The PhoneBoy Blog


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An Interesting Way To Do Public WiFi

WiFi TicketI 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.


C-List #Cybersecurity Celebrity, Podcaster, #noagenda Producer, Frequenter of shiny metal tubes, Expressor of personal opinions, and of course, a coffee achiever.