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public wifi connecting


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4 replies to this topic

#1 Tad Bear

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 10:56 PM

I have used a public wifi at my library (knox city, Victoria, Australia). It is an unsecured network. I accessed it, on my laptop, by left clicking the access network (yellow sun) on the right hand side of my taskbar. Seeing the library network and connecting (when my browser opened it required my library card number and my password) I am using windows 7 home premiun on my laptop, and a freind set up a home wireless network with my desktop, which is running windows xp - service pack 3.

I was then able to access the internet. My issue is that a message came up asking me what sort of network I was trying to set up. With the choices of home, business and public. I ignored this, and was able to use the internet.

Is this normal?
Do I have to set up a network each time I want to access a public wifi?

I was frightened to set up this network, as I didn't really know what the computer was trying to do, and if this had any implications for my normal home wifi or for other wifi situations I come accross.

This is probably quite basic, "for someone who knows these things", but quite frightening for the novice. any help would be appreciated.

Regards Tad

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#2 Darth sidious

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 12:54 AM

Hi this is quite normal when ypu set up a new network and should not need to setup again as long as you are using the same wi-fi in the same library.

One thing i would advise you do tho if you intend to use the library regular is to use a vpn connection to encrypt your traffic so no one with sniffing software can snoop your traffic. The library or provider of wi-fi may offer vpn connection or you can use a company like openvpn but may have to pay.

Something you may wish to look into to help you and your data to stay secure.
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#3 Tad Bear

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 02:17 AM

Hi Darth thanks for the advice.
I chose to cancel the page offering which type of network I wanted to connect to. Does this mean that next time I use that site, I will be asked again which type of network I would like to connect to?. If not wot does windows 7 do? set a default if you do not choose one? If so wot is it? and if neccessary can I change it ? to perhaps a more secure type of network eg public?

As to a vpn connection, I will investigate (library site is unsecured). This is a brand new world to me, and as I stated earlier it is very exciting and frightening at the same time.

People, like yourself, who provide advice, are greatly appreciated and help remove some of that fear.

Regards Tad

#4 Orecomm

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 02:26 AM

The settings you mention affect the security firewall settings for your machine. Public is the safest and blocks File and Printer sharing and several other services - basically it assumes there are non-friendly folks on the same network you are. Home allows file and print sharing and other services, effectively assuming that other computers on your local network are all "friendly". Work or business sets the machine up to join an Active Directory domain and makes other assumptions based on an enterprise network environment.

If in doubt, choose public.

#5 Darth sidious

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 09:58 AM

Hi Darth thanks for the advice.
I chose to cancel the page offering which type of network I wanted to connect to. Does this mean that next time I use that site, I will be asked again which type of network I would like to connect to?. If not wot does windows 7 do? set a default if you do not choose one? If so wot is it? and if neccessary can I change it ? to perhaps a more secure type of network eg public?

As to a vpn connection, I will investigate (library site is unsecured). This is a brand new world to me, and as I stated earlier it is very exciting and frightening at the same time.

People, like yourself, who provide advice, are greatly appreciated and help remove some of that fear.

Regards Tad


Hi since you cancelled next time you will probably be asked again i would choose public as orecomm has suggested and save automatically as it is untrusted unsecure connection.

Yes look into vpn it would be well worthwhile if using the library or any other public wi-fi and ensure you have a firewall running and up to date anti-virus as well.

Glad to be a help anytime :thumbsup:
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