Is It Ok To Charge For Wifi

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by drmcleod, Jul 18, 2008.

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Campground WiFi should:

  1. be Free to entice more campers to the c/g

    7 vote(s)
    58.3%
  2. be Free in the more "deluxe" sites

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. be charged for on a per usage basis (recieve an access code at check in if paid for)

    1 vote(s)
    8.3%
  4. be Charged for by an outside agency when loggin on

    2 vote(s)
    16.7%
  5. not be a part of the camping experience (leave your technology at home)

    2 vote(s)
    16.7%
  1. kcmoedoe

    kcmoedoe
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    My apologies, I completely missed the fact that it was his satellite system. I'm taking myself to the wood shed and will administer the proper punishment. KCMOEDOE
     
  2. Joe-n-Doe

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    While I think it makes good business sense to offer free WiFi to guests, be it a campground or hotel, I understand and respect the owners to exercise their prerogative in respect to charging or providing the service for free. Just as owners exercise their prerogative, we as clients can do the same and spend an extra 5 minutes or so on the road driving to a campground that offers "Free" WiFi.
     
  3. RV Camper1

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    QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Aug 24 2008, 06:19 PM) [snapback]12893[/snapback]

    On the other hand, if you park near me and take the time to introduce yourself, I often share the password with a neighbor or two who need access to the internet.

    This is something that I have never done or asked to have done. Just doesn’t seem right and not worth the $3.

    :unsure: You don't have to accept the use of my satellite signal for free if you wish not to, but I'll not take your $3 either. I have been known to accept a beer or such but that is about it. I have yet to force my signal on anyone!

    As those who followed you stated, you clearly don't understand. I own a dish system (which many fulltimers do) and my receiver is connected to it's own wireless router, which is what most hot spots really are. Mine is password protected so not just anyone can use it, but I do share that password with selected people. But I won't force it on you!

    By the way, we stay in Passport America parks a great deal of the time and we have found that few of them have wifi for free, if at all.
     
  4. Florida Native

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    QUOTE
    Kirk has his own internet system and he chooses to share his wifi signal with others, if they ask him. This has nothing to do with sharing the password for a campground system.


    Sorry, I misread you statement about sharing the password. I'd be happy to share your satellite service. Don't the services charge on the basis of bytes transferred? I see to remember that there were levels of sevice and once you pass the threshold, it is more money.
     
  5. Just Jack

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    I am a owner of a RV park and have read through most of the postings in this forum. I have considered free wifi. I think there are more factors involved. One of the main factors is location of the park, is it a remote location where satillites are required to receive a signal or is where a DSL or cable line available to the property. We have to use satillites which is very expensive therefore we charge for wifi. Guests need to consider this before demanding free services.
    A couple of posting here come to mind. Is if fair to have free wifi and charge the same space rent to the person who doesn't use it or do I give that person a discount. I say no. If a park offers options when you arrive pick the ones you want to pay for them. If they charge for cable and you have a satillite do you need the cable, no, so you don't pay for it. If you have you own internet satallite do you want wifi, no. Pick the from the options offered and pay for them. One posting said they were at a park that had free wifi and the park had $50 router off of a computer in the back room that worked perfect. Is that a secure conection?
    Another issue is most RV'ers traveling more than a week a year have a pocket full of discount cards. Good Sam to Passport America, AAA, etc. all wanting a better rate and full survices included. So everyone throw away your discount cards and pay the published rate and I will give you free wifi.
     
  6. pianotuna

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    Hi Jack,

    Which costs the campground owner more?

    Power or wifi?

    Water or wifi?

    Clean up after sloppy campers or wifi?

    Cable tv or Wifi?

    Internet access or wifi?

    Advertising or wifi?

    Road repairs or wifi?

    I do not object to campground owners charging a fair rate and yes if the owner has to use a satellite connection the costs will be higher (and the service likely poorer too).

