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Old 09-08-2006, 04:08 PM   #1
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Free wireless internet

Ok - now I got the new lap top and am equipped to receive wireless internet, Any clues to where you can get connected will be appriciated
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Old 09-08-2006, 04:13 PM   #2
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Panera Bread (free), McD's, some public libraries, Flying J truck stops(pay), some downtown areas. And anywhere else you can get a signal.

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Old 09-08-2006, 04:20 PM   #3
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A lot of campgrounds
College campuses
Starbucks

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Old 09-08-2006, 04:28 PM   #4
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Get a scanner..

You can also buy for ~ $20 a keychain battery powered WiFi scanner that will tell you when you press the button if there is WiFi available and signal strength...

A number of cities are adding free WiFi (paid with ads across browser screen..), including ours and cities adjacent on both sides.. (though admittedly, we're in Silicon Valley and kids in elementary schools use Blackberries... ) San Francisco has just signed contract with Yahoo (I think) to provide free WiFi across all of San Francisco...

Finally, with a nod to the ethics police, news stories indicate that 90% of people who buy and set up WiFi routers in their homes never figure out how to activate the lengthy security keys, and thus leave WiFi open to people in the neighborhood.. You might find someone in the area has left WiFi open to "share" in you immediate area...

There are tricks to get your browser to launch and help determine whether you need to log in and pay for service, or can just connect by accepting terms of free serivce provider. You should also be familiar with how to activate and deactivate the WiFi elements on the laptop, and how to scan and update or add new networks to the system..

John McG
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Old 09-08-2006, 05:16 PM   #5
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hi wifi finders and hot spotters....

here is an interesting website where folks map what they have found...sort of a populist movement...

http://www.wifimaps.com/

and it's pretty interesting.
btw i checked my wireless network...
it isn't shown and it is password protected....

i haven't built a tincan wifi antenna yet...looks cool

i knew someday those tin can phones we made as kids would reappear!

many cities and regions now advertise where their hot spots are.

it rural areas i've found it easier just to visit the library and use their computer for email or surfing...

cheers
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Old 09-08-2006, 05:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Condoluminum
Finally, with a nod to the ethics police, news stories indicate that 90% of people who buy and set up WiFi routers in their homes never figure out how to activate the lengthy security keys, and thus leave WiFi open to people in the neighborhood.. You might find someone in the area has left WiFi open to "share" in you immediate area...

John McG
This is the case at home for us. Our Desktop is setup still on the principal of coffee cans and string (dialup) and my laptop from works enjoys our neighbors high speed wireless. Jeff
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Old 09-08-2006, 05:25 PM   #7
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You can find a list of parks & campgrounds with wifi at the RV.net. Just check the "Campgrouds, Resorts, and Attractions" forum, right at the top.

That said, a bunch of them charge for wifi service. And as others have pointed out, some of them are open while others are encrypted. (Finally, some of the ones that are encrypted aren't exactly security conscious. They might as well write the password on the business sign and advertise it to every geek that drives by.)

Personally, I can't afford to pay outrageous rates for wifi access. On the other hand, if it's not well encrypted, I'm also a bit jumpy about just who's on the system with me.


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Old 09-08-2006, 05:57 PM   #8
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Here's a site that I've used--

www.wififreespot.com

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Old 09-08-2006, 07:24 PM   #9
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re the "ethics police" - being unable to lock your door doesn't mean it is OK for someone to come in and enjoy your TV or other things in your house.

It is neither polite nor legal to use WiFi without permission. If in doubt, ask.

There are a lot of folks willing to share their I'net connection. Rich did that at Salem, for instance. Even so, it is being a good neighbor to ask first and make sure you respect the resources available to you and use them responsibly.
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:06 PM   #10
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Oh that pesky wabbit
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:17 PM   #11
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Any clues to where you can get connected

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Alan
Ok - now I got the new lap top and am equipped to receive wireless internet, Any clues to where you can get connected will be appriciated
WiFi is OK if you can get it. However, for more reliable Internet access, consider using your cell phone as a modem for your laptop. Sprint & Verizon are reported to have the widest coverage areas.
Learn all about it at;
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/InternetByCellPhone/
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leipper
re the "ethics police" - being unable to lock your door doesn't mean it is OK for someone to come in and enjoy your TV or other things in your house.

