first post...and question: too many networks?

hey guy here.

i live in lower manhattan so you would expect there to be a lot of available wireless networks to leech off of. well, there are, but there's a problem:

using any of my wireless adapters (internal or external) i pick up anywhere from 15 to 30 networks. of that, maybe 10% are open and do not require a passphrase.

even with this many networks i've noticed that it is difficult to actually connect to the open networks. using netstumbler, it seems many of the open networks fade in and out despite the fact that i have 4 or even 5 bars (out of 5) signal.

is this possibly because there are too many networks saturating my neighborhood. i'm sure 90% of the networks are on the default setting & channel, with the exception that security has been enabled.

on my fire escape, using my 500mW alfa usb adapter i can see 30+ networks at once, with about 5 open networks. i wasn't able to connect to any of them successfully though. i dual boot vista ultimate & ubuntu on my hp notebook by the way.

i found the only solution was to make a cantenna using a pringles can. i'll have to post a photo tomorrow. using the cantenna, i noticed i get less interference and i am now able to connect to a couple open networks (depending on the direction i point the cantenna)

so what are you thoughts on their being too many wireless networks in one area?

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