How Do I Encrypt WiFi Hotel Connections...

By Lil ndn ·
OK, I'm quasi n00b, but for the life of me I can't figure out these two things:

1) How does one encrypt the WiFi router of "wireless internet" hotels, so I can set-up and use my own password after signing in with the host wireless router on a Windows 7 x64 machine with 4Gb ram? Seems, I read an article on this years ago, for my XP x86 laptop, but can't find now.

2) How do I go about establishing an access router or whatever type device needed to allow me wireless access of my printer and use my net talk duo.

The last couple of places where I was assigned to stay didn't have an ethernet connection other than their WiFi access and the desk jockies did not know how to access the use of other wireless devices. Please, before I lose my wee bit of sanity left, Help!, any and all advice gladly welcomed. Don't want my data being printed and or observed down the hall or at the lobby station(s).


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All Answers

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In this case, encryption has nothing to do with the router.

by seanferd In reply to How Do I Encrypt WiFi Hot ...

Encrypt your data however you wish, as long as the receiving party can decrypt it. As far as WiFi encryption goes, if the hotel doesn't give you a WEP/WPA key to use, there is none (which makes sense for public WiFi). You cannot administrate networks that are not your own.

Printer: You'll need to set up your printer & computer to talk to each other directly, or get a cable.

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Reponse To Answer

by Lil ndn In reply to In this case, encryption ...

Thanks for the help... the WEP/WPA key is what used previously when I had a direct wired router > wireless; Could useTruecrypt for all drives, I suppose. seanferd, could you elaborate on setting up computer and printer talking to each other directly as a cable would not be practical.

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To clarify a couple of things

by robo_dev In reply to How Do I Encrypt WiFi Hot ...

Your question #1: what are you trying to do, exactly? Do you mean how do you add encryption to the WiFI login at a hotel? The answer is, you cannot do that. Either they have encryption turned on using WEP or WPA, or they do not.

Normally your own login credentials have no relationship to the hotel WLAN. In most cases the login is a captive portal via a web page which is not related to any login you do on your local PC.

In most cases you cannot connect a WLAN printer to a hotel network, nor can you print to it via their WLAN. You can, however, establish either a bluetooth or Ad-hoc WLAN connection to the printer.

Note, however, that the WLAN card cannot operate in ad-hoc and regular mode at the same time, so printing would only work with PC disconnected from WLAN (or with blutooth, or with a cable).

A skype device like a net-talk will work if the hotel has a wide-open WLAN with no encryption or security AND also with no captive portal. Personally, I've never seen a hotel with a WLAN this wide-open, so the short answer is no, it won't work.

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Reponse To Answer

by TobiF In reply to To clarify a couple of th ...

I'd like to fill in bit here:
If the wlan is unencrypted (or if you're sharing the same secret that "everyone else" knows), then your computer may be sharing more secret information to a possible eavesdropper, than you'd feel comfortabable with. (some login credentials, even more logged-in session keys, not to mention content of emails etc.)
If you're often on the road, it could therefore be useful to use an encrypted vpn-connection from the hotel, so that all your internet connection travels the open wlan through an encrypted tunnel.

This could either be achieved by a vpn-connection to your office (if your IT people would allow you to reach the public internet via the vpn-connection) or you could subscribe to vpn-service you feel ok about. (there are many of them).

An alternative, if you're already done soldering your propeller-hat, could be to set up open-vpn on your router at home, along with dynamic dns and everything. But for this to work fine, you need to have decent internet speed at home, both upstream and downstream.

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Reponse To Answer

by Lil ndn In reply to To clarify a couple of th ...

Skype does work, apparently, as someone called me last night after I set up an account and was supposedly invisible with no contacts known to me or mine given. Now, my thoughts / paranoia does seem to be real. The firewall settings I'm using are set very high, like when using "public access &/or airport" settings.

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One or Two Suggestions

by broadmind In reply to How Do I Encrypt WiFi Hot ...

