portals interfere with Internet security and protocol innovation—and the efficiency that lies at the heart of the Open Wireless Movement—without providing many benefits, and we discourage their use, especially for networks named "openwireless.org"