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Wireless routers have an effective range of around 100 meters. Beyond that, nobody is going to be able to access your connection.

I'm running Windows Vista Business, 32 bit, SP2. When my son visits, he brings his laptop and connects to my internet connection whilst he's there with my ISP's network name and security key. When my daughter visits with her iPad, she also connects to the internet the same way. They both live several hundred kilometers away. When they get home, can they still use or see my connection? I ask this because whilst down here visiting, my daughter did some downloading which also downloaded on another iPad which she had left at home. Thanks for your response.

In this excerpt from Answercast #35, I look at the range of wireless connections and a system that seems to be properly protected.

Sharing your internet connection

No, they can't.

There are two possible things that you gave them:

  • One is specifically something from your ISP – that gives you access to the internet, the ISP's connection. That simply wouldn't work anywhere else.

  • What's more likely (since both of these are wireless devices), my guess is you have your wireless connection properly secured and that means that in order to access your wireless connection, they need to know the password to that wireless connection.

  • If you've given them that, then they can access your wireless connection... while they're there.

Wifi range

The important thing to realize about wireless connections, or Wi-Fi technology, is that is has an effective range around about 100 meters, maybe 300 feet. It can come and go depending on what kinds of construction, or buildings, or metal are around the access point, but it's essentially a short range or medium range kind of connectivity.

So 300 feet, about 100 meters. Now, you say that they are several hundred kilometers away. Well then, they couldn't possibly reach your wireless access point from wherever they are.

As soon as they drove away, as soon as they got maybe more than a quarter of a kilometer away, it was done. There was just no way they could do it.

So, it's not something that I'm at all concerned about. I think you're probably doing exactly the right thing in terms of security.

iPad file sharing

The issue with downloading on another iPad:

  • Sometimes, that's just the way that some of these App Store applications work.

While I don't have an iPad, I know that on my Android devices if I purchase or download an application on one, sometimes it then becomes available on one of my other Android devices that are using the same (Android or Google) play store account.

So that's what makes sense to me. It's not something I would be concerned about.

I think you're doing everything right.

Article C5589 - July 16, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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1 Comment
July 17, 2012 9:11 AM

Just to confirm Leo, you can set up iDevices to sync apps when you download them on one device if the devices use the same Apple account, or the item was purchased from an Apple account which has been registered with an iDevice configured to do this!

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