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Wireless Help

I just went with a friend and got a HP laptop from Best buy. Since I live in an apartment building I was assuming that I could get some free wireless internet from people living in the building who don't know how to secure their networks. Now I know there are some risks of being hacked when on a wireless network (Can someone enlighten me how a hacker could get around my XP SP2 firewall?) but I am not worried about that since I am aware and don't plan on doing an sensitive work while on the net.

So far I have not been able to get on the internet even though there are 2 unsecured networks with very strong signal.

I can connect to them and acquire a network address

then I do ipconfig and get the ip of the router and try to ping it and I am successful with that

However I can't ping things outside the network like www.yahoo.com (it wouldn't even resolve the name)

I don't think the router is doing Mac filtering since I can connect to the network. Is this a correct assumption?

I think I might be missing some easy setting on the laptop and I am just looking for some good trouble shooting steps.

Thanks for your time and tips
jculkincys
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jculkincys
Asked:
jculkincys
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1 Solution
 
nodiscoCommented:
Not to sound holier than thou, but most people are more interested in helping users who have a problem they need solved than helping someone leech off someone elses bandwidth
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botanophobikCommented:
Navigate your web browser to the router's IP address (usually 192.168.1.1) and see what type/model it is.  Go to the website of the company and check to see what the default username and password is (usually admin, admin).  You'll be able to see why you can't get through at that point, but it definetly sounds like MAC/IP filtering.
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SlowRoastedCommented:
They may not have an internet connection coming into the wireless router.  You can connect to the network but there will be no internet there for you.  There are a lot of things that can happen to you on someone elses network.  One is that someone could be grabbing your packets and viewing them with programs like Iris.  This means they can see what your doing on the net.  You also run the possibility of getting your computer hacked in various ways.

hope this helps;)
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botanophobikCommented:
FYI: One thing to eliminate as well is DNS issues.  That's another strong possiblity.  Grab an IP and try to ping it instead of a domain and see if that works.  If it does then you might need to use a free public DNS server.
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jculkincysAuthor Commented:
Its not DNS becuase I tried pinging outside IPs as well
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jculkincysAuthor Commented:
So just to clarify  - MAC filtering will get me get to a router but prevent me from getting "through" it?
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botanophobikCommented:
Yes.  The router's DHCP will give you an IP but it simply won't send anything out if they're using a MAC filter and your address isn't in the list.  Like I said, try pointing your web browser to router's IP (http://192.168.1.1 usually) and see what happens.  Most of the time the window the opens to enter the username and password has the model number of the router.  Find out the default password and as long as they didn't change it you should be able to fix whatever is stopping you from getting on the net.
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jculkincysAuthor Commented:
Yea I hear what you are saying about logging in and just addin another MAC address IP

Don't you think that if they took the time to set up Mac/IP filtering - they would change the password on the router??
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botanophobikCommented:
No. I never changed mine and neither did my neighbors =P
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mightofnightCommented:
SlowRoasted brings up a good point packet scanning (though unlikly) has some serious concerns on a open wireless network.  A wireless network brings the same security concern that a HUB brings.. all data for all users can be visiable to all the other computer connected.  where as with a switch it directs the traffic to the computer (or device) that is to recieve the info.  

Anyhoo what does this mean Well log on to AOL messenger some time when you are packet sniffing.. Ya thats right your consverations readable as an email.  Even better.. your password is sent in plain text.  I hope you don't use this password for other things!  Aol is by far not the only security risk...

My point here being.. be carefull on a open network...

One thing to consider is now that people are setting up their 2nd generation wireless networks i have knowen some people to keep their old equipment running as a dummy system.  At my work we use a system like that only our dummy system is secured.. then our real network is set with ssid disabled.
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BILJAXCommented:
Why don't you just own up and get your own High-speed internet?   It's not the practice of this site to help others in illicit or illegal activities.  Shame on a few of you... :(

AC
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BILJAXCommented:
Secondly, you need to be slapped for getting a BBy HP notebook.   Shame shame shame...

Just razzing you a little.  Enjoy your new laptop in all your LEGAL endevours.


AC
--Loves his IBM Thinkpad T42
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