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Google WiFi+VPN Confirmed 320

An anonymous reader writes "Google is actually (confirmed!) rolling out their wifi network, first in the San Francisco bay area (see the FAQ for details.) They are also including a Secure Access program for use in conjunction with this. So far, as per usual, it's in beta, and only for the San Fran bay area. Soon the entire US, perhaps??"
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Google WiFi+VPN Confirmed

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  • by Sindri ( 207695 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @09:53AM (#13603545) Homepage
    When I click the link. I'm in the UK.
  • First post... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dark-br ( 473115 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @09:55AM (#13603561) Homepage
    ... using the google wifi access :)
  • RIAA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BrGaribaldi ( 710238 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @09:58AM (#13603594) Homepage
    So, will google turn over access information to the RIAA when people start using the free WIFI to download music?
  • XP and 2K only... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yorugua ( 697900 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @09:59AM (#13603597)
    ... is google turning *that* evil ?
  • The Next Step (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ZurichPrague ( 629877 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:00AM (#13603612)
    And the next step (after rolling it out nationwide) is to introduce a cheap ($30?) handset that accesses the network. A "cellphone" with free phone calls -- forever.

    That whistling is the sound of every phone company imploding at once.
  • by FrivolousPig ( 602133 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:01AM (#13603618)
    Google reminds me a bit of 3m [] Start off as one buisness and then begin to dominate all buisnesses.
  • I volunteer my house (Score:4, Interesting)

    by keraneuology ( 760918 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:03AM (#13603648) Journal
    I would jump at the opportunity to volunteer my yard the location for a low-powered neighborhood uplink to this service. Instead of expensive towers that provide access to everybody all at once and require various approval from the FCC and FAA (if the tower is tall enough) find people willing to host an uplink for a few square blocks. People like me. No matter which route I go -any- internet access will cost about $60 months - I either need to get a land line + DSL because nobody will provide DSL unless the line has an active phone number or I can get Comcast (and only Comcast because the local township granted them exclusive rights of service. If Google provides the equipment and the link I will be more than happy to ensure that my neighbors have another alternative for internet access.
  • Re:Just makes sense (Score:1, Interesting)

    by mysqlrocks ( 783488 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:05AM (#13603669) Homepage Journal
    Well, actually, Google Wifi would be a nice compliment to PodCasting making it possible to truly replace radio.
  • Where are they? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Yi Ding ( 635572 ) <yi&studentindebt,com> on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:09AM (#13603706)
    I couldn't find a single mention on the Google website of where the access points actually are in the Bay Area. Anybody care to post a link or list?
  • Re:Just makes sense (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MoogMan ( 442253 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:20AM (#13603791)
    On the upshot, properly targeted adverts are useful for the consumer too. If you see an advert for a product that you are likely to buy anyway, then that's probably not a bad thing.
  • Re:Google OS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by EraserMouseMan ( 847479 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:27AM (#13603839)
    Never gonna happen. Google's OS is the web browser. I could definately see Google making their own browser though.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:29AM (#13603855)
    Wow, I'm glad you said something, because I thought I was going crazy..

    Is this some new karma whoring scheme in which the original whore ask for no karma, then berates himself for trying to not get karma and be helpful, and then presents himself with some fine arguments for why he should not be berated by himself for gaining karma for himself, even though he asked that he not get any karma...

    BRILLIANT! I wonder if he modded himself +1 insightful as well... simply BRILLIANT!

  • Re:Where are they? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 ) <> on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:32AM (#13603883) Homepage
    There are none.

    It's a VPN. Nothing more.
  • Always "Beta?" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:32AM (#13603885)
    Why is it that Google software is always beta and always freezes once there? Does Google have any software that went beyond this beta label?
  • PPTP VPN (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jacco de Leeuw ( 4646 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:36AM (#13603906) Homepage
    Google seems to use PPTP as their VPN protocol. In theory this should mean that you can use other OSes than Windows 2000/XP as well, if you configure the connection manually.

    However, they seem to be generating the username and password on the fly. The username consists of a number. I had expected that you'd have to use your Gmail username and password but this is not the case. There is something fishy about it. Presumably the Google Secure Access client retrieves some credentials over an out-of-band connection (HTTPS? Will have to figure out with a network sniffer).

    There are some curious things in the VPN connectiod that GSA creates. First, they use an IP address ( instead of The IP address is not even owned by Google. The connectiod allows the outdated protocols CHAP and MS-CHAPv1 to be used. Ouch. It also binds the MS Client and File and Printer Sharing to the connection. You better have a firewall on your system before you connect. PublicVPN [] seems to be a better option but it is not free.

  • by acil ( 916155 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:49AM (#13604052)
    If this were simply a software application, why would they refer to "Google WiFi locations"?

    Also, why would it only be available in the SF bay area?

    Where can I go to download Google Secure Access?

