Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: I want to get involved but I don’t know how the ogWifi thing all fits together.

A: Check out the ogWifi overview

Q: When I attempt to login or create a new account, I receive a dialog box telling me that there is a problem with the ogWifi certificate.

A: Just permanently accept the certificate and you will not see this warning again. For most web browsers, this just involves clicking OK.

Q: My favorite hot spot is currently down. What should I do?

A: Currently, there is no automated notification that lets us know when a particular hotspot goes down. Most of the time, a hotspot goes down because somebody unknowingly unplug a cable. The best thing to do is to let us know by sending an email to info@ogwifi.ca or hotspots@ogwifi.ca.

Q: My wireless device can see the hotspot, but it cannot access the internet.

A: Every time you attempt to connect using a wireless device to a web site at an ogWifi hotspot with a web browser, the browser gets redirected to an ogWifi login page where you can either log in or create a new account. You must log in to be able to access the internet. If your device does not have a web browser, you will not be able to use the hotspot with that device.

Q: Why does ogWifi have a bandwidth cap. What is the cap.

A: The bandwidth cap is in place to prevent persistent abuse of a hotspot’s bandwidth by hotspot users. The cap allows a user a combined download+upload limit of 800Mb over a sliding 72 hour period from the same hotspot. When a user splits her access among multiple hotspots, this limit is 1000Mb over a sliding 72 hour period though the 800Mb per hotspot is still in effect. For example, if you use 200Mb on Monday, 500Mb on Tuesday, then you will only be allowed 100Mb of usage on Wednesday before you are cut off (800-500-200=100). Assuming you use all 100Mb on Wednesday, on Thursday you will be allowed 200Mb of usage (800-500 from Tuesday – 100 from Wednesday = 200). If you use 100Mb on Thursday and then go to a different hotspot, you will be allowed 300Mb extra (1000 for multiple hotspots – 700 used = 300) at the new hotspot, but had you stayed at the original hotspot, you would only be allowed another 100Mb usage.

Q: I am trying to connect to a hotspot at business A from my home but my connection sometimes gets refused.

A: ogWiFi is a community service and not an Internet Service Provider. Our mandate is to serve the community via a cafe, restaurant or a bar and not individual households. These establishments are kindly providing free access to their patrons and due to the non selective nature of wireless communications, to others who live nearby. But even if a hotspot tolerates connections from nearby homes this should not be interpreted as endorsing this model nor should it be expected.

The Internet access offered by hotspots is a complimentary service for customers who visit the premises of the hotspots. An analogy is mints at the door of a restaurant. These items are at no charge to the customer, but it is expected that you will not take the whole container when you leave. Nor is it expected that people will come in off the street and leave with all of the mints. Everybody understands that if the container goes missing a few times that the complimentary service will soon stop.

The ogWiFi Community HotSpot service is meant for the modest demands of email, web browsing, social networking for a short amount of time while visiting a cafe, restaurant or a bar.

Sometimes users connect to a Community Hotspot they have access to from their home. Some however rely on this service as their only Internet service. Most of these users have modest online demands. Others spend many hours online with large bandwidth requirements and typically use one or more of the following types of applications:

  1. peer-to-peer software (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer-to-peer) for file sharing or music or video downloads
  2. online movie downloads or IPTV or lots of YouTube downloads
  3. website, blog, forum hosting
  4. skype. Leaving skype running can eat up your bandwidth (http://forum.skype.com/lofiversion/index.php/t50282.html)

If you fit in the category of large bandwidth consumers and are accessing a community HotSpot from your home, we encourage you to get your own Internet connection. NCF (http://www.ncf.ca/) offers reasonably priced ($30/month), fast, high bandwidth cap (200Gb), standard or dry DSL Internet service. In a multi-unit dwelling, since NCF is sharing friendly, you can even set up a secure, shared wireless router and split the costs between the users.

Q: I forgot my userid/password or did not answer the validation email in time.

A: If you visit http://auth.ogwifi.ca/login/, on the right hand side are links to recover your userid or password or to resend the validation email.

Q: My connection sometimes gets refused and the message at the top right says that I have used more bandwidth than I am allowed, but I have hardly used the Internet.

A: Programs that are installed on your computer can use your Internet connection in the background without your knowledge. Before using ogWifi, you will want to disable the following types of software.

  1. peer-to-peer software (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer-to-peer) for file sharing or music or video downloads
  2. Voice over IP (VoIP) software, such as Skype. Leaving Skype running can eat up your bandwidth (http://forum.skype.com/lofiversion/index.php/t50282.html)

Note that downloading or watching videos from youtube.com or other web video services will quickly eat up your bandwidth.

If you do not have any of this software installed, or have disabled it and still run into the problem of running out of bandwidth while only doing web browsing and email, your computer may have been compromised by a trojan or virus and be part of a botnet. If so, your computer is probably doing things on the Internet without your knowledge.