Why can't I access some wireless networks which are not se..

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I can access many wireless networks that are not secure but at a truckstop I
found a strong unsecure network which allowed me to connect but I could not
send or receive data on the internet. They probably have a fee for their
service, but how does it work? What do they give you that allows you to use
the network?


--
Jim Walker
Northern Virginia
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  1. Archived from groups: (More info?)

    > found a strong unsecure network which allowed me to connect but I could not
    > send or receive data on the internet. They probably have a fee for their
    > service, but how does it work? What do they give you that allows you to use
    > the network?

    Did you open a browser? Did it give you a login page?

    It could even be as simple as they didn't have a default gateway defined
    at the router or as simple as "allowed hours" and you weren't in the
    allowed range.

    Normally, with a hotspot, you open your browser, get redirected to a
    payment/login page, you do this, then you continue.

    David.
  2. Archived from groups: (More info?)

    Jim Walker wrote:
    > I can access many wireless networks that are not secure but at a truckstop I
    > found a strong unsecure network which allowed me to connect but I could not
    > send or receive data on the internet.

    First of all, hopping onto someone else's network and trying to use it
    just because it isn't secure is something you really shouldn't be doing
    unless you've gotten authorization in advance from the entity that owns
    the network to do so, or at least know that the network is provided for
    public use (and can prove this to someone else if you have to). These
    days, it's becoming more and more likely that such adventuresomeness
    could land you in hot water legally. And with legitimately available
    free Wi-Fi becoming pretty much ubiquitous, there's really no reason to
    do this any more.

    Assuming that the network you found at the truck stop was there as an
    open public hotspot, the thing to determine would have been whether or
    not it gave you an IP address. If it didn't, it may have been down at
    that time, or have been having other issues. I'm assuming that since
    you mentioned that you've used a number of other networks, you know that
    generally you have to have your TCP/IP set to use DHCP so that your
    computer obtains an IP address automatically.

    >They probably have a fee for their
    > service, but how does it work? What do they give you that allows you to use
    > the network?

    If the network was "play for pay," then when you tried to go to your
    browser's homepage or any other URL you should have been redirected to a
    login or registration page where you would have been able to make
    payment arrangements. Some free hotspot operators have gone to
    requiring a purchase as a condition of access, but again you should have
    been redirected to a login page, or the network would have been
    encrypted and you would have been given the key with your required purchase.

    I'm inclined to think, however, that you encountered a network that
    while unencrypted really wasn't open to the public, and you didn't get
    full connectivity because they were using MAC address filtering. Just
    another way for whoever was riding shotgun on that network to suggest
    that you mosey along, pardner, and see if maybe you could rustle up some
    legal free Wi-Fi in the next town.
  3. Archived from groups: (More info?)

    >
    > Did you open a browser? Did it give you a login page?

    I don't remember opening my web browser. Maybe it would have shown a log on
    page.
    >
    > It could even be as simple as they didn't have a default gateway defined
    > at the router or as simple as "allowed hours" and you weren't in the
    > allowed range.
    >
    > Normally, with a hotspot, you open your browser, get redirected to a
    > payment/login page, you do this, then you continue.
    >
    > David.
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