Wi-Fi technology while on the road. - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-30-2007, 01:34 AM   #29
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My recommendation is that one not be too obvious about off-premise use of a business offering 'free' WiFi, esp during business hours, unless one KNOWS the owner intended free access to all, not just to customers.

Two WiFi Arrests...

There are plenty of folks out there subscribing to the theory of "If it isn't specifically legal, then it must be illegal!", incorrect as it may be in many cases.
This is actually quite controversial. According to federal law, the FCC has the sole power to license and regulate the use of radio transmitters and receivers. The FCC's regulations are very clear about what constitutes legal and illegal uses of radio transmitters and receivers, and their regulations trump any and all other laws regarding the use of the radio spectrum.

When it comes to WiFi, FCC regulations were set up to guarantee access to WiFi frequencies and clearly state that they're a public resource anyone can use. WiFi is, in many ways, like the FRS (Family Radio Spectrum) walkie-talkies many of us use. When you talk, anyone can listen; if you have an intimate conversation with your partner and someone listens in, he hasn't broken the law. Nor has he broken the law if he interrupts and makes lewd comments as long as he does not use what the FCC defines as "offensive language." If you are offended by the things he says the only thing you can do is ignore him; alternately you can decide to tell him he's an ass for eavesdropping and get into a conversation with him. Either way, no laws have been broken.

The same concept applies to WiFi. Say you and your neighbor both have cable modems connected to a WiFi router. Because neither of you are particularly worried about security, neither of you choose to use the security features on your WiFi routers that encrypt your transmissions (akin to talking in a foreign language) or even change the default names of your routers, so both of your networks wind up being called "Linksys."

Now, you're an outdoorsy type, so once in a while you head out to the shade tree near the fence and surf the net wirelessly. You're not even aware your neighbor has a cable modem or WiFi, but because your neighbor's WiFi router is closer, your laptop automatically connects to his router instead of yours.

Some municipalities may call this "WiFi Theft," but because the FCC's rules have jurisdiction over use of the public airwaves, the local authorities can not legally intervene unless some other law (such as violating anti-hacking laws by accessing someone else's private hard drive) has been broken.

Here in Vancouver, WA there was a case involving "WiFi theft." A local guy was pulling into a local coffee shop's parking lot (the Brewed Awakenings coffee shop) and using their WiFi each day during lunch without stopping in for coffee. The Brewed Awakenings people asked him to stop and eventually called the police. It turned out the guy in question was a registered sex offender; he was convicted . . . not for WiFi theft, but for trespassing in Brewed Awakenings' parking lot.
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Old 07-30-2007, 03:07 PM   #30
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Indeed, it is controversial, and until the controversies turn in to something more firm, my advice is still to keep things low key and not obvious so one doesn't expose oneself to overzealous people and agencies. If one gets their attention, they may look hard enough to find something wrong, like trespassing, tail-lights, etc.

The FCC may ultimately have jurisdiction, but there are existing state/city laws out there and I wouldn't want to be the one paying the legal fees to make legal history in a federal court... And I really wouldn't want to be the one to make legal history if the supremes ruled that the FCC didn't have the ultimate say about the problem after all...
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Old 07-30-2007, 03:58 PM   #31
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This seems to be sliding a little off topic. NO one is advocating illegally searching or going after non public Wi-Fi.

I just ordered the matching Buffalo router so that I can sit outside my RV and receive Wi-Fi from the RV Park I have paid for.
Buffalo router - WHR-HP-G54
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Old 07-30-2007, 07:12 PM   #32
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The FCC may ultimately have jurisdiction, but there are existing state/city laws out there and I wouldn't want to be the one paying the legal fees to make legal history in a federal court... And I really wouldn't want to be the one to make legal history if the supremes ruled that the FCC didn't have the ultimate say about the problem after all...
Which is what the guy in Michigan ran into; after using the local coffeehouse WiFi to regularly check his mail during lunchtime, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor rather than fight Michigan's law in court, and was sentenced to pay $400 and 40 hours of public service.

The interesting thing about the Peterson case is that it wasn't the coffee shop that filed the complaint. The barber across the street from the coffee house was concerned that Petersen was stalking someone, reported him to the police, who questioned him. Then the chief of police -- not the coffee shop -- swore out the complaint.

But Pete is right; as things stand now no one has taken any WiFi access case to the next level, to a court trial where laws (mostly state and one federal law which, in most cases, were written as anti-hacker/cracker laws preventing illicit access to the information on a private computer system) restricting WiFi access on unsecured networks have been tested against federal regulations mandating free access to those same resources.

It'll be really interesting when that fight comes. My money is on the argument that since all WiFi access points provide simple ways to keep their connections secure (security features are part of the WiFi standards specification) and consumers have no other way to definitively know which networks are to be considered "open" vs "private," and because the FCC defined the WiFi spectrum as an open access media, any further restriction on consumer use of WiFi networks will be thrown out.

