It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a database of Wi-Fi names must be in want of a photo that he saw on Reddit to investigate. You might already be familiar with this picture, which like all photo-shopped images was immediately and furiously claimed to be real. Photo analysis has already disproved that, but I thought I’d take a look and see whether the Wi-Fi names it uses are actually real.
To do this I used our database of around 100 million global wifi names (as detected by the OpenSignal app) and discovered that some version of all of them are in use. Before we show you the stats I thought I’d quickly pick out some of the highlights.
1) The only Wi-Fi name that doesn’t exist in the form shown in the image is ‘Plzbringvodkatoapt1031’, although there are three wifis in total exhorting members of the public to bring vodka to a specified apartment. The closest we found was a wifi that called for vodka to be brought to apartment 1013 (a sneaky permutation). I feel like Robert Langdon – this is the wireless Da Vinci Code.
2) At OpenSignal it’s company policy that you have to love Arrested Development. Many an aspiring engineer or marketing intern has been turned away for staring at us blankly when asked ‘Now what does the phrase – “I’ve made a huge mistake”, mean to you?’. For this reason the fact that there are 163 networks called ‘The Banana Stand’ makes us extremely happy. What makes us even happier is that two of them are called ‘There’s always Wifi in the Banana Stand’ – Genius.
3) There are 855 people out there who have the Wi-Fi name ‘Abraham Linksys’. Eight Hundred and Fifty Five, just let that sink in. And people say America doesn’t know its history.
As you can see, all of the Wi-Fi names used in the initial image are real, although some are way more popular than others. What is clear though (in case any doubt was left) is that there is no way this photo is real. No one has a collection of neighbours this funny, it just isn’t possible be possible. Some guy would always ruin it with a plodding ‘Netgear’ without the thought to rename it Benjamin Netgear-ahu (NOW COPYRIGHT OPENSIGNAL).
|1||Pretty fly for a Wi-Fi||7873|
|2||A Series of Tubes||1349|
|4||“ Hide your kids, Hide your Wifi“||797|
|5||Police Surveillance Van||764|
|6||no free wifi for you||440|
|7||Skynet Global Defence Network||295|
|8||GET OFF MY LAN||246|
|9||The Banana Stand||163|
|10||Network not found||158|
|11||look ma no wires||94|
|13||use this one mom||33|
|15||“ Router, I hardly knew her“||19|
|16||I have wifi and you don’t||13|
|18||all your bandwidth are belong to us||5|
Notes on Methodology:
The aim was to capture the spirit of the Wifi name so we allowed for similar versions. For instance, we allowed for different spellings of various words (such as wifi and Wi-Fi) and we allowed ‘youcanhazwifi’ to count with ‘youcanhazwireless’. All arbitrary numbers were ignored (i.e. Police Van 3 was counted under the Police Van 2 label) but obviously 404 was specifically searched for as it’s non-arbitrary.