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Old 02-05-2005, 03:13 PM   #15
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Post Call ahead

If internet connections are as important to others as they are to me while Airstreaming, just call ahead to your intended campground and ask if they have a wireless connection and what they charge.

If enough calls come in, over time, they all will 'Get with the program'.

Personally I just aim in a direction each morning, although I have been able to search campgrounds, cities etc. for their accomodations and even make resevations the night before, from the comfort of my Airstream Salon.
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Old 02-06-2005, 06:59 AM   #16
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Free WiFi

There's a listing of WiFi hotspots that are free. Go to wififreespot.com

Many businesses are offering free Wifi spots purposefully. The hope is that customers will be drawn in by the free spot, and you'll do some buying as well. The web site also has a good listing of campgrounds with free wifi to boot.

As noted by others on this thread. Make sure your computer is SECURE! If you're hooking up to a free or pay for WiFi hotspot your system is visible to all other computers at that hotspot. A software firewall should be present on your machine at minimum. If it it isn't you're begging for trouble.

From my old net admin days I used a tool from LanGuard to test our network security (it was a free download). It would sniff the network for open ports on computers. Open ports means an open door to your system. This freely downloadable program also had a "crack" program that would assist in cracking simple passwords. There are many tools out there that could open the door to your computer easily and it doesn't take a sophisticated hacker to run them. A software firewall helps to keep you invisible to such port scanners, and properly configured it will keep most folks out. WiFi hotspots are places that require some extra security for peace of mind.

Rich
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Old 02-06-2005, 02:09 PM   #17
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Looking to buy "WiFi Trekker"

I'm looking to buy a WiFi detector from SmartId called "Wifi Trekker" which came out last month. Has anyone seen these for sale anywhere yet? Their website is www.smartid.com.sg but they don't mention how to buy the product. Perhaps the product hasn't hit the distribution channels yet.
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Old 02-10-2005, 03:38 PM   #18
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FREE WiFi may cost you ...

Just a precausionary note about jumping on to WiFi ...

Assuming you are firewall protected ... insure that 'file sharing' is turned off and your firewall is turned on.

A good article about this can be read at:

http://www.mobilepipeline.com/57702409
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Old 02-10-2005, 04:04 PM   #19
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Here is a Wi-Fi detector that I bought from Dell. Works great, although it cannot identify secured networks vs. free.

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/p...&page=external

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Old 02-20-2005, 08:39 AM   #20
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Other resource

Another WiFi search resource: http://www.dowza.com/
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Old 02-21-2005, 06:09 AM   #21
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Product comparisons

Here's a website that did a comparison of five models on the market:

http://www.handtops.com/show/news/68#canary

My new favorite model is now the Canary Wireless Digital Hotspotter (HS10) because it not only detects a connection and its strength, but can also tell you whether it is encrypted, what channel it is on and the name of the network. It sure beats pulling out and firing up the laptop only to find out the signal is encrypted.
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Old 02-21-2005, 02:09 PM   #22
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WiFi Locators

The 'handtops.com' web site listed above did a great job comparing the pros and cons of 5 different WiFi locators. Thanks for the link.

The Hawking Technology WiFi Locator (HWL1) listed in the comparison looks like another good model. According to the article, it has a great range and, with an instant reponse time, you can walk around scanning for hot spots to find the strongest signal location just like a metal detector on a Florida beach.

BUT!!! - the $40. price was too rich for my blood. HOWEVER!!!! - www.buy.com has this model on sale at $35.60 with free shipping and Hawking is offering a $10 rebate until 2/28/05 for a net $26!! That's in my ballpark.

'Buy.com' was the best of the current deals that I could find by Googling "hawking hwl1 sale". I also picked up a copy of the Grammy winning Ray Charles CD - "Genius Loves Company" - for $11.99. http://www.buy.com/retail/music/store.asp?loc=1740 takes you to their Grammy Winners Store.

I will let you know how my hot spot searching goes in beautiful downtown Cincinnati as soon as this cool gadget shows up. Rumor has it that the local MACDONALDS is hot!!!
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Old 02-21-2005, 02:24 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
I can see your point and I totally agree, it's the owner's responsibility to secure it.
I suppose if one was foolish enough, it's their own fault, malicious or not. However it can be and is considered theft of service that can and is prosecuted (if they can catch you)....
We just had a case here that was prosecuted for "stealing" internet access.
A neighbor was "hitiching a ride" on his next door neighbor's wireless.
After a few months of this his kid made a comment about how his dad did not have to pay for internet access because he "picked it up out of the air".
The gentleman that was paying $40/month to the cable company was none too pleased by this and called the police.
Long story-short. He got popped for knowingly stealing bandwidth from his estranged neighbor. He had to pay a $500 fine and $40/month to his neaighbor for the next 12 months!
The judge had stated that merchandise is set for sidewalk sales within easy reach. That does not mean that since it is on the sidewalk that we just walk off with it.
Sort of like the guy that would steal the hat and mittens off of a snowman and then say that he found them on a pile of snow.
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Old 02-21-2005, 08:18 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
Here's a website that did a comparison of five models on the market:

