Category Archives: WiFi

Microsoft Location Finder

Yesterday, Microsoft posted version 2.0 its Location Finder application. A GPS alternative for urban road warriors, Microsoft Location Finder is a client-side application that turns a regular WiFi enabled laptop, Tablet or PC into a location determining device without the addition of any separate hardware. It uses WiFi access points to center and display the person’s location on a Windows Live Local, enabling the user to quickly and easily search in their present location. I have not yet tried out this application, but it looks interesting.
Continue reading Microsoft Location Finder

WPA (Wifi Protected Access) for older operating systems

As mentioned in a recent Security Now podcast, McAfee offers free WPA client software that can be used to add WPA functionality to older operating systems. Other wifi client software may also provide, or soon provide, such functionality. For example, Cirond had promised that it would add WPA functionality to its WINC software during Q4 2005.

Wi-fi Protected Access is significantly more secure than the older WEP protocol. However, most access points can only operate in one mode (WEP or WPA). It is therefore necessary to upgrade all devices that access a particular access point to support WPA before adjusting the access point to operate using WPA.

I signed up for wirelesstoronto.caa not-for-profit group dedicated to bringing no-fee wireless Internet access to Toronto and whose aim is to encourage the growth of wireless networking and to build community in interesting and innovative ways.

The group offers free wifi from a number of Toronto locations including 5 Teriyaki Experience stores. It looks like a great service. The only challenge is that it is necessary to sign up from a hotspot, but the sign up procedure involves having to authenticate by clicking, within a short timeframe, on a link sent by email. So, it may be necessary to bring along a non-wifi browser-capable wireless device that can also retrieve email.

VIA makes Wifi official

Netstumbler is referencing Wifi Planet about news that VIA Rail Canada will be significantly expanding its existing wifi offering. The current deployment is limited to 5 trains, 2 stations and 4 lounges. By Q2 2006, every business car should be equipped, and by the end of 2006, the entire fleet and all stations/lounges should have access.

End user pricing is expected to be approximately $9 per day or $46 per month for unlimited usage. There will also be per-minute pricing available for limited use.

Toronto community groups organize to provide free wifi

NOW Magazine recently ran an article about how community based groups are working to connect up various Toronto neighborhoods for wireless Internet access. One example is Wireless Nomad which appears to be operating as a coop ISP, and which is providing free (but bandwidth limited) wifi.

Another grassroots group, Wireless Toronto, recently launched wireless access at the St. Lawrence Market, one of their first high profile hot spots.

Canadian wireless carriers don’t want any competition

In case you didn’t notice, Bell, Rogers, Fido and Telus teamed up together to offer wifi access across Canada. They’ve implemented common branding (“Hotspot”), a common website ( and inter-carrier billing (so that a Rogers customer can utilize a Bell hotspot and have their usage billed to their Rogers cell account). Each carrier also sets their own pricing for the service:
Continue reading Canadian wireless carriers don’t want any competition