Possible dumb question

Forgive me if this question is a little dumb - I'm new to wireless networking. I've got my home wireless system running fine - I use a laptop and two main PC's on the network and can access the internet and all files on each pc throughout the house. But every time I have tried to surf via a Wi Fi hotspot outside the home via the laptop (so far in three coffee shops ) I can connect to the network but can't get an internet connection. I have done a little bit of war driving and can connect to one or two networks and access the internet in my neighbourhood, but every time I walk into a Wi Fi Coffee shop it's a no -go Is it a simple setting I have overlooked reach the internet or do these guys simply set up the network and forget to pay their IP subscription or something?

Reply to
Steve O
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You are assuming the coffee shop wifi is free.

Reply to
John Blessing

Even if the coffee shop wireless were for money, you should be able to see it from your unspecified model laptop client. There is one exception. Boingo uses a VPN to connect to the service. You will get a web "splash" screen explaining how to use the service, but without the Boingo client, you'll go no furthur.

Three different coffee shops makes it improbable that they all have defective wireless networks. They might be turning it off when the place gets busy to help clear the seat hogs.

Some coffee shops give their customers the encryption key or token of the hour in trade for ordering some coffee or whatever. If you don't buy anything, you don't surf. The encryption key changes at some interval, usually an hour. I think this may be what is happening. Windoze XP WZC client is kinda stupid with diagnostics and does not disclose that a key exchange has failed. It just proclaimes "limited connectivity" leaving the customer to wonder what the hell is wrong. That's almost always an encryption key mismatch.

I think it best that you ask the coffee shop employees how to connect to their wireless and follow their instructions. If they require a special client or subscription, then you decide if it's worth the money.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

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