It is neither polite nor legal to use WiFi without permission. If in doubt, ask.

There are a lot of folks willing to share their I'net connection. Rich did that at Salem, for instance. Even so, it is being a good neighbor to ask first and make sure you respect the resources available to you and use them responsibly.
Bryan, In my case, my neighbor shares their loud music without my consent. If its in the air, its free.
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:56 PM   #13
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If you happen to have a Mac , it is a simple thing to have the settings automatically find and connect to available hotspots.
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Old 09-08-2006, 10:36 PM   #14
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Although it would be relatively easy, I have no plans to encrypt my Wi-Fi. After using a slow dial-up for over twelve years, I now have cable with broadband to spare, and am willing to share with anyone who can get close enough to receive the signal. It will be a nice amenity when I finally get courtesy parking set up. I still have a few more trees to remove and get 30 amp run out to the driveway.

For some interesting information on receiving Wi-Fi, try googling "wardriving' and "Cantenna".
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Old 09-08-2006, 11:42 PM   #15
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my neighbor shares their loud music without my consent. If its in the air, its free.
I think you need to read pertinent sections of the FCC regulations and then proceed to some of the more recent laws regarding hacking and computer system intrusions. Then take a gander at the sentences that have been handed out for unauthorized wifi use. These cases hit the news every now and then because some folks just plain abuse their privileges and responsibilities.

The situation you cited is where the neighbor has given you permission to listen to his music, not vice versa. Whether he had RIAA license to do so could be an interesting question. It would also be interesting to see if he was violating some of the pollution laws common in many neighborhoods.

Whether you take advantage of the offer to hear your neighbor's music doesn't have much to do with your consent.

But all the analogy really does is to illustrate just how silly the 'ethics police' argument gets when people start to try to rationalize innapropriate behavior.

This particular debate also gets into things like the court case complaining about police using infra-red to find pot farms (cops lost) and other privacy issues. Real hot stuff these days what with so much technophobia goin' round.

It used to be you could listen to any RF signal as long as you didn't divulge what you heard. Cell phones changed that, which is why scanners block those frequencies. It's an encroachment on our rights to spy on our neighbors, I tell ya' !! Next they'll be telling us we can't peek in the windows ... ;-)
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Old 09-09-2006, 06:08 AM   #16
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I use my cellular wireless PCMCIA card the most but when I'm without coverage or need to download massive files I use my wireless card generally reserved for home.
What I've found while traveling in areas that Sprint has overlooked... like Boone NC, I pull up to the Holiday Inn and us their free network for as long as it takes to get what I need then move on. Lots of free wireless at hotels these days, it's just a matter of getting close enough to get a strong signal.
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverRanger
Although it would be relatively easy, I have no plans to encrypt my Wi-Fi. After using a slow dial-up for over twelve years, I now have cable with broadband to spare, and am willing to share with anyone who can get close enough to receive the signal. It will be a nice amenity when I finally get courtesy parking set up. I still have a few more trees to remove and get 30 amp run out to the driveway.

For some interesting information on receiving Wi-Fi, try googling "wardriving' and "Cantenna".
This kind of where I am at We have courtsey parking (ask Glenn Coombes ) I leave the WiFi unsecured for that reason. Also I live a 1/2 mile off the main road, back in the woods so I seriously doubt that anyone will get close enough to catch the signal. Now when I run the booster to get the signal down to the barn that might change

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Old 09-09-2006, 08:00 AM   #18
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i don't trust connecting my laptop through a wide-open shared wireless network...

instead i use my Treo600 pda/phone on a verizon data network for wireless internet connection. excellent for web browsing, sending emails, even google earth is usable (its about a 145k connection most of the time)

highly recommend.

most phones will work as a wireless modumb, usually the only differences are connection speeds and data coverage- 3 years ago i was using an old motorola STARTac for internet connection, and before my Treo, a Kyocera KX7000? would connect at 112k
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:09 AM   #19
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Most of the larger book stores like Barnes and Noble have free wireless.
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:10 AM   #20
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Before I retired, I took my Mac PowerBook with me everywhere. I don't recall ever paying for internet service in hotels, because around the hotels or offices there were often several wide-open wireless signals available. The most I ever got were 5 at Pentagon City. All were unencrypted and very strong. Sure was better than paying $13/day to the Ritz.
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