Fon Wifi

I turn my computer off every night. For the last three weeks when I put it on in the morning it tells me I have no internet access and I find that my internet destination has been changed from my supplier (Optus) to Fon Wifi, which is unlocked. I ignored this at first but am now worried that someone is trying to get into my computer every night. It is not possible for me to connect to the internet through Fon Wifi and it says it is a Telstra.portal.fon.au. There is also an unlocked Telstra Air that does not connect. That also says it is telstra.portal.fon.au

Does anyone know anything about these portals?

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This morning my internet was not working for the first time for years (since we changed to Optus with the NBN). I turned everything off and waited 5 mins before reconnecting. while it was disconnected - totally - a panel came up for me to join Telstra Air with costs etc. After a few mins it changed to Fon Wifi again. I reconnected and got back into Optus.

Does anyone know what is going on here? I couldn’t believe that this happened the day after I had just joined a 10 week online course with masses of work to do!

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Unless you have paid for FON WIFI, you won’t be connecting to it. This website explains FON…

Your wifi on your computer/device will be searching for wifis when yours is not connected or working. It will show in your wifi list as other wifis available in your area. This may include neighbours wifi, TelstraAir etc. Unless you have paid and have user name/log in, you can’t access FON.

Hope this makes sense.

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Is it possible that you had an update/defrag or similar 3 weeks ago - changing your default ISP?? I am not a computer whiz (by any means!), but it appears it may be something simple, such as an alteration to your previous settings…
PS For what it’s worth, since an update to Windows 10, my laptop internet icon always shows “Unidentified network. No Internet access” and “Barefoot 5. No Internet access” (My ISP is Barefoot Telecom") - despite the fact I have a (usually) very good fixed wireless NBN - and the connection IS working!! So I just ignore the message…!!

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You can hide them so that they don’t appear on your wifi list, but one needs to be a confident computer user to do this…as it isn’t all that straightforward. Here is how to do it…

Otherwise, having them pop up as potential wifi connections is more of a visual nuisance than anything else.

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If Windows 10 (Win 7, 8 & 8.1 have similar settings) you can manage preferred networks, this is pretty simple but a few steps:

Click Start

Click Settings

Click Network & Internet from the choices

Click Wi-Fi from the left column

Click Manage known networks from the right side. It will be near the top of the right hand pane.

If your Optus network is not listed you need to add it (Click the + Add a new network). You then fill in the details for your Wi-Fi network, very important is to next ensure Connect Automatically is checked/clicked and also choose if you want Connect even if this network is not broadcasting is also checked/clicked.

If Optus is already listed click it’s entry and click Properties and ensure the slider under Connect automatically when in range is set to On if it isn’t change it to On.

If you are hiding your SSID (network name) you will need to ensure that the Connect even if this network is not broadcasting is On or that network will be ignored.

If the Fon networks are listed remove them. This is done by clicking the unwanted network and clicking Forget.

Now to the Fon networks being offered this is possibly another setting:

Again from the Wi-Fi part of the settings scroll down to the Hotspot 2.0 networks in the right side pane and turn the slider to Off and in that same section under Let me use Online Sign-Up to get connected ensure the slider is set to Off.

Fon networks are Telstra Customer Hotspots provided by other Telstra Customers or by nearby Telstra hardware eg Phone booths. Telstra Modems allow Telstra Customers to enable a special Guest Network that shares some of their bandwidth with only other Telstra customers who are nearby eg Telstra Mobile users. This is an effort by Telstra to provide a more seamless Internet experience for those who are travelling around eg to cut blackspots, to give stronger signals thus better speeds.

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Good detailed instructions.

One possible addition though … before doing any of that, set your own WiFi SSID to something sane. It may come from the supplier with something bland (e.g. name of manufacturer) or meaningless (serial number or MAC address) or otherwise unhelpful, something that encourages confusion for you and your neighbours.

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Would you please post

like graholl did? :smiley:

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To set the SSID is easy but each brand is particular about steps needed. Post or PM the model and detailed instructions are easy to supply. There are other security wise steps you can also do which make your network more secure…nothing in this area is absolutely secure.

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Yes, more or less different for every make and model of router.

However the prerequisite is that the SSID is not sane in the first place. So if @evanstrish3 has an SSID of “Trish Evans”, for example, I would leave well enough alone but if it’s “Bigpond_4C63E7” then I would call that insane.

PS Changing the SSID is easy but you do then have to update all the devices that connect to it, which may be a big pain or a little pain, depending on the number of devices.

