Tag Archives: wifi

O2 UK drops The Cloud wifi access from February 2012

O2 recently announced that Pay Monthly customers will lose their free access to The Cloud wifi services as of February 2012.

If you’re on a data plan with O2, you may be aware that you currently have free access to both BT Openzone and The Cloud as part of your contract. Handy for making sure you’re not using your limited data allowance when you’re in a public place.

Sadly, as of 1st February 2012, O2 customers won’t be able to use The Cloud for free wifi. O2 say all data customers will still have access to BT Openzone and also to their own wifi networks (but O2 wifi networks are free to anyone, anyway).

This probably has something to do with the sale of The Cloud to BSkyB. Bit of a shame really, as there are The Cloud hotspots at my local train station and at various other public places that I use – but no major loss I guess.

Guide: A simple way to make a WEP key

There are too many people around who have their wifi routers unsecured. Why? Well there are horrible people out there who think it’s right to connect to your wifi. Believe it or not, it’s stealing and if you are caught you will get in trouble.

It’s a really good idea to set up a security key for your wifi. It is simple to do and will save you a lot of hassle. OK, if you live in the middle of a field in a rural area, chances are that there won’t be any wifi-jackers (that’s what I call them) anywhere near you, but you never know.

I get questions from quite a few people about making a good, secure wifi key that’ll keep those unwanted wifi-jackers away. Most routers automatically set up a WEP key when you set them up, but they can be hard to remember and annoying when you need them regularly.

I say the same thing to everyone – there is an easy way to create a simple easy to set a key to remember. An important date you you (such as a birthday) and and another important 2 digit number (such as your house number). I suggest you have it like this:


KEY: D – Day, M – Month, Y – Year, H – House number.

So, if my birthday was on the 12th of June 1978 (it isn’t, seriously!) and my house number was 9, I’d set it like this: 1206197809.

You won’t forget it, I promise. As long as you remember the structure you’ll be fine. I find it a really simple way to make a good, secure WEP key. As long as you don’t tell anyone else that it’s the structure of your security key, you won’t get any unwanted intruders chewing up all your bandwidth and getting you into trouble with the law.

Guide: Make your own wifi network with any wireless enabled computer/laptop [Windows Vista]

Do you have an internet connection or broadband supply, but no wireless router to give you wifi around the home. Well have no fear, because there’s no need to spend £50 on a wireless router if you’ve got a computer of laptop with wifi capabilities. It’ll mean that if you have broadband but not a wireless router, you’ll be able to create a wifi network and get things like an iPod Touch on the internet.

I’m going to show you how to create your own little wifi network using a Vista computer and any wireless hardware. As long as it’s capable of picking up wifi signals, it’ll be able to send them too.

Continue reading

Poor wifi signals? Is it interference? (Quick fix)

I was recently very bewildered since the wifi singal range on my router was still very poor even after adding a huge 9DBi antenna to it. I couldn’t understand why, but then I did some research and found some rather interesting information.

It would appear that if you use a cordless phone, you may be aware that most common cordless phones run at a frequency band of about 2.4GHz. Sound familiar?

Well, you may also be aware that both 802.11b and 802.11g wifi signals (as well as some 802.11n) both run 2.4GHz.

What a coincidence. Anyway, what that means is that if your router and cordless phone base are close together (ie less than 50cm apart), they can interfere with each other and therefore reduce signal range quite dramatically.

This was the problem I seemed to be having. So I move my router so it was about 100cm (the further the better, ideally) from the phone base, and the signal range increased hugely. It also put an end to the regular connection drops I got while using wifi.

So, a simple thought, but it really does make a difference. It’s not just cordless phones, but anything near a router that runs at a frequency of 2.4GHz or 5GHz. Bare it in mind.

Together with my 9DBi antenna, I now get fantasic wifi signal that I’m really pleased with. It made a huge difference, so definitely consider it before blaming a router or router antenna.