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Harbo

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Is WiFi range dependent on temperature or atmospheric conditions?
The reason I ask is that I am using BTFon on my iphone and MacBook whilst staying away from home.
At the same location, sometimes we can access it perfectly well and at other times not at all!
I know it relies on accessing other BT users, so do people actually switch off their routers - I never do at home?

Rod
 

newt

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Rod, temperature should have little effect, however at the frequencies used rain can have an effect particularly when at the limit of range.
 

Hudson Carpentry

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Yes some people do turn off there routers and weather can effect the signal.

Im also one that never turns my router off but we have a network of many laptops, devices and PC's. A home with only one PC may not have a need to keep there router on and wish to have on the electric and turn it off or its all on one extension lead which they turn everything PC related off in one switch.
 

Harbo

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I leave mine on as I like to have instant access especially for our iPhones.
I've just tried it again on my MacBook and it cannot find any BT Hubs - there's generally 2 or 3.
Wish they would leave them on :(

Rod
 

woodbloke

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I was advised by Applecare not to turn the router off, leave it on all the time - Rob
 

CHJ

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A lot of households turn off the wireless side of the router during certain hours, so called power saving, mainly to restrict what hours the kids can access it.

I'm afraid mine is now permantly turned off fon, I currently don't need to access the service away from base and Power save all but a few minutes of open wifi.
Some kind sole within range of my router was abusing the connection to the tune of kilobytes over several nights. Have not yet discovered if they used something to crack the wifi password or were just using the slower fon connection.

If vistors want Wi Fi I have a dedicated WiFi enabled network switch/hub that I power up as and when required.
 

Harbo

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I'm intrigued - how do check how much traffic has gone through your system?
I thought Fon only had access to a small part of your broadband?

Rod
 

CHJ

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Log in to your BT BB account and you have access to a daily total of used bandwidth for the month.

You will get something like:--At 23:59 on 16/06/2012 you had used xx.xxGB

With an upload and download balance figure.
 

CHJ

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Harbo":23niukdn said:
.......I thought Fon only had access to a small part of your broadband?

Rod

I'm currently confused on this issue, most searches I have done so far tell me that fon use is not charged against the main account bandwidth limit but one or two claim that opting out has dropped their usage to as little as 1/5 of previous recorded usage.

I know that since opting out of fon and restricting the wifi, usage went down from 15gb in 48hrs to less than 2gb a week in the first instance.

Other reports say if you log into your router via the fon ssid with your bt open zone password you can use it to download many gigabytes above your package limits without exceeding your reasonable use limits and not charged. I have no high download requirements to check this out.
 

andersonec

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I am still in the dark ages with this stuff.

I was under the impression that if you had your wifi system up and running people could park up outside your house and get all the information they needed off your computer, passwords, bank details etc, now I am reading, what sounds to me like your router is part of one big network that any passer by can use to access the internet, is this really the case? if so why am I not being paid for it? because the outside user must surely be paying for the privilege of using that system.

If I pay for so much usage a month then surely if my system is being used by outsiders my monthly limit is being eaten up by someone else :?
 

Paul Hannaby

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Just because people can access your wifi doesn't automatically mean they can access your computer and conversely, turning off the wifi doesn't mean your computer is safe! Looking at it another way, the whole internet is an unsecured network and connecting your computer to it can make it accessible to anyone anywhere, not just outside your house.
What matters here is how secure your home network is in terms of firewalls, strong passwords for the administrator account on your router and disabling external administrator login etc. Also, you have the ability to make your computer more secure with another firewall, login passwords, turning of services like file sharing, remote desktop etc.

One thing you should be aware of - there are those that expend a great deal of resources in trying to gain access to any computer they can, some just for the challenge and some for more sinister reasons so the safest approach is to safeguard your data. You only have to look at the security log on your router to see just how frequent the intrusion attempts are.
 

JakeS

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andersonec":w5uewgg0 said:
I was under the impression that if you had your wifi system up and running people could park up outside your house and get all the information they needed off your computer, passwords, bank details etc, now I am reading, what sounds to me like your router is part of one big network that any passer by can use to access the internet, is this really the case?
Any computer network is just a number of devices (e.g. computers) connected together by cables, wifi, satellite links, whatever - much like the telephone network, in fact. And also like the telephone network, to talk to a particular computer you need to know its number (IP address) and when you try to connect to that number, a lot of switching equipment between you and them routes your conversation (network connection) along the appropriate channels - be they wires, WiFi connections, satellite links or whatever.

Leaving your WiFi open to everyone all the time is a bit like leaving one of the handsets of your multi-handset house phone in the front garden - anyone can walk by and pick it up and use it to call their mate, who may or may not live in Australia. Luckily you get charged only for the amount of data that passes back and forth and not for which country it goes to or from, and there's no such thing (yet!) as a premium-rate internet address, but if you're on a limited-data plan with your internet connection company then they're using up your data allowance as surely as the guy picking up the phone handset would be using up your phone talk-time.

Similarly, if you were already on the telephone talking dirty to your mistress (e.g. sending an email over the WiFi connection), someone picking up the handset in the garden may be able to listen in to the call without you knowing about it - it's not impossible depending on how the router is set up to eavesdrop on WiFi communications - and then blackmail you with the details later. That's one reason it's always important to use secure connections to banking or retail websites when putting passwords or card details in - make sure there's a padlock in the address bar of your browser, 'cause that encrypts the conversation and anyone eavesdropping won't be able to make head nor tail of the conversation.



Because you may have multiple devices in your home - a desktop, a laptop, the WiFi access point, the Internet router - it's like an office full of guys all with their own dedicated extension. The guy with the handset in the garden can call any of the other extensions in the office and it'll come through as an internal call - he'll literally be on your local home network, not coming in over the public internet - and depending on how your security software/operating system is set up, that may mean he can access things on your computer that he shouldn't be able to. In the same way as a secretary in an office is more likely to give out people's diary information to a caller on an internal line than someone who calls from outside the office!




I wouldn't worry too much about people being able to access your computer from the WiFi connection - it's technically possible, but unless you shared files deliberately with your home network, or use your credit card over an unsecured connection (no padlock in the address bar) you're largely OK. Most computers don't actually allow anyone on the local network to just waltz in and take what they like! Just bear in mind that anything another computer in the house can access, a guy parked up outside coming in over the WiFi can probably also access, and you'll generally be fine.

It's a much larger risk IMO that people may park up outside and use your internet connection, and if they do anything illegal with it, you're the one most likely to get in trouble, at least at first! So it's worth restricting access to the WiFi if your router allows it - MAC filtering and WPA2 are both worth enabling if your WiFi access point supports them. Obviously the safest answer is to turn the WiFi off entirely, or turn it off when you're not using it!
 

CHJ

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What I was talking about is specifically the BT Router and the option to be part of the Fon network.

The way I believe the system to work is that the main router wifi used within your home network sits behind a firewall and as long as you maintain password security etc. it is secure to outside breach. (baring some clever individual having the ability to 'pick the lock' so to speak on the BT password)

The Fon ssid signal also broadcast by your BT router is as far as I can determine a separate thing with a public access to anyone with a BT account password, supposedly limited to 500k speed but sharing your connection to the local exchange to allow other BT users accesss for e-mail and essential communications whilst mobile.
As they must also be paying for a BT account in theory you are all just sharing a bit of your account with each other.

In theory, I am suspicious that there are ways around this so called BT security that allows unreasonable use of this sharing.

And until I can prove what happened in my case I will leave the router wifi set to minimum access.
 
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