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Signal-blocking wallpaper stops Wi-Fi stealing (whatsnext.blogs.cnn.com)
23 points by xpressyoo 1641 days ago | hide | past | web | 27 comments | favorite

Everyone is missing the point of this product. It's not to stop wifi stealing - that's the marketing department badly trying to make the product easier to sell and the blog being lazy.

The reason you'd buy this is to keep the radio spectrum within your room yours. Like someone else said - this would open up more channels to you and prevent the guy downstairs running a microwave or buying a cordless phone from screwing with your signal.

No, the reason for this is security -- keeping your radio networks internal. Even with crypto on your main links, you never know when someone will set up an ad-hoc wireless, hotspot, etc., potentially bridging a secure network to the world.

Obviously you'd want to know dB shielding figures at various freqs, which you're unlikely to get from a crappy mass market article.

This kind of wallpaper is already commonly available. Also door seals, window treatments, etc.

It would be kind of worthless for normal, residential use (or even a regular office) since it would likely kill cellular bands (any badly installed wallpaper to screen 2.4GHz will hit 1.9GHz I'm sure). Plus, expensive.

If you wanted to keep out radio waves from the guy downstairs, wouldn't you have to put this wallpaper on your floor?

CNN's blog editors should be ashamed at having allowed this paragraph: "The metapaper also advertises itself as a healthy alternative, since it claims to reduce a person's exposure to electromagnetic waves. Scientists behind the product point to studies that say the overuse of wireless technology could cause harmful heath effects."

That's pretty typical CNN. Here are Anderson Cooper and Dr Sanjay Gupta explaining that their thin plastic suits are going to stop gamma radiation and even masks that 'filter out' gamma rays 'circulating in the air': http://blog.jgc.org/2011/03/cnn-sounding-authorative-while-t...

Yeah, this is wallpaper for crazies who think that wireless networks are poisoning their children. I think you can get paint for that too.

I found out a while ago that in Sweden (IIRC, could have been another scandinavian place) the government pays for this for people who claim to be allergic to radio waves or whatever the hell it is this week.

Apparently it's cheaper than doctor's appointments, therapy and unending arguments, and mostly makes people happy. Usually their 'symptoms' disappear too.

Yeah, everybody knows tin foil hats are a cheaper and more effective alternative.

"The metapaper also advertises itself as a healthy alternative, since it claims to reduce a person's exposure to electromagnetic waves. Scientists behind the product point to studies that say the overuse of wireless technology could cause harmful heath effects."


I'm ready to bet dollars to pennies that in a few years, this will be their primary market.

If someone is causing substantial harm to you by stealing your WiFi then sue them.

If its just some dumb kid guessed your 'password' or aircracked it, the upgrade to a better WPA.

If you're being trolled by a leet hacker, then you've got bigger problems.

But please don't buy into that BS.

How much less does this cost, in terms of both time and money, compared to setting a password on your access point?

Oh, it costs more.


Your conclusion is a result of a very poorly written title and lede. The greatest value of this product for your average consumer is not that it keeps your signal inside your home, but that it keeps other signals out.

Anyone living in areas of high population density can tell you how difficult it is to find an uncluttered slice of 2.4 GHz spectrum. It's next to impossible in places like Manhattan. I don't know just how effective this wallpaper is, but if it attenuates outside signals by even 50%, it would be a huge benefit.

EDIT: Another side benefit for businesses (even small ones) is control over what networks are available inside your office. Many businesses are in office complexes where WiFi signals overlap in to adjacent suites. I can't tell you how many times I've been to offices where users are connected to a neighbor's wide-open Wi-Fi network because they were ignorant of what network they should connect to.

Finally, a chic replacement for tinfoil hats!

Does it block cell phones?

3G and 4G have similar frequencies to wi-fi.

It's hard to imagine that it doesn't block cell phones. To get cell coverage you would need a micro-cell inside the apartment. Enabling encryption on the WiFi seems easier to me :-)

Retail stores will use this to prevent "showrooming" - where a person goes to a store and looks at something, then buys it from Amazon with their phone.

Ok, so people will still buy from Amazon, but they'll have to leave Best Buy first.

Isn't it illegal to jam cell phone reception deliberately ?

It's illegal to jam cell phone reception by transmitting on frequencies that are allocated to the cell carrier. I doubt it's illegal to passively prevent radio waves from entering your own property.

Probably more useful in the role of attenuating other people's wifi APs and upping your own's s/n ratio, or even opening up entire channels for you.

Given the frequencies, I think it would make a nice security layer around microwave ovens, too :)

Does this also mean that your wifi is bouncing around in your house / Is that even safe?

It does anyway / yes it is

What I want to know is, will it protect my computer from an EMP?;)

If this blocks ordinary voice telephone calls as well, what legal issues will it have with regard to emergency calls?

Don't most modems have a setting where you can turn off broadcasting the WiFi network name? That would stop people stealing it, as they can't even see that it's there in the list of available networks.

This myth needs to die. The moment any client associates with an access point that is not broadcasting its SSID, that SSID becomes visible to anyone nearby with access point monitoring software. By definition, a client must broadcast probe requests in order to continue the association with the AP and those broadcasts are easily received.

All modems have setting where you can set up password.

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