Ever notice that no matter where you go “Free Public WiFi” seems to be listed as an SSID that you can connect to? Well, lifehacker has a great article about just what that SSID is and why you should never connect to it.
- Turn off all Sharing
- If you have VPN Access, use it !
- Ensure you’re using SSL
- Limit your connection time
- Keep your device up to date
Read the long version on The Huffington Post.
Got an old WiFi router lying around or want to just shell out about $30 for a new one? Take that, install some new firmware and you’ve now got a WiFi repeater. Just follow the (somewhat technical) steps in this detailed Lifehacker article titled “Turn Your Old Router into a Range-boosting Wi-Fi Repeater”. (I’m thinking of giving it a try this weekend providing my old router is on the list of supported devices.)
A woman calls into The Tech Guy complaining that the WiFi named “linksys” has “disappeared” and wonders what she can do to fix that. (Have you guessed the punch line yet?)
The folks over at Lifehacker have done it again, this time offering The Definitive Guide to Finding Free Wi-Fi. Suggestions run from “Easy: The Most Likely Places You’ll Find Free Wi-Fi” to “Medium: Employ Wi-Fi Scanner Apps and Look-up Tools” to “Desperation Level: High”. Software suggestions include Windows, Mac, and iPhone platforms. A totally enjoyable and easy to understand read for those of us looking for that free connection in desperate times.
We don’t get too technical on this blog all that often. However, I thought several of you would be interested in this one.
If you run a WiFi network that should be secured (i.e. a non-public network such as in your home) you may have heard that you shouldn’t secure it with WEP, but instead use the better WPA. (Let’s not worry about what those acronyms stand for now. If you really want to know I’m sure you can look them up.) If you haven’t heard this before, you have now.
Why, well basically, WEP can be cracked with a little skill and very little time. As this article from Lifehacker shows, all you need is a Wireless adapter, some free software, and the ability to type at the command line.
Don’t want to read the whole article, here’s a 7:44 video on how to do it.
So, check the security settings on your home router. If you’re using WEP to secure your connections, change it to WPA. You’ll infinitely more secure. (Oh, and be sure to pick a good password. A crap password won’t let you be as secure as you can be.)
Wondering just how strong and stable your WiFi signal is? Check out inSSIDer, a free program that will provide detailed information about all of the WiFi signals in your area and chart over time the relative signal strength of each.
A quick glance at the screenshot to the right shows that the two strongest signals I have significantly drop in strength about every 30 seconds (and I wasn’t moving!) Needless to say, I’ve got a problem to investigate.
Here’s a situation. You’ve got a secured WiFi signal in your library and you’re trying to connect to it with a new computer. Trouble is, it’s been so long since you’ve connect a new computer everyone’s forgotten the key to the secured WiFi signal. What are you to do? Well, you could reset the router to factory settings but you’ll loose every other setting and you’ll need to re-secure the connection and enter the new key into every computer. A better solution? Run WirelessKeyView on a laptop that’s previously been connected to that secured WiFi signal.
This handy little program, easily run off a flash drive, will report to you the keys for every secured WiFi signal a particular computer has every been attached to. Find the right SSID, copy down the key, enter it into that new computer, and you’re all set.
Yes folks, if you haven’t figured it out yet, this is also a massive security hole. If you’ve told a computer to remember a WiFi key, I can just plug in my flash drive, run this program, and have that key in seconds. Please act accordingly.