WEP – Yes, it is still out there

So I spend the last 3 weeks on summer vacation with my family. This year we planned to drive to Tuscany, Italy. It’s about a 1800km drive from Denmark so we would take the drive as part of the vacation, stopping to see different cities in Germany and Italy.

First stop was in Fulda, Germany. Going to the hotel room I spotted the access-point in the hallway and the first thing I did when entering the room was to open WiFi Explorer and briefly look at the deployment.

The overall channel idea looks good. At least they have used 1, 6 and 11.

Skærmbillede 2017-08-14 kl. 15.15.10

The access-points was mounted in the hallway with 4 access-point within 15 meters. I guess they need that many access-point to get coverage into the rooms and haven’t looked at channel reuse at all. But I have seen worse. How was the performance you ask? The speed was awful so I used roaming data from my iPhone (now free within the European Union).

The next stop with Wi-Fi was in Florence. After the kids were tucked in and the wife was lost in a Podcast I got time to look at the Starhotels Wi-Fi deployment. First issues I found were coverage and 802.11b/g only. No 5GHz and no 802.11n or 802.11ac.

Skærmbillede 2017-08-14 kl. 15.30.26Skærmbillede 2017-08-14 kl. 15.33.38

And “Colubris Networks”. I haven’t seen them out there for some years now. So how was the performance? The speed was awful so I used roaming data from my iPhone (now free within the European Union). Deja vu.

Looking at the complete 2.4GHz shows a lot of other SSIDs, including the neighbor hotel NH-Hotel-Group.

NH-Hotel-Group is running Ruckus, which in my mind is a lot closer to state of the art Wi-Fi equipment that Colubris, but seening was they have done with it hurts a little inside. Using channels 1, 4, 7, 9, 12, 13 on 2.4GHz. Whauu. Buying better equipment than your neighbor is not a sure way to getting better Wi-Fi.

The last place where I looked into the Wi-Fi deployment was at the winery where we stayed in Tuscany. A small place called Il Palagio in Panzano. Wonderful place.

Looking in the “Welcome to Il Palagio” papers I found that the password to the Wireless network at the pool was WINE1 (I changed the password for the BLOG). Hmm. 5 letters? But PSK is a minimum 8 letters. Could this be 5 ASCII characters of each 8 bits? Could this be a 40-bit WEP protection? Naaa, that doesn’t exist anymore.

Next day going to the pool I just had to check. Ohh. Yes. WEP.

Skærmbillede 2017-08-14 kl. 15.54.35.png

I like no security, better that WEP security. Entering a password will leave non technical users under the impression that they have a secure connection.

But anyway, using 802.11b/g only, on channel 8, with bad signal. How was the performance? Not bad, not bad at all. Channel 8 isn’t a problem when you are the only access-point. The signal wasn’t great, but I had line of sight to the access-point mounted at the main building approx. 25 meters from me. And 802.11g isn’t state of the art, but again I was the only user and the Internet connection was decent.

Yes, WEP is still out there.

Finally just some pictures from the wonderful Il Palagio (can you spot the AP on the building).



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