“Free Public WiFi” is a lie-fi

free.public.wifiCourtesy NPR via CPATechViews comes an important warning about WiFi connections on Windows XP. We have probably all seen the “Free Public WiFi” connection on our laptops, and some of us have even tried connecting to it. The article details what it really is along with the dangers it presents.

Free Public WiFi isn’t set up like most wireless networks people use to get to the Internet. Instead, it’s an “ad hoc” network — meaning when a user selects it, he or she isn’t connecting to a router or hot spot, but rather directly to someone else’s computer in the area.

I was also very interested to find out how this elusive beast possibly came to be:

One theory, Wright says, is that someone may have set it up as a joke. It might have been created to trick a friend into connecting “so he would get a Web page with some kind of a gross image or childish prank.”


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