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General Hosting Hotspot Questions

Why should I offer any type of public wireless Internet access at my FBO?

  • Pilots can quickly check weather conditions and access flight planning tools online or on their mobile devices, before their flight and at stops.

  • Pilots and passengers can access e-mail and perform other online functions for personal and business related communications.

  • Mobile aviation businesses can communicate much easier.

  • Aviation organizations that meet at FBOs, such as Civil Air Patrol, and flight instructors could access the wireless Internet for education or reference purposes.

Can I still join your Wi-Fi hotspot network if I already have wireless Internet access available?

Yes, joining the Sky-Nets Hotspot Network is still beneficial (over offering your own independent hotspot) to you and your visitors:

  • Easy creation or integration of a secured private wireless network 

    The hotspot gateway (given to you FREE) has a private Ethernet port on the back so you can hook up your own private access points, giving you a very easy way to provide encrypted and secured wireless access for internal use, while at the same time providing the public wireless access, and only using one Internet connection.

    Any existing equipment you may have for a private network or existing hotspot, such as a wireless router or access point, could still be used. For example, if you already have a wireless router or access point, you could connect it the hotspot gateway we give you in order to provide a larger wireless coverage area, or connect it to one of the private ports on the hotspot gateway and you'll have your own separate secured private wireless network.

  • Your Internet connection is balanced among all the users

    The hotspot gateway (given to you FREE) allows the use of bandwidth limitations. Therefore, users won't use all your Internet connection power - itís evenly disrupted among all the hotspot users.

  • You'll be a part of a hotspot network

    Pilots may want to only use airports or FBOs that belong to the Sky-Nets Hotspot Network; therefore, you'll likely receive more visitors.

    In addition,  venue specific hotspot networks generally are very useful to those involved in the particular venue because it provides a quick and easy way to find which locations have Wi-Fi access, which may be a determining factor in which location they choose to visit.

Why shouldn't I charge users for wireless Internet access?

Of all the research we've performed so far, we have yet to find a FBO that charges for it's wireless Internet access. Therefore, you wouldn't likely receive many visitors willing to pay for the service. In addition, you would have to setup your own fee-based hotspot system, which isn't simple.

Why can't I just share my private wireless network with my visitors?

It's very important to note that there is a huge difference between hotspot networks (for the public) and private networks (used for business activities) - Wi-Fi hotspots aren't encrypted and shouldn't be regularly used for business activities or for accessing any sensitive information, however, if you setup a wireless network for your own use, you can easily implement security features (such as encryption) to secure the information sent through the air waves and to prevent authorized users from connecting.

What legal or liability issues should I consider when offering public wireless Internet access?

You need ensure the Internet service you are using with the hotspot allows you share the Internet connection with others.

Most business class Internet services allow you to do this; however, double-check to make sure youíre good to go.

Membership Questions

What do I get when joining your Wi-Fi hotspot network?

See the What You Get section.

Do I get to keep the FREE equipment?

Yes, for as long as you continue to be apart of the Sky-Nets Wi-Fi Hotspot Network.

What happens if I run into problems when setting up or operating your Wi-Fi hotspot package?

We'll be happy to help! You can contact us online or by phone.

What happens if the hotspot equipment is damaged?

If the hotspot equipment fails (such as due to a defect) we'll try to send a replace, however, if it's because of physical damage we aren't liable and you can buy a replacement if you want to continue to be apart of the Sky-Nets Hotspot Network.

How far will your Wi-Fi hotspot package reach?

With clear line of sight the wireless signal can go up to about 100 meters (or 328 feet) in all directions. However, the indoor coverage area will be much less due to walls and other RF attenuators. It's impossible to know how far the signals will travel in your particular facility unless testing is performed, however, the hotspot package should provide enough coverage for your pilot lounge or waiting areas.

What If I want to expand the range of your Wi-Fi hotspot package?

The FBO website you're granted access too after signing up with the Sky-Nets Hotspot Network contains information about expanding the hotspot coverage area. We'll explain how and give equipment recommendations.

How long does it take and how difficult is it to setup the Sky-Nets Hotspot Network equipment?

The hotspot equipment comes totally pre-configured - all you have to do is connect the Internet connection cable and plug the electrical cord into the wall.

If you plan to create or integrate a private network you may have to do some configuring, however, the default settings should work.

User Experience

What do my visitors need in order to use the Wi-Fi hotspot?

People can access the hotspot with Wi-Fi (or 802.11) equipped devices, such as laptops and PDAs. Wi-Fi is even available on portable gaming devices, such as the PlayStation Portable (PSP), and some mobiles phones are now equipped.

Are the hotspot users going to be bombarded with advertisements?

No!

Keep in mind, users will see logos of the sponsors when they connect to the hotspot and when using the portal, however, this shouldn't be of any annoyance.

What happens if a Wi-Fi hotspot user has problems?

The start-up package you receive includes some information you can refer to during connectivity and network issues relating to the hotspot.

General Wi-Fi Questions

Why would I want a private wireless network?

Private wireless networks provide many benefits, such as:

  • Information is Secured

    It's very important to note that they is a huge difference between wireless hotspot networks and private networks - Wi-Fi hotspots aren't encrypted and shouldn't be regularly used for business activities or for accessing any sensitive information, however, if you setup a wireless network for your own use, you can easily implement security features, such as encryption, to secure the information sent through the air waves and to prevent authorized users from connecting.

    Even though a hotspot is just like other wireless networks and could provide the same benefits, such as mobility of network or Internet applications and file sharing, for your internal business use, its highly recommended to to setup a secured private wireless network.

  • Provides mobility.

    Wireless networks allow you to be free of wires. For example, you can roam around your facility with your laptop or PDA while browsing the web, checking e-mail, or using other network or online applications. In addition, you can easily move desktop PCs without the hassles of moving network or Internet connection cables. 

  • Sharing of the Internet, files, printers, and network devices.

    Wireless networks allow you to easily share an Internet connection, such as cable or DSL, with all the computers or devices on the network. In addition, you can share devices, such as printers, on the network to help eliminate the need printers at all workstations. Wireless networks also allow you to swap files between computers. 

  • You can use wireless accessories, such as:

    • Media adapters

    • Presentation adapters

    • Wi-Fi video cams

    • Print servers

What tips do you have when setting up a private wireless network?

You should implement methods like those discussed below to ensure your sensitive information is secure:

To Secure Real-time Traffic:

  • Use WEP encryption at the minimum; ideally, go with WPA encryption.

To Prevent Others from Connecting:

  • Try to keep wireless coverage within a controlled area.

  • Use MAC address filtering.

  • Limit DHCP addresses, or assign static addresses.

  • Disable SSID Broadcast.

Keep in mind that the use of encryption is the only method that adequately secures the real-time traffic, such as e-mails and Web browsing, on your wireless network. Most other security methods, such as MAC address filtering and disabling SSID broadcast, are intended to help prevent others from successfully connecting to the wireless network.

You can never be sure that your wireless network is completely secure. However, implementing multiple security methods means it will be much more difficult for Wi-Fi eavesdroppers  to capture readable real-time data.