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Smartphone, Wireless, and Mobile Technologies Forum

WiFi spreading big-time in the US

 10:25 pm on Jan 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Seemingly overnight, as many as 1 million Wi-Fi high-speed Internet access points have sprung up across the U.S., many centered at business establishments that rely on walk-in traffic. Though not heavily supported by advertising, these Wi-Fi networks have become a new high-tech tool in companies' marketing kits.

More Explore the Reach of Free Wireless Internet Access [adage.com]



 10:31 pm on Jan 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yeah, big time. A very close friend of mine works for Borders and it seems they are going WiFi too, sometime in the future.

Personally, besides the inherent security issues that will most certainly vary from business to business, I see it wearing off after awhile. Too many folks will end up buying less products from the business place and surfing more.



 10:36 pm on Jan 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

I caught a glimpse of a news report the other night; a city was putting WiFi in their downtown section as part of a effort to revitalize the area. Seems like a good idea.


 11:03 pm on Jan 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Seems like a good idea.

I've also heard such accounts and like you, believe them to be an 'outside the box' pro-active measure to increase the business base in any locale.

Then too, I'm thinking of how many folks did not take advantage of the SQL patch six months ago, or those who don't use viral protection or firewalls/routers. I can't help but wonder just how many will not protect their WiFi connections either.

You know it's gonna happen...and happen...and happen.

I'll give you a forinstance:

A very business and investment consulting kinda guy I know uses Mac products and the Airport. He was always bragging about going along at a blistering pace (satellite connection), doing this and that, but he had no idea just how vulnerable he really was.

One morning (our regular Breakfast Club Meeting circa 1999 maybe?), some of us were talking about a show (ScreenSavers) where they were discussing the Airport and related security issues.

He was stunned when he heard how easily others could see what he was doing in real-time. He knows now.

I don't wish to appear as though I'm belaboring the security issue because I think the expansion of WiFi is a great idea...if precautions are taken.



 11:34 pm on Jan 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good article. I like the FREE concept. Pay Starbucks for internet access? You gotta be kidding. They need some competition with FREE access.


 4:24 am on Jan 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

I too am skeptical when it comes to security. I like it 100% secure, if that's possible ;)

I thought WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) would help things but, nope, it has come up short.

As weak as WEP has proven to be, it is still better than not using any encryption to keep the casual passerby from tapping into the WLAN
Now that makes me feel better!

[sans.org ]


 6:58 am on Jan 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ah WarDriving is a wonderful thing... Im all up for public WiFi networks, the home networks and non public ones need to figure out how to configure their equipment so its not a security risk -- wardriving allows for you to drive around and detect, even map wireless networks by using gps devices.. a fun hobby for thousands of people since its only mapping and Not actually gaining access to the network or even utilizing it. :D


 7:38 am on Jan 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Does anyone have info on setting up a public node for your local area if so can you give me a link. I would love a good do it your self F.A.Q. Thanks :)


 7:56 am on Jan 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

I live in a town with a major state university where 100% of the campus is wireless (available to all students). I think the benefits are enormous. It must have been a heck of a challage to get it done, the campus is huge! Wish I had that when I first started college.


 6:12 pm on Jan 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Use encryption on your WiFi... it's so easy to set up...


 6:31 pm on Jan 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

> major state university where 100% of the campus is wireless

Oh, good application there! Just a few years back, I was asked to be on a board/trustee committee at a small regional college where a major issue of competing for enrollment boiled down to wiring the campus w/ a fiber-optic backbone. They did go with the backbone, and it would still be needed in some places, but think of the money that was spent on remote parts of the campus --WiFi would have worked great there, in particular.


 6:37 pm on Jan 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

WarDriving is a wonderful thing...

Try War Walking the exercise is good for you.


 7:02 pm on Jan 29, 2003 (gmt 0)


Welcome to the board!

Try [workingwireless.net ] which is Bill Wiecking of Hawaii (Big Island) - an amazing WiFi success story.



 8:31 pm on Jan 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just finished seting up my second wireless network, works like a charm, picked up 2 other networks too :D


 4:12 pm on Feb 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

In addition to setting up encryption, also use the Mac address filtering feature, if available. Don't broadcast your SSID either. That should give the home (non-public) user as much security as is necessary.


 8:21 pm on Feb 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thank you toadhall,
This was a great site I def recomend it to anyone looking to setup a not for profit wifi system.

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