Any wireless geeks out there?

May 22nd, 2006, 04:18 PM
  #1  
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Any wireless geeks out there?

I am curious about something...
This year I have been on the road quite a bit and I noticed that I see Linksys almost always as an available wireless connection.
I am currently at the Affinia Manhattan and connected to it vs paying 9.99 per day for the HS line in my room.
I have even seen Linksys when I am on planes.
Anyone why there always seems to be a Linksys cannection available no matter where I am?
Why is there no charge?
Not that I am complaining
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May 22nd, 2006, 04:20 PM
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Sorry for my spelling errors! Grrr....
I meant to say:
Anyone KNOW why there always seems to be a Linksys connection available, no matter where I am?
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May 22nd, 2006, 04:32 PM
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Linksys is a popular brand of wireless router and Access Point. . if the default name is not changed, they will all be identified as "Linksys"

Rich
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May 22nd, 2006, 04:35 PM
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Linksys (owned by Cisco Systems) is a maker of wireless equipment: wireless routers, wireless adaptors, etc. When you buy a new Linksys router, its SSID (broadcast network name) is by default set to "linksys" . Other manufacturers use something generic like "default." The average person who sets up wireless at home doesn't bother to change the SSID to anything else.

You can also do what is called an "ad hoc" connection between two computers directly with their wireless cards. Again, if you are picking up someone's laptop who has a linksys card, I think you'll see that name come up. It's just the name broadcast out. Windows has been known to see "phantom" wireless connections in my experience that aren't there also, like if it sees someone's laptop but thinks it's a wireless access point...

Where I live, two of my neighbors have Linksys routers (unsecured so I can login). My computer usually shows only one at a time because they have the same name. The reason they are "free" is that someone (probably by accident) left them unsecure. Sometimes you'll try to connect to a "linksys" that has some security turned on and it won't let you connect - or you could be too far away.

Linksys/Cisco is just one of the biggest sellers of wireless equipment out there, that's why you see the network name so often.

Andrew
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May 22nd, 2006, 04:46 PM
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Thanks for clearing that up for me. It makes perfect sense now. Especially on the planes... probably the phantom example.
Are there varying strengths of wireless 'signals' (or whatever they are called) or is there a standard?
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May 22nd, 2006, 05:00 PM
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Most people are using 802.11g or 802.11b standards for WiFi - those have about the same range, give or take (g is about 5X faster than b). Exact range depends on the equipment, the size of the antenna, etc. There are some newer technologies out there that have longer range such as the recently announced 802.11n (still not a completed standard) but don't look for many of those for a year yet.

I think otherwise the average range is about 300 feet, give or take. But this is radio, and like any radio transmission, quality of reception varies, depending on the weather, whether there is clear space between you and the transmitter or walls, etc.

Andrew
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May 22nd, 2006, 05:05 PM
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Curious that you are seeing it on planes. Wireless devices on laptops are supposed to be disabled (by the user) whenever a laptop is used on an airplane.

Most people, I assume, have no idea how to disable that feature, so they just turn on their laptop as usual leave it on.
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May 22nd, 2006, 05:05 PM
  #8  
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Andrew, you are a handy guy to have around!
Thanks!
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May 22nd, 2006, 05:09 PM
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<<<< Wireless devices on laptops are supposed to be disabled (by the user) whenever a laptop is used on an airplane. >>>>

This "rule" is fast becoming a thing of the past. During a trip to Asia early this year, I actually logged in to a wireless Internet access in China Airlines' Business class for as long as the batteries on my laptop allowed me to.
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May 23rd, 2006, 11:16 AM
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Somewhat related:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20060523/tc_cmp/188101459
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