An Interesting Way To Do Public WiFi
I took my car into the dealer last week in order to have the heater fixed. It was working, but it needed to be turned on full blast. Since I moved, the car dealer is now about 30 minutes away. I figured I’d hang out while the car got fixed, particularly since the dealer had a “WiFi Lounge.” Nice.
Anyway, I had to go see the receptionist in order to obtain access to the WiFi. Unfortunately, the receptionist was nowhere to be found. Once I found someone who knew how to do it, they pushed a little button on a machine at the receptionist’s desk and out popped a receipt.
The receipt has a random username and password along with the appropriate SSID. The username and password have a time limit that begins when the credentials are entered. After the alloted time (in this case two hours), the credentials become invalid. I didn’t hang around to see what would happen when they expired, since my car was fixed before the two hours were up.
I suppose that “paid” hotspot operators could do something similar. The receipt had a price on it–in this case, $0.00–so clearly the system they are using is set up to do that.