Wi-Fi Alliance to ease access to Wi-Fi hot spots

Connecting to public Wi-Fi hot spots can be a challenge, but the Wi-Fi Alliance is hoping to ease some of the pain.

Responsible for certifying Wi-Fi products and technology, the Wi-Fi Alliance said yesterday that it's working on a new certification program that should make it easier to access and use public hot spots. Various members of the alliance, including service providers and device makers, have already formalized the requirements needed to test such a certification program.

Once in place, the new hot spot program would offer several benefits to Wi-Fi users.

Computers, phones, and other connected gadgets would … Read more

More people grabbing Wi-Fi from their neighbors

More people are trying to tap into unsecure but easily available Wi-Fi networks around them, according to the results of a poll from the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Conducted by Wakefield Research in conjunction with the Wi-Fi Alliance, the results out this week found that 32 percent of those polled admit to trying to hop onto an unsecure Wi-Fi network that wasn't theirs. Some say they've done it only once while others reveal they've done it many times. That percentage compares with the 18 percent who admitted to borrowing a Wi-Fi connection according to a December 2008 poll.

Though … Read more

Wi-Fi Alliance urges use of WPA2 encryption (podcast)

The Wi-Fi Alliance is launching a campaign to urge consumers to configure routers and devices to use WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) on all their wireless Wi-Fi equipment.

"Wi-Fi security has gone through some evolutions over the years and WP2, which has been around now for a few years, is the latest and greatest in Wi-Fi security," Kelly Davis-Kelner of the Wi-Fi Alliance said in this podcast interview.

WPA2, which offers government- and enterprise-grade security, is available in all products that the alliance has anointed as "WiFi Certified." The security standard replaces the original WPA and … Read more

MacFixIt Answers

MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer questions e-mailed from our readers. This week we have questions on extending wireless networks with AirPort Express devices, new Macs not booting to a retail upgrade DVD for Snow Leopard, QuickTime not able to play some media files, and changing from the less secure WEP wireless security scheme to WPA or WPA2.

Question: Extending wireless networks with an AirPort express

MacFixIt reader "Mark" asks:

How can I get my Airport Express to act as a bridge (extend my Wi-Fi signal)? I only have a 2Wire (WEP password) router, and … Read more

Is your 802.11n Wi-Fi feeling sluggish? This simple solution could help

With many routers now transmitting Wi-Fi signals using the 802.11n standard (including all of Apple's current router offerings), some users may find that they are unable to take advantage of the increased speeds. This is most likely due to the password settings users have chosen for their network.… Read more