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SteveL

Wifi Access at SGL7 - some notes and warnings

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SteveL    711

As last year, I will (hopefully) be providing free wifi access to the entire field via some technical wizardry hiding in my tent. Even though its free to use, there are a few things I would like to point out:

#1 - The wifi is NOT encrypted in any way, its configured to act as an open public hotspot. This is to enable it for use by more people and more easily than supplying a passphrase. As such, do not use it for anything that you consider secret (online banking, ordering things, etc), or use a company based VPN connection instead (if you have one)

#2 - You are sharing bandwidth with MANY others. Last year we had 130+ devices connected over the course of SGL6, and at times, the speed available got a little slow. Please be aware that will all sharing a single link to the internet. (Note that not all 130 devices were connected at the same time! ;) ) Please be considerate when using the wifi, do not start downloading Youtube videos or the latest Linux DVD ISOs. Repeat offenders will be tracked and blocked for the sake of everyone else using the system.

#3 - As the internet link is via a 3G mobile broadband connection, it may not be running at 100% all the time. We managed between 2Mbit and 4.5Mbit last year, so not lightning quick, but usable for email and basic web browsing. The mast the 3G antenna will be attached to will keep it above most of the tents and equipment on the field, but the speed and signal we can receive will vary over the course of the day, can be affected by the weather, and by anyone parking a massive caravan in the way ;)

#4 - Wifi Access point seperation is enabled, which will prevent anyone on the wifi from directly accessing anyone elses equipment on the wifi. This is a basic security feature I have enabled on the wifi equipment, but it can be bypassed if you know how, so that doesnt mean that you should consider the network in any way "safe". Antivirus and firewall protection is highly recommended for your own safety, and SGL cannot take any responsibility for any access made by others to your machine for whatever reason. Consider this network as "unsecure" and act accordingly.

And the most important item of the lot

#5 - DISABLE AUTOMATIC WINDOWS UPDATES

There are many tales to be told about certain imagers at previous star parties who were attached to my wifi (no names, they may raise their hands if they feel brave), but forgot that windows updates automatically downloads patches and then reboots at silly o`clock in the morning, usually when people are imaging, or when they have left their kit taking darks and gone to sleep. DO NOT BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE! You will regret it in the morning.... disable automatic updates while you are at SGL7.

If you have any questions, ask away. I am real busy for the next 3 days until I leave for hereford on Wednesday, but will try to answer anything when I can, or you can track me down at SGL7 (you cant miss the mast with the kit on it).

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RikM    2,559

Big thanks for organising this again Steve ;)

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steppenwolf    4,334

Excellent, Steve, thanks for organising this when I know how busy you are.

MUST DISABLE WINDOWS UPDATE.... MUST DISABLE WINDOWS UPDATE.... MUST DISABLE WINDOWS UPDATE.... MUST DISABLE WINDOWS UPDATE.... MUST DISABLE WINDOWS UPDATE.... MUST DISABLE WINDOWS UPDATE....

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SteveL    711

SGL7's Antenna looks a bit beefier than last years ;)

20110613-mast03-small.jpg

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JonH    598

Many thanks for doing this Steve, it's much appreciated.

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Phil Fargaze    247

Could you post a `how to` to disable updates, then I know for sure it`s done. Also would that include the other updates such as Flash, Adobe etc. that keep popping up now and again.

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SteveL    711

Flash and Adobe are not so bad, they dont automatically reboot your machine in the middle of the night ;)

Best thing to do is google it, as its different for each version of Windows.

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Photosbykev    2,132

Thank you Steve, a few days using my mobile as a hotspot link for email etc shouldn't be a problem

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daz    1,409
There are many tales to be told about certain imagers at previous star parties who were attached to my wifi (no names, they may raise their hands if they feel brave)

;) tum-te-tum-te-tum

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michaelmorris    1,620

There are many tales to be told about certain imagers at previous star parties who were attached to my wifi (no names, they may raise their hands if they feel brave), ...

Was I one of them? No but, no but, no but, no but, no but ...

yes.

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R1gel    10

Thanks for your time in doing this for us.

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Freff    457

Many thanks Steve. It save my bacon yesterday, I'd left some vital drivers at home and was able to d/l new ones. :)

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SteveL    711

Sorry about the small outage this morning, we ran out of credit a little faster than I had expected, and so had a mad dash up to the post office to add some more :)

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SteveL    711

Blimey, you guys and girls chewed up 4.2Gb of data in 3 days and 21 hours! I hope it was helpful to some of you.

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Ant    3,436

Blimey... that's a lot... How much did that cost?

Ant

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SteveL    711

Its not really that much more than last year, to be honest. Paid in full by the finance team :blob10:

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NickK    499

Chewed into my own Mifi this year :blob10:

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Photosbykev    2,132

The SQL wifi link is very useful for accessing the net from the tents and is very much appreciated as my alternative is to use my iPhone as a hotspot. I would certainly be happy to 'rent' my access for a week at Lucksall but I guess with limited bandwidth there isn't much that can be done about the d/load speeds.

Edited by Photosbykev

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osteoblast    10

I'd also like to say thank you for providing the Wifi access. It made it much easier to check emails etc and keep up with work especially on the Thursday and Friday. Thanks again.

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sirmetin    10

I was about to use this when I remembered I had brought my vodaphone 3G - wifi pod with me which I used the sim that I used to have in a netbook with a newer contract. I would encourage as many as possible to bring their own links that way more bandwith on the open net is available for others. Vodaphone 3G was good on the site although I don't know about the other networks.

I would still like to say thanks for going to the effort to provide this even if I didn't end up using it this time.

Edited by sirmetin

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