    The program can currently be downloaded at certain Google WiFi locations in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • by acil ( 916155 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:59AM (#13604160)
    That still leaves the question of why they call them "Google WiFi locations." Assuming that they are using third party wifi sites, then it really doesn't matter where the traffic comes from (SF, LA, NY, France) as it eventually has to hit the internet to travel over to googles ISP and eventually to google, effectively destroying any need to be local to the VPN server.
  • Re:PPTP VPN (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jacco de Leeuw ( 4646 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @11:05AM (#13604211) Homepage
    Yup, just as I thought: they use HTTPS to before the PPTP connection is set up. Presumably to generate the username and password.

    I can connect with my Gmail account but then the connection hangs at the "Port opened" message...

  • by MullerMn ( 526350 ) * <andy.andrewarbon@co@uk> on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @11:18AM (#13604387) Homepage
    I guess one side effect is that I should be able to anonymously browse the web through google.

    Presumably, you mean anonymous to everyone except Google, who will be keeping much tighter logs on what you are up to than your normal ISP would anyway (in line with their terms of service)?
  • Location Awareness (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bulach ( 810605 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @11:52AM (#13604788)
    With such small cells (WiFi range), google gets location awareness for free (no need to integrate with any sort of GPS system).

    So, froogle can really narrow your searches to the local shops, just two blocks away. And obviously, sell them ad spaces...
  • Re:PPTP VPN (Score:3, Interesting)

    by austad ( 22163 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @12:46PM (#13605408) Homepage
    The following is a tcpdump log from the OSX PPTP client using a user/pass I obtained from that URL. It failed, and I don't have time to work on it now

    11:42:43.314754 IP > S 1641861584:1641861584(0) win 65535
    11:42:43.373705 IP > S 1294960942:1294960942(0) ack 1641861585 win 5792
    11:42:43.373819 IP > . ack 1 win 65535
    11:42:43.393987 IP > P 1:157(156) ack 1 win 65535 : pptp CTRL_MSGTYPE=SCCRQ PROTO_VER(1.0) FRAME_CAP(A) BEARER_CAP(A) MAX_CHAN(0) FIRM_REV(0) [|pptp]
    11:42:43.454221 IP > . ack 157 win 5792
    11:42:43.456118 IP > P 1:157(156) ack 157 win 5792 : pptp CTRL_MSGTYPE=SCCRP PROTO_VER(1.0) RESULT_CODE(1) ERR_CODE(0) FRAME_CAP() BEARER_CAP() MAX_CHAN(1) FIRM_REV(1) [|pptp]
    11:42:43.466277 IP > . ack 157 win 65535
    11:42:43.482869 IP > P 157:325(168) ack 157 win 65535 : pptp CTRL_MSGTYPE=OCRQ CALL_ID(4342) CALL_SER_NUM(0) MIN_BPS(300) MAX_BPS(100000000) BEARER_TYPE(Any) [|pptp]
    11:42:43.546831 IP > P 157:189(32) ack 325 win 5792 : pptp CTRL_MSGTYPE=OCRP CALL_ID(47232) PEER_CALL_ID(4342) RESULT_CODE(1) ERR_CODE(0) CAUSE_CODE(0) CONN_SPEED(100000000) RECV_WIN(64) PROC_DELAY(0) [|pptp]
    11:42:43.582905 IP > P 325:349(24) ack 189 win 65535 : pptp CTRL_MSGTYPE=SLI PEER_CALL_ID(47232) SEND_ACCM(0xffffffff) RECV_ACCM(0xffffffff)
    11:42:43.677533 IP > . ack 349 win 5792
    11:42:43.810106 IP > call 47232 seq 1 gre-ppp-payload
    11:42:44.588097 IP > F 189:189(0) ack 349 win 5792 11:42:44.588205 IP > . ack 190 win 65535
    11:42:44.644231 IP > F 349:349(0) ack 190 win 65535
    11:42:44.715930 IP > . ack 350 win 5792
  • Re:Money? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gid13 ( 620803 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:04PM (#13605632)
    I would assume the answer is yes. More interestingly, though I'm generally fairly into privacy, I think this way of doing it is probably good.

    1. I have no problem with expressing my preferences to marketers.
    2. Most people won't have problems doing that if it's done in a way that doesn't collect personal information, and
    3. Unlike spyware, it doesn't use your computer's resources to do any of it.

    Basically companies will make more things I want, advertising will be more likely to be for things I want, and thus annoy me less, and companies will subsidize a useful service with advertising money to accomplish all this.

    Seems to me everyone wins here.
  • Re:PPTP VPN (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mojorisin67_71 ( 238883 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:16PM (#13605791)
    I was able to get the OS X PPTP client to work with a generated

    It worked for a while. Now it seems to have stopped.
  • Re:Not the RIAA... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by generic-man ( 33649 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @01:56PM (#13606225) Homepage Journal
    I know this is just another "assertion on some random Internet discussion board," but I have seen Google wrap search results links myself before the launch of Google's Search History BETA feature. I'm sorry that I haven't kept my browser cache around for 18 months, but I know I've seen these links at least a year ago.
  • by Geuis ( 767696 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @03:13PM (#13607119) Homepage
    Here's an article I've posted detailing some both some of the scattered info I've found so far and some further research I've done myself about the client. []

Information is the inverse of entropy.