But someone has to fight that point before it'll become case law.

--Peter
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Old 08-01-2007, 08:07 PM   #33
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Something we are overlooking here is that even if the supremes decide the FCC has absolute jurisdiction over the WiFi use, the states still have jurisdiction over the internet connection, to which the WiFi is only the entrance, hence the laws that state something like 'theft of internet services', not 'theft of wifi access'...

If someone accesses someone else's cable or DSL connection in any manner, they are using contracted facilities between the paying customer and the company which installed and maintains the facility and during that connection, they are denying access to some portion of the facility to both of the other parties (I know the DSL telcos use traffic-based concentration equipment to efficiently use the bandwidth, and as traffic goes up at some point they have to buy more equipment).

So the crux of the argument here is whether it is up to the owner or the intruder to determine whether the service is public or private. I think we are back to the door example; can I open an enter any door that isn't marked private? Or must the door be obviously public?
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Old 08-01-2007, 08:28 PM   #34
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I believe Pete is right on on this one.

I had the opposing view for quite a while. I know that W-Fi is lockable and so if they leave it open, it must be open for public use by default.

It was pointed out to me that I have this website open for limited free public use. Several years ago we had a member, who ran out of space on his geocities site, decide to post his photos here. It caused my hosting size and bandwidth cost to double. I was spending $50 per month at that early time. I asked him to stop and he refused. I finally had to remove him.

If I leave my front door unlocked, does that give you the right to use the facilities in my house without permission. Of coarse not.

I had a tipi I use to camp in. The lore is, that if you place crossed sticks across the door, it is locked. The people would respect this symbol.

My feeling now is, WiFi bandwidth is paid for by the owner of the account. If you grab it with out permission, you are stealing.

There is so much offered for FREE public use, I see no need to take it without permission.

Now this thread was meant to talk about getting the quality WiFi you pay for at RV Parks.
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Old 08-12-2007, 11:23 AM   #35
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I used to have problems using my laptop in the campground with WIFI, had to turn it or move it to find the best signal. I just bought a USB WIFI from Belkin. Comes with a extra cable and stand so I turn off the internal card and now can move the antenna around to find the hot spot. It was only 39.95. Mike
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Old 08-12-2007, 02:54 PM   #36
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I used to have problems using my laptop in the campground with WIFI, had to turn it or move it to find the best signal. I just bought a USB WIFI from Belkin. Comes with a extra cable and stand so I turn off the internal card and now can move the antenna around to find the hot spot. It was only 39.95. Mike
I have one of those Mike. It works pretty good; much better then without. I still had problems though, so went the next level higher. Definitely not needed by every one.

Mike
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:00 PM   #37
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Now haven't tried this yet, but I'm certainly going to.

Increase your Wifi range

If someone beats me to this let us know of your results. I'm looking for a salad bowl right now!
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:39 PM   #38
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Anything one can do to reduce 'wasted' radiation from/to the WiFi antenna will of course improve the results; the objective being to change the patterns from spheres or donuts to a concentrated beam. There are several schemes out there for reusing a discarded satellite dish, plus of course, the old Pringles can antenna.

I recall making an audio 'antenna' out of a kid's aluminum snow disc and a tape recorder microphone. I was able to record conversations from hundreds of feet away.
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:41 PM   #39
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Thats works really well when wearing your tinfoil hat too!

With the increasing availability of cell signal just about everywhere now, I simply keep my braodband card and don't even use a GOOD wifi signal when it's available.

Most places I didn't get signal before in my travels, I do now. I am sure it will only get better.
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:56 PM   #40
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Now haven't tried this yet, but I'm certainly going to.
Increase your Wifi range
If someone beats me to this let us know of your results. I'm looking for a salad bowl right now!
Greg

Donít throw out your Wok. Have you seen this?...
http://www.usbwifi.orcon.net.nz/number13.jpg
http://www.usbwifi.orcon.net.nz/
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:40 PM   #41
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I actually did the first part of wrapping the cat5 cable around the phone and plugging in the Ethernet port. It increased the signal strength when you plugged it in. I'm in a remote area so not sure if it increased range of finding signals. Would make it really difficult if the phone rang and you needed to answer it.

Nice to know Mike that if I can't find the salad bowl I can use the scoop or wok. I can just picture all of us at a rally with Gina's tin foil helmets on and pringle cantenna's.
It seems like all we use to care about was whether they cleaned the loo regularly.

I can report that the PDANet worked extremely well with my Treo at San Elijo on our last trip, so since I own that now it is free and unlimited Internet access.

The guys at radiolabs sent me this recommendation since I only need to hook up one laptop for hitting the RVPark Wifi.

Laptop Wifi

Now where did she hide that salad bowl....
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:50 PM   #42
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I think this is their strongest USB
http://www.radiolabs.com/products/wireless...c12508917679062
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