http://www.handtops.com/show/news/68#canary

My new favorite model is now the Canary Wireless Digital Hotspotter (HS10) because it not only detects a connection and its strength, but can also tell you whether it is encrypted, what channel it is on and the name of the network. It sure beats pulling out and firing up the laptop only to find out the signal is encrypted.
I believe that Canary Hotspotter is the only one that can go into detail about a wireless site. At least it is the only one I have found so far. It appears to be the most expensive as well. If not that one then one of those smaller inobtrusive keychain fob ones would do in a pinch for carrying around.
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Old 02-22-2005, 04:28 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattersontoo
We just had a case here that was prosecuted for "stealing" internet access.
A neighbor was "hitiching a ride" on his next door neighbor's wireless.
After a few months of this his kid made a comment about how his dad did not have to pay for internet access because he "picked it up out of the air".
The gentleman that was paying $40/month to the cable company was none too pleased by this and called the police.
Long story-short. He got popped for knowingly stealing bandwidth from his estranged neighbor. He had to pay a $500 fine and $40/month to his neaighbor for the next 12 months!
The judge had stated that merchandise is set for sidewalk sales within easy reach. That does not mean that since it is on the sidewalk that we just walk off with it.
Sort of like the guy that would steal the hat and mittens off of a snowman and then say that he found them on a pile of snow.

In this case I would be inclined to agree it is theft, in that a pattern of misuse was established... however, am I going to get arrested and charged if I am reading my book at night by the neighbors' yard light?? But why did the idiot with the wireless NOT secure his system? Point in case, buddy of mine leaves his truck with the keys in the ignition, it got stolen...DUH!...insurance doesn't want to pay due to contributory negilence, and the guy that stole it claims he "borrowed" it, basically got away with a slap on the wrist ...

As far as finding systems inexpensively try Netstumbler think there is a mac version too. Pretty inexpensive... shareware.

Aaron
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Old 02-22-2005, 07:07 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBHAST
... the $40. price was too rich for my blood. HOWEVER!!!! - www.buy.com has this model on sale at $35.60 with free shipping and Hawking is offering a $10 rebate until 2/28/05 for a net $26!! That's in my ballpark.
Thanks for the info -- I just ordered one too!

I'd also like to take a moment to help clear up a misconception about the use of Wi-Fi detectors to pilfer wireless services seeing as some people seem to be focused on the illegal part of these devices....

The non-illegal uses are:

1) Troubleshooting your wireless connectivity in your home or office. Are you really getting the range the manufacture states you will get?
2) Making sure your signal is secured and not reaching the public.
3) Finding truck stops, restaurants or coffee shops with wireless access and, in the case of truck stops, finding the best location (i.e., strongest signal) in the parking lot.
4) Making sure no one has installed a wireless router on your network.

Have fun! I know I have a lot of fun being an "early adopter"!
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Old 02-22-2005, 09:13 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattersontoo
We just had a case here that was prosecuted for "stealing" internet access.
A neighbor was "hitiching a ride" on his next door neighbor's wireless.
After a few months of this his kid made a comment about how his dad did not have to pay for internet access because he "picked it up out of the air".
The gentleman that was paying $40/month to the cable company was none too pleased by this and called the police.
Long story-short. He got popped for knowingly stealing bandwidth from his estranged neighbor. He had to pay a $500 fine and $40/month to his neaighbor for the next 12 months!
The judge had stated that merchandise is set for sidewalk sales within easy reach. That does not mean that since it is on the sidewalk that we just walk off with it.
Sort of like the guy that would steal the hat and mittens off of a snowman and then say that he found them on a pile of snow.
I'm sorry, but I disagree. The wireless signal was on the neighbor's property (I'm assuming). Maybe it's the cable company's responsibility to keep their signal off the neighbor's property. "The judge had stated that merchandise is set for sidewalk sales within easy reach"... Not that theft is condoned, but sidewalks are community property.
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Old 02-22-2005, 05:44 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfield54
I'm sorry, but I disagree. The wireless signal was on the neighbor's property (I'm assuming). Maybe it's the cable company's responsibility to keep their signal off the neighbor's property.
With that line of thinking one could say that they shouldn't have to pay for satellite services either. Bottom line, shame on the guy for stealing his neighbor's service and shame on the guy with the wireless for not using some security with his network. There is lots of stuff out there in the RF arena that passes through our walls and no court is going to back you up if you take advantage of those frequencies in lieu of a required payment.

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