    QUOTE(Just Jack @ Aug 30 2008, 02:24 PM) [snapback]13012[/snapback]

    I am a owner of a RV park and have read through most of the postings in this forum. I have considered free wifi. I think there are more factors involved. One of the main factors is location of the park, is it a remote location where satillites are required to receive a signal or is where a DSL or cable line available to the property. We have to use satillites which is very expensive therefore we charge for wifi. Guests need to consider this before demanding free services.
    A couple of posting here come to mind. Is if fair to have free wifi and charge the same space rent to the person who doesn't use it or do I give that person a discount. I say no. If a park offers options when you arrive pick the ones you want to pay for them. If they charge for cable and you have a satillite do you need the cable, no, so you don't pay for it. If you have you own internet satallite do you want wifi, no. Pick the from the options offered and pay for them. One posting said they were at a park that had free wifi and the park had $50 router off of a computer in the back room that worked perfect. Is that a secure conection?
    Another issue is most RV'ers traveling more than a week a year have a pocket full of discount cards. Good Sam to Passport America, AAA, etc. all wanting a better rate and full survices included. So everyone throw away your discount cards and pay the published rate and I will give you free wifi.
     
  7. Florida Native

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    QUOTE
    One posting said they were at a park that had free wifi and the park had $50 router off of a computer in the back room that worked perfect. Is that a secure conection?


    That was me. The owner had a cable modem and a $50 router. I did my banking on the system as my bank has the secure connection and from what I have heard, this is all that is necessary. The small lock is shown on the task bar and this security is handled on their end. I hope a computer expert will jump in here and explain this better to both of us.

    QUOTE
    So everyone throw away your discount cards and pay the published rate and I will give you free wifi.


    I think you have to tailor your or any business to the market that is using your services. People (including me) will use discount cards when they can. On our recent 3 month trip, Passport America was always our first option. We never stayed in a full park and I think the owners were looking at us as incremental business. Had it not been for Passport America, they would have not gotten any income at all from us. If you don’t want to honor them, I would suggest that you not join them and get the advertising and business that you get from them. All of the clubs you mentioned are voluntary on the campground’s part and if these services cause you problems, then drop out and not get the business. Good Sam and Passport America both require the same services even when getting the discount. Passport America allows you to block out seasonal time periods if you wish. Plenty of this is in their book and website.
     
  8. kcmoedoe

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    Internet security is much more complicated than a secure website. For example, if you use a wireless keyboard that transmits in RF (Radio Frequency), it is possible for someone to intercept the keystroke data. They would have your CC number, passwords, and anything else you enter. The same data can be stolen if you log onto a router that has been corrupted or controlled by someone with bad intentions. A secure router will have a strong firewall that will not allow viruses, computer bots and other nefarious items from being uploaded through the router to unsuspecting computers. Businesses, (campgrounds included) are targeted by bad people because large amounts of potentially useful data may be passing through their computer systems. Because of this, businesses should have commercial grade equipment with a higher level of security. If you log onto these systems (via Campground Wifi) and the system has been corrupted or not secured your computer is subject to attacks by these people. The business may not even know it's system has been corrupted, since thieves may use only a very small amount of the data they collect so as not to identify themselves as having access to the sysem. Another common tactic to steal data is for a thief to set up their own network with a similar SSID (the name broadcasted by the wireless system that you log into) For example the Campground SSID may be "XYZCAMPGROUND" and the thief's system would be "XYZRVPARK" If you inadvertently logged into the "XYZRVPARK" network the thief would capture you data and possibly clean you out. This scam is especially popular around Hotels and wireless hotspots that charge a high price for wifi. The guest thinks they have found a way around the hotel's wifi fee and log in. Wireless internet, by it's basic nature (data flowing through the air instead of over wires) is less secure than a wired system.
     
