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Author Topic: Wifi  (Read 7179 times)

Coachmen2

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Wifi
« on: July 03, 2007, 04:52:35 PM »
New to the Wireless Internet and looking to get hooked up.  I found a website that list free WiFi, my question is, do you have to go into these establishments to access or can you do it in the parking lot?

Thanks

Ned

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2007, 05:06:16 PM »
Businesses that offer free WiFi do it with the expectation that you will be doing business with them.  It's a courtesy for their customers.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Ron

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2007, 06:20:52 PM »
New to the Wireless Internet and looking to get hooked up.  I found a website that list free WiFi, my question is, do you have to go into these establishments to access or can you do it in the parking lot?

Thanks

If you use a wifi without permission that is the same as stealing services.  Just because it says free wifi does not mean that anybody has permission to use it.  When doing business with them they will most likely offer the service to you or you can ask.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2007, 06:22:33 PM by Ron »
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Coachmen2

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2007, 06:26:41 PM »
How about libraries?

Thanks

Ned

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2007, 06:29:41 PM »
Libraries are public services and open to all.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

John From Detroit

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2007, 06:40:45 PM »
There have been a few cases where people just sat in the parking lot... And wound up sitting in a jail cell.

IIRC all the reported cases the person was warned off (more than once) before he was hauled off. but as was said above

The Free Wi-Fi is a service provided for our CUSTOMERS. Please be a customer.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Coachmen2

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2007, 10:41:42 AM »
I have a T-Mobile phone.  Can I access the internet this way?  Anybody have T-Mobile for Wifi, if so, how does it do?

Thanks,
Randy

Bob Buchanan

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2007, 11:53:15 AM »
I have a T-Mobile phone.  Can I access the internet this way?  Anybody have T-Mobile for Wifi, if so, how does it do?

Thanks,
Randy

T-Mobile offers that service -- however, you must have a phone that supports the service. Go their web site and check out the list of phones to see if yours is OK. If so, you can then add that service to your current plan. When I was reviewing services and phones for a Smart Phone I looked at T-Mobile. I liked their pricing plans, but every review I read indicated their coverage was less than what I would need as a full time RVer. So I stayed with Verizon and have a Smart Phone by Motorola called the MotoQ. I really liked the DASH phone by T-Mobile, but not sure if it was WiFi ready.

Suggest you call your T-Mobile dealer or go to their website to look at the phones and plans that are Hot Spot ready.
Bob (fulltimer - Rocklin, CA residency)
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Tom

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2007, 12:20:23 PM »
Randy,

T-mobile also offers an add-on internet service using an air card. Used to be $20/month if you had an existing phone plan with them, but prices have probably changed. One downside of the add-on plan is that both the phone and the air card share the same SIM card. I had that plan for a couple of weeks, then decided it was a hassle and activated the air card with its own SIM card, but it obviously costs more per month. The air card doubles as a WiFi card.

I've had excellent (but not 100%) coverage across the U.S. and Eastern Canada. Also used it while we were on vacation in the UK last year.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2007, 12:43:16 PM by Tom »
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scottydl

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2007, 12:36:23 PM »
IIRC all the reported cases the person was warned off (more than once) before he was hauled off. but as was said above

The Free Wi-Fi is a service provided for our CUSTOMERS. Please be a customer.

Sounds like that example would have been a trespassing charge (person was asked to leave the property and refused) and not a theft charge of any kind.  Unless businesses have a password-protected network that you hack into, or a sign that says "free internet for paying customers only" I don't think anyone will bother you.  In fact many businesses in my area offer free wifi as a way to attract people who will likely become paying customers... not the other way around.  Big cities are well known for advertising wifi "hotspots" where you can sit in a certain area and pick up any one of many available free wireless internet signals.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

ava

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2007, 12:49:02 PM »
I heard of another option to wifi and it was called an "aircard" offered through
verizon. You connect your laptop with your cellphone, billed together on one
bill but the airtime is seperate for the cellphone and internet time was flat 60 bucks
a month, and I was told the aircard was like 150. I just recently heard about this and
have not yet called verizon but I'm going to, as I think it would be cheaper than wifi
and verizon has good service all over the US.
from the desert of Arizona
where the wind blows and the tumbleweeds roll
2000 Cameo fifthwheel
Ava
Gracie and Pixie
forever in my heart Bandit

John From Detroit

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2007, 01:43:16 PM »
I think most current T-moblie phones support the internet, I know my I-888 did way back, and so did the phone before it (in 1999) and the one that came after it (nokia) and the two that came after that (I'm hard on phones, I really miss the one I lost in Page AZ though)  right up to my current one.

Two things you need to know *99# may well be your internet access number (Using the phone as a modem that is the number you tell your computer to dial).  and you will need to subscribe, Price is reasonable (I'm not sure if it is 6, 10 or 20/month)

The phone may be able to connect to your computer via I/R link (Slow and flakey at least for me, but it works) tether (I have a tether but it won't work with my current phone, worked fine with the last two) or bluetooth (Works GREAT with the new phone)

Different tethers for different phones, Tether costs about fifty bucks.  Bluetooth may be included in your computer or I use a dongle
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Coachmen2

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2007, 02:11:05 PM »
Thanks for the reply.  What about the truck stops, is this a pay as you go internet service or free?

