WiFi - yeeha!

We just busted out of the 1950's and got WiFi cards! Interestingly I was building an EMWIN system here in our house last week for a client... the computer was already WiFi-enabled and as soon as I finished Windows setup I had a connection to a neighbor's cablemodem and was surfing the net! (apparently it was unsecured)

Anyway I found some good resources. Overall it appeared this was a key place to start:
http://www.wifimaps.com

The results geo-crosslink to these sites:
http://www.wigle.net - ALL WiFi devices (from wardriving). I had no idea so many of my neighbors were Web-savvy.
http://www.a2b.com - Public blogs defined by geo coordinates
http://www.jiwire.com - Huge directory of public access hotspots
http://www.wi-fihotspotlist.com - Similar to jiwire but appeared to not turn up as many hotspots

What are your favorite resources? I was thinking it would be handy to have a map of hotspots in the remote areas of the Great Plains, so one would know what connections to expect in the next town.

Do any of you get WiFi in your hotel rooms when it's not explicitly advertised? I'd be curious to see if I get any use out of the card in Denver at the chaser convention. Going dialup off the hotel phones is lame.

Also doing some Googling I notice that hardly any airports have gotten into the WiFi act, so I guess I'll be playing Solitaire or Minesweeper in the departure lounge.

Tim
 
Originally posted by Tim Vasquez

Do any of you get WiFi in your hotel rooms when it's not explicitly advertised? I'd be curious to see if I get any use out of the card in Denver at the chaser convention. Going dialup off the hotel phones is lame.

Tim

If I remember, last year I didn't detect any wifi in the hotel, at least from our room or lobby. The room did have a high speed access port that you could pay extra for and use.
 
I believe you could pay for access in one room, plug a wireless router in and share this with your friends :lol: Not that I condone this, but I do believe it is possible.

I just bought a new laptop on Monday with intergraded wireless, and have been playing with it ever since. Very cool! I have an ~ 3 ½ mile drive to work and found 24 open networks! About one third of these are still named “Defaultâ€￾ orâ€￾ Linksysâ€￾. You have to love “Plug and Playâ€￾ I am very excited to try this in some of the smaller towns and see what’s there.
 
How far does a router usually transmit? The router idea is very good... it might be good to bring one to Denver and then have WiFi in the conference room downstairs. But that's an awful lot of steel and concrete to have to go through, I think.

Tim
 
I think with the new “gâ€￾ 2.4ghz (?) it wouldn’t be a problem. I just bought a 108 mbs (?) Super G D-Link router for $30 after rebates. They had the 54 mbs one for $14. It seemed kind of silly to buy the bigger one since my cable or computers can’t come anywhere near those speeds, but I just couldn’t pass it up. I'll make a note to bring it along to Denver.
 
http://ww2.convectionconnection.com:8080/wifi/

Is my compiled list from many of those pages. I'll be doing another update pretty soon, however, with so many hotels offering wifi... I'll probably be sticking to unique, known, free spots out in the boonies.

I tried getting a list of all the best westerns with lat/lon, but never got a response from the company.

Aaron
 
How far does a router usually transmit? The router idea is very good... it might be good to bring one to Denver and then have WiFi in the conference room downstairs. But that's an awful lot of steel and concrete to have to go through, I think.

Tim

Given the distance from the meeting rooms and the hotel rooms, and as you say, all that steel and concrete, I would say you probably wouldn't connect if at all Tim. I can't remember if there was provisions to get that down in the meeting rooms or not.
 
How far does a router usually transmit? The router idea is very good... it might be good to bring one to Denver and then have WiFi in the conference room downstairs. But that's an awful lot of steel and concrete to have to go through, I think.

Tim

Given the distance from the meeting rooms and the hotel rooms, and as you say, all that steel and concrete, I would say you probably wouldn't connect if at all Tim. I can't remember if there was provisions to get that down in the meeting rooms or not.

Considering most wireless routers use 2dBi or less antenna systems it could be possible if you upgrade antennas. Linksys makes a 7dBi dual antenna replacement for their routers. Antenna manufactures say you could also go with a 14dBi-20dBi grid antenna and go through walls with no problem, even concrete. I might have to buy one and test it out.
 
If you're interesting in doing a little wardriving of your own, NetStumbler is a very useful app. Try it out! You're bound to find some local "linksys" or "NETGEAR" routers; I guarantee it.

Netstumbler is great for logging wifi access but I use Boingo for connections. It's great for those unsecured networks. :twisted:
www.boingo.com
 
How far does a router usually transmit? The router idea is very good... it might be good to bring one to Denver and then have WiFi in the conference room downstairs. But that's an awful lot of steel and concrete to have to go through, I think.

Tim
We set a hotel up with WiFi access and only used the "come with" 2db whip antenna(s). We alternated floors with the AP's and had no problem. Due to the length of the hotel, we put one near each end. As Bill pointed out, there are a variety of antennae that can be connected, but the key is to know the connector on your router. Most of the current routers with detachable antenna have a reverse polarity SMA male connector and most external antennae (that are not going to be connected direct to the router, or has the pigtail already attached) will have an N female. With most reputable vendors, simply telling them what make/model of router you have will be enough for them to provide you with the correct pigtail, or connector if the antenna is a smaller external one with pigtail attached.

Be well, TR

P.S. Just as a side note, the longest link we were able to create with stock equipment (24db grid antenna, Orinoco Silvers) and firmware (802.11b has timing issues over longer distances) was 22Km's with a throughput of 4Meg (we were providing Internet access, so throughput was the limiting issue). A buddy of mine in BC has a 48 mile 802.11 link running at 1 Meg throughput.
 
If you're interesting in doing a little wardriving of your own, NetStumbler is a very useful app. Try it out! You're bound to find some local "linksys" or "NETGEAR" routers; I guarantee it.

Netstumbler is great for logging wifi access but I use Boingo for connections. It's great for those unsecured networks. :twisted:
www.boingo.com

Bill, last time I tried using Boingo it seemed like it was merely a shell for the windows wireless network selector. Has it changed any, and if so what features does it offer? Does hammer for networks every second (or less) like netstumber does?

I use netstumbler because its great for solo wardriving. Before I would have to look over at the screen and analyze what popped up and then click refresh... while driving. Netstumbler does the refreshing for you and much faster, plus there is a script that uses the computer's voice to announce what networks are in range.
 
Bill, last time I tried using Boingo it seemed like it was merely a shell for the windows wireless network selector. Has it changed any, and if so what features does it offer? Does hammer for networks every second (or less) like netstumber does?

I use netstumbler because its great for solo wardriving. Before I would have to look over at the screen and analyze what popped up and then click refresh... while driving. Netstumbler does the refreshing for you and much faster, plus there is a script that uses the computer's voice to announce what networks are in range.

Not a whole lot has changed but it does scan a little quicker than previous versions. I wish it did have an audible notification when it discovers wireless connections like Netstumbler does though. Connecting is a little easier with Boingo than Netstumbler. Pros and Cons for each software.
 
Is there an alternative to netstumbler that works with win ME or 98SE?
I have checked out the release notes for netstumbler and it only appears to wotk with 2000 or XP.
 
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