I read in the RV forums that people are connecting to the internet from their RV's.
I have an old Gateway laptop with a Pentium II in it. It is runnig Windows 98SE. It has a Linksys model WPC11 notebook adapter that works fine around the house. It goes to a Linksys router to a DSL modem.
They say I can pull into a Residence in parking lot and surf the Web.
More hotel chains are offering free wireless internet access in the lobby areas. Sheraton (Starwood) is one chain that does it. I don't know about Residence Inn. So I guess you could get lucky in the parking lot at ground level, but I'll bet by not being physically in the lobby you'll get bleed over from the in-room pay wireless service on the floors above, meaning you could get the free login screen or be forced to the pay login screen. Typically $9.95 a day or something like that.
If you want more of a sure thing get Verizon's BroadBand Access service and the PC5220 AirCard for your laptop. Service is $79/mo unlimited. Speeds vary depending on location in the U.S. Out in the boonies you'll only get
If someone has not secured their wireless network, then yes, you are capable of surfing the web at their expense. To many, this is a moral issue so get permission first. Besides, there are a lot of dummy networks setup simply for logging purposes. If they have logging features similar to that of the Netgear WGR614, then they know the IP address, the websites visited, the times and even the IP address of the advertisements in the sites they've visited. Be careful.
Take a test run around your home town. Try a Starbucks coffee shop parking lot. Some of them have "T-Mobile Hot Spot" signs in the window. Your wireless shoud indicate that it has a connection. Try to open Internet Explorer to your normal home page. It should bring up a login window to the T-Mobile network, which is a paid network, but that will show that you can connect to the Wireless network there.
If Residence Inn offers free access to their guests, there may or may not be some registration required. There is also a question of whether they care about you accessing the network from their parking lot without being a paying guest.
't say that it is wireless. I saved a bookmark to the provider of wireless access in the Denver Marriott.
shows wireless KOA sites, powered by
which is a subscription service that has locations at KOA and some trendy coffee shops.
might be helpful, but it isn't clear which locations cost money and which are free.
lets you search by zip code, and show only free, only paid, or both.
Many chains now offer free high speed internet. A couple of weeks ago I stayed in Hampton Inns on 2 consecutive nights. First night there was an Ethernet Cable that I plugged in and was instantly connected after punching in the password given me by the front desk. The next night was similar only this time it was wireless. Also needed a password given to me by the front desk. I have a wireless card in my computer. I think they might lend you one if you don't have your own.
About Netstumbler.. It is a really bad piece of software, but has one benefit.. it's FREE. There are a multitude out there that work very very well, but cost about $20.
Personally, I use Both Winc (on my laptop) and PocketWinc (on my PDA - an Hp iPAQ with built in Wi-Fi).. at
, Just $19.95, and actually lets you connect your browser to open nodes it finds (rather than just tell you about em like Netstumbler does) (download and try it free for 30 days.. see what you think)
While the Verizon Broadband thing is neat, it only works in limited areas, and drops back to NationalAccess speeds in areas that aren't EVDO yet. Unforunately, those areas are usually not outside cities (where most RV parks/places are) (Broadband (requires a Datacard, not a phone, seperate contract about $79 a month) and is about 400-500kb, and NationalAccess (can use a phone OR a datacard) is about 70-90kb connects).
One bad part of WiFi, the further away from the AP you are, the slower the connects are. When driving around in the RV, it's hard to get close enuf to the AP to get those high speeds.
While I have a WiFi card, I also have a cell-phone/with tether to my laptop, and use the "minutes of use option" to do voice and data combined for about $40 a month. That way, it's the best of both. I can use WiFi if I find it, but can use the cell if I can't. (did I mention if you have free nights and weekends, you can connect for free between 9:01 pm and 6am and all weekend?)
Fraid I don't know of any.. But depending on what type of laptop you have, check with the manufacturer, they may have OS upgrade kits. (I got em for both Toshiba and Dell, but forgot what you have). Seems like almost everything these days is mainly XP/2000 compatible.
PS, that Audiovox PC5220 card that does both BroadBand and National access with Verizon
), *IS* Win98SE compatible, as is Mobile Office if you want to do the phone/tethered to a laptop thing
While I don't have anything against it personally, the fact that it doesn't work with certain devices, and doesn't connect with the open hotspots it finds, make it a lot less usable/friendly than many other products out there but at $20 rather than free.
Unfortunately, as a computer repair geek, I see an awful lot of customers that can't find a hotspot.... Have to tell em it doesn't work with their card. arrrghh. drives me nuts when they decide to continue using it even though it doesn't work (with their card), cuz it's *free*, and then bitch about how bad WiFi is cause theres no hotspots out there.... The ones that drive me even crazier, are the ones that get a new card (old one worked, new one doesn't), and are convinced that either something is wrong with their new card (and want me to FIX IT), or think there are no hotspots out there.
