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Slurpr: Fast Free Wi-Fi Access, With a (Big) Catch

by Paul Strauss

Slurpr may sound like another “Web 2.0” site, but it’s actually a piece of networking hardware. The beastly device, designed by Dutch hacker Mark Hoekstra, is designed to aggregate a bunch of Wi-Fi access points into one big fat high speed connection.


The device automatically seeks out the six strongest open Wi-Fi channels, connects to all of them, and combines the signals into a massively fast ‘net connection.

Of course, we all know that using open wireless access points is against the law in many countries, so you and I would never use such a device. However, for those of your into defying authority, you can read more about the Slurpr here.

[via Engadget]

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Comments (23):

  1. […] Technabob: slurpr: fast free wi-fi access, with a (big) catch […]

  2. easybutton says:

    Against the law? If you know enough about tech to know about wireless then you should know enough to secure the wireless network. If you don’t then you deserve anything that happens to your network or you.

    • pwnz0r says:

      I disagree. My grandpa for example is using a wireless router. It was installed by his ISP without any security at all. Even if he doesn’t know much about how the router works doesn’t mean he deserves it if someone steals his information. I suppose you wouldn’t blame yourself if you got beat up on the streets just because you don’t know martial arts or didn’t carry a weapon.

      Securing a wireless router is not common sense, it is something advanced for a majority of the netizens. There is no reason to look down on these people. I’m in IT and it really sickens me how arrogant some people can be towards those who don’t know as much.

      • Bill says:

        Well said. It amazes me how many people seem to have no moral or ethical issue with rampant justification of theft.

        • David says:

          “Theft”? Are you serious? Connecting to somebody’s internet is hardly “theft”. Broadband conections are paid for on a monthly contract. There is no way that going on somebody else’s wireless to check your email is “stealing” anything from them, except for maybe the tiniest fraction of their bandwidth, for maybe a few minutes, which they wouldn’t even notice. I don’t think there is ANY harm whatsoever in connecting to somebody else’s unsecured wireless network if your internet is down or if you’re on the move. In fact, if I were to set up a wireless, I would most definitely leave it unsecured. Hell, I’d WELCOME people using my broadband if theirs is having problems. It’s called generosity and not being a total arsehat. (Obviously I’d install firewalls on all of my computers…)

          • Mikka says:

            Your moronic comment actually made me post. If you don’t think that jumping on someones wireless network is theft then you are a disapointment. Would you steal someones car for 3 minutes to go check your email at your house? No, It is a theft of services! And go ahead and set up your unsecure wireless network buddy, you will have so many people downloading music that you won’t even be able to post a response to this message. Not to mention that an asshat like you doesn’t even know that no matter what kind of firewall you have your network communication on an unsecure wireless network is completely exposed for anybody to view. IE, your bank accounts, passwords or any other sensative info.

          • Vlad says:

            What a noble person you are. You must also share your electricity, water, gas etc. with all your neighbors and passers by. It’s one thing to offer a glass of water to a thirsty stranger, but letting everyone and their uncle wash their cars with your hose without you even knowing is something no one is prepared to do. That is pretty much what this device is designed to achieve. Think of connecting all your appliances to your neighbors instead of paying for your own electricity. Not only morally wrong and likely illegal, but also highly impractical.

  3. Vlad says:

    Cool idea. What will happen if everyone (or majority) in the neighborhood is using Slurpr or there are no open access points? I know that’s not very likely, but the usefulness of this device heavily depends on availability of services one has no control off. I’d probably give it a go if it’s free or reasonably cheap, but I’m not ditching my DSL for it.

    BTW, leaving your router/modem open/unsecured is like leaving your car out with the door open and the key in the ignition. Many people have no idea and companies don’t care, but that will change over time. Either high speed Internet access will become a commodity that is to cheap to measure and therefore accessible to everyone or most people will learn how to protect their investment and their data or pay someone else to do it for them.

    • baldmosher says:

      I’d like to improve upon that analogy. It’s like leaving your car in the driveway with the keys in the ignition and letting any of your neighbours borrow it while you’re not using it as long as they bring it back before you need it. There’s no guarantee they will bring it back in time, but they will probably bring it back eventually.

  4. Internet Asshat says:

    If you are going to use technology without learning how to properly use it – that is your own damn fault. I wouldn’t drive a car without learning how to properly operate it and *lock* it to secure my valuables. If someone can’t be bothered to *learn* then I can’t be bothered to feel bad for them when someones steals their internet and uses it for malicious purposes.

