Wireles/laptop Newbie: Proper ettiquette for Wifi WiMax

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I am considering getting a laptop for the first time and have never used
wireless connections. I would like to know what is the proper etiquette
for using Wifi and WiMax.In particular I will be doing some traveling
around the U.S. and would like to keep connected. My ISP does not have
nationwide presence.

I understand that some businesses (Starbucks, Kinkos, Mc Donalds) provide
free wireless access to their customers. How do I access these connections?

Some comunities have free WiMax. How do I access these connections?

How would I know if I have detected a free service or someone who has a
wireless service but not encrypted/prohibited other users, i.e. left their
service open?

I know there are laws against poaching on someones wireless connection.
There are plenty of places that discuss the proper etiquette for using the
internet/email, but I have not been able to find any for the proper use of
wireless.

Thanks for any info

Jerry
 

Andrew

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Mar 31, 2004
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Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Jerry Turba <jturba@yahoo.com> wrote:
: I am considering getting a laptop for the first time and have never used
: wireless connections. I would like to know what is the proper etiquette
: for using Wifi and WiMax.In particular I will be doing some traveling
: around the U.S. and would like to keep connected. My ISP does not have
: nationwide presence.

: I understand that some businesses (Starbucks, Kinkos, Mc Donalds) provide
: free wireless access to their customers. How do I access these connections?

Well, they are not all free (Starbucks and Kinkos for example cost
$30/month, or you can pay by the hour). There are many free WiFi
hotspots around the country, though. (Here in Portland, they are all
over the place.) With Windows XP (and presumably Mac OS X) it is very
easy to get on the wireless network. First of all, make sure your
wireless card isturned on (there is a little toggle switch on many
laptops to disable a built-in wireless cards - to save power). Then,
look at the little icon in the taskbar in the lower right corner -
find the little "two computers" icon showing a connection (one for
wireless). Most likely it will popup a balloon announcing which
wireless network it found and put you on. Right-click "View available
wireless networks" to see all the networks that are currently being
picked up.

Once you are on a wireless network, just bring up Firefox (or Internet
Explorer) to get on the internet. Some networks (especially the ones
that aren't free) give you a login/signon screen, blocking you from
accessing the net at all until you do so. With T-Mobile Hotspot
(Starbucks, Kinkos), you can also give a credit card and sign up for
an account.

If you are getting on an unrestricted wireless network, you'll find
you are automatically just "on" the internet without logging in to
anything.

: Some comunities have free WiMax. How do I access these connections?

WiMax is very new technology. I don't know of any communities that
offer it yet (few if any laptops even have WiMax cards yet). It will
be great eventually though because of the much larger range it offers
than WiFi.

: How would I know if I have detected a free service or someone who has a
: wireless service but not encrypted/prohibited other users, i.e. left their
: service open?

You won't know necessarily. If people owning the network want to
know, they could look at a logfile in their wireless access point to
see which computers are trying to connect. Even then all they would
get would be the name of your computer and its MAC address, which
wouldn't necessarily identify you (e-mail address or anything like
that) at all.

: I know there are laws against poaching on someones wireless connection.
: There are plenty of places that discuss the proper etiquette for using the
: internet/email, but I have not been able to find any for the proper use of
: wireless.

I've never heard of a law preventing people from getting on an
unrestricted wireless network. If there are such laws, they are taken
about as seriously as the laws against burning a copy of your friend's
CD.

Andrew
--
----> Portland, Oregon, USA <----
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----> http://www.bizave.com <---- Photo Albums and Portland Info
----> To Email me remove "MYSHOES" from email address
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Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Jerry Turba wrote:
> I am considering getting a laptop for the first time and have never used
> wireless connections. I would like to know what is the proper etiquette
> for using Wifi and WiMax...
>
> I understand that some businesses (Starbucks, Kinkos, Mc Donalds) provide
> free wireless access to their customers. How do I access these connections?

You might spend a little time visiting these companies' respective
websites to see what information they can impart. I know Starbucks in
particular is affiliated with T-Mobile, as another poster in this thread
pointed out. I know Kinko's isn't free either, but I don't remember who
their Wi-Fi vendor is (is it Wayport?). McDonald's varies as to
location. Some are free, some aren't.

Generally with a free connection you just "boot and scoot"-power up your
laptop and once it finds and connects to the network, you're on. You
might have to click through a page agreeing to an acceptable use policy,
but that'd probably be all. On pay networks, of course, you have to
arrange to pay somehow, so expect to be redirected to an encrypted page
hungry for a credit card number.

> Some comunities have free WiMax. How do I access these connections?

