The Uptake of Wireless Security

We’re all set to move into the new office this coming week  so I’m here over the weekend to set-up a few of the more important bits ahead of the moving in – stuff like making sure the Broadband works, setting up the LAN and of course, stocking up with tea and biscuits.

Whilst setting up the internal Wi-Fi network, it’s interesting to see how things have changed in this area of South-West Birmingham in regards to the uptake of Wireless Security.

Around three years ago I went war-driving in the Weoley Castle area where I live and work and found very few hot-spots at all. Unsurprising at the time as Wireless hadn’t really taken off yet. Fast forwards 18 months later and I was setting a Wi-Fi network up for a client very close to our new office and found four hotspots competing for air-time, with three of those hotspots unprotected and easily accessible. Today I’m setting up the internal Wi-Fi at our office and  can find eight hot-spots, but all protected with WPA. The majority of these protected hotspots have names such as “BT-Business-Hub-xxx” or “SKY-xxx” – which I’m guessing means the owners of these hot-spots are still using them with the standard “out of the box” settings, but thankfully they are still protected rather than setting themselves wide-open to unwanted visitors.

So it looks like the days of swiping free Wi-Fi from unwitting hosts is pretty much over, and this has to be a good thing. For me I’ve got my beloved 3 HSDPA USB dongle so I can get a ‘net connection pretty much anywhere anyway. Plus in the spirit of encouraging technology uptake, I’m just about to setup my third “free” FON Wi-Fi hotspot for all and sundry – so if you’re in the Weoley Castle area near Netlink Towers and need a ‘net hook-up, feel free to jump on!


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