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Old Oct 24, 05, 3:19 am   #1
 
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Payment for hotel broadband

A very general question, but I am interested in a geeky sort of way in how payment for hotel broadband works. When one gets the payment page and accept the daily payment charge, what exactly happens ? Is a cookie sent to ones computer, or does the system somehow register some specific identifying feature of the computer ?

I was prompted to think about this after a recent room change having registered for broadband use for the day of the move. I was surprised to find (contrary to my exepctations) that the system knew that I had paid, even when I connected up from my new room.

I suppoose the next logical question would be whether there is any way to sppof the system but this would not be the right place to ask that !
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Old Oct 24, 05, 4:25 am   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frequentflyer99
A very general question, but I am interested in a geeky sort of way in how payment for hotel broadband works. When one gets the payment page and accept the daily payment charge, what exactly happens ? Is a cookie sent to ones computer, or does the system somehow register some specific identifying feature of the computer ?

I was prompted to think about this after a recent room change having registered for broadband use for the day of the move. I was surprised to find (contrary to my exepctations) that the system knew that I had paid, even when I connected up from my new room.
I believe the system logs your computer's IP address (yes, an number which identifies your computer). This is the number which can be used to track computers which are used for spamming, criminal activity, etc.

It's early and I don't know enough to really explain IP addresses, but here is a quick article to start.

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question549.htm
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Old Oct 24, 05, 7:44 am   #3
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Are you sure it's not MAC-based? An IP address isn't a unique identifier - I know I've released and renewed IP addresses while on hotel networks and there's no assurance the same number will be obtained. A MAC ID is unique and permanent to your NIC.
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Old Oct 24, 05, 7:55 am   #4
 
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most likely mac

most likely, they are recording your MAC address, not the IP address, which on most computers these days will be assigned dynamically, via DHCP.

Whereas, the MAC address is UNIQUE to every networkable device.

There are some ways to trick the system, by spoofiing MAC addresses, for example, I was in a four seasons the other day, PAID for the service but wanted my #1 1K GF to be able to use the network too. I didn't have my handy travel router with me, so simply spoofed the MAC address for her machine.
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Old Oct 24, 05, 7:56 am   #5
 
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wow

wow, that was SOME delay in the Submit Reply command, what is Randy running here?
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Old Oct 24, 05, 8:04 am   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzz
I believe the system logs your computer's IP address (yes, an number which identifies your computer). This is the number which can be used to track computers which are used for spamming, criminal activity, etc.

It's early and I don't know enough to really explain IP addresses, but here is a quick article to start.

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question549.htm
Actually no. The hotels router assigns you an IP. IP's are a very static thing, PC's are not delivered with one installed. As posted it is usually a combination of MAC address and/or cookies. Some hotels also use smart routers/switches and enable the service based on the port/room number which of course can also be used for billing (some hotels make you pay on the signup page, while others can just add it to the room charge).
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Old Oct 24, 05, 9:29 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by ScottC
Actually no. The hotels router assigns you an IP. IP's are a very static thing, PC's are not delivered with one installed.
Actually, IPs are a very dynamic thing. Yay! I caught a ScottC mistake! Do i get some techie rep points or something?
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Old Oct 24, 05, 9:39 am   #8
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Originally Posted by murphy
Actually, IPs are a very dynamic thing. Yay! I caught a ScottC mistake! Do i get some techie rep points or something?
OOPS

Static Schmatic...
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Old Oct 24, 05, 9:39 am   #9
 
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I knew that my wireless dongle had a MAC as I can set my home wireless up only to accept certain MACs, but I did not realise that every computer - wireless or not - had one. How does one identify what it is and by whom is it assigned ?? Does it come with the hard drive, OS, network card or with what ?
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Old Oct 24, 05, 9:55 am   #10
 
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every networkable device

every networkable device has a MAC address. If you are talking about a computer, you can either look on the back, bottom and check it out, or go to START, RUN, type in CMD, hit enter, then type in IPCONFIG, and it will list the network adaptors that are there, and their respective MAC addresses.

If you have a laptop, it will most likely have an ethernet port (networkable) and a MAC address, AND a WIFI card of some sort, with ANOTHER MAC address.

Your replay DVR will have one, homeplug jacks have them, PDA's have them, etc. Someday, I think they are going to run out, or have to use newer networking standards to expand the pool.

most cell phones will have them in the future, watches, tvs, dvd players, everything that is either now, or in the future networkable needs it.

btw, MAC stands for MEDIA ACCESS CONTROL and they are assigned by vendor. So, for hackers it is nice to know which vendor the MAC address is coming from, makes hacking into a machine easier since the list of know vulnerabilities get a bit narrowed.

:-) but who would ever do that!
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Old Oct 24, 05, 10:01 am   #11
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A Media Access Control (MAC) address is burned into the ROM on the controller of every network access device (NIC card, wireless controller, etc.) when it is manufactured. It is a 48 bit identifier, usually expressed as 6 hex bytes: A5-87-3F-AD-82 for example.

Each manufacturer has a unique set of the first three bytes, assigned by the IEEE, and is responsible for the unique sequence of the remaining numbers in their manufacturing process.
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Old Oct 24, 05, 10:37 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmenaker
every networkable device has a MAC address. If you are talking about a computer, you can either look on the back, bottom and check it out, or go to START, RUN, type in CMD, hit enter, then type in IPCONFIG, and it will list the network adaptors that are there, and their respective MAC addresses.
Just out of interest did that on my desktop but it only gave me an IP address and DNS server. No MAC idenifier.
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Old Oct 24, 05, 1:13 pm   #13
 
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Oops

Oops, sorry. Did mean to mention MACs. I thought IP was involved as well.

I knew I shouldn't be submitting responses so early in the morning!

fuzz
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Old Oct 24, 05, 1:27 pm   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frequentflyer99
Just out of interest did that on my desktop but it only gave me an IP address and DNS server. No MAC idenifier.
Do "ipconfig /all". Windows calls the MAC the "Physical Address".
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