- what is cafwap?
cafwap stands for "corvallis area federated wireless access
providers." cafwap is an alliance of people in the corvallis, oregon area
interested in wireless networking technologies and providing a free
internet access service to the people of our community. cafwap member
"providers" are volunteers who are giving away a portion of their internet
uplink so you can have free internet access.
- how fast is cafwap? what is the range?
802.11b is capable of a 12Mbps uplink to the "access point" within about
30m of the base station. at longer distances, up to 200m, the uplink
speed slows to about 1Mbps. access to the internet would depend upon the
uplink provider's internet connection however-- in most cases this would
be DSL speeds around 512kbps, which is still 15x faster than a
conventional modem (dialup) connection to the internet.
..in other words, you will need to live (or be parked outside) within the
range of an access provider in order to receive cafwap service.
- will i need special equipment?
yes, you will need to own an 802.11b or 802.11 compliant network interface
card to connect to cafwap. these run anywhere between $49 and $149
depending upon the model and features.
- how do i "get on" cafwap?
first, get within range of a cafwap node, then enable
networking card. connect to the network (aka SSID) "cafwap.net".. no
is required. configure your wireless interface for "dynamic ip address
assignment" or "use dhcp". enjoy free internet access!
if you become a regular user, you may want to consider getting on the
cafwap user's mailing
- how do i become a provider?
email Robert at rose at cafwap dot net to get on the mailing
list.. we'll provide you with all the technical assistance
you may need to get started. we are more than happy to
fully assist anyone who's interested: no tech savvy required!
- is cafwap "secure"?
yes and no.
cafwap providers do not use wireless encryption protocols,
because it's been shown time and time again that these protocols are
insecure and easily hackable (see airsnort or wepcrack). the bottom
line is if somebody wants to crack a wireless network they will find a
way. we prefer to just not attract the wireless hacking community by
"securing" cafwap using wireless encryption protocols. plus, wireless
encryption protocols are not compatible with all wireless cards, and
require a password. we want cafwap to be available to as many people as
possible with little hassle.
this means the burden is on you, the cafwap user, to secure your own
network traffic. i, (robert), would never buy anything online over cafwap
that required a credit card, unless i was connecting to a site that used
also never check my email over cafwap without using
i surf the web over cafwap and feel safe? sure, if a hacker
wants to watch me browse computer websites, be my freakin
guest.. (but please, get a life.)
the bottom line is cafwap is as secure as you want to make it. use
common net-security sense and you won't be in any danger.