Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Alpine Califormia
    Posts
    1,789

    Phone Picks up wifi but not laptop

    Hi Everyone I have a strange question. We were conducting a meeting at a hotel that had wireless router, couldn't get the laptop to pick up the signal but the phones would. not sure why because at the office we have a wireless router and all I have to do is connect (Passphrase key already entered) the wifi at the hotel didn't require a key. Why is it the phones picked it up but not the laptop??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    In front of the computer
    Posts
    15,579
    I'm going to guess and say "Security Settings". The computer probably recognized the hotel's Wi-Fi as "public" so it did not automagically connect. If the security settings are fairly tight (mine are REALLY tight), then it won't connect to a public network unless you (the user) explicitly tell it to connect.

    Smart Phones in general, and AT&T and Verizon's configurations in specific tend to be promiscuous... They will connect to anything that will let them, without asking. This is somewhat dangerous, especially in a public place.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Alpine Califormia
    Posts
    1,789
    cool thank you Pat

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Alpine Califormia
    Posts
    1,789
    Hi Pat I got your message, thank you. Was good to hear you again hope all is well with you. your phone number is different from the one I originally had. hmmmm???

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    3
    pat, does that mean we have to be careful before connecting to any wi-fi on public place?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    In front of the computer
    Posts
    15,579
    Public networks are just that, public. Public networks are put up by someone (often a business owner) for the use of anyone that might connect (usually customers).

    These public networks themselves are often simple, unprotected networks. Nothing is done to manage or limit access either via Wi-Fi, from "upstream network", or even from other opportunistic attackers on the internet. Because they are often a "gateway" for unsophisticated users with unprotected devices, the public networks are often viewed as "phishing holes" by computer attackers of all kinds.

    When you go to a place that you know well and especially if it is a place that understands and deals with these kind of problems, then you can connect with a reasonable degree of safety. Places like public libraries, hospitals, tech savvy merchants like Best Buy or Barnes and Nobel are reasonably safe in terms of their infrastructure.

    A completely separate issue is when someone sets up a "spoofing" Wi-Fi setup. This is when they take a specially programmed cell phone or computer with a cellular connection to a business or other location that either doesn't have its own Wi-Fi or has "dead spots" in their Wi-Fi coverage. These people set a broadcast SSID that looks legitimate, so other people connect to it and use it... effectively giving away their passwords, etc. to the owner of the spoofing device!

    There are many other ways that public Wi-Fi can be dangerous. An expert in the field with a pretty understandable web site that covers these kind of issues is Troy Hunt (and he's fun to read too)!

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •