WiFi Wireless Help Needed

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Scott G., Feb 25, 2004.

  1. Scott G.

    Scott G. Guest

    My Dell laptop has built in wireless (B and G) capability and it works great
    in my house. I have been to two separate locations in the last few days that
    offered "free" and "open" wireless access. According to my WiFi gauge (Dell
    TrueMobile 1300 WLAN Mini PC Card Utility) I had "excellent" signal and
    confirmed that the networks were "open" yet I could not open ANY web pages
    nor download and email. I shut down completely and re-booted twice and still
    had no luck.

    Any ideas or suggestions would be MUCH appreciated!

    Thanks, Scott
     
    Scott G., Feb 25, 2004
    #1
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  2. Scott G.

    Meat-->Plow Guest

    Did those networks offer (broadcast) their SSID?
     
    Meat-->Plow, Feb 25, 2004
    #2
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  3. Scott G.

    Scott G. Guest

    Did those networks offer (broadcast) their SSID?

    Honestly I don't recall :-(

    The one location (Allentown Airport, ABE) does offer and advertise fee
    wireless access and someone next to me was able to access without problem.
    Of course, he had a MAC ;-')
     
    Scott G., Feb 25, 2004
    #3
  4. Scott G.

    Duane Arnold Guest

    Did the computer's wireless NIC get a valid IP from the network's DHCP IP
    server. If it didn't get a valid IP from the network, then you can have
    100% signal strength and it will mean nothing, because the machine did
    not get a valid connection or IP on the network that's going to allow you
    to access the Internet with the computer.

    Type in IPCONFIG /all at the Command Prompt and look at the IP the next
    time. And if the IP starts with 169., it's a default IP being assigned
    indicating that the computer didn't get a valid IP from a DHCP server on
    the network.

    It's due to some mis-configuration that's stopping the machine's NIC from
    getting a valid IP.

    Duane :)
     
    Duane Arnold, Feb 25, 2004
    #4
  5. Scott G.

    Harrison Guest

    Try NetStumbler or Boingo
    http://www.netstumbler.com/download.php?op=viewdownload&cid=1&orderby=hitsD

    http://www.boingo.com/download.html

    They work great on war drives, so they should take care of your needs as well.
    Basically, they look for any prevalent wireless network and allow you to connect to them.
     
    Harrison, Feb 25, 2004
    #5
  6. Scott G.

    Shabby Guest

    probably the AP you are trying to connect to does not use DHCP - I have a
    home setup and use all static IP assignment and MAC address filtering. So un
    less you can spoof one of two machines allowed to connect then the AP won't
    allow you to do anything
     
    Shabby, Feb 25, 2004
    #6
  7. Scott G.

    Scott G. Guest

    Did the computer's wireless NIC get a valid IP from the network's DHCP IP
    Thanks for the response Duane! I honestly don't know if the wireless NIC got
    a valid IP from the network or not. I will check when I am there again next
    week. If it is a mis-configuration, is it on my end or theirs? As info, if
    it matters, on my home network we do have WEP encryption and need a password
    to access the system. I have gotten on at Starbuck's (hot spot) previously
    but its been awhile since I have tried.

    Thanks again, Scott
     
    Scott G., Feb 26, 2004
    #7
  8. Scott G.

    Scott G. Guest

    probably the AP you are trying to connect to does not use DHCP - I have a
    So, perhaps in the one case (Allentown Airport, www.lvia.org) I should share
    this with them since they just recently unveiled the free wireless
    capability and may not be aware of this problem, right?

    Thanks!
     
    Scott G., Feb 26, 2004
    #8
  9. Scott G.

    Duane Arnold Guest

    You'll have to check with an Admin of the hot spot as to the
    configuration needed for your machine to join the network.

    If you're using XP, then you can setup multiple NIC configurations to
    join different networks.

    http://asia.cnet.com/itmanager/netadmin/0,39006400,39148297,00.htm

    Duane :)
     
    Duane Arnold, Feb 26, 2004
    #9
  10. Scott G.

    Scott G. Guest

    "> You'll have to check with an Admin of the hot spot as to the
    Thanks again Duane! I do use XP so I will review the article. As for
    checking with the Admin of the hot spot
    (http://www.lvia.org/wireless/index.html), I will though I suspect that they
    are as lost as I am. This is new for them and I think that they will end up
    having to go back to their provider.

    Thanks again, Scott
     
    Scott G., Feb 26, 2004
    #10
  11. Scott G.

    Dan Shea Guest

    If the dude with the Mac next to you got on no problem, the odds are
    that they ARE running a DHCP server and it IS assigning valid IP
    addresses. Otherwise he'd be SOL too. As a previous poster
    suggested, I would try the old release/renew trick and see if you get
    a valid address. If you do, bob's your uncle. If not, there's
    something else at work, but I'd hazard a guess it's not DHCP.

    FWIW, these public wireless hotspots are SUPPOSED to be set up so
    anybody can access them; that's the whole point. If you need some
    kind of special configuration, then somebody hasn't done their job
    right. :)

    Cheers,
    dan
     
    Dan Shea, Feb 26, 2004
    #11
  12. Scott G.

    Scott G. Guest

    I would try the old release/renew trick and see if you get
    Dumb question, sorry. How exactly would I do the release/renew procedure on
    my XP machine?
     
    Scott G., Feb 27, 2004
    #12
  13. Scott G.

    Dan Shea Guest

    At the command prompt:

    ipconfig /release <enter>
    ipconfig /renew <enter>

    The only dumb question is the one left unasked.

    Cheers,
    dan
     
    Dan Shea, Feb 27, 2004
    #13
  14. Scott G.

    Scott G. Guest

    Thanks Dan and to EVERYONE who responded with advice! I believe that I found
    the problem today as I was in a buddy's office who has WiFi access but could
    not connect. I use Zone Alarm, a firewall product. At my friend's suggestion
    I revised my settings so Zone Alarm would not automatically start upon boot
    and sure enough I connected to his network with no issue! So, from now on
    when I hit the road I will make sure that I disable Zone Alarm after
    shutting down and getting on the road.

    Thanks again EVERYONE!

    ....Scott
     
    Scott G., Feb 27, 2004
    #14
  15. Scott G.

    Dan Shea Guest

    Interesting. Thanks for posting back!

    Cheers,
    dan
     
    Dan Shea, Feb 27, 2004
    #15
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