For someone that knows what they are doing it's fine, but for the large majority (that I see), it's bad.
Re the hand held thing, yes there are keychain WiFi detectors. The Kensington detector is more widely available but does not get good reviews for accuracy. But I googled and found this unit which sounds more promising:
Of course this is just going to tell you if someone is blaring a WiFi radio signal into space, it's not going to automagically tell you if it's a free access point or if it's WEP encrypted....
has a login screen in their client hotels where you can elect to subscribe, or chose a two week free trial. That might be to avoid long term neighborhood users, or might not actually end after two weeks. The signal was very strong in the parking lot at the hotel I visited. The card in the room suggested that you needed a wireless adapter that they provided for $6.95 per stay, but my wirless card worked just fine.
If there were free WAPs in the lobby, and pay WAPs in the room, as another poster mentioned, I wonder if it would be possible to choose between them via Windows or a utility. From the lobby, it must be possible to select the free one.
has a free tool that contains a database of some hotspots, and a monitor that will give an audible "boing" when it finds a hotspot. that worked on some cards that NetStumbler didn't support. I don't know if it works on Win98. They also have a nationwide subscriber network.
Bad? I've seen you post that a few times. It works fine for me, tracks hotspots against my GPs for map-plotting later. What do you think is wrong with it?
That would suffice for my limited needs. I can usually find a WiFi, and I pay when I need to, but at $9.95 at an airport to do just a little work, the slower standard cellphone would be a good thing. Might be perfect for an RV, used only at night, and possibly faster than dialup anyway.
I had been thinking about the Cingular voice plan, which allows you to add unlimited data for $20, and will work via phone. The higher speed "EDGE" might require a card. I hadn't thought about that part.
TrueMobile 5100 Tri-band GPRS PC Card with T-Mobile Wireless Service $134.10
name Price (per month) Internet (GRPS) My E-mail T-Mobile Internet $29.99 Unlimited Unlimited With T-Mobile WiFi Hotspots $49.99
Just using "normal" minutes from a phone plan sounds like a good idea. Are you just using the phone for as a dialup modem, or do you specifcally have an internet access plan that uses voice minutes?
What phone do you have? Sony Ericsson T637 Camera Phone with USB cable? That one says "bluetooth compatible". Can a bluetooth adapter on the PC be used to access the phone, and thence internet?
My current phone has infrared, and is supposed to be a dialup modem, but that isn't supported by my carrier. I can do AT commands to the modem, but I can't dial.
Yeah, well, sorta, maybe. Netstumbler will work with any card on W2K or XP that run NDIS 5.1 drivers. See:
sometimes have to juggle drivers to get an NDIS 5.1 driver, but Netstumbler always works when I'm done. Unfortunately, not all cards and USB contraptions have NDIS 5.1 drivers.
Well, that is a problem but you didn't describe the real(tm) problem. Netstumbler works using broadcast probe packets. It can identify an access point with just a single responding management packet. That makes it quite "sensitive". However, for the same computah to actually associate, connect, deliver IP's via DHCP, and start a session, requires many more packets to be exchanged. The questions I get most are something like "I can see the hot spot with Netstumbler, but I can't connect". Duh.
$20 is about half the cost of a new Nestumbler compatible card. I would buy the new card, sell the old card, and run Netstumbler.
I usually look for the sign on the door. Maps and lists are also a big help. I maintain a local list of free and pay hot spots because just about everyone that buys a new laptop with wireless asks for such a list. It's just parts of the service.
My company motto is "If this stuff worked, you wouldn't need me". Such nonsense never bugs me too much.
For those that know, no explanations is necessary. For those that don't, no explanation is possible.
site. I normally wouldn't spend five minutes looking at a site that is so visually difficult, but I forged ahead.
I don't see that Winc does much. It looks like no more than the free tool from Boingo.com. Boingo has a list of supported cards, but I think they are conservative. i haven't seen it not work with any card.
NetStumbler is a different tool for a different purpose. I don't see much similarity to Winc. The newest version only runs on winXP, but it supports a lot more cards, probably "any".
A public company with a stock price of $0.38... winner. $28,000 in revenue? Netstumbler probably did that much. At $19.95 to $6995 per product, that's ... how many customers?
Netstumbler version 0.4.0 is for W2K and XP only. It will install on W98SE and make a mess. As I recall, it overscribbles some system file that needs to be replaced after the inevitable unintall.
Version 0.3.30 works just fine with Win98SE and WinME. That's what I use on my ancient laptop. There are some limitations, such as no scripting, and works with only the official set of supported cards. Search Google for: netstumblerinstaller_0_3_30.exe