I want wifi to share my connection with multiple access points! EXCEPT WHEN I DON'T!



  • http://www.barelyusable.com/wifi-unusability/#.Va1UK96mMcY.hackernews

    From the 6th paragraph:

    All these Wi-Fi signals should talk to each other and say: “I’m bringing 10Mbit/s to the mix.

    From the 10th paragraph:

    Xfinity network is almost like that, with the difference being that it tries to let Comcast customers, regardless of where they are, use Comcast Wi-Fi networks provided by other people, as long as it’s a Comcast customer who’s connecting. ... On my wireless router I have blocked Xfinity network, since I don’t really have a way to tell who’s using my Wi-Fi and where. Was it a trusted neighbor or a hacker trying to steal Pentagon secrets and make it look like I’m the guilty one?

    So the guy asks for a feature, except a company he does business with already has the feature and he went out of his way to turn it off because OMG NSA!



  • ADDITIONAL BONUS WTF:

    If you go to that page via the home page URL, there are zero comments listed.

    If you go to the permalink, suddenly there's one (AFAICT amazingly irrelevant) comment.



  • A universal provider/agreement of this type would be desirable, unlikely as it is.
    Some ISP here in Denmark tried to implement this (as comcast does) and fucked it up badly, and thus had to disable it again. ISP's are likely to fuck something up.

    Having a global user account to ALL wifi networks that is secure* would be handy as hell.

    *for varying values of



  • Iunno about you, but I wouldn't want to share my 10Mbps with anyone.



  • @Gaska said:

    Iunno about you, but I wouldn't want to share my 10Mbps with anyone.

    I don't mind when I'm not using them, and it does not otherwise a/effect me.



  • I'd be amenable to it, as long as proper traffic shaping is applied to ensure I get priority. I'm actually with Comcast due to monopoly, but I don't use their router so I can't use that particular sharing feature.

    I just thought the author's hypocrisy was funny.


  • area_deu

    @blakeyrat said:

    because OMG NSA!

    More like because OMG PEOPLE COULD DO ILLEGAL STUFF ON MY NETWORK AND I COULD GET BUSTED FOR IT.



  • @aliceif said:

    More like because OMG PEOPLE COULD DO ILLEGAL STUFF ON MY NETWORK AND I COULD GET BUSTED FOR IT.

    Duh. Then why have a 9-paragraph diatribe to say it's a great idea?

    I think the guy wants it to apply only to hotspots or something, but it's terribly communicated. And also stupid, though for different reasons - if I buy a gigabit link for my coffee shop, why would I want the other coffee shop across the street with Milwaukee PC leeching from me?



  • I'd gladly share some of my bandwidth if that gave me access to other WiFi hotspots when I'm traveling around.

    Obviously having 100Mb up in the mountains means likely no one will use my hotspot or at least all of the bandwidth.
    But I think these situations would be nice for travelers that don't have unlimited tethering cellphone plans.

    And the "OMG NSA" part just means it needs to have better tracking of who is using it (I mean, someone is supposed to log in to use it, so record that).



  • @Nprz said:

    And the "OMG NSA" part just means it needs to have better tracking of who is using it (I mean, someone is supposed to log in to use it, so record that).

    You don't have to log in for the NSA to recognize your computer.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    but I don't use their router

    Here it is build in the cable modem, so if you have a recent cable modem you get the feature. I disabled all wifi except the external one from that box since I have my own wifi router.

    @aliceif said:

    OMG PEOPLE COULD DO ILLEGAL STUFF ON MY NETWORK

    Hm no because the accounts, security, branding, ea are all in the ISPs name. Even the cable modem is offered by the ISP. It just sits in my garage. It's not my network until it reaches the back of the ISP router/firewall in the cable modem.



  • The ISP's modem is part of your network even though you don't own it, don't want it, or even don't use it. It's yours because it's after the ISP's exchange point (or whatever the correct word is). Kinda like with a house on mortgage - even though your house is basically owned by the bank, you're still the owner and you are to blame for everything that happens there.



  • @Gaska said:

    The ISP's modem is part of your network even though you don't own it, don't want it, or even don't use it. It's yours because it's after the ISP's exchange point (or whatever the correct word is).

    Unless it's the ISP itself appropriating part of your bandwidth for their own purposes.

