My first try at Free Wi-Fi Hotspots

Discussion in 'Wireless Internet' started by Michael L. Arends, Jan 12, 2004.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I JUST started reading this group, and have learned a few things. I am
    VERY new to all things Wi-Fi so please bear with me if I ask dumb questions.

    My wife and I recently took the plunge and got Cable internet access, as
    ell, we recently (for Xmas) bought a Netgear router, (802.11b) and
    Netgear USB thumbdrive type adapter (802.11b) I think it's model WA111.

    Anyway, after a little tinkering, it works perfect. I can now get
    online, share files with the wife, and print, via our new home wireless
    network. HOORAY!! In fact I'm online via it now.

    WHAT i am wondering about is this. Today I went to our Local (Large)
    bookstore, (NOT a B&N or Borders) that has FREE Wi-Fi access (Hotspot).

    when I was there, My adapter recognized their network, as soon as I
    inserted the adapter in my USB port. My connectoid in my system tray
    said I had anywhere from a good to very good signal, (it waffled back
    and forth). BUT, I couldn't do anything.

    I loaded my browser, and it wouldnt/couldn't go any where.
    I loaded my email client, and it couldn't find my ISP's server.

    OH, and I'm letting Windows XP control everything. As the software that
    came with my adapter, wouldn't allow it to work properly on my laptop.
    (HP Pavilion ze5185, W/512M Ram ,etc..

    WHAT AM i DOING WRONG?

    Thanks so much for your help everyone.

    Michael
    --
    ~\\|//~
    -(o o)-
    __________oOOOo--(_)--oOOOo__________
    / Michael Arends \
    | To Contact me, remove NODAMNSPAM |
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    Michael L. Arends, Jan 12, 2004
    #1
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  2. Michael L. Arends

    Garry Knight Guest

    Michael L. Arends wrote:

    [Summary: poster can access home wireless network from [laptop?]; can
    connect to WiFi hotspot in bookshop but can't get onto Internet]

    I don't know Windows XP but I'm wondering, do you use static IPs at home?
    Most hotspot APs rely on you using DHCP to get your IP, DNS IPs and
    gateway. Maybe WinXP handles that automatically?
     
    Garry Knight, Jan 12, 2004
    #2
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  3. In infinite wisdom Garry Knight answered:
    See, that goes "zing" right over my head. :cool:

    You could be right, But I have No idea. As I said I'm pretty new at
    this. Can ya tell? 8-/

    Guess I'll need a little Hand Holding on something like this.
    Don't worry, I don't have sweaty Palms. ;-)


    Again, Thanks EVERYONE for your Ideas, and Help.

    Michael
    --
    ~\\|//~
    -(o o)-
    __________oOOOo--(_)--oOOOo__________
    / Michael Arends \
    | To Contact me, remove NODAMNSPAM |
    | ----------------------- |
    | |
    \_____________________________________/
     
    Michael L. Arends, Jan 12, 2004
    #3
  4. Michael L. Arends

    James Knott Guest

    You might not be able to access the mail server from elsewhere, except
    possibly via web mail
    You might have to arrange access with the book store.
    --

    Fundamentalism is fundamentally wrong.

    To reply to this message, replace everything to the left of "@" with
    james.knott.
     
    James Knott, Jan 12, 2004
    #4
  5. Michael L. Arends

    Ray Bacon Guest

    Michael,

    I happen to be using a similar USB adapter as you, Netgear MA111 (are you
    sure you are using WA111?).

    My adapter works great at home, grabbed a free signal at a Borders WiFi
    "free day" location, but had the same experience as you at a local airport
    WiFi service (Sacramento). I got the signal but couldn't initialize the
    browser.

    After talking to the airport network guy after I returned from my trip, I
    became convinced that I just didn't do an "accept" of the airport signal, as
    he was pretty adamant that they had no problems with reception of their
    signal and really wanted to figure out why I couldn't grab it.

    The obvious thing you need to be certain you do for that signal is to grab
    the signal and accept it in your Netgear adapter config box.

    The other response you got to this message, of having an automatic
    assignment of DHCP IP, is something you should check on your laptop.

    --Ray
     
    Ray Bacon, Jan 12, 2004
    #5
  6. In infinite wisdom Ray Bacon answered:
    Yeah That's it I think.. MA111 Works great at home.
    How do you do this? Sorry, don't mean to be dense. This is just all so
    new to me.

    --
    ~\\|//~
    -(o o)-
    __________oOOOo--(_)--oOOOo__________
    / Michael Arends \
    | To Contact me, remove NODAMNSPAM |
    | ----------------------- |
    | |
    \_____________________________________/
     
    Michael L. Arends, Jan 12, 2004
    #6
  7. In infinite wisdom Garry Knight answered:
    Thank you very much for your help Garry.

    --
    ~\\|//~
    -(o o)-
    __________oOOOo--(_)--oOOOo__________
    / Michael Arends \
    | To Contact me, remove NODAMNSPAM |
    | ----------------------- |
    | |
    \_____________________________________/
     
    Michael L. Arends, Jan 12, 2004
    #7
  8. Michael L. Arends

    Garry Knight Guest

    Well, here's what happens with my Pocket PC. I have a Compact Flash WiFi
    card plugged in; this is configured to have a static IP address
    (192.168.0.3) and to use the WiFi PCI card on my PC (with IP 192.168.0.2)
    as a gateway. My PC runs Linux and is set up to pass networking requests to
    and from the local LAN and the Internet.

