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  • (rhk) [[][]] --

Recommended for Specific Needs

Detecting Connected Devices

Cable companies send their techs driving around in vans with sniffer gear. Don't put on your tin foil hat just yet. It isn't as obnoxious as it sounds. Each cable connection in your house leaks a predictable amount of RF. Your cable modem would be one such connection. As you connect more things to your cable, that slight leakage increases. What the tech in the van sees is little more than a RF signal strength indication. What they do would work just fine with nothing more than an analog gauge and a little experience.

They don't just look for people outright stealing cable either. They're also interested in people using more hookups than what they paid for. More hookups - more deflection of that RF gauge.

Since all they are doing is monitoring the amount of signal leaking out their own network, they are legally in the clear on this. The fact that they didn't bother with a trap doesn't mean you're entitled to the video portion of the signal. If you hook up a TV, they'll find it if they're inclined to look for it.

Oh, they often use Time Domain Reflectometers to find faults in their cable. Those you who ride the network cabling range know about these too. A TDR will give highly precise readings on just what is sitting on a line. Those will work even if some smartass turns his house into a faraday cage.

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Recommended by Others

  • (rhk) [[][]] --

No Recommendation

  • (rhk) [[][]] --

Not Recommended

  • (rhk) [[][]] --


  • () RandyKramer - 15 Jun 2002
  • <If you edit this page: add your name here; move this to the next line; and include your comment marker (initials), if you have created one, in parenthesis before your WikiName.>

[[Main.RandyKramer#15 Jun 2002][]]

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