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Old 05. Nov 2010, 06:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
emmjay
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Default New to WiFi

I have always used a hardwired networking connection for computing, then I moved over to a wireless dongle about 2 years ago. It works great, but I am interested in checking out the WiFi connection on my new laptop (it came with WiFi enabled (bluetooth)).

I noticed that the local mall had 'hotspots' and I was wondering what I should be aware of before trying it out. Any software that I should install to get going or is the windows network finder the best way to go?
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Old 05. Nov 2010, 08:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hotspots are great, but if they are open networks (no password or username required) then they are unencrypted so it is important not to do anything that needs a secure connection while using them. This is because someone using simple programs can easily eaves drop on your connection and capture email logins and passwords, banking or other financial information etc. If you want to check email facebook or any other sites that require logins you need to secure your connection using a vpn or something.

Here is a good article about it.

http://bitofprevention.com/mobile-co...us-prevention/
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Old 06. Nov 2010, 02:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Tnx Ritho.

I read the article (excellent, thankyou). I downloaded free ultravpn.

I use Chrome and could not find any extensions like Firefox SSLguard or SSLPasswdWarning. I guess I should use FF while on the WiFi connection.

Off now to the mall to try this out. Thx again.
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Old 07. Nov 2010, 04:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmjay View Post
it came with WiFi enabled (bluetooth)
I noticed that you mention 'bluetooth' in correlation to WiFi. Note that these two are not the same. Your wireless network card is using a different wireless transmission technology than bluetooth. When you switch bluetooth off your wireless network will still work.
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Old 07. Nov 2010, 08:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Tnx George, re: Bluetooth. What to turn on/off was a mystery to me. The radio on/off worked auto on my laptop.

I found several WiFi networks available at the mall, some open networks and some not so. I was outside Starbucks, but could not determine which one was their free WiFi. Not sure if they are supposed to have the store's name on the network icon or not.

I got onto one that was at 99% very quickly and I opened Sandboxie and did a bit of web browsing. I checked my mail then logged off. Not sure how safe it all is. The SSL protect in the 2 programs I downloaded hopefully did their job.
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Old 08. Nov 2010, 02:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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hm ultravpn looks interesting but it didnt work when i installed it. got stuck looking for certificate at login

i might try comodo's later, used hotpot shield before. no complaints about it, just didnt like it much
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Old 10. Nov 2010, 03:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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hm ultravpn looks interesting but it didnt work when i installed it. got stuck looking for certificate at login

i might try comodo's later, used hotpot shield before. no complaints about it, just didnt like it much
When you try comodo would you let me know what you thought of it. Though the tunnel worked for me I found the CPU usage kept hitting 100% with not much opened... it never dropped below 80% ... I did turn it off for 15 mins to see if it made a difference and my CPU usage dropped to 40-60% (W7/32 dual core).
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Old 10. Nov 2010, 09:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Here is another wifi threat, and a tool to prevent it. Of course the use of a vpn is still probably the better way to go.

http://www.darkreading.com/insiderth...tacks/breaches
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Old 24. Nov 2010, 04:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Here is another wifi threat, and a tool to prevent it. Of course the use of a vpn is still probably the better way to go.

http://www.darkreading.com/insiderth...tacks/breaches
Tnx Ritho, good stuff.

Just as an update. I was quick to select a WiFi network that had a strong presence before I realized that the Starbuck WiFi was from a BIG ISP (the icon did not say Starbucks... it was hotspotISPname). It was free, but I was not aware that I had to wait for it to open Firefox. When it did this, I was presented with a T+C page that I had to agree to (it was still an unprotected network). I did so and the VPN Prog recognized ... will stay with this VPNUltra. . I used sandboxie as I was still skeptical of my level of protection. Guess the gurus here know more about this (I am a rookie). Downloaded some stuff and the performance was pretty good even though my CPU hit 90%+ most of the time.

Tnx again Ritho for your input.

Guess it is a good alternative when my bandwidth plan is close to its limit. I found that Microsoft eats up a good portion of my bandwidth (windows updates and MSE etc), so I do need the a little extra free bandwidth some months.
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