The worst thing about Wifi

Public wifi sucks. It seems even FREE public wifi sucks.

I like to play with my iPod at gym. I convinced the gym manager to add a wifi router to the top floor so I can browse the web on the gym bike. Free internet on a bicycle. Sounds like a nice idea, right?

One problem: why do I have to keep typing in login credentials. Every time I go to the gym. Every time the stupid DHCP lease goes away.

So, now I’m back to just listening to podcasts.

The worst thing about public wifi is: the process of getting access to the network.

Let’s imagine a city which provides me with inexpensive metro-wifi pretty much anywhere.. not such a strange idea if we get some 700Mhz (Wifi 2.0) TV white spaces frequency. I’d still have to log in over and over and over and over. This is crazy.

How are we ever going to see mobile VoIP if we can’t solve this problem?

I want open access networks. I want roaming. I’m happy to do a bit of work up front, but after that I want this to.. all just work.

ps. Corporate Guest Wifi is just as bad. Even with all their expensive managed switches it’s always a big problem getting a guest wifi account.

2 thoughts on “The worst thing about Wifi

  1. Now there’s something to spend the universal access fund on. Free Internet. LOL. Maybe if we can distract it’s guardians long enough to slip it to MWeb’s CEO’s non-profit spin-off broadband co. Hmm… all it now needs is a name.

    You’ll no doubt take a plunge down the rabbit-hole and find that the alternate solutions to captive portals are divided into two categories: wildly expensive commercial solutions mixing flavours from proprietary hardware, custom software and/or ssl certificates on the one hand – vs. either insecure or more secure but undocumented d-i-y firewall concoctions painstakingly constructed by maverick systems administrators with little more entertaining to do than repeatedly hack their own networks in order to refine their defenses. Anybody keen on a partnership commercialising an option of the latter, without all the recreational hacking, let’s talk!

    As for the gym – why not just put the AP on an uncapped business account. I’m sure your gym membership more than covers it.

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