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Thank you both for all the instructions. Have just followed the steps and have discovered that the naming is fine! Now I can ‘close the bonnet’ and go back to ignoring the engine - as long as it continues to run ok, when I ‘turn the key’…!!

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Now that you have checked your SSID, before you close the bonnet, it is worthwhile to check a few security things while you are under the bonnet:-

  • Check the type of security selected on your WiFi router is the most secure one it offers you (dependent on make & model)
  • Check that the passcode (passphrase, password) between your WiFi router and devices using it, is a secure one. Not the default one, and one that is a good length (some security protocols let you use up to 63 characters). Keep a written record of your passcode in a safe place.
  • Check the username and password that you use to log into your WiFi router in order to change the router settings. Relying on the default ones (such as username = admin, password = 000) is a bad practice, change them to unique ones for you (and remember that a password with 12 characters or more and a mixture of types of characters is a good idea). Keep a written record of your username and password in a safe place (your don’t want to have to do a factory reset because you forget them, and they are used very infrequently).
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I run an ap called inSSIDer . It has a free home edition to download and shows all the active Wi Fi networks around you and their strength . It now includes both 2.4 ghz and 5 ghz networks . It is a good tool to use in setting the channel/s your Wi Fi will operate on although most modem/routers will automatically hunt for a “clear” channel .

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With the caveat that some older client equipment may not support the latest and best security.

I have such a device. Fortunately my router allows me to have more than one SSID. So the main SSID is set to the best security, and a second SSID, set to the lower level required by one client device, is only enabled when that client device is being used (and hence even if the weaker security were compromised only that one device’s traffic would be compromised).

Since we are digressing onto free security advice, while the bonnet is up:

  • Ensure that remote management of your router is disabled (unless you need it and know what you are doing)
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thank you everyone for all your reassuring advice. I updated my computer to Catalina some weeks ago and that is what has disrupted a number of things on my computer, that I am gradually discovering. I have now managed to return my default server to Optus, but have not mastered actually removing Fon Wifi or relisting the servers in my desired order, but I think that they are not urgent now that I have my default server back. Thank you again.

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Ahh Apple is a bit different to Windows in regards to hiding or removing other networks from your list, basically it is not possible. So Fon will always appear in a list of available networks if it is near enough to register on your list. It shouldn’t be the default or even the highest ranked choice of networks in a list that hasn’t had a network moved to the preferred position ie the top of the list. I see you now have fixed the default choice so at least a better outcome, but I have linked a youtube video that shows you how to list the networks in order of your preference

These are just my thoughts as I’m not that familiar with Macs.
They normally list in order of signal strength in Windows and it may be the same for Mac thought on a Mac preferred can be dragged to the top of the list to make them first choice when connecting. If a Fon one is presenting before your own (if you haven’t made your one the preferred one so the listing is just in default order) you may have a neighbour or nearby hardware that is providing a stronger signal where you PC/Mac is located in your premises.

So to try and fix that you should be in default order of signal strength. Move your modem around or if it has external antennas then moving these to see if signal strength can be improved. This will involve moving the router a little eg if facing Sth try moving it so it faces a little more Westerly or Easterly and look at the result of your network listings on your Mac.

Keep changing the position or the router/antenna/antennae so that you see if you can get your Optus network to populate the top of the network listings. Then remake it the preferred network.

For you @val2 and those Mac owners who are unfamiliar with how to do this see this short youtube video:

You may get a better result by installing Ethernet over Power, WiFi boosters, range extenders, boosters or a WiFi Mesh system in your house if there is too much interference in your house between the router and your Mac. No WiFi signal likes going through wooden walls, steel structures, brick walls and similar stuff in a house.

The standard 2.4 GHz band (in routers this is usually b,g & n) will transmit further than the 5 GHz band (n, a, ac & ax) and will pass through the obstacles a bit better. However the 2.4 GHz is heavily populated with other routers nearby, microwave ovens , cordless phones and a myriad of other devices that cause interference and use this bandwidth so it will be impacted by that noise.

5 GHz is not as well utilised by these devices yet, so you have less electromagnetic signal clutter. 5GHz allows more data to be transmitted than 2.4 GHz if the area is clear of obstacles but 5 GHz will be more savagely affected by distance, walls and other physical obstacles.

Range extenders, Mesh, and Ethernet over Power devices remove much of both types of clutter caused network degradation.

For CHOICE advice, reviews on these types of devices visit the following (please note that some of the linked information at this site will be member only content):

I hope this is helpful.

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