Randy

Ned

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2007, 02:24:08 PM »
The truck stops are subscription only WiFi.  There may be an occasional one with free access, but I haven't found one.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Coachmen2

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2007, 04:36:20 PM »
I went to Office Depot to try their free WiFi, computer showed that I was connected to the internet.  But, could not access with explorer or netscape.  Office depot did not have a clue.  Am I missing a step.  Once it shows good connection, I should access the internet with Explorer, right?

Randy

Ned

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2007, 04:51:17 PM »
Could be a lot of reasons.  Did you disable any other network connections on the computer?  Was their internet connection really working?  Were other using it with no problems?
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

scottydl

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2007, 04:59:10 PM »
Once it shows good connection, I should access the internet with Explorer, right?

Or any internet browser, yes.  Once you are connected to their network, you are connected.  However if THEIR network is not connected to the actual internet, then your connectivity with their connection has no place to connect.  ;)

I'm betting it was a problem on their end and not yours.  If you want to try another place with free Wifi just to test out your equipment, retail coffee shops (Starbucks, etc.) and libraries as previously mentioned are a good bet.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2007, 05:29:57 PM »
Quote
I heard of another option to wifi and it was called an "aircard" offered through
verizon.

That's not wifi, ava, but it is wireless internet access via what is known as cellular data service. Many of us here use cellular data via Verizon or Sprint and some use Cingular or T-Mobile cellular as well. Some cell phones work as digital modems and can be connected to your computer via USB cable or Bluetooth wirelss, or you can purchase a cellular data card ("air card", named after the first such card from Sierra).  You can get a data card pretty cheaply now when signing up a new account. As with cell phones, the free or cheap equipment requires a contract, usually two years.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Tom

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2007, 07:03:08 PM »
The GC89 T-mobile air card (actually made by Sony Ericsson) also doubles as a WiFi adapter; Two separate functions. The WiFi adapter can be used with any WiFi connection that allows you to get in. I use the GC89 WiFi option interchangeably with the built-in WiFi adapter on one of my notebooks. On the other notebook that doesn't have a built-in WiFi adapter, the GC89 card is it.

The other function of the GC89 is cellular data service.

Here's an explanation of the GC89 air card on T-mobile's web site.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2007, 07:10:31 PM by Tom »
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MikeD123

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2007, 10:51:46 PM »
Usually newer laptops have wireless built into them.  A window pops up and allows you to connect to your choice of available networks.  It does show those that are secure and non-secure.  When we are traveling, we sign up for Flying J HotSpots wifi service for 19.95/mo and then cancel it when we are done.  Pulling in for gas, we get on and download email.  We stay overnight often and enjoy being connected.  This includes Petrol and other TA centers as well sometimes.

Often we have found other hot spots at motels, shopping centers and even a Dairy Queen while passing through town.  You can get connected for free and any Panara Bread.  Inside or outside.  The new sites popup in a window and you can refresh the connections.

At our winter site in Florida, we had Brighthouse Cable at the campsite on a monthly basis.  Phone/CableTV/BroadBand, all for 120 a month.  No installation charges and they ran all the cable(2) into an access panel on the MH.  We were very pleased with the service.  They seem to understand campers.

Of course a lot of CG's have wireless for free or a charge.

Mike

John From Detroit

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2007, 07:57:58 AM »
Rumor has it that AT&T broadband customers (I have AT&T DSL) now get free-wi-fi at AT&T hotspots, including the ever popular Mickey D's.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

KodiakRV

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2007, 08:45:56 AM »
Rumor has it that AT&T broadband customers (I have AT&T DSL) now get free-wi-fi at AT&T hotspots, including the ever popular Mickey D's.
I heard something like that, but it was only free if you have the highest speed DSL account.  If you have a lower speed DSL it is around $2/day.
Frank
Florida

blueblood

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2007, 09:59:16 AM »
I went to Office Depot to try their free WiFi, computer showed that I was connected to the internet.  But, could not access with explorer or netscape.  Office depot did not have a clue.  Am I missing a step.  Once it shows good connection, I should access the internet with Explorer, right?

Randy

There are two connections necessary for wi-fi. The first is the radio frquency link between the equipment. This shows up in Wireless Network Coonection box as Signal strength (Low/Very Good/Excellent) )and Status (Connected). The second is that the providers equipment must suoply an IP address to your equipment to actually connect to the Internet. If no IP address is assigned no Internet.  This will often be noted by a pop-up that advises that connection will have limited response.
Leo

John From Detroit

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2007, 12:13:05 PM »
Another issue with Wi-Fi, this applies to windows 9x, it does NOT apply to XP (or should not)

I found with 98se I could connect here at home but not away from home.. Took me a while but I finally figured it out.

Windows 98 does not release the IP address from the adapter till it expieres, this can take days.  I ended up writing a short utility (Batch file) that manually released the IP addresses and renewed them.

After that the computer worked much, much, better.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Wifi
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2007, 02:39:54 PM »
Quote
Rumor has it that AT&T broadband customers (I have AT&T DSL) now get free-wi-fi at AT&T hotspots, including the ever popular Mickey D's.

And it's not at all McD's either. Some don't have wifi and some use other wifi providers than AT&T.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL