Thursday, 27 May 2010

The right router

I have many techy friends. They all have wifi. Which means, if I visit them, I have to go through a long and tortuous route to use their internet connection - because a combination of UK law and common sense make using encryption on your wifi really rather important.

I don't have this problem in hotels.

In hotels, When I try to use the wifi, they just intercept my DNS requests, rerouting me to a page where I can enter my credit card details. From this they can then give anyone with my MAC address access to the internet. It works well.

Why can't home routers do this?

When I go to a friends house, I should fire up my browser and get a login page. My friend can then either give me a guest password (which will give me access for a few hours), or give me a username and password of my own (to give me access whenever I want).

Now - this will only give MAC level security - which I guess isn't perfect 9although it seems to work for hotels), but it would also provide an easy route (over the web, once you've logged in) to provide all the other information needed to configure a computer to use the router's security features.

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