Jeremy Zawodny took advantage of the holidays and did some back seat wardriving yesterday. It’s reall amazing how different wireless ecosystems can be from one small region to another. For example, in most residential parts of Montgomery County, Maryland that I’ve casually explored, Linksys access points outnumber all others by a pretty good number. Almost all of those Linksys APs broadcast thei SSID, hand out IPs to anyone who strolls by, and have no security.
Doc Searls‘ slow-mo wardriving is quite easy around here. Pick yourself a random residential road in pretty much any lower-middle class neighborhood or upward. Start sniffing. Start driving at 5-10 MPH or so. Within a block or two you should have a Linksys AP calling out to you and offering you an IP when you ask for it. Of course if it doesn’t give you an IP, setting your IP to 192.168.0.something usually does the trick. I have found that for the most part, these totally open access points are usually attached to a Comcast cable modem. I’m not sure if DSL customers are any smarter, or if they just have a lower tendancy towards wireless networking.
Of course wardriving in commercial parts of Montgomery County tend to yield tons of T-Mobile hotspots (there is a Starbucks every few blocks after all) and mostly well-configured access points with some form of encryption. Of course I said mostly.
Overall this county seems to be pretty wardriver-friendly.