    When I come across a WiFi hotspot my Pocket PC's WiFi card detects the
    network Access Point but won't connect to it since my PPC is set to connect
    to my LAN. If I go in and change the settings so it looks for an SSID of
    'ANY' then it connects to the AP. However, it still won't be able to reach
    the Internet since a) it's still using the static IP of 192.168.0.3, and b)
    the Access Point's gateway IP almost certainly isn't 192.168.0.2. So I need
    to go back in and configure my card to use 'Dynamic IP' (also known as DHCP
    - Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol).

    This is one place where profile management breaks down. I can change profile
    from my home setup to a generic WiFi access spot setup, but my PPC's IP is
    linked to my card, not to any of my profiles. I'd like to see profile
    management include the option of reconfiguring DHCP vs static IP. It may be
    that your WinXP setup already includes this option.

    I'm sorry if this is still over your head but I can't explain further
    without giving you Network 101 and a) this isn't the right place (Google
    is, though), and b) it's 3am local time and I'm out of energy right now.

    Hopefully the cavalry are somewhere in your locality...
     
    Garry Knight, Jan 12, 2004
    #8
  9. Michael L. Arends

    Ray Bacon Guest

    Michael,

    Okay, you have two good questions, and we are using the same type of USB
    adapter (MA111, I think is what you meant):

    1. To grab the signal, your Netgear adapter configuration screen should be
    in infrastructue mode and should be scanning for local signals (site survey
    screen). When you see the WiFi signal, click on it or highlight it and
    click okay. Then check your "status" screen and verify that you are getting
    a signal with data transmitted.

    2. Regarding the network settings, to ensure that you can receive an
    automatic assignment of an IP, go to:
    Network Properties, Internet Protocol properties, and verify that your
    properties are set at: 1) obtain an IP address automatically, and 2) obtain
    DNS server address automatically.

    The exception to the above networking change is if the WiFi provider has
    particular settings (public IP) that you must input.

    The above directions apply to the Netgear adapter software that I use and
    for the same adapter you have (if you used it in place of the WinXP wireless
    software). If anyone can fault my directions, I will not be offended.

    --Ray
     
    Ray Bacon, Jan 12, 2004
    #9
  10. Each reply here has avoided mentioning the posibility of needing to renew
    your DHCP address.

    When changing between DHCP hosts on ALL NT based OS's... do the following:
    -go to a command prompt (Start, Run, "cmd")
    -release your current IP configuration "IPCONFIG /RELEASE"
    -renew it "IPCONFIG /RENEW" (it will either renew and tell you your
    configuration, or fail)
    -test your IP connection

    I use W2K Pro on my work laprop & am constantly moving between my office and
    clients' sites. I had to release/ renew so often that I created a batch
    file and placed it on my Windows desktop.
     
    -: R.A.T Boy :-, Jan 12, 2004
    #10
  11. Michael L. Arends

    James Knott Guest

    XP can be configured to try dhcp first, then a static configuration.

    --

    Fundamentalism is fundamentally wrong.

    To reply to this message, replace everything to the left of "@" with
    james.knott.
     
    James Knott, Jan 12, 2004
    #11
  12. Michael L. Arends

    Garry Knight Guest

    Then that's probably the best setting for Michael. I doubt it will slow down
    his initial connection to his home setup by more than a few seconds.
     
    Garry Knight, Jan 12, 2004
    #12
  13. HOORAY! And half of the city nearby is online via it right now, too! :)


    P.Krumins
     
    Peteris Krumins, Jan 12, 2004
    #13
  14. In infinite wisdom Ray Bacon answered:
    Ray,

    Thanks again for your help. I'm letting Win XP control the Netgear
    adapter (same as yours) But, I'll have to wait until the next time
    I go there to try your advice. I am filing your message to refer to when
    I do.

    thanks again.

    Michael
    --
    ~\\|//~
    -(o o)-
    __________oOOOo--(_)--oOOOo__________
    / Michael Arends \
    | To Contact me, remove NODAMNSPAM |
    | ----------------------- |
    | |
    \_____________________________________/
     
    Michael L. Arends, Jan 13, 2004
    #14
  15. In infinite wisdom James Knott answered:
    James, I'm filing away your helpful suggestions as well.
    Thanks a Bunch you guys. Hopefully with your help I'll get it to work
    wherever I go. I'm very New to this.

    Michael

    --
    ~\\|//~
    -(o o)-
    __________oOOOo--(_)--oOOOo__________
    / Michael Arends \
    | To Contact me, remove NODAMNSPAM |
    | ----------------------- |
    | |
    \_____________________________________/
     
    Michael L. Arends, Jan 13, 2004
    #15
  16. In infinite wisdom Peteris Krumins answered:
    Well, maybe.. But our nearest neigbor is close to a mile away.

    --
    ~\\|//~
    -(o o)-
    __________oOOOo--(_)--oOOOo__________
    / Michael Arends \
    | To Contact me, remove NODAMNSPAM |
    | ----------------------- |
    | |
    \_____________________________________/
     
    Michael L. Arends, Jan 13, 2004
    #16
  17. Michael L. Arends

    RusH Guest

    Why dont you ask the bookstore owner ? :/


    Pozdrawiam.
     
    RusH, Jan 13, 2004
    #17
  18. Michael L. Arends

    Roy N. Guest

    How? Where?
     
    Roy N., Jan 14, 2004
    #18
  19. Michael L. Arends

    Roy N. Guest

    Haven't been able to figure out how to do this in XP. How do you
    release/refresh you IP in XP?
     
    Roy N., Jan 14, 2004
    #19
  20. Michael L. Arends

    Niall Guest

    Programs > Command Prompt > ipconfig/release (return) ipconfig/renew
    (return)
     
    Niall, Jan 14, 2004
    #20
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