As that other poster intimated, you've apparently confused Wi-Fi with
WiMax, which isn't very widespread yet. As above, free Wi-Fi is pretty
much either boot-and-scoot or click through a promise not to bring down
the Internet with humanity's worst virus and stay away from those
naughty pictures we know you like, and then be on your way.
>
> How would I know if I have detected a free service or someone who has a
> wireless service but not encrypted/prohibited other users, i.e. left their
> service open?

Generally, you won't unless you know in advance the network is there for
public use. The way to know that is to do a little homework beforehand.
Check out those websites to see what the SSID (network name) of the
free service is supposed to be. That way you'll know you're connecting
to the right one. (Don't worry; your laptop's documentation will
explain how to look at this.)

> I know there are laws against poaching on someones wireless connection.
> There are plenty of places that discuss the proper etiquette for using the
> internet/email, but I have not been able to find any for the proper use of
> wireless.

Well, it's still kind of an evolving situation. However, as you've
realized, it's a good idea to stay off someone else's network unless you
know or have a good reason to believe you've been invited. So once
again, do your homework. In addition to checking out the hotspot
operators themselves on the web, you can spend a little time researching
the growing number of Wi-Fi directory websites. There's a good one at
JiWire (www.jiwire.com)that lists mostly pay-for-play locations with a
few free ones thrown in, and a couple of extensive lists of free
hotspots at www.wififreespot.com and metrofreefi.com.

Hope this helps. Enjoy your new laptop, and be sure to come back and
let us know what you end up getting--JLP
 
G

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Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

On Fri, 20 May 2005 21:19:58 +0000, Jonathan L. Parker wrote:

> Jerry Turba wrote:
>> I am considering getting a laptop for the first time and have never used
>> wireless connections. I would like to know what is the proper etiquette
>> for using Wifi and WiMax...
>>
>> I understand that some businesses (Starbucks, Kinkos, Mc Donalds)
>> provide free wireless access to their customers. How do I access these
>> connections?
>
> You might spend a little time visiting these companies' respective
> websites to see what information they can impart. I know Starbucks in
> particular is affiliated with T-Mobile, as another poster in this thread
> pointed out. I know Kinko's isn't free either, but I don't remember who
> their Wi-Fi vendor is (is it Wayport?). McDonald's varies as to location.
> Some are free, some aren't.
>
> Generally with a free connection you just "boot and scoot"-power up your
> laptop and once it finds and connects to the network, you're on. You
> might have to click through a page agreeing to an acceptable use policy,
> but that'd probably be all. On pay networks, of course, you have to
> arrange to pay somehow, so expect to be redirected to an encrypted page
> hungry for a credit card number.
>
>> Some comunities have free WiMax. How do I access these connections?
>
> As that other poster intimated, you've apparently confused Wi-Fi with
> WiMax, which isn't very widespread yet. As above, free Wi-Fi is pretty
> much either boot-and-scoot or click through a promise not to bring down
> the Internet with humanity's worst virus and stay away from those naughty
> pictures we know you like, and then be on your way.
>>
>> How would I know if I have detected a free service or someone who has a
>> wireless service but not encrypted/prohibited other users, i.e. left
>> their service open?
>
> Generally, you won't unless you know in advance the network is there for
> public use. The way to know that is to do a little homework beforehand.
> Check out those websites to see what the SSID (network name) of the
> free service is supposed to be. That way you'll know you're connecting to
> the right one. (Don't worry; your laptop's documentation will explain how
> to look at this.)
>
>> I know there are laws against poaching on someones wireless connection.
>> There are plenty of places that discuss the proper etiquette for using
>> the internet/email, but I have not been able to find any for the proper
>> use of wireless.
>
> Well, it's still kind of an evolving situation. However, as you've
> realized, it's a good idea to stay off someone else's network unless you
> know or have a good reason to believe you've been invited. So once again,
> do your homework. In addition to checking out the hotspot operators
> themselves on the web, you can spend a little time researching the growing
> number of Wi-Fi directory websites. There's a good one at JiWire
> (www.jiwire.com)that lists mostly pay-for-play locations with a few free
> ones thrown in, and a couple of extensive lists of free hotspots at
> www.wififreespot.com and metrofreefi.com.
>
> Hope this helps. Enjoy your new laptop, and be sure to come back and let
> us know what you end up getting--JLP

Andrew and Jonathan thanks for the info, and the leads. That helps a lot.
I misundertood WIMax I thought it used the same wireless card for the
laptop but the senders antenna were higher power and could reach longer
distances. Thanks for the clarification.

Jerry
 
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