Public Wireless Security ? - Wireless

This is a discussion on Public Wireless Security ? - Wireless ; I've been wondering about all these public wifi access points. I've always been told that using hotels and cafes does not offer a user the best security. But, how about towns that set up wireless throughout their boundaries for residents ...

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Thread: Public Wireless Security ?

  1. Public Wireless Security ?

    I've been wondering about all these public wifi access points. I've always
    been told that using hotels and cafes does not offer a user the best
    security. But, how about towns that set up wireless throughout their
    boundaries for residents and visitors to use? I know that hotels I've
    visited do have an access code for guests to log in with, but I'm not sure
    how these cities and towns do it. If the residents of a town all connect
    through the open wifi offered by the town, is this totally unsecured? And,
    what can a resident do to more secure the data he sends? I got into a
    discussion with a Mac person who thought there'd be no problem with
    security connecting through a town's wifi, but I'm wondering about it.

    I hope you understand what I mean and thanks for any information!

    Patty

  2. Re: Public Wireless Security ?

    Patty wrote:
    > I've been wondering about all these public wifi access points. I've always
    > been told that using hotels and cafes does not offer a user the best
    > security. But, how about towns that set up wireless throughout their
    > boundaries for residents and visitors to use? I know that hotels I've
    > visited do have an access code for guests to log in with, but I'm not sure
    > how these cities and towns do it. If the residents of a town all connect
    > through the open wifi offered by the town, is this totally unsecured? And,
    > what can a resident do to more secure the data he sends? I got into a
    > discussion with a Mac person who thought there'd be no problem with
    > security connecting through a town's wifi, but I'm wondering about it.
    >
    > I hope you understand what I mean and thanks for any information!
    >
    > Patty


    If it's done correctly, hotspot wifi access, including a generally
    open-to-all network, will be implemented with routers that support an
    "isolation mode" so that users who connect are not all part of the same
    local network and thus will not be able to access each other's computers.

    That said, as long as the connection is not encrypted, anyone can
    intercept the data transmissions between your wifi computer and the wifi
    server/router. You shouldn't enter passwords, credit card numbers or
    other personal info on a non-HTTPS page, and if you're concerned about
    the privacy of your e-mail, you'll have to encrypt it yourself, with,
    e.g., PGP. Or access your e-mail through a secure VPN.

    --
    Lem MS MVP -- Networking

    To the moon and back with 64 Kbits of RAM and 512 Kbits of ROM.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Guidance_Computer

  3. RE: Public Wireless Security ?

    No wifi is totally secured.

    "Patty" wrote:

    > I've been wondering about all these public wifi access points. I've always
    > been told that using hotels and cafes does not offer a user the best
    > security. But, how about towns that set up wireless throughout their
    > boundaries for residents and visitors to use? I know that hotels I've
    > visited do have an access code for guests to log in with, but I'm not sure
    > how these cities and towns do it. If the residents of a town all connect
    > through the open wifi offered by the town, is this totally unsecured? And,
    > what can a resident do to more secure the data he sends? I got into a
    > discussion with a Mac person who thought there'd be no problem with
    > security connecting through a town's wifi, but I'm wondering about it.
    >
    > I hope you understand what I mean and thanks for any information!
    >
    > Patty
    >


  4. Re: Public Wireless Security ?

    Hi
    A lot of different issues fall under the word security.
    First is Log On.
    Some Hot Spots use credentials in order to allow Log On to their Network
    (like you mentioned about Hotels). This Log On process is designed to
    protect the owner and enable him to decide who is allowed to log on.
    However, it has nothing to do with Wireless security per se.
    Wireless security is mainly achieved by encrypting the Wireless signal.
    The encryption key resides both in the Wireless Source (Router or Access
    Point) and in the Wireless computer.
    Most Hot Spots and other free Wireless sources do not encrypted the signal
    since it beyond their capacity to deal with individual encryption keys and
    maintaining the elaborate process of keeping a multi users Encrypted system.
    If the signal is Not secured by encryption, many knowledgeable people can
    intercept it and decipher it.
    There are ways to "Tunnel a secure signal into a regular Wireless
    connection" (Lem in his post above hinted to some measures). If one really
    needs this, he/she should ask professional help to establish such an
    arrangement.
    In general, security in order of strength starts with.
    No Security
    MAC
    WEP
    WPA-PSK
    WPA-AES
    WPA2
    Wireless Security - http://www.ezlan.net/Wireless_Security.html
    WEP, WPA, and the Future - http://www.ezlan.net/wpa_wep.html
    The security must be set according to lowest possible.
    I.e. even if part of your system might be capable to do WPA2, but one device
    is only capable to do WEP, to whole system must be configured to WEP.
    Any one can connect to a Network that is Not secured at all.
    If the you are connecting to a Network that is Not yours and it is Secured
    you can Not control the Wireless source and thus you can not control
    security. It is up to the owner of the Wireless Network to decide on
    security, and whether he/she wants to provide the key to a user.
    Jack (MVP-Networking).

    "Patty" wrote in message
    news:1ml9f0e7wdc9n.ddw94s9jpdf0.dlg@40tude.net...
    > I've been wondering about all these public wifi access points. I've
    > always
    > been told that using hotels and cafes does not offer a user the best
    > security. But, how about towns that set up wireless throughout their
    > boundaries for residents and visitors to use? I know that hotels I've
    > visited do have an access code for guests to log in with, but I'm not sure
    > how these cities and towns do it. If the residents of a town all connect
    > through the open wifi offered by the town, is this totally unsecured?
    > And,
    > what can a resident do to more secure the data he sends? I got into a
    > discussion with a Mac person who thought there'd be no problem with
    > security connecting through a town's wifi, but I'm wondering about it.
    >
    > I hope you understand what I mean and thanks for any information!
    >
    > Patty




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