    Patrick Clark, head of telecoms and partner at law firm Taylor Wessing, said contractually BT is safe as it has the terms and conditions listed on the website for those who want to look for them.
    ­
    Yet, he admitted it might be trying for the consumer if it was found illegal activity had occurred over their router.



  • The last line of the quote suggests that even if ISP takes over your router and makes it do things you absolutely don't want it to do, or even know it does them, you still take the responsibility for its users. That, or I can't read.



  • @Gaska said:

    you still take the responsibility for its users.

    No, you just have to jump through lots of hoops to prove that you aren't responsible.

    Which, given that the process would be the punishment, is as if you did.

    But it's alright - BT says you aren't..



  • I remember a case in Germany several years ago where someone was charged for something that someone else did via his router and indeed got a sentence, because he didn't have password protection on it. So...



  • @Gaska said:

    I remember a case in Germany several years ago where someone was charged for something that someone else did via his router and indeed got a sentence, because he didn't have password protection on it.

    That's (ostensibly) different - there was (probably in that case) only one SSID, and the owner didn't password-protect it thus allowing anyone to use it.

    BT-FON constructs two SSID's on their hardware

    • the personal (normal) one which the owner manages, and their household uses, and
    • the public one which BT should be managing (which requires a login before it can be usefully used, so BT - at least - should have records about who, or at least which account, was doing stuff on the public side.)

    Your German case would be akin to not sticking a password on the former personal one and allowing anyone to use /that/ one.



  • We'll see when first lawsuits will start popping up.



  • Well I've yet to see any relating to BT-FON (or any Fon partners) - and it's been going on since 2007.



  • I'd imagine that's because the FON hardware is garbage from top to bottom, and nobody was ever able to connect using one.



  • I manage the network setup of a larger building. Because we're that kind of hippies we want everybody to have Internet access. So the access points advertise a second network which is unsecured.

    Because having open wifi invites neighbours to mindlessly use our network, the access points switch their name everyday. So if you want to use our connection you'll have to select a new one every day. Would you select OK GOOGLE ORDER SEX TOYS? Or rather I agree*? And did you know unicode is allowed in SSID? ❤ ILOVETREES ❤

    Extending on the list of access point names is hilarious. And the best part is, it's slowly replicating on to other people's devices :smile:



  • @Luhmann said:

    Here it is build in the cable modem, so if you have a recent cable modem you get the feature. I disabled all wifi except the external one from that box since I have my own wifi router.

    I don't use their cable modem, either, since the $8/month charge is a ripoff when you can just outright buy a far superior Motorola one for $60.



  • What the author is saying is they want a way to share wifi networks with everyone, but with a way to authenticate people, because you might face legal consequences if someone uses your network connection to do evil things (that's why he disabled the Xfinity thing).

    And, you know what, I agree completely. We need to completely rethink how wireless networks work. Internet connectivity should be ubiquitous, transparent, and cheap.

    First, get rid of ISP lobbies and bad regulators. Internet connectivity is orders of magnitude more expensive than it should be, all thanks to them, and nothing will change while they're there.

    Second, why even have Wi-Fi and 3G/4G everywhere? One of the two must be better than the other one at the problem of providing wireless connectivity to densely populated large areas, so get rid of the other one. Get rid of the antiquated idea that wifi=free and mobile data=expensive.

    Third, design a way for people to authenticate with "the global network". Probably managed by the government, since they're the only ones that care about this in the first place.

    But these are all political problems, not technological. ISPs want to place a single wire to a tall building and sell it as 50 "internet connections" to the 50 people who live in it. There's a lot of money at stake. Maybe Google and Facebook can help us? Not the hero we deserve, but the one we need right now.



  • @anonymous234 said:

    And, you know what, I agree completely. We need to completely rethink how wireless networks work. Internet connectivity should be ubiquitous, transparent, and cheap.

    This is the old packet-switched radio idea, which is admittedly good, but. Slow going.

    The US Military spend billions on their attempt, and it never worked quite right.



  • @anonymous234 said:

    Second, why even have Wi-Fi and 3G/4G everywhere?

    I honestly have no clue. Don't they have different range / power / number of concurrent user differences?



  • On a related note, I was hoping the article would be about general Wi-Fi usability fails.

    After the WPS vulnerability fiasco, I have completely lost faith in the Wi-Fi Alliance.

    If you haven't heard of it: they made it mandatory that devices be able to connect with each other by entering a 7-digit PIN. But then they made devices tell you whether the first half of the PIN is correct or not, "splitting" it in two, reducing the brute-force attack from 10,000,000 possibilities to 11,000. That probably ranks in the 5 stupidest vulnerabilities ever.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    This is the old packet-switched radio idea, which is admittedly good, but. Slow going.

    The US Military spend billions on their attempt, and it never worked quite right.

    But we already have the technology. If everyone opened their WiFi networks, and every mobile provider made their networks free to use, we'd have ubiquitous Internet connectivity tomorrow (in most places of first world countries, I mean). The problem is limiting it!

    @boomzilla said:

    I honestly have no clue. Don't they have different range / power / number of concurrent user differences?

    Well, I'm not an expert in radio communications, but clearly WiFi seems to be very short range compared to 4G, so you need more WiFi routers/repeaters to cover large areas.

    But the difference in practice is, that telecoms can't sell you "WiFi connectivity" because routers are not configured to let strangers connect to them (like the Xfinity thing would allow) so they set up 4G networks, and users can't use 4G networks for their home connectivity because they're too expensive, so they set up WiFi networks. That's the stupid part.



  • @anonymous234 said:

    But we already have the technology.

    No we don't, access points have no way to "hand off" a user to a peer. Also, there's no way currently to share a single user's bandwidth between two different access points. (It may not even be physically possible with the hardware in the common laptop.)

    Cell networks have the first problem solved, but still not the second.



  • @anonymous234 said:

    But the difference in practice is, that telecoms can't sell you "WiFi connectivity" because routers are not configured to let strangers connect to them (like the Xfinity thing would allow) so they set up 4G networks, and users can't use 4G networks for their home connectivity because they're too expensive, so they set up WiFi networks. That's the stupid part.

    If they could figure out a reasonable way to make money off of it, they would do it. But the need to put the damn things everywhere due to the range would make this unworkable, I think.

    A lot of the stuff in the OP and what I'm reading from you just sounds like people asking for a free lunch to me.



  • If my router gave out free wifi to Milwaukee PC customers, I wouldn't end up with a 1600ms ping to Guild Wars 2 like I did last night.

    I would probably have a ping measured in minutes.



  • No. No one would use your shitty wifi.
    I tried using the free wifi in mountain view and the bandwidth and latency was so bad I decided I'd rather pay for a quality internet connection. Free is only good if it is usable.



  • The ISP I used to have in the Bay Area used to (I don't know whether they still do) have a deal where any customer could sign up to be a hotspot, and get paid (credit on your bill) whenever someone used your hotspot. However, only their customers could use it, and they are a relatively small, regional (but very good) ISP, so it's fairly unlikely there would be enough of their customers around to be worthwhile, unless maybe you lived in downtown SF or something.



  • There is a huge difference between wifi and mobile. Mobile frequencies are managed by the operator and they can fill the band without getting crosstalk. Wifi has to deal with a lot of possible interference and can't even in theory get to the reliability of mobile.

    While these technologies both operate in the same shared medium, they use fundamentally different organizing principles. There have been proposals to make wifi more coordinated, so that stations can negotiate time-slots and thus avoid crosstalk. That is a hard problem though, because a station has to know when no other station is sending, even though it might not see the other station.

    It comes down to air being a shared medium, and if you want quality access, you better pay somebody who licenses his own band. If everybody opened their access points, as good as this sounds, we would have a huge mess. Transmission powers would go through the roof because more connections would have to cross walls and alleys, which would lead to more crosstalk, which would make wifi pretty much unusable on the 2.4 band. It already is unusable in many areas.

    Still leaving our stations open though :-) They're reachable on 5Ghz as well, so who cares about the 2.4 crowd?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    access points have no way to "hand off" a user to a peer

    The cheap home ones don't but there are plenty that do, for example Ubiquiti UAP-LR-3 UniFi AP Enterprise Long Range WiFi System, 3 Pack



  • @gleemonk said:

    If everybody opened their access points, as good as this sounds, we would have a huge mess. Transmission powers would go through the roof because more connections would have to cross walls and alleys

    Wouldn't it be the opposite? With so many open nodes, I can talk to the nearest one instead of always having to talk to the one I know the password for.



  • @anonymous234 said:

    Wouldn't it be the opposite? With so many open nodes, I can talk to the nearest one instead of always having to talk to the one I know the password for.

