T-Mobile Releases Hotspot Software with Directory

T-Mobile Releases Hotspot Software with Directory. T-Mobile releases Connection Manager, its tool for identifying its hotspots; it includes a searchable directory: As is the trend with all hotspot operators, T-Mobile has released a Windows 98/Me and 2000/XP client package. It does not appear to require a T-Mobile subscription to use. It offers per-network profile management in which you can store WEP (but not WPA) keys and use 802.1X authentication for login via Smart Card, EAP-TTLS, or PEAP. It can also easily manage a VPN connection that you have created through Microsoft or other software, and shows you the status. The 802.1X authentication is necessary for T-Mobile to start testing out its new authentication style in which users will be able to create a secure connection to an access point with a unique encryption key through an 802.1X negotiation. This will allow T-Mobile's users to have substantially more security in T-Mobile hotspots even without a virtual private network (VPN) connection. Of course, VPN remains the gold standard, as it provides a tunnel for traffic to a remote, ostensibly secure location, like an enterprise or VPN managed service. You enter your T-Mobile account information in a special profile so that it can be stored and automatically retrieved when you connect to a hotspot. This also ties in with 802.1X: a T-Mobile user should seamlessly be connected via 802.1X without ever having to make any configuration changes. The software shows connection time and a list of networks in the vicinity with an excellent display of detailed information, including network type (infrastructure or ad hoc), the BSSID (the unique adapter ID for the base station), and signal strength. It has some elements in common with Boingo's software, although each have their strengths. The T-Mobile HotSpot Locator, an offline directory included with Connection Manager, is a quite lovely way to find locations in T-Mobile's network. The primary interface is a map of the United States (in the current version). You can click a state to select it, or choose a state and city, enter a Zip code, or enter an area code. The results are neatly organized into nested folders by type of location (Borders, Kinko's, Starbucks, T-Mobile retail locations, and airports or airport lounges). You can also refine the search by category and choose one of their retail or location partners…. [Wi-Fi Networking News]

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