Even if you don't setup the most modern an ultra secure password protection on your router, set something up. Doesn't matter if it is a simple password. Most problems I encounter in this area are not people who are trying to crack your password, but random people who are just connecting to whatever open network is available. A lot of the people don't even realize they are stealing someone else's wireless (they don't understand the concept). Some do but don't care as long as it is open. Once it is password protected, they quit and asked me to help setup internet connection (work at a local small internet provider and computer repair).
Not saying you should not try to use secure password's and modern security, but for some people they just don't understand, or they just aren't willing to deal with the hassle. If you can convince them at least to do the basics, then it's still better than nothing.
100% agree with this comment. A friend of my family actually asked me to fix their wireless for them recently. I haven't checked it out yet but the way they described it to me, it sounded like they were using someone elses open wireless connection and they didn't understand that it was not theirs. I'm not certain, but from their explanation, it sounded like they had forgotten the password on their own wireless network, which happened to be named something similar to a neighbours open wireless network (like the default router SSID, like dlink or linksys). So they connected to it without problems.
They said their wireless cuts in and out, which is most likely due to the fact that they're using someone else's wifi and it's a distance issue, but they had no idea of the concept of other houses/people having their own wireless connection that can be accessed if you're close enough to the source, nor did they have any idea that someone had originally set up their own wifi network with a password, nor did they remember what that password was.
It's scary how people rely so much on these technologies but know so LITTLE about the basic concepts of them. I don't expect a novus to understand the difference between WEP/WPA/WPA2 or know what MAC address filtering is, or even understand how to log into and change settings on your router, but understand the concept of what wifi is, how it generally works (i.e. the further you are from the router, the worse the connection is), multiple people around you can have their own WiFi signals but they're connected to their own ISP and that you have to enter a password to connect if it's a secured wifi AP. I mean these are basic things that people just don't care to understand.
Little bit of advice for when you get them connected again. I would advise writing their SSID and password on something like white tape and putting it on the router. Some people will never remember otherwise (even then they forget).
yes, good advice, but somehow I think they'll still forget that its written on the router. They don't even know what their router is or what it looks like. And if I point it out to them, they'll forget in a couple of weeks anyway.
Yeah I've had the same problem with some family members of mine. I wrote it down, they wrote it down, I even made a note in windows and left it on the desktop (not the secure thing to do but I was running out of options). They still couldn't remember and somehow keep losing the notes.
I'm thinking of trying the tape idea, but put it somewhere they will definitely see it. Like on the monitor (not the screen but an empty area), or somewhere else they will have no choice but to see it. Considering how much trouble they have remembering it, they probably won't argue against it.