Help Please... got a free connection and not enough knowledge

Discussion in 'Wireless Networking' started by =?Utf-8?B?VHJ1ZXJhcml0eQ==?=, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. I purchased a new laptop 15 months ago, so naturally it is really old and
    outdated now. My sister just bought a new one last month. Didn't take us
    long to discover that a neighbor (we live in a townhome) was kind enough to
    not secure their wireless network. My sister has been online using our
    neighbors wireless network for weeks now.

    My ancient laptop doesn't have built in wireless. It has the PCMIA...
    whatever that's called ...

    My question is this... what do I need to purchase to make my laptop connect
    to the floating (and free) wireless signal... and

    How can I set it up if I don't know the specifics (network name, any
    password) etc.?
    that was progammed into the host computer? and

    Will I be able to use hotel wireless and "Hotspots" like airports, etc. with
    whatever wireless stuff I add?

    I know zero about this stuff so, anyone kind enough to answer this post,
    please use elementary communication.

    Thanks,--
    Kara
     
    =?Utf-8?B?VHJ1ZXJhcml0eQ==?=, Dec 5, 2005
    #1
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  2. You need to purchase a PCMCIA (PCCARD) wireless card for your laptop. You
    can also buy one that plugs into the USB port. Make sure your laptop has USB
    (it should, it's not *that* old). Any electronics store should have them.
    Major brands are D-Link and NetGear.

    Connecting to the 'free' network should be easy - the same way your sister
    connected. They're probably broadcasting the SSID and it obviously doesn't
    need a password because your sister connects OK.

    Yes, you can then connect to other networks.

    MD





    "Truerarity" wrote:

    > I purchased a new laptop 15 months ago, so naturally it is really old and
    > outdated now. My sister just bought a new one last month. Didn't take us
    > long to discover that a neighbor (we live in a townhome) was kind enough to
    > not secure their wireless network. My sister has been online using our
    > neighbors wireless network for weeks now.
    >
    > My ancient laptop doesn't have built in wireless. It has the PCMIA...
    > whatever that's called ...
    >
    > My question is this... what do I need to purchase to make my laptop connect
    > to the floating (and free) wireless signal... and
    >
    > How can I set it up if I don't know the specifics (network name, any
    > password) etc.?
    > that was progammed into the host computer? and
    >
    > Will I be able to use hotel wireless and "Hotspots" like airports, etc. with
    > whatever wireless stuff I add?
    >
    > I know zero about this stuff so, anyone kind enough to answer this post,
    > please use elementary communication.
    >
    > Thanks,--
    > Kara
     
    =?Utf-8?B?TWFkRG9n?=, Dec 5, 2005
    #2
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  3. Thank you...

    Kara


    "MadDog" wrote:

    > You need to purchase a PCMCIA (PCCARD) wireless card for your laptop. You
    > can also buy one that plugs into the USB port. Make sure your laptop has USB
    > (it should, it's not *that* old). Any electronics store should have them.
    > Major brands are D-Link and NetGear.
    >
    > Connecting to the 'free' network should be easy - the same way your sister
    > connected. They're probably broadcasting the SSID and it obviously doesn't
    > need a password because your sister connects OK.
    >
    > Yes, you can then connect to other networks.
    >
    > MD
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > "Truerarity" wrote:
    >
    > > I purchased a new laptop 15 months ago, so naturally it is really old and
    > > outdated now. My sister just bought a new one last month. Didn't take us
    > > long to discover that a neighbor (we live in a townhome) was kind enough to
    > > not secure their wireless network. My sister has been online using our
    > > neighbors wireless network for weeks now.
    > >
    > > My ancient laptop doesn't have built in wireless. It has the PCMIA...
    > > whatever that's called ...
    > >
    > > My question is this... what do I need to purchase to make my laptop connect
    > > to the floating (and free) wireless signal... and
    > >
    > > How can I set it up if I don't know the specifics (network name, any
    > > password) etc.?
    > > that was progammed into the host computer? and
    > >
    > > Will I be able to use hotel wireless and "Hotspots" like airports, etc. with
    > > whatever wireless stuff I add?
    > >
    > > I know zero about this stuff so, anyone kind enough to answer this post,
    > > please use elementary communication.
    > >
    > > Thanks,--
    > > Kara
     
    =?Utf-8?B?VHJ1ZXJhcml0eQ==?=, Dec 5, 2005
    #3
  4. =?Utf-8?B?VHJ1ZXJhcml0eQ==?=

    Guest

    On 5-Dec-2005, =?Utf-8?B?TWFkRG9n?= <> wrote:

    > You
    > can also buy one that plugs into the USB port. Make sure your laptop has USB
    > (it should, it's not *that* old). Any electronics store should have them.
    > Major brands are D-Link and NetGear.


    In this situation USB adapters work ok, you can position them on an extension
    to pick up the best signal. I got a new USB adapter on eBay for 9.99UKPDS
    post paid. The unsecured network seems to be unused, I presume
    it's a case of "Dad, I need a PC for my schoolwork." so they got
    one, with a broadband package, from PC World, or whatever, and have
    now lost interest in it.
    NOTE riding on someone elses insecure broadband isn't, by definition,
    secure. So they can read all your traffic, and identify who you are, from
    usernames and passwords. Worst case, learn enough to access online
    banking information, even though it's encrypted. So it is probably
    best to still use dialup for emails, banking etc, and use the hijacked
    broadband for surfing, P2P (Peer to Peer) downloads, etc.
    Anyone with an unsecured network is unlikely to realise they
    are being hijacked unless they get a bill or shirty email from their
    ISP about exceeding their download limits, so it's a good idea
    to use a bandwidth monitor, preferably one that raises an alarm
    if you exceed a preset limit, say 250GB/month.
     
    , Dec 5, 2005
    #4
  5. =?Utf-8?B?VHJ1ZXJhcml0eQ==?=

    Bill Whipple Guest

    A note of caution: Be wary of "Free" connections - not all are safe. Some
    are set up as deliberate traps for the unwary.

    I know of more than one person who was "piggybacking" on an unsecured
    wireless network connection and shortly thereafter had their identities
    stolen or the bank account emptied.

    Be aware that it is VERY easy to set up an unsecured wireless network and
    record every bit of traffic that goes through it, including IDs and
    Passwords. Using freely-downloadable Linux it can be set up in minutes with
    no special software at all.

    --
    WLW

    "Truerarity" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Thank you...
    >
    > Kara
    >
    >
    > "MadDog" wrote:
    >
    >> You need to purchase a PCMCIA (PCCARD) wireless card for your laptop.
    >> You
    >> can also buy one that plugs into the USB port. Make sure your laptop has
    >> USB
    >> (it should, it's not *that* old). Any electronics store should have
    >> them.
    >> Major brands are D-Link and NetGear.
    >>
    >> Connecting to the 'free' network should be easy - the same way your
    >> sister
    >> connected. They're probably broadcasting the SSID and it obviously
    >> doesn't
    >> need a password because your sister connects OK.
    >>
    >> Yes, you can then connect to other networks.
    >>
    >> MD
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> "Truerarity" wrote:
    >>
    >> > I purchased a new laptop 15 months ago, so naturally it is really old
    >> > and
    >> > outdated now. My sister just bought a new one last month. Didn't take
    >> > us
    >> > long to discover that a neighbor (we live in a townhome) was kind
    >> > enough to
    >> > not secure their wireless network. My sister has been online using our
    >> > neighbors wireless network for weeks now.
    >> >
    >> > My ancient laptop doesn't have built in wireless. It has the PCMIA...
    >> > whatever that's called ...
    >> >
    >> > My question is this... what do I need to purchase to make my laptop
    >> > connect
    >> > to the floating (and free) wireless signal... and
    >> >
    >> > How can I set it up if I don't know the specifics (network name, any
    >> > password) etc.?
    >> > that was progammed into the host computer? and
    >> >
    >> > Will I be able to use hotel wireless and "Hotspots" like airports, etc.
    >> > with
    >> > whatever wireless stuff I add?
    >> >
    >> > I know zero about this stuff so, anyone kind enough to answer this
    >> > post,
    >> > please use elementary communication.
    >> >
    >> > Thanks,--
    >> > Kara
     
    Bill Whipple, Dec 6, 2005
    #5
  6. =?Utf-8?B?VHJ1ZXJhcml0eQ==?=

    Ryan Younger Guest

    Does your neighbour know you are using their connection? I would be very
    careful of these situations, if your neighbour has not given you permission
    and gets wind of these activities there may be legal ramifications.


    --
    All the best,

    Ryan Younger.
    http://spaces.msn.com/members/wirelessnetworking/ - Ryan's Wireless
    Networking Weblog




    "Truerarity" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I purchased a new laptop 15 months ago, so naturally it is really old and
    > outdated now. My sister just bought a new one last month. Didn't take us
    > long to discover that a neighbor (we live in a townhome) was kind enough
    > to
    > not secure their wireless network. My sister has been online using our
    > neighbors wireless network for weeks now.
    >
    > My ancient laptop doesn't have built in wireless. It has the PCMIA...
    > whatever that's called ...
    >
    > My question is this... what do I need to purchase to make my laptop
    > connect
    > to the floating (and free) wireless signal... and
    >
    > How can I set it up if I don't know the specifics (network name, any
    > password) etc.?
    > that was progammed into the host computer? and
    >
    > Will I be able to use hotel wireless and "Hotspots" like airports, etc.
    > with
    > whatever wireless stuff I add?
    >
    > I know zero about this stuff so, anyone kind enough to answer this post,
    > please use elementary communication.
    >
    > Thanks,--
    > Kara
     
    Ryan Younger, Dec 6, 2005
    #6
  7. Would they be able to know and, if so, how could they find out this if they
    don't know enough about computers to even secure it in the first place?

    This really shines a bright light on several previous responses about this
    signal being unsecured intentionally.

    Perhaps I just pay for a cable connection.

    Thanks to all who answered.
    --
    Kara


    "Ryan Younger" wrote:

    > Does your neighbour know you are using their connection? I would be very
    > careful of these situations, if your neighbour has not given you permission
    > and gets wind of these activities there may be legal ramifications.
    >
    >
    > --
    > All the best,
    >
    > Ryan Younger.
    > http://spaces.msn.com/members/wirelessnetworking/ - Ryan's Wireless
    > Networking Weblog
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > "Truerarity" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > >I purchased a new laptop 15 months ago, so naturally it is really old and
    > > outdated now. My sister just bought a new one last month. Didn't take us
    > > long to discover that a neighbor (we live in a townhome) was kind enough
    > > to
    > > not secure their wireless network. My sister has been online using our
    > > neighbors wireless network for weeks now.
    > >
    > > My ancient laptop doesn't have built in wireless. It has the PCMIA...
    > > whatever that's called ...
    > >
    > > My question is this... what do I need to purchase to make my laptop
    > > connect
    > > to the floating (and free) wireless signal... and
    > >
    > > How can I set it up if I don't know the specifics (network name, any
    > > password) etc.?
    > > that was progammed into the host computer? and
    > >
    > > Will I be able to use hotel wireless and "Hotspots" like airports, etc.
    > > with
    > > whatever wireless stuff I add?
    > >
    > > I know zero about this stuff so, anyone kind enough to answer this post,
    > > please use elementary communication.
    > >
    > > Thanks,--
    > > Kara

    >
    >
    >
     
    =?Utf-8?B?VHJ1ZXJhcml0eQ==?=, Dec 6, 2005
    #7
  8. =?Utf-8?B?VHJ1ZXJhcml0eQ==?=

    Guest

    On 6-Dec-2005, "=?Utf-8?B?VHJ1ZXJhcml0eQ==?=" <>
    wrote:

    > Would they be able to know and, if so, how could they find out this if they
    > don't know enough about computers to even secure it in the first place?


    There is packet monitoring software, and with an insecure network the
    captured packets show things like login name, passwords, and most
    other things you do when accessing the network, such as the websites
    you visit, what you download, and enough to identify who you are.
    Because it is insecure, anyone with a wireless enabled laptop can
    do the same, it may not be the person who is paying for the connection,
    it may be a total stranger.
    So if you share, or hijack, a nearby insecure connection there is no
    easy way to know if everything you do is being evesdropped by a stranger.
    The guy with the insecure network is only a minor worry if he is
    not competent enough to secure it.
     
    , Dec 6, 2005
    #8
  9. Thank you for answering..

    Do you know what happens in hotels and hotspot, etc.

    For example.... Budda checks into a motel and uses their wireless to pay his
    bills or check his company email. Can others using the same wireless system
    see what he is doing? If so, why do people want wireless everywhere?

    --
    Kara


    "" wrote:

    >
    > On 6-Dec-2005, "=?Utf-8?B?VHJ1ZXJhcml0eQ==?=" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    > > Would they be able to know and, if so, how could they find out this if they
    > > don't know enough about computers to even secure it in the first place?

    >
    > There is packet monitoring software, and with an insecure network the
    > captured packets show things like login name, passwords, and most
    > other things you do when accessing the network, such as the websites
    > you visit, what you download, and enough to identify who you are.
    > Because it is insecure, anyone with a wireless enabled laptop can
    > do the same, it may not be the person who is paying for the connection,
    > it may be a total stranger.
    > So if you share, or hijack, a nearby insecure connection there is no
    > easy way to know if everything you do is being evesdropped by a stranger.
    > The guy with the insecure network is only a minor worry if he is
    > not competent enough to secure it.
    >
     
    =?Utf-8?B?VHJ1ZXJhcml0eQ==?=, Dec 6, 2005
    #9
  10. =?Utf-8?B?VHJ1ZXJhcml0eQ==?=

    Dave Guest

    that is why those who know use secure web sites and vpn's to their company
    to encrypt traffic in hotels or on any unknown network. most banking sites
    are already encrypted, the big problems are things like logging in to your
    isp's pop3 server that takes a plain text password or visiting your favorite
    porn site that doesn't encrypt the login.

    "Truerarity" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Thank you for answering..
    >
    > Do you know what happens in hotels and hotspot, etc.
    >
    > For example.... Budda checks into a motel and uses their wireless to pay
    > his
    > bills or check his company email. Can others using the same wireless
    > system
    > see what he is doing? If so, why do people want wireless everywhere?
    >
    > --
    > Kara
    >
    >
    > "" wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> On 6-Dec-2005, "=?Utf-8?B?VHJ1ZXJhcml0eQ==?="
    >> <>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >> > Would they be able to know and, if so, how could they find out this if
    >> > they
    >> > don't know enough about computers to even secure it in the first place?

    >>
    >> There is packet monitoring software, and with an insecure network the
    >> captured packets show things like login name, passwords, and most
    >> other things you do when accessing the network, such as the websites
    >> you visit, what you download, and enough to identify who you are.
    >> Because it is insecure, anyone with a wireless enabled laptop can
    >> do the same, it may not be the person who is paying for the connection,
    >> it may be a total stranger.
    >> So if you share, or hijack, a nearby insecure connection there is no
    >> easy way to know if everything you do is being evesdropped by a stranger.
    >> The guy with the insecure network is only a minor worry if he is
    >> not competent enough to secure it.
    >>
     
    Dave, Dec 7, 2005
    #10
  11. It all makes sense now. Thanks bunches.

    Ok... I just purchased a linkseys USB adapter... fixing to attempt to
    connect to my generous neighbor's wireless. I will probably be back here in
    a few minutes with a new list of questions.

    Meant to ask.. what is your favorite porn site...I have a few photos on
    several of them, but never view sites...but glad ya'll do... real glad...
    keep it up (pun intended).

    Again, thanks for all the advice.

    --
    Kara


    "Dave" wrote:

    > that is why those who know use secure web sites and vpn's to their company
    > to encrypt traffic in hotels or on any unknown network. most banking sites
    > are already encrypted, the big problems are things like logging in to your
    > isp's pop3 server that takes a plain text password or visiting your favorite
    > porn site that doesn't encrypt the login.
    >
    > "Truerarity" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > Thank you for answering..
    > >
    > > Do you know what happens in hotels and hotspot, etc.
    > >
    > > For example.... Budda checks into a motel and uses their wireless to pay
    > > his
    > > bills or check his company email. Can others using the same wireless
    > > system
    > > see what he is doing? If so, why do people want wireless everywhere?
    > >
    > > --
    > > Kara
    > >
    > >
    > > "" wrote:
    > >
    > >>
    > >> On 6-Dec-2005, "=?Utf-8?B?VHJ1ZXJhcml0eQ==?="
    > >> <>
    > >> wrote:
    > >>
    > >> > Would they be able to know and, if so, how could they find out this if
    > >> > they
    > >> > don't know enough about computers to even secure it in the first place?
    > >>
    > >> There is packet monitoring software, and with an insecure network the
    > >> captured packets show things like login name, passwords, and most
    > >> other things you do when accessing the network, such as the websites
    > >> you visit, what you download, and enough to identify who you are.
    > >> Because it is insecure, anyone with a wireless enabled laptop can
    > >> do the same, it may not be the person who is paying for the connection,
    > >> it may be a total stranger.
    > >> So if you share, or hijack, a nearby insecure connection there is no
    > >> easy way to know if everything you do is being evesdropped by a stranger.
    > >> The guy with the insecure network is only a minor worry if he is
    > >> not competent enough to secure it.
    > >>

    >
    >
    >
     
    =?Utf-8?B?VHJ1ZXJhcml0eQ==?=, Dec 7, 2005
    #11
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