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http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,120054,tk,mcx,00.asp

i just read this article and it says that you can log on to anothers computer with out knowing it thinking its a hotspot. My question is in wireless settings there are 2 types, access point and computer to computer. If i have only access point set would i be safe, or can a laptop setup to become an accesspoint? I connect to about 20 different access points everyday that i have no idea what they of or who owns them so im a bit conserned.
Thanks, Chris

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Last Post by meksikatsi
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i just read this article and it says that you can log on to anothers computer with out knowing it thinking its a hotspot. My question is in wireless settings there are 2 types, access point and computer to computer.,,,

Technically, the differentiation is between "infrastructure" mode and "ad hoc" mode; the former being a connection via a wireless router/access point/etc., and the later being a direct computer-to-computer connection. Google is your friend for more specifics on that one. :)

If i have only access point set would i be safe

Nope, not if you have no other security protections in place. We've got a bit of a running (my fault) thread on wireless security issues here that might shed more light in that regard.

I connect to about 20 different access points everyday that i have no idea what they of or who owns them so im a bit conserned.

You should be able to determine which are access points and which are stand-alone (ad-hoc) wireless computers via Windows' "View available wireless networks" option. In general though, I'd be concerned when connecting to any unknown network unless you're sure your own machine's security is up to snuff.

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i take the train into the city everyday and when we stop i can usually find a linksys or blinkin router that has no encription on it so i connect during the minute or so stop to check mail and surf the net a little...nothing big and i do have windows xp pro with all security packs and zonealarm's security suit and its pretty locked down. in the wireless networks setting it will show 2 types of networks...one computer to computer (with a picture of 2 laptops linked together) and the other a wireless network (with a becon point picture). Is it possible for a laptop setting up a network to change the network type to an access point rather than a computer to computer network?

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Is it possible for a laptop setting up a network to change the network type to an access point rather than a computer to computer network?

To change the type? No, not in the way I think you mean.

A normal computer can be configured to be an access point, but once you form a network by joining client computer to that access point, you're really creating a new type of network, not changing the existing one. Bacically, you would be tearing down the old ad-hoc(IBSS) network and reconfiguring the computers to form a new infrastructure (BSS) network.


If I've misunderstood what you're asking, just let me know.

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ok yeah i think that answers my question...i will just be careful not to do anything potentially risky on the internet while not at my home. Thanks for your help.

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ok yeah i think that answers my question...i will just be careful not to do anything potentially risky on the internet while not at my home. Thanks for your help.

You're welcome.

Yeah- when you jump on someone else's network you never know what might happen. Usually nothing will if you're only latching on to their network to grab a few minutes of Net access; they'll probably never even notice you. However, if their network has virus-infected machines on it, the viruses might notice you! :D

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Wow, now we know one possible way that our nets can be breached on an example of the people doing it. I´m glad I´m not close to a train line...

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