Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » W »

warchalking

The act of making chalk marks on outdoor surfaces (walls, sidewalks, buildings, sign posts, trees) to indicate the existence of an open wireless network connection, usually offering an Internet connection so that others can benefit from the free wireless access. The open connections typically come from the access points of wireless networks located within buildings to serve enterprises. The chalk symbols indicate the type of access point that is available at that specific spot.

There are three basic designs that are currently used: a pair of back-to-back semicircles, which denotes an open node; a closed circle, which denotes a closed node; a closed circle with a "W" inside, which denotes a node equipped with WEP. Warchalkers also draw identifiers above the symbols to indicate the password that can be used to access the node, which can easily be obtained with sniffer software.

As a recent development, the debate over the legality of warchalking is still going on.

The practice stems from the U.S. Depression-era culture of wandering hobos who would make marks outside of homes to indicate to other wanderers whether the home was receptive to drifters or was inhospitable.







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
DID YOU KNOW?
The Five Generations of Computers

Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the current devices that we use today. Read More »

Small Business Marketing's Greatest Hits

The following compilation of small business marketing tips highlights some of the expert advice published over at Small Business Computing. Read More »

13 Best Free Android Apps

From secure messaging to document editing, our top free must-have apps have been rated, reviewed and named the best free Android apps of 2015. Read More »

QUICK REFERENCE
5 Best Cloud Storage Services

With cost and security in mind, we look at five cloud storage options that will suit the needs of most home and SMB owners. Read More »

Windows 10 Tips for Desktop PC

Five basic tips to help you customize Windows 10 on your desktop PC. Read More »

29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students

From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »