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Public Wifi Issue

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:48 pm
by n5lub
Greetings all,

Many public / guest Wi-Fi connections require a web browser to register for security reasons. Then a temporary password is issued, also a username.
The pie star wifi configuration is provisioned only for a password or paraphrase.
I have tried entering the temporary password that I acquired using my smart phone with no success.
I have no problem connecting to my home router or friends and relatives Wi-Fi, but no joy in connecting to these other guest Wi-Fi’s.
Is there a workaround for this or any suggestions?
Since the pi star has no built in browser I am aware of.
Thanking you for your comments.
Mike :?:

Re: Public Wifi Issue

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:02 pm
by AF6VN
I suspect the "temporary password/username" you obtain via the cellphone is tied to the MAC address (or equivalent hardware identifier) of the cellphone's WiFi radio. Using that on anything with a different MAC address would thereby be ignored as a spoofed connection.

With work, one could likely install lynx on a Pi-Star image -- but you'd also need to provide a keyboard/monitor of some form (a SSH connection might suffice, but that assumes you have a working LAN connection to it; and if you have that, you can probably share the WAN connection through it).

Code: Select all

[email protected](rw):~$ sudo apt-cache search lynx
conkeror - keyboard focused web browser with Emacs look and feel
elinks - advanced text-mode WWW browser
elinks-data - advanced text-mode WWW browser - data files
elinks-doc - advanced text-mode WWW browser - documentation
elinks-lite - advanced text-mode WWW browser (transitional package)
links - Web browser running in text mode
links2 - Web browser running in both graphics and text mode
lynx - Text-mode WWW Browser (transitional package)
lynx-cur - Text-mode WWW Browser with NLS support (development version)
lynx-cur-wrapper - Wrapper for lynx-cur (transitional package)
[email protected](rw):~$

Re: Public Wifi Issue

Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:45 am
by N4GWB
I have pondered the same thing... I found a possible solution where folks use a MAC address spoofing app on their rooted android phone. I presume one could spoof the pi-star wifi MAC address, get authorized, then power up pi-star to connect to the wifi requiring a web page authorization/logon prior to allowing internet access.

Does anyone know if this would work? I thought about trying it, but I do not want to go through the hassle of rooting my phone if it does not work. I would have no other reason to root the phone. The potential hassles it brings with it is not worth it just to see if it MIGHT work.

Re: Public Wifi Issue

Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:01 pm
by n5lub
Those are some good suggestions guys, unfortunately I am not sure on how to implement these ideas I am not versed in Linux. I am continuing to research, because this is something that should really be added to the pi-star image. As was previously mentioned in the first post one would have to have a keyboard, but if the pi-star wifi configuration panel was provisioned for this, you’d have a keyboard to fill in blanks. of course the pi-star hotspot would have to incorporate a browser like LYNX, but specific for the hotspot to submit the info requested by host wifi, again needing a username and password assigned. I received a nice email from the last public Wi-Fi I used at a clinic in Dallas asking if I wanted to extend my user name and password that was assigned last week when we went there for services. So they are holding it for me through this week when I go back. Perhaps I will talk to their IT guys also.
Both of the above ideas might work but I’m wondering if anyone has actually implemented a solution at this point.
I hope we can continue to get more postings on the subject. Thanks for the ideas guys, Keep them coming!

Re: Public Wifi Issue

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:47 am
by N4GWB
I like the built in web browser idea and it would likely work. But I doubt the dev's have the time to fool with that as a solution. It would take quite a bit of work and it would only be useful to a small subset of pi-star users who are already only a small subset of hams, who are a small subset of society... Gets down to just a few people with the need and a lot of work to get it done. I am one of the people who would have a use, but I am betting there are only a few of us.

Re: Public Wifi Issue

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:59 pm
by n5lub
Likely so. So either stay connected to your home network or buy a cellphone plan with a hotspot. Forget free wifi.
I find it hard to see why it would be that much work to provision Pi-star for that sub set of us that could use it. Im not a programmer but I know it could be done, maybe some hardworking ham has already done it.
Thanks for youre input.
Anyone else?

Re: Public Wifi Issue

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:46 pm
by n5lub
Another point to consider , is that in the United States most data plans are not unlimited, most all of them are limited and you go over that limit you get charged more for data. Seems it might serve a lot of sub set users who travel and have truckstop and hotel wifi available to us waiting to be used.
IMHO these developers went to all this trouble to develop the software for Pi-star seems to me like one little update could be of great benefit to a bunch of us hams in this country ...I don't know about other countries but we're talking about the United States here. Roger?
Maybe if I load Putty and try Dennis AF6VN’s suggestion of adding Lynx to the sd card would be worth a try.
Cant hurt. 😊

Re: Public Wifi Issue

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:35 am
by AF6VN
Any option for (web authorized) public WiFi will require some sort of user interface /on/ the R-Pi end.

That means either adding a built-in display and keyboard, an SSH console, or a remote X-window graphical environment. Only the first of the three is "stand-alone" -- the other two require a secondary computer (or very advanced cellphone app). All three will require running a browser of some sort ON the R-Pi, in order to have any authorization tied to the R-Pi connection.

Somehow I don't see the low-resolution displays some boards support being of much use as a console interface (what are they? 320x240 or less? that's quarter VGA, and VGA was basically a text-only monitor [80x24 characters])

Re: Public Wifi Issue

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:53 am
by N4GWB
I found this article... ... -or-public

But it appears to be old and the device does not appear to be available anymore. Which leads me to wonder if something like this would work? ... vel+router

I wonder when you log on with the travel router via internal webpage and cellphone to authorize the travel router on the free wifi, if you could then create a separate network of your own connecting the pi-star hotspot to the travel router and then onto the net???

EDIT - and then it makes me wonder if you could use a VPN on the travel router also??? More reading to do!

Re: Public Wifi Issue

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:21 pm
by N4GWB
Well, after a bit of reading, I think I am going to give this box a shot... ... 02-20?th=1

It will connect to work/hotel wifi and then provide its own wifi connectable network. It also works with popular VPN providers and Open-WRT router software. It was rated the best by a couple tech blogs and with the open source router software flashability, will likely be supported long after most manufacturers would abandon support.

This is definitely not the cheapest method to solve our problem. But, it seems like it should work and it will provide many other great use possibilities beyond just what were looking for using. PLUS, if it does not work, or I do not like it, amazon has an awesome return policy.