Tag Archives: wifi

Does Temperature Affect Wireless Connections?

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Applesauce in the chatroom want's to know if temperature affects WiFi and wireless connections.

Wirless connections run on RF – radio frequency – and RF engineers admit that it's a bit of a black art. In terms of making connections and throughput: no, temperature should not be so much of a factor that you notice any interference.

Generally, when you can't connect, there is some kind of interference, either from a wall or another wireless network, in which case you may want to switch to another channel.

Heat does play a critical role in physical components: if it's too cold or too hot, then the hardware will not function properly. Overheating is one of the biggest killers of hardware.

Do you have any suggestions for keeping your hardware cool and running smoothly?

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WiFi Packet Sniffing

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Staying secure in the digital world can be a bit difficult, especially when you're out and about with the iPhone: the phone will sniff out wireless networks for you and then ask if you want to use that network rather than EDGE. This brings up a security concern: is it safe to use these open wireless networks?

Generally, you don't want to use an open access point for anything that requires a username or password. Because an open access point can be accessed by anyone, it's very possible that someone can sniff your traffic and get every bit of information you are sending through that wireless access point.

Even if you go through a level of encryption – such as WEP or WPA-1 – your information can still be stolen.

So, a good rule of thumb is: if you don't trust the access point then only use the wireless connection for simple, unsecured web browsing.

Check out our other security videos: What is DSS? and Wireless Security Camera

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Clearwire Coupon

I just became a Clearwire subscriber the other day. They’re running a pretty good membership special right now, but that’s not the reason I signed up for an account. I’m using Clearwire at home for a few reasons:

  • Broadband backup – when Comcast goes down, I can still be up. Downtime sucks.
  • Bittorrent nirvana – I can transfer large files without saturating my primary network.
  • Better backwards compatiblity – I’m running a wireless router on the Clearwire modem at a lower security level (WEP) for devices that aren’t 802.11g compatible.

Plus, the modem will work anywhere there’s a Clearwire signal present – although I’m keeping my fingers crossed that a PCMCIA or SDIO solution will avail itself at some point. No matter, there’s a $15 Visa reward for every Clearwire referral. If you’re in Seattle, I’ll just connect you directly with the guy who set me up.

Our Honeymoon Cruise Begins

Well, so much for free WiFi. Our travel agent from Vacations to Go told us that there would be free access available from the ship’s library, but it’s apparently closer to 35 cents a minute (ouch). I’ll just give Pluggd another plug for having kept us plugged in on our Alaskan adventure a few months back. The climate is certainly warmer in southern Florida!

Our experience with Regent has been superior to this point – far exceeding our expectations. The security line was non-existent, and despite not having our cruise passes with us, we were checked in swiftly (manually, as the computer system was down). We were welcomed aboard, guided to the theatre for admission, and promptly handed our suite keys. Five minutes later, we were having a casual lunch on the top deck – where Ponzi asked about the WiFi. The waiter noted that someone would be along in a moment to help with that. Imagine our mutual confusion when someone came along to pour some white wine – which we didn’t want or need. “WiFi” sounds a lot like “white wine” in context, eh?

While the Internet access certainly is not free, I’m able to get online from the comfort of my own bed in the Penthouse. Awesome! We haven’t even left port and already I can tell this is going to be a spectacular experience – as every moneymoon honeymoon should be.

Free WiFi in Silicon Valley?

Jake and I are “stuck” in San Jose today – our flight back to Seattle isn’t until 9pm tonight (unless it gets pushed back further due to today’s British thwarting). We’re going to get kicked out of our hotel room any minute now, and will need to seek shelter this afternoon. I’d rather not sit in a Starbucks for hours on end, but unless we can identify a place in San Jose (Mountain View, Cupertino) where free WiFi is available, I don’t know if we have much of a choice. I’d rather not pay for WiFi when I know wireless Internet access is free elsewhere. I’ll be checking email through my phone, so feel free to comment if you know of a great place for us to land (so to speak).

UPDATE: Looks like we’ll be on Microsoft’s campus this afternoon, after lunch – hanging with Joel Schonbrunn. If there are any other ‘softies down here, we’ll be happy to say hello! Has Niall checked out yet?