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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-29-2002, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Wi-Fi Users?

Anybody else using an 802.11B card on there laptop? Just wondering if anybody else on here has been using this and can recommend some Wi-Fi spots to connect in the area (preferable free). Also if you have any good websites to recommend to read up on info I would appreciate it. Kinda bored tonight and looking into it now.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-30-2002, 03:03 AM
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There is a bunch of free places around Dallas where you can just drive up, dhcp an ip address, and then use their bandwidth/network. I don't know of any places that were meant to be free besides maybe the airport. I do know star bucks is starting their wireless access plans, but I don't know if they are active as of yet.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-30-2002, 09:25 AM
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I'll email one of the guys that worked for me. He is moving, but he sold his house before the new one was built, thus he is living in a hotel (a cheap one that doesn't have high bandwidth).

Well, he needs to update his source from time to time, so he plugs in a wireless card into his laptop and drove around Arlington waiting for the blinking light to stop blinking. Walla, he was connected and updated his source code while parked on the side of the road. lol
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-30-2002, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys. I found a few links last night while I was bored at work.

I found this interesting map that shows some areas that have access.

This is a current map of known access points in the DFW and Austin area.
- There are currently 1837 access points in the database -

The pyramids with the green bottoms represent access points running without the use of WEP encryption. 1241 out of the total 1837 are not running encryption.

The pyramids with red bottoms represent the wireless access points that are using encryption. Only 596 APs out of the total 1837 are running encryption. Less than 1/3 of all wireless networks in the Dallas and Austin areas are running encryption.
And here are the links I collected last night while surfing.
















I need to get a freaking battery for my laptop so I can become "mobile" or at least a car adapter. I'm pretty excited about the possibilities here since I'm stuck with dial up at home with no hope of getting "cheap" broadband for under $100 anytime in the near future But at least this may settle my broadband needs at least temporarily.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-30-2002, 10:17 PM
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Starbucks has partnered with the T-Mobil service and its expensive for the limited coverage areas it offers. Supposed to be available in some major airport lobbys as well. Our sales folks use this.

But while we are on the subject of war driving and borrowing someone elses bandwidth, I am mentioning some things below as a tip should you buy an access point and want to protect your WLAN from free riders or hackers.

Its no secret that 40 or 128 bit WEP is pretty minimal in defending against war drivers, but there are some other features in AP's that can add an additional layer of security to WLANS.

A lot of AP's use MAC filtering so that only registered MAC addresses can associate with the AP and are allowed connectivity. I've heard of Linux based software that can sniff a MAC and then spoof it (like WEP encryption keys) to gain access to your WLAN but that's far more work than most punks will want to go thru.

You can static IP your private LAN and disable DHCP; not a chance in hell anyone is going to be able to "guess" your private WLAN segment unless you are so naive to leave it as the default 192.168.0.X.

That's one of the biggest issues I think, is to not leave anything as default including enabling WEP encryption. Dont leave your WLAN name as the default "101" the war driving kiddies will try that one first. Change the admin password on the AP you use as its easy to pull up manuals on the net and get the manufacturers default passwords.

We use WLAN in some of our offices and we incorporate the VPN as an additional layer of security. The WLAN is live and connected to the internet but is isolated from our production network. It seems like a long way to go from the mobile laptop, to the AP, to the ISP, and then connect via VPN back to the production network, but the speed is satisfactory and it is secured.

Plenty of WLANS to hack out there where the uneducated or uninformed public will will simply "plug and play" these AP's. These folks will help feed the likes of those simpletons with a car and a wireless laptop with a Yagi antenna running AirSnort. It would be quite another matter to hack thru a VPN as well.

Jose - let me know if you still want that card - ck your email I left you my home number there

Last edited by miketyler; 12-01-2002 at 06:41 AM.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-01-2002, 07:38 AM
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I am amazed at the number of unsecure wireless networks around. I saw an episode of The Screen Savers awhile ago and they walked out their back door with a laptop and some software, connected with a nearby office and started browsing their network. Pretty scary if your the owner of a company and at anytime someone can drive up and start browsing confidential information. I have heard of people doing this all the time at schools also.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-01-2002, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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mike, good info man. Thanks for the deal on the card, can't wait to start using it (need to get a battery for my laptop so I can be mobile). And it was good talking to you this afternoon.

MoonDog, I've seen similar article online at MSNBC and a couple of other techie websites, pretty interesting. I deal with a lot of customer's using routers at work and I'm amazed at how many never change any of the default security and password stuff. Simple download the manual from a manufactures website and you can probably get into a lot of stuff.

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