  9. Florida Native

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    I have an attached keyboard (not wireless), Norton Antivirus and spam protection, adware, and firewall. I keep them up to date and run them very frequently. I have a similar router at home as the campground I mentioned. I have been told on this forum a long time ago that I would be safe as long as little lock was shown in the task bar. Is this correct? About the only time I do anything that needs to be secure is online banking with Bank of America. Don’t really need to input my credit card info on line, but do input my password. I felt reassured after hearing it on this forum. Am I really in danger of getting into trouble? Is this type of thing common? You are talking about intercepting the signal from my computer to the campground router? I guess the difference between my system at home and the campground system is the fact that the campground system would b much more attractive to the rook.
     
  10. DXSMac

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    Just a note about Norton. A friend of mine has Norton and he got hit with a "drive by download" called Antivirus2009. I use PCTools (Paid version) and PC tools didn't stop it, either. I got hit with it. You don't want to get hit with Antivirus2009. It's a "drive by download." A "download or cancel" screen comes up, and guess what, the "cancel" key is bogus, it "cancels" NADA!!!!

    JJ
     
  11. kcmoedoe

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    Lindsay, what I am talking about is security can be compromised at many points during a WiFi session. The little lock means the site is a secure website that has very sophisticated data encryption to protect your information. It is virtually impossible for anyone to steal your information when you are using that website. That being said, it is only secure once your data reaches that point. Much like the vault at your bank may be theft-proof, but it can still be robbed if it is left open, Money can be stolen before it is put into the vault or stolen after it is taken out of the vault. WiFi theft most often occurs on the connections before your data reaches the secure website. The best example I can give is if your computer is connected to a secure website, but you are having someone else type in the information and you are relaying that information to them over a walkie talkie. Then there are a number of people that could steal your information. The Typist, anyone listening on the same walkie talkie frequency or someone just standing next to you listening or looking over your shoulder. In a WiFi setting, the router is that person typing in your information. If the router is corrupted, your data is in danger. The Wireless signals from wireless keyboards etc is the Walkie Talkie, it is usually not well encrypted and anyone close by can copy the keystokes with some simple software and radio receivers. Logging into an unknown persons WiFi because it is unsecured is the guy looking over your shoulder. You gave him an opportunity and he took it. All this being said, You really have much more to worry about than someone stealing your information. The odds are very much against it. Wireless keyboards have a very short range. Someone dishonest has to be very close by to intercept the signal. Also, they need to have some of your personal information to use any passwords or data they may have collected. A password is no good unless you have the account number it belongs to. Good businesses have highly secure WiFi systems. They are not overly expensive but they do require a bit more than just hanging a router off the back patio. Also, more sophisticated systems sometimes will require a bit more effort to log onto. I.E a password and a username. The best security is to not connect to any connection unless you are sure who the administrator or owner is. The odds are great that the campground you just gave your Credit Card number to when you registered is not going to steal your credit card information off of their wireless system. They already have it. This goes for any legitimate business, they have too much to lose. That unsecured network you found that you can connect to and save yourself a campground fee doesn't have anything to lose, so stay away.
     
  12. Florida Native

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    So does the average campground out there that we are using have a secure website? Somehow I think not. I have never seen the little lock on the task bar (if that means anything). I guess that the problem would be coming from my computer to the router via wireless. Most people I talk to in campgrounds using WiFi are doing their banking via that WiFi connection. Are you saying we are taking a chance and if so how much? Should I stop? I can tell you that this is a huge handy method for us to be able to pay these bill online. We have direct deposit and every bill is paid via WiFi. This allows us to be gone for 3 months with no problems.
     
  13. kcmoedoe

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    You are much more likely to be robbed by a mugger than have your data stolen off of the Wifi. That being said, being careful is prudent. Just like looking over your shoulder on a dark street or wearing a seatbelt. Also remember, if you are a victim of Credit Card theft, your liability is limited to $50.00. A campground router will not show the lock logo because you are not connected to a website, but rather you are connected to an internet pipeline. I was just trying to point out that WiFi is more complicated than just having a router available for everyone's use. It is also more costly than some have implied, if they do it correctly. They will probably have a system independent of their business lines to protect their data. The campground has hundreds or thousands of CC numbers in their data bases and their liability if these are compromised runs into the 10s of thousands of dollars. I am just suggesting a little patience with the park if they try to recoup their costs or the system is a little slower or more complicated then we like.
     
