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Linux device client handles WiFi logins

Nov 8, 2007 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Devicescape has updated its WiFi client software and associated Web service that automates WLAN logins, adding support for roaming from one WLAN to another. The Devicescape service now also makes it easy to share a home network securely with friends and associates, the company says.

As Devicescape notes, changing from one wireless network to another requires knowing the new network's SSID (service set identifier), along with login credentials such as a WEP (wireless encryption protocol) key. Or, in the case of commercial access points, users' browsers may be driven to a Web page where they must enter a user name, password, or credit card number.

Devicescape claims its free client software and hosted service, introduced last January, eliminates these hassles. Once a user name and password are entered and stored on a secure server, it is possible to connect to any supported network within range, the company says.

Devicescape's new “WiFi Buddies” feature lets users securely share access to their WLANs with friends and associates by sending them email invitations. Once a buddy accepts the email invite, they can gain instant WiFi access from their device anytime they visit. However, according to the company, the security key is never released to them or installed directly onto their devices. (For details on how this “magic” occurs, refer to our earlier coverage.)

Devicescape says its service currently supports more than 400 public networks worldwide, including T-Mobile and AT&T, municipal and free networks, and nearly 100 university and college networks. More hotspots and networks can be added by visiting Devicescape's web site, according to the company.

The required Devicescape client software runs on a variety of Linux devices, including Nokia N800/N810 and 770 web tablets, and Linksys WIP 300 and other Linux-based VoIP phones. Clients are also available for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch; Nokia Eseries and Nseries phones; and, for Windows Mobile 5 and 6 smartphones and PDAs. The clients can be downloaded directly from the vendor's website.

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