I have two TiVo Digital Video Recorders linked wirelessly in a peer-to-peer
network. Everything works okay. During the setup process each TiVo scans for
wireless signals and I usually pick-up 8 to 10. I can only assume these are my
neighbors’ wi-fi networks. Of course, I can’t access them with the TiVo’s. But
if I can see them, can’t they see me? Am I missing something here?
You’re not missing a thing.
It’s a very safe bet that they can see your WiFi network.
Now, I know very little about Tivos and networking Tivos, but this problem
isn’t limited to Tivos at all. It applies to anyone with a wireless
I’ll show you what to do on your PC, and perhaps that’ll give you enough to
determine what your Tivo needs.
When it comes to WiFi, here’s the rule of thumb to remember:
If you can see them, they can see you.
Even if you can’t see them, they might still see you.
So the first one’s pretty self explanatory: if you’re in range of someone’s wireless access point and it shows up in the list of networks in range, it’s a safe bet that your wireless connect is close enough to them as well. They easily could see your network.
The second one’s not quite as obvious. Even if you don’t see additional wireless access points within range, there could still be computers with WiFi ability that are close enough to listen in to your wireless network.
The good news is that the solution is simple: don’t run an open wireless access point.
In other words, put a password on it. Use WPA2 encryption to create a secure access point. Once you do that others in the area may still see that your access point exists – they just won’t be able to connect to it, or see the data flowing across it.
Now, what that means for a Tivo, I have no idea. But for most home wireless routers, How do I secure my router? has a pretty good overview of this and other steps you should take to secure your wireless connection.