    You are correct in the sense that being able to use the nearest node allows lower transmission power. I was looking at it from another angle. If the liberation of access points were to happen, 2.4Ghz would just break down in many areas. It would be so popular, collisions would fill the band and nothing would get through anymore. Because then my access point in my flat is trying to get through full blast to a phone down in the street. And that phone will see interference from a station across the street trying to reach the phone in the next pocket.

    At the moment we have absurd amounts of wifi gear deployed in cities. The only thing saving the 2.4 band from collapsing is that most of the access points see no traffic. If we were to open them, we would immediately want to reduce the count, and we would try to coordinate them, introduce timeslots and whatnot. It would start to look like a mobile provider.

    And from the other direction, we do see mobile operators building ever more antennas, ever smaller cells, in cities. They are actually making a move on the 5Ghz band to have more (and free) bandwidth available.

    I would like for cities to start provide basic wifi service everywhere, just like street lighting. But I'm not sure whether the technology is up to it at the moment. Certainly if you wanted low pings and high throughput you'd still need a cable connection to your home.



  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    why would I want the other coffee shop across the street with Milwaukee PC leeching from me?

    Show a little generosity. It can't be easy, running an ISP from a coffee shop.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @anonymous234 said:

    What the author is saying is they want a way to share wifi networks with everyone, but with a way to authenticate people, because you might face legal consequences if someone uses your network connection to do evil things (that's why he disabled the Xfinity thing).

    And, you know what, I agree completely. We need to completely rethink how wireless networks work. Internet connectivity should be ubiquitous, transparent, and cheap.

    We've got something like this implemented at work. We're a member of a consortium of EU universities that provide authenticated WiFi access with a common SSID. To use the eduroam system, I just have to prove my identity to the AP using my home university credentials. They authenticate me, and send a crypto token to the AP that lets me use it through a transparent VPN. It's almost like I'm sitting at my desk with a wired connection (except for a few services, such as access to printers or our internal service layer; I don't need these things very often).

    The neat thing is that this is a connection mode that all modern devices seem to support. As long as I tell the device to remember my credentials, all I have to do is turn on wifi in range of an academic AP, and it all Just Works™.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    [...] Also, there's no way currently to share a single user's bandwidth between two different access points.

    Cell networks have the first problem solved, but still not the second.

    Isn't that Carrier Aggregation?



  • @Zemm said:

    Isn't that Carrier Aggregation?

    No. Carrier Aggregation is generally based on the user's device (mobile phone) talking to a single 'access point' (tower) on different bands.

    What your phone typically can't do is talk to, and utilise, two different towers. (Same or different bands.)



  • @PJH said:

    No, you just have to jump through lots of hoops to prove that you aren't responsible.

    Which, given that the process would be the punishment, is as if you did.

    But it's alright - BT says you aren't..

    Things like this is why I buy my own router. If I'm going to be responsible for the connections, I insist on having control over them.



  • @redwizard said:

    If I'm going to be responsible for the connections

    But BT says you're not!!


    But, yes. I wouldn't want to be the test case either.



  • I'm in France, I use the ISP named Free, and I have this feature, and I can guarantee that roaming users that happen to use my box are seen on the Internet as using a different IP entirely. Maybe Comcast are incompetents, maybe it's even probable that they are given their history, but the article author does not seem to examine the possibility that the feature might be correctly implemented.



  • @PJH said:

    What your phone typically can't do is talk to, and utilise, two different towers. (Same or different bands.)

    Not sure about GSM, but it can with 3G and up - in the sense that in every point in time, a user device maintains connection to several base station!s in area, so that when the current one goes out, or user goes out of range, another base station seamlessly takes over, without breaking any active internet connections.

    2/2 blakeyproblems solved. Seems like our tech is good enough.



  • @Gaska said:

    in the sense that in every point in time, a user device maintains connection to several base station!s in area, so that when the current one goes out, or user goes out of range, another base station seamlessly takes over, without breaking any active internet connections.

    This is not my (nor others') definition of:

    @PJH said:

    What your phone typically can't do is talk to, and utilise, two different towers. (Same or different bands.)

    Now if it was actually actively using all those base stations and one going out still wouldn't make a difference (beyond bandwidth consumption/use) rather than keeping them 'on the back-burner just in case' then yes; that would be aggregation.



  • This post is deleted!


  • Ò_o



  • ?</question mark>


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