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back to article Turning a Nokia phone into a hotspot

A new piece of freeware can turn a Symbian S60 handset into a Wi-Fi hotspot, removing the need to muck about with Bluetooth connections to get connected when on the move. Just don't tell your service provider. JoikuSpot installs on a S60 handset with Wi-Fi and, when activated, turns that handset into a hotspot for any, and all, …

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Alien

wifi locking?

I hope there's a way of locking the wifi access as well, otherwise you can bet that the owner of the mobile phone will see million digit phone bills!

Besides, isn't it 'illegal' to use some one else's wifi connection without express consent? The only reason why I bought this up is because I just read your article on remote workers squatting on neighbours wi-fi... The comments there are as good as the article!

Alien because the phone bill will be out of this world...

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Stop

Beware!

For those who think "Ah! but how will they know if I'm using my laptop or just browsing from the phone?" - they aren't that silly.

HTTP traffic is tagged with 'useragent' string that identifies the browser type. If you're connecting from a Symbian handset and they see lots of HTTP access from your phone with an internet explorer or firefox identifier, they'll know you're using your phone as a modem.

Of course you could block sending this identifier (and this wifi router thingy should be able to strip it out) - but then they'd see lots of http access with suspciously blank useragents.

The clever thing to do might be to set the useragent automatically in the router to the useragent of the native browser on the phone - the only drawback is if the website in question sends custom content designed for a phone when it detects a phone-type useragent, as quite a few do. But this would make it a lot harder (not impossible though!) for them to say you've been "abusing" your data plan.

Jolyon

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@Jolyon Ralph

Firefox has plug-ins that allow you to set a custom user-agent yourself... Plus half a dozen local PC privacy proxies will strip/change this.

As for ending up with it rendered in tiny mobile mode when you pretend to be a mobile app, just pretend to by Opera Mini, from what I've seen when I use it on my N95, it gets a full normal site and then renders it locally to suit the mobile.

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Anonymous Coward

@Jolyon

@Jolyon,

He's an easier way to notice that a customer is abusing their data plan. If the sites visited cannot be easily viewed using a mobile phone then it is pretty likely that a laptop is being used!

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Happy

@ Beware!

Well, it's actually incredibly simple to detect your phone's user agent, and then to fake this from Firefox (the simple way is to install the customisable User Agent Switcher XPI) and connect through your phone. The custom content really isn't an issue - some sites like The Register will have it, but then again, many mobile browsers these days are taking full-sized websites and allowing users to scroll horizontally as well as vertically. It all depends what you set your user agent to - but it's easy to bypass.

On top of that, what's the problem with a couple of oddly-formatted websites when you're getting it for free off somebody else's network?

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@Jolyon Ralph

Well my network provider '3' really is that silly. I regularly use my laptop through my 3G connection on my 'unlimited' (1gig/month) connection and despite it being against their TOS they haven't charged me a penny to date.

Oh and in response to the article it sounds a good idea to me. Free internet for everyone yay! How long before the phone companies stop the 'unlimited' offers remains to be seen.

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Only a Matter of Time ...

Free? Onlky until service providers find a way to charge. I'll bet Voda has a team of top engineers on the case as we speak. Plus don't forget the slogan "The future is bright, the future is overweight bills". It's virgin on the ridiculous for Nokia to lure users into such a trap.

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Anonymous Coward

How to get around expensive data plans

1) Plug a modem (remember them) into your computer.

2) Make the modem's number one of the cheap voice call number options on your mobile plan.

3) Get an old fashioned acoustic coupler.

4) Slap a mobile into it.

If anyone can make a device that combines 3 and 4, I'd happily pay up to £50 for it.

<smallprint>Idea copyright Anonymous Coward, patent pending, registered trademark, etc, etc.</smallprint>

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Flame

Insanity

So iPhone users can now get 3G by...having an Symbian phone with Wifi hidden in their backpack. That's as good as Jobs putting Window$ onto macs.

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Unhappy

WMWifiRouter has vanished

The author has removed all the files from his web site, with little explanation. I guess, since it allows you to bypass some operator controls on your handset in the US, he's been SLAPP'ed.

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Boffin

Interesting...

Could accelerate my plans to replace my W950 with an E51, and get a iPod Touch. I was thinking about an iPhone, but the lack of 3G and being able to use it as a Bluetooth modem puts me off.

I thought the Internet Sharing in Windows Mobile could already share connections over WiFi, or does that only work over Bluetooth?

I have a Three pre-pay SIM in a data card that I use with my laptop - a couple of the places I go, Three is the only provider that has 3G. They haven't cottoned on yet, but I only use it for browsing, emails and RSS feeds.

Oh, and acoustic couplers won't work over GSM because of the way the codec digitises the sound. Voice is intelligible, but have you heard the way it mangles hold music?

Alan.

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Changing Firefox User Agent

You don't need a plugin to change Firefox's user agent string, just go to about:config and make a new String entry called general.useragent.override and stick whatever you like in it. Handy for seeing what your websites are pumping out to different browsers

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Cool!

I was waiting for something like this to hook my iPod Touch up to my N95. They could have added some basic security like MAC filtering though :o(

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Would you like to play a game?

"3) Get an old fashioned acoustic coupler."

Why would you need that when nearly all mobiles have either headphone/mic jacks or bluetooth headset support?

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Go

Changing browser useragents

Yes, of course you can change useragent strings in your browser - but the original article was talking about a utility that turns your phone into a free wifi spot for OTHER people to be able to connect to. How are you going to go up to everyone within a 100m radius and ask them to install a firefox extension?

Hence I was talking about things that could be done programmatically in the router software, not something that you'd do on your laptop!

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Just be very careful...

'Unlimited' data plans aren't unlimited - be very careful that you're not getting yourself into a heap of debt.

Why service providers are even allowed to say call them unlimited is another argument....*growls*

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Law
Paris Hilton

Confused

When I signed up for Web-n-Walk Plus (with Tmobile UK) they said the Plus was so I could use my phone as a modem for the laptop, and get access to hotspots etc etc.... so I guess I'm alright... but looking on their website it was pretty cryptic about features of each web n walk package - which is obviously a marketing ploy since about a year ago when I was considering a smartphone I looked up the differences and it was clear as day!!

As for hotspot access, I never recieved any details of how to access these things, and when I looked a few weeks ago I couldn't find any mention on their "improved" website.

Paris icon because she had that amazing tmobile sidekick once with all her pics and phone numbers in.... gawd bless her

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Silver badge

Google: EV-DO in NS

My house in the forest gets its high speed Internet access via a cell-phone network. The "$75 Unlimited" plan is actually $93, but at least the 'unlimited' appears to be unlimited. One month we used 19GB, this month almost 13GB. We have no qualms about surfing endlessly.

Since the EV-DO modem gadget is USB only (no screen, no buttons), they can't really complain that I'm using it with external devices. It's only purpose is to plug into external devices.

Also, I'm using a special CTR-350 travel router that makes the house into a WiFi hotspot. We've sometimes got two PCs, a Wii and a PSP all going at once. The entire EV-DO + WiFi kit could fit under a hat (but you'd need some AA cells to power the kit).

I'm not connected to the industry, just a satisfied customer. It's almost as if the modern age has actually arrived (for those of us outside the range of wired high speed services).

For more info, Google: EV-DO in NS, or WiFi Limo (two of my blogs).

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Anonymous Coward

User agent -- use HTTPS

Use HTTPS where possible and no-one in the middle will see your User Agent identifier.

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@use HTTPS

This will only work if the server you are connecting to supports a secure session.

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