$34,164,575 spent in venues by our WiFi customers

1,742,257 customers use Less hotspots

6,832,915 Free WiFi connections at Less hotspots



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

Questions

General

What is Less Networks® < Smart WiFi?

What do I need to do to access the service?

How fast is the service?

Can I access my corporate network using Less Networks® < Smart WiFi?

What operating systems are currently compatible with the service?

How do I know if my wireless network card is supported by Less Networks® < Smart WiFi?

Can I access my personal e-mail account through Less Networks® < Smart WiFi?

Can I connect using a Macintosh computer?

Where can I use Less Networks® < Smart WiFi?

How much does it cost to use Less Networks® < Smart WiFi?

Whom do I call if I have questions?

Policies

What is the Less Networks® Privacy policy?

What are the Less Networks® Terms of Use?

What is my venue's liability for providing free internet?  If someone should use our internet connection to download illegal or offensive materials, will we be liable for any fines or lawsuits, or is it the liability of the user that downloaded the files?

Hotspot Server Benefits/Specs/Requirements

Who is using your Hotspot Server software?

What operating system will best support the hotspot server software?

What are the minimum hardware specs for the hotspot servers?

What are your suggestions for an AP vendor?

What is the difference between having an open AP and setting up a Less Networks® < Smart WiFi HotSpot server?  Does the HotSpot server provide more control or admin?

How do I