One of the stumbling blocks to the use of Wireless@SG has to be the ease of logging in to the network. If you’ve found a Wireless@SG hotspot with working coverage and network access, you’re still faced with the challenge (though just a minor inconvenience) of manual login. Can we have automatic logins?
For phone users, you’d appreciate the difficulty of manual login from your phone’s browser: keyboard entry is difficult, the screen is small, etc. It seems mighty inconvenient if you just needed to quickly check something on a website. (Compare this with 3G, where your phone’s authentication to the network is automatic.)
Well, it seems like Devicescape may have the answer. Download and install their Devicescape client to your Wi-Fi device, select Wi-Fi networks you want to use, and it automatically connects and logins to the hotspot for you. It sounds quite cool, and many devices are support: Windows, Macs, Windows Mobile and a variety of Nokia phones including the N95 8GB.
Devicescape has information on how to login to various hotspot networks. These instructions are sent to your Wi-Fi device to enable it to automatically login to the hotspot. Wireless@SG is listed as one of the networks you can configure (although it is marked as in “validation phase”). What about usernames and passwords? Well, you’d need to configure and store them on the Devicescape server. Yes, I have a big concern over this, but let’s just see how automatic logins to Wireless@SG is possible first.
So after having installed and setup Devicescape client and my account information, I happily headed for a nearby Wireless@SG hotspot. Sadly, login failed.
A quick check on Devicescape’s community forum revealed that they have been trying to get Wireless@SG supported since 17 April 2007. Some posters have been helping with troubleshooting, but it appears this has ultimately not yet been resolved.
Why doesn’t Wireless@SG come up with some automatic logins of their own? Better yet if they can implement secure wireless access using WPA2 or something.