  14. Texasrvers

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    This is for kcmoedoe and Lindsay:

    KC, I have really enjoyed your explanation of Wi-Fi security. It has made me think about some things, but even so I am not planning to greatly change how we do things. I feel we have taken about all the precautions that we can, and I am not afraid to use a cg's Wi-Fi. I even feel a little better about it after hearing all you have had to say.

    I would also like to let Lindsay know about our method for paying bills. We use automatic debits (different companies have different names for it) for all our monthly bills. This means that the billing company drafts our bank directly on a particular day of each month. Therefore, we don't have to go on line to pay our bills. This way it doesn't matter where we are--home or away--the bills get paid on time. We actually set all this up before we started traveling because I never could remember to pay some bills on time. They all had different due dates, and I would just forget. We still get hard copies of everything so that we can monitor our payments, but so far we have had no problems. (knock on wood!)

    This also means we do not need to worry as much about a cg's Wi-Fi security since we mostly use it for email and surfing. However, along those lines I do have a question for KC. If I am logged on to a Wi-Fi system and someone else logs on is it possible for that person to actually access my computer. I ask because I have heard it is possible, and I do keep certain files on my computer that I would not want someone else to get to. While I've heard it is possible I have also heard that it is highly unlikely as someone would have to have some really specialized computer skills to do so. I'd appreciate any information you can give me on this.
     
  15. Florida Native

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    We too use the automatic debit, but many don't do this. We have a debit card system with seperate number for my wife and I coming out of the same account. I use Quicken to keep track of things and it works quite well. I feel pretty safe about it now.
     
  16. Texasrvers

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    Lindsay,
    Your banking procedures--auto debit, two debit cards with different numbers and Quicken--sound very identical to us. It has worked well for us.
     
  17. kcmoedoe

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    Texasrvers, It is technically possible for your computer to be accessed anytime it is connected to a network, be it a WiFi system, an Aircard, a wired system etc. For this to happen, the hacker would have to find a security breach in your firewalls, or you would need to have logged onto a corrupted website or have a corrupted modem on your connection. These type of attacks almost never occur randomly, since the attacker will give away his mode of attack and not accomplish much if he just penetrates the average joe's computer. The best hackers attack business and government computers, because thats where the good stuff is. When you communicate with a website, you give it "permission" to access certain areas of your computer. The same thing with any connection. It is also technically possible to download a "bot" which is a program that is hidden in another program or e-mail that would take control parts of your computer. There have actually been bots in the past that would actually activate your computer at certain time and transmit all your files to a thiefs computer. These are extremely rare to non existant today. The network security and your own computer security programs (MaAfee, Norton etc.) block literally all of these type of programs. There are always predators out there patrolling for weaknesses. That's why you should be vigilant in keeping your computer's security current, avoid opening suspect e-mails, accepting downloads from unknown websites and connecting your computer to unknown access points. If you follow these simple rules you will never have any security problems.
     
  18. Texasrvers

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    kcmoedoe,
    Thanks for the info. We already follow the precautions you mentioned at the end, so I feel relatively safe. Guess we'll just keep doing what we can and keep our fingers crossed for the rest.
     
  19. DXSMac

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    Actually, after thinking again..... I would be willing to pay $1 a day for WiFi access, or even $2 a day, but NOT MORE THAN THAT. Also, I would pay it ONLY if I were paying the park. I don't want to pay a third party.

    JJ
     
  20. Florida Native

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    Actually. my wife's credit card was stolen last Christmas, but I haven't turned it in yet as the theif is spending a lot's less than she had been spending.
     

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