Internet service provider giving you some trouble (*cough* *cough* Time Warner Cable Sucks *cough* *cough*)? Looking to sniff out some free internet in the meantime? Symantec to the rescue... Sort of. As part of an internet security study the company sent a bunch of shmoes around the city with maps, laptops, wifi cards, antennas, and NetStumbler. The result is a breakdown by neighborhood of the percentage of wireless networks that are password protected.

So where can you sniff the most gratis net? Elmhurst Queens (75% password free) and Harlem (66%) followed by the UES and UWS (62% and 61% respectively). The neighborhood with the most password protected networks? Greenwich Village. Only 47% of the networks scanned by Symantec there were password-free!

All of which reminds us of the Times story on WiFi "piggybacking" from two weeks ago. It's is not a bad idea to password protect your networks, kids!

WiFi user in Bryant Park from mac_steve's flickr stream.