Solved: New to wireless, help!

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AdmiralZ

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Apr 1, 2005
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219
I got a new laptop today and am now having my first experiences with wireless technology. My computer tells me that there is a wireless network available called "Free Internet Access", which is an "Unsecured network".

Is this really free internet access? If so, where is it coming from and why is it free?

Also, because it is "unsecured", does that mean it is unsafe to use?

Finally, when I connect to this network, I am not connected to the Internet, as the name of the network may suggest, why could this be?

Thanks for your help.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
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7,235
Is this really free internet access?
Well if it says its free its not always "free". This is just a SSID and anyone can name a SSID anything they want.

If so, where is it coming from and why is it free?
It can be coming from anywhere within range the only real way to find out where it is is with some kind of Wireless monitoring program to help you decypher the signal strenght and play the hotter/colder game.

Also, because it is "unsecured", does that mean it is unsafe to use?
Unsecured means simply its not protected with WEP or WPA and it is open for connection. I usually think of it this way anything wireless that isn't on your own network and encrypted you want ot have a firewall running.

Finally, when I connect to this network, I am not connected to the Internet, as the name of the network may suggest, why could this be?
Any number of reasons. It could be someone set up a router with a SSID broadcast as that with no internet access as a joke. (don't laugh I have seen it done) It could be even though your connected you might need to do some kind of Web signup to use it and so on and so on. Any number of reasons but really until you know who is running the wireless access point your trying to connect to our guess is as good as yours.
 

JohnWill

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Oct 19, 2002
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106,430
You should easily be able to find out if there is really an "official" free Internet WiFi service in your area.

Note that that "free" internet may just be a scam to try to steal passwords and other information for anyone foolish enough to connect through it. Food for thought... ;)
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
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When using ANY wifi access, be sure to have your computer protected with a fire wall, anti virus, and 2 or more anti spyware programs....
Vicks
 
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vicks said:
When using ANY wifi access, be sure to have your computer protected with a fire wall, anti virus, and 2 or more anti spyware programs....
Vicks
That's why i hate wireless--- between all that & encryption... + the resultant system & surfing performance penalty hit.... I hard wire as much as feasibly possible, and then some.
 
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