Sunday, June 20, 2010
Free Public WiFi by Morgan Mandel
Well, I'd heard more than once that it's impossible for trains to provide free public WiFi on them. So, Thursday, I was tremendously surprised to find a site come up on my software with 5 bars and a preferred star. The site was called Free Public WiFi. Was it possible somehow someone had done the impossible?
The site seemed to connect, yet I still felt uneasy about it, so I disconnected and went to the Mobile mode, even though that hadn't been working too well.
When I got home, I decided to go to my favorite information gathering site, Google, hoping to see maybe some announcement that yes, now it was possible to get free public Wifi on trains.
Alas, all I found were a bunch of articles saying Free Public WiFi in transportation places, like trains and planes, was some kind of viral thing - not a virus, but a windows happening which somehow connected two or more computers together, usually with no resulting connection online, worse case scenario being someone actually hacking your system. I did a scan afterwards and fortunately all was clean. I also learned that linksys and hpsetup were two other site addresses that could pop up but not be real. I've seen both of them, even in Wisconsin.
Goes to show, nothing is free these days, at least on my train. Here's one of the links: http://compnetworking.about.com/b/2008/12/17/can-we-all-stop-connecting-to-free-public-wifi-now.htm
I was wondering how to prevent getting the sites from popping up in the future. I found the answer on Google. One article mentioned if you have a switch on the laptop cutting off Wi Fi, use it when you don't want those strange WiFi sites popping up. Funny, I know about that switch. Google helped me find it when I couldn't get my WiFi started at home off of my DSL and didn't know the reason. Somehow I'd turned off the switch, probably when putting the computer into its case.
What goes around comes around, I guess. The first mystery was solved, which led me to find a solution for another mystery.
What about you? Have you seen any of these sites on your computer? Or maybe you have another computer mystery you solved that you'd like to share.