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Share the Word . . .
And the DSL Connection


Sonia Janowsky became a WiFi evangelist when she moved into a new apartment. (Matthew Cavanaugh - For The Washington Post)

_____WiFi Special Report_____
Here, There, WiFi Anywhere (The Washington Post, Apr 25, 2004)
Flexibility Comes Relatively Cheap (The Washington Post, Apr 25, 2004)
Seeking a Simple, Safe Connection (The Washington Post, Apr 25, 2004)
_____Finding WiFi Spots_____
Getting Online, On the Road (The Washington Post, Apr 25, 2004)
Getting Connected With the Hot Spots (The Washington Post, Apr 25, 2004)
_____The WiFi Effect_____
Murky Was Clear Choice (The Washington Post, Apr 25, 2004)
Nice Presents, but Some Assembly Required (The Washington Post, Apr 25, 2004)
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By Sonia Janowsky
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, April 25, 2004; Page F09

My WiFi baptism came at the University of North Carolina's business school. And after spending a couple of years on UNC's wireless campus, I had to spread the gospel -- when I briefly moved back in with my parents, I persuaded them to get a digital subscriber line (DSL) connection and set up a WiFi router.

Then I moved to a house that had been divided into apartments. I met my neighbors in the yard soon after unpacking, and the topic of Internet access quickly arose. The house had only one cable connection to go around, which would seem to permit cable-modem access in only one apartment. In my new role as WiFi evangelist, I mentioned the idea of using WiFi to share that connection instead, and my fellow renters agreed that would be an ideal setup -- one had done the same thing at his last place.

Technology being what it is, the cable option didn't work out, but a DSL connection did. I ordered up a DSL account for the house, the folks upstairs wrote me a check for half the subscription, and I gave them the password to my WiFi access point.

It took a couple of weeks for everybody to get online. I did have to play systems administrator, exchanging a few e-mails with my neighbors and finally making a trip upstairs for some on-site tech support. The problem turned out to be simple enough -- they had copied the network password incorrectly. This setup has worked well for all of us since.

True, we're not quite sure if this is kosher with our DSL provider. Its Web site says nothing on this topic (although it does encourage new subscribers to take advantage of a free-after-rebate WiFi router to share access with their household). Meanwhile, other DSL providers explicitly allow connection sharing, and one, Seattle-based Speakeasy Inc., will even bill your WiFi partners directly and provide them with their own e-mail addresses. There's a real trend here; our house just may be a little ahead of it. Home

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

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