    If I come across an unsecured internet connection (or a poorly secured one) in my travels I will connect to it every single time, just to see what it’s all about. It is in my nature, it doesn’t mean I’m out stealing everyones shit… I do this so I can learn, and prevent myself from becoming one of those old people who defend their ignorance because they didn’t grow up with computers.

    The most knowledgeable computer security guru I know is a 75 year old man, OLD PEOPLE YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE

    Seriously read a book and learn a thing or two or gtfo my internets

  5. Mikka says:

    Really? So every time you see money on the table at a restaurant your going to steal it because it is out in the open? You are whats wrong with the world buddy. Better hope someone doesn’t get the same idea about when you turn your back on your kids or leave your car unlocked. “Oh, Well they should know better! I mean it’s not like they didn’t know any better to leave their car unlocked. I’m only going to take it on a test spin!” Grow the fuck up and find some morals bitch. “or a poorly secured one”- So if someone did care enough to put security on it your going to crack it anyways? I hope you make the mistake one day of connecting to the wrong network of some pedofile and the FEDs come get your ass.

  6. terminhell says:

    Device looks epic. It’s even got a serial bus connection! It does seem a little limited in scope relying on open networks, but hey, if they’re available, go for it.
    Setting up WEP/WPA isnt a garuntee. WEP takes all but a few minutes to crack, wpa about 15, maybe a bit longer. IF someone is really after it they will get it. Sure wpa will keep joe-blow off your wifi, but that bored teenager on summer vacation thats read a few tutorials on backtrack will get through.

    • baldmosher says:

      Good luck trying to crack my router’s MAC address filtering, spotty child! (I don’t actually use it, but if I did, it would be totally secure.) It always amazes me that more router mfrs don’t recommend MAC registration & filtering as the main security option. I have a feeling one of the Linksys boxes does it using a simple front-mounted “register device” button.

      • ..... says:

        Spoofing your MAC address is as easy as typing 2 commands into a Linux terminal. As long as someone is connected to your router, you can change your MAC to mirror there’s and attach to the network anyway.

        Hacking goes both ways. You have to be responsible to protect your stuff, but you also have to respect other people’s privacy.

  7. Nick says:

    That’s one way to approach MIMO, I guess.

    Regarding the argument that’s taking place: If you connect to someone else’s wireless network, you might as well be handing them your personal information. Do they have the skills to figure that out? Probably not. Is it still a really bad idea? Yeah.

  8. Nick says:

    I don’t agree with leeching from another persons wireless connection without permission. I see it similar to going over to your neighbors faucet and using it to water your plants. Even if it was a flat fee for water monthly, it would be inappropriate/slightly disrespectful to use it without permission. Also, I don’t want to be connected to a strangers network due to security reasons regardless of any precautions I might take.

    • baldmosher says:

      “Hello little kiddie, sign on to my open network, made of chocolate and sweets. I promise not to eat you.”

  9. WiFi Gi says:

    What sad and pathetic place do you live in that makes it illegal to have an open WiFi access point or hotspot?

    Also, while this is an interesting project, its uses are very limited. First, it is not possible to “multiplex” or aggregate the links to allow you a faster connection. It would allow great total bandwidth for multiple connections/clients to share. But, your individual connection to any particular website can only every be the speed of the SINGLE link it traverses. e.g you could get a download at 54Mbps, but never 300Mbps.

  10. Graham J says:

    Many establishments and even some individuals set up free access points as a public service. When I see an open access point I assume this is the reason and establish a VPN connection through it to keep my machine secure. I have no obligation to assume an access point was opened accidentally.

  11. brub4k3r says:

    The whole article about this device is bullshit and nobody seems to care. Is it 1st of April? It isn’t possible to ‘combine’ multiple lines into one big, plain and easy as it is. You are all morons and deserve these kind of articles.

    • Graham J says:

      It is possible if there is an associated service the box connects to. It could establish tunnels over each connection then the service could combine them.

  12. raj says:

    How can using OPEN access points (“open” means DELIBERATELY open, like for example an access point set up by a cafe for its customers) be against the law?
    Probably the author meant using access points that are UNSECURED, but are set up for private use by someone and not meant to be open. But “unsecured” and “open” are different words, and you should have used the correct one.

  13. divek says:

    This is mikrotik routerboard with probably some scripts, thats connect cards to other wifi networks.
    Load balancing will be more advanced for something like this.

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