Newbie to wifi hotspots, could use some advice

I recently established a wireless network set up in my home, with a cable modem, several PCs, and my laptop which connects up with PCMCIA USB, and an adapter, so I have a small, limited amount of understanding as to how to connect to a wireless network..

Figuring to see what all the fuss is, over wifi hotspots, I went to the local library which offers it to all who have a library account.

I turn on the laptop, and the site survey finds the library network, so I connect to it, and it turns the signal meter green at 99%, and activates the icon in the task bar, which on my home network, apparently indicating that I am now connected to the network.

I give it a few moments, but I have no connectivity. An ipconfig reveals the IP address apparently 'left over' from my home network. No ping, nothing to indicate connectivity, other than the wireless adapter software, which tells me I am connected, and of course the web browser gets me nowhere either.

I have never done this, and do not know for certain, all the steps I need to take, to connect, beyond what I have seen at home.

My question is, since the library adamantly refuses to talk about the wifi details, and leaves it up to the customer to cope, is it a safe assumption that there is no encryption, like WEP, and that because I can find the network by scanning, and I choose to connect and get a green signal meter and the green icon in the task bar, that its something on my laptop that needs attention, or could it still be that I am not really accessing the wifi network due to some encryption, or other issue on their end?

If it uses WEP or some other encryption, would I be able to connect at all, and get the indications I have gotten?

The library web page tells me that once I connect, and try to use the browser, their page will pop up and ask me for my library card information, but I don't get that far, and have no experience in this area, so I wish to know if its all on the laptop side, or do I need to know something more about the library network?

Sure appreciate any suggestions, or recommendations as to how to proceed, or what to look for.

Not any other free hotspots close by to experiment with.

Thanks a lot for any help,

Reply to
mark
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and I need to mention that my laptop is set to DHCP, which is how it works on the home network... :-)

Reply to
mark

I would think that the library is a public based wireless network, which should mean it has no encryption.

So, if you have something like WEP or WAP on the card enabled, then the computer cannot get an IP from the DHCP server on the network so that the machine can connect to the Internet, because the wireless network is not using encryption that requires a key be given by the card.

You should disable WEP or WAP on the card, make sure the firewall on the machine is running and the machine is NOT set to share resources on the public wireless network.

Reply to
Mr. Arnold

mark hath wroth:

It's a common problem with some drivers. My guess(tm) is that you're not shutting down the laptop, but instead are putting it into hibernate. That's fine, but when it wakes up, it still thinks it's connected to your wireless home networks. You can convince it otherwise by simply rebooting. Much easier is to run: start -> run -> cmd ipconfig /release (wait a few seconds) ipconfig /renew ipconfig (to see that you have a new IP address)

Wow. That's the longest comma splice I've seen in a while. Very impressive. However, your writing would be clearer if you used more periods and fewer commas.

Most if not all library systems do NOT use encryption of any type. There's no need or benifit to secure a wide open public network. If there were encryption, your wireless client software would have asked for a password when you initially connected. You can also use a program like Netstumbler or Wi-Fi Hopper to display the type of encryption. Windoze wireless zero config will also do the same thing under "View Available Networks".

No. You would have been asked for a password on initial connection.

That's called a "captive portal". You get the same web page until the access point is satisfied with the library card info. If you can see that page, everything is working.

Are you sure? Have you checked the various online directories? Even if they're for pay hot spots, like Starbucks or McDonalds, you can still connect up to the splash screen, which will determine if it's working.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Jeff Liebermann hath wroth:

Also, John Navas wrote a VBS script to do it much neater and easier. See:

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Hey, I have never had any encryption enabled while in a hotel that has wireless.

Is the machine going to connect if the wireless is public, but the card has an encryption key?

Reply to
Mr. Arnold

"Mr. Arnold" hath wroth:

I have. Some coffee shops and hotels don't want the whole world on their wireless network and simply pass out encryption keys to their customers. The keys get changed erratically.

I wasn't going to say anything (mostly because I'm 80% asleep), but you have it wrong. The card does nothing with encryption settings.

In infrastructure mode, the access point controls literally everything. It controls the channel number, data speed, handshaking, flow control, encryption and authentication. The wireless client just follows along meekly obeying whatever the access point demands. The encryption mode is setup in the access point, not the client. There's no setting for encryption mode in the client properties.

Of course, things are different in ad-hoc mode, where everything is done client to client. In that case, the client does control the channel, speed, handshake, flow control, encryption, and possibly authentication. However, no public access point that I've seen uses ad-hoc mode.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Since I have no delusions about being able to demand answers from people who are happy to volunteer their experiences, I suggest that you cease to demand grammatical perfection from those who seek such advice......

Proper english, by the way, is "more clear" not "clearer"

Why on earth would I lie about such a thing?.......Yes, I am sure......

Reply to
mark

What abundant, and incorrect, nonsense!

Reply to
RWEmerson

Bullshit.

Reply to
Warren Oates

mark hath wroth:

Ummm... replace "delusions" with "illusions". "experience" should be singular. The aformentioned paragraph is a comma splice as the topic of demanding answers and grammatical perfection are seperate topics. Also, there are only 3 periods in an ellipsis.

I'm sorry you took my advice badly. It was intended to be a suggestion that might improve your communications abilities. It was particularly obvious to me as I also have a tendency toward endless comma splice. I attribute this to my "train of thought" method of writing while I'm thinking, instead of thinking first, and then writing.

Whatever. If you seek perfection, I suggest any of the online grammar checkers. Just cut-n-paste my ranting into one of these and you'll have far more ammunition for your error hunt. There are also scoring system for such exercises, that rate errors by their severity. It's always fun to run famous quotes and writings into such grammar checkers.

Replacing excessive commas with periods isn't going to help much. In your previous sentences, you seem to have forgotten the period at the end. Now, I find all the periods have accumulated at the bottom of your message. Obviously, this is a gravity problem, where all the periods fall to the lowest level. You might try shaking your computer to equalize the distribution of periods.

As I understand it, "are you sure?" does not constitute an accusation of deception. It's a suggestion that you use one of several online wi-fi hotspot search tools to see if there are any hotspots in the area that you may have missed. I was amazed to find a local real estate office operating an open hotspot. See the FAQ at:

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Ah yes, the reply of the uneducated. Of course. Its usenet.

You and the other "college graduates" here need to take a minute, and look up the word "clearer" in a respectable dictionary, and you will find out, to your embarrassment, that it is not even a word, in the context in which it was applied here.

"clearer" is a person, who clears things, peaches.

Sorry to have bothered the delicate geniuses with an actual question.

Reply to
mark

Fuck off you pedantic cocksucker.

formatting link

Reply to
Warren Oates

Gee, sorry to keep exposing how stupid you are, but that page defines the word -clear- There is no such word as clearer in the context used here.

Its easy to see why you cannot actually read those definitions, since your entire vocabulary consists of fuck and cocksucker.

Be sure and reply with some words that you mother would be proud of. I know I sure don't care what you say. Its usenet, the only place dorks like you, get to pretend to be the tough guy, when such an attitude would get your pimply face broken, if you ever spoke to someone like that, in real life.

Enjoy the squallor that is your life.

Reply to
mark

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