To add to the above answers, a couple of things you could try are:
- Are you accessing "work" resources through your wireless connection once you are in? You would probably be using a VPN. If so, your communications are encrypted as lon as you are using that VPN.
- You might be able to set up a second wireless ad-hoc connection to your printer by using a second wireless port. You can buy an USB-wireless adapter for some USD$10.00 and try that.Other than that, a USB cable or if your printer supports Bluetooth (as described on earlier posts) are your next best option to print.

Regards -

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could I add one more question to the experts?

by cbittel In reply to How Do I Encrypt WiFi Hot ...

Exist a TOR network. I could not understand complete how it works, but I understand you can freely navigate over that network. Could we navigate safely using encrypted connections just with a plug-in on our web browser?

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OK, hope this overall reply helps...

by Lil ndn In reply to How Do I Encrypt WiFi Hot ...

Where I reside is an apt./hotel complex and their wireless router is the only way to connect to internet. They pass out access passwords to all users once a week. I feel like mentioned above if I can't password access on my end of the wireless access point then anyone could access my entire computer thru their "unsecured" wifi access. The access router approach was what I had thought would allow me a wee bit more security or peace of mind if I could put it in between their wireless connection and mine. The computer via to the wireless printer would be to my printer and would not print out on their printer downstairs. The VPN thought would work if my "office" wasn't here in house, apt., as well.

Skype does work, apparently, as someone called me last night after I set up an account and was supposedly invisible with no contacts known to me or mine given. Now, my thoughts / paranoia does seem to be real. The firewall settings I'm using are set very high, like when using "public access &/or airport" settings.

The above input will, hopefully, shed some light on my problem and the above replies will be researched. Thanks, Ron

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Hotel WiFi

by hermeszdata In reply to How Do I Encrypt WiFi Hot ...

As one who is just finishing the installation of a new Guest Wireless Internet system for a local client, I can safely offer the following:
1.) Most well known Hospitality "Brands" require "Peer-to-Peer" blocking with the ability to set up P2P for specific clients in the case where several guests had that need (multiple employees working for the same company).
2.) "Rouge" APs, guest provided, will not be allowed to join the network. The front desk should have "wireless bridges" for quests who feel the need for an encrypted connection. These normally operate with WEP or WPA on a non-broadcasting SSID and are not configurable by guests. Guests connect to the bridge device with the provided cable plugged into the ethernet port on their PC or Laptop.
3.) All these systems have a "Use at your own Risk" policy. It is the user's responsibility to make sure their equipment's Firewall is properly and AV definitions are are up to date.
4.) Hotels are likely to block access/downloads of illegal content and severely limit bandwidth to users who are deemed "Bandwidth Hogs!"

When I set up the system I just installed, a Cisco Wireless LAN Controller and Cisco APs, the first thing I did was identify the "Rouge" APs belonging to adjacent businesses. If/when a "new" rouge appears, the system automatically sends me an SMS message to my cell phone, an alert email, and logs everything on an external server. If the new rouge is an "on property" rouge (I am able to confirm this using signal strength) I am able to "contain" it by having the system send de-authentication packets to any clients associated with the rogue AP. This helps protect guests from connecting to a potentially malicious network.

P2P connections are where most network security issues pop up. Once you are connected to the WiFi network you may check to see if P2P connections are disabled by going to "Network" in vista to see what computers show up on that work.Pre-Vista is My Network Places. You should not see any other computers if P2P is disabled.

I could go on about the efforts we make to protect our guests, wired or WiFi. No matter what we do, everything is "Best Effort." The bottom line is, if someone wants to "hack" into a system and they have the necessary tools, they will succeed if given enough time.

The only "secure" computer is one that is disconnected from any power source (Powered Off)!

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Reponse To Answer

by robo_dev In reply to Hotel WiFi

Neat, I used to setup Cisco WLANs for warehouse data applications. From a security perspective, Cisco does have lots of extra features so that some hacking tools simply will not work, and there is basically an IDS system built into the Access Point. Plus there are monitoring features,such as the rogue AP detection, that keep it much more secure. I am impressed that you monitor for rogue on-site APs. Whether that's for your protection or the guests, that's a very good thing.

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