First Fall Get Together for 2016

It was nice to see everyone today, a few new faces and some familiar ones too. Today instead of a lecture style session based on a single topic, I tried more of an informal approach. Perhaps you could let me know which format you prefer before next months get together. Also, if you have anything you’d like to cover next month please send me an email with the particulars. This could be a topic specific to you and your device, or something very general that you’d like to understand better.

Below are some of the questions asked today which may not have been definitively answered…

Someone asked “how you can tell if a wireless network is encrypted”.

Generally speaking it is safe to say that if a wireless network requires a password, it is an encrypted network. If you wish to make absolutely certain that a wireless network is using encryption, as well as the type of that encryption, the article on this website explains how…how-to-check-wifi-security-encryption-type
Keep in mind…the website links I provide in these posts or on this website in general, are chosen because they provide a good explanation to a specific question. Other than that I can’t vouch for these third party websites.. so use your discretion when clicking links or ads on those sites.

On the topic of “encryption”…
The type of encryption is chosen, or set, within the router itself. There are three common types of encryption …
• WPA2 – currently the most secure encryption. It should be available on all newer devices.

• WPA – WPA is a bit older than WPA2 and there are some theories that it might be possible to crack this encryption, it has not yet been done in practice. You can feel safe using WPA if WPA2 is not available.

• WEP – WEP is an old standard and has been exploited many times. Only use this if you have an older device that will not connect any other way. Treat this as if it were an open network.

• No Encryption – also known as “open WiFi”. Use an open WiFi access point with care. Anyone in range can connect to it and any data transmitted is not encrypted.

Another question today was about cleaning up the list of WiFi networks on an Android device.
To do this, go to your WiFi Settings menu..from the list of networks…tap on a specific network’s name, and in the resulting window that pops open..tap FORGET. Do this for each network listing that you wish to remove from the list.

If anyone would like a challenge to try before next months session…

Try connecting your device to a wireless network in an Internet cafe or at a friend’s house. Is there a password required to sign on to this network, or is it “open”? Can you tell if the network is encrypted?
Try connecting to Shaw Open somewhere in downtown Courtenay or Comox. This link will show you Shaw hotspots if you type in your town or postal code.
The push pin icons represent indoor hotspots..and the wireless(radio wave) icons represent outdoor hotspots.
If you are connecting to Shaw Open for the first time, you must not only enter your name, email and create a password but you must also accept the Terms of Service..AND agree to receive promotions via email from them. If you do not agree to both those items, an account will not be created and you won’t be able to access Shaw Open as a guest. Were you successful?
When trying to connect to Shaw Open with an Android device you may run into the problem where the Shaw “sign in” page continues to display even after you’ve successfully signed in. This happened at today’s session with a few people. If this happens after you create your ‘Guest Account’…then on your device, go to your WiFi settings menu and from the list of wireless networks, tap on the listing for Shaw Open…and then tap “Forget”. Now try reconnecting to Shaw Open and you should no longer be prompted with the sign in page and will be able to access the web.

I’ve added an email subscription option over in the right sidebar. If you’d like to receive an email notice whenever there’s a new blog post here at the Club Website….all you need to do is enter your email address and click the Subscribe button.

As always any questions, thoughts or ideas are welcome and appreciated. You can leave a comment on this blog post, send a message through the Contact Page of the Club’s site, or through the Contact Page at my website.

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