Q

What wireless hotspot is named wrlssntwrk1?

I have searched everywhere to find wrlssntwrk1, a wireless network hot spot. For example, on a wireless Fujitsu

Notebook (Lifebook P Series) with an Intersil PRISM Wireless LAN PCI Card, I can get the Verizon signal at the wireless network "Verizon Wi-Fi" (for example, at a Verizon Hot Spot). Another example of a wireless network is "AT&T wireless." Further, another wireless network also appears available at different locations I frequent over the day. It is "wrlssntwrk1". What wireless hotspot is named "wrlssntwrk1"? To the best of my knowledge, "wrlssntwrk1" is not a well-known default Service Set Identifier (SSID) and quite possibly it is not a hotspot name either. This may simply be the SSID (network name) chosen by a private wireless LAN near a location that you visit. Windows XP will let you know about any network your notebook's built-in Wi-Fi adapter "hears" including both public hotspots and privately-owned WLANs. It's quite common to discover SSIDs for private WLANs and you can't assume that all SSIDs your notebook finds are actually hotspots.

When you discover an SSID and want to track down the network it belongs to, try watching signal strength as you walk around in the vicinity of that SSID. Figure out which direction you need to move in order to increase signal strength. Do this at 90 degree angles to "triangulate" and find the location of the access point that is broadcasting beacon frames with that SSID. If you find the signal strength meter in Windows XP isn't precise enough, try NetStumbler (http://www.netstumbler.com). This shareware program be used with a GPS if you happen to have one, allowing you to plot network location by latitude and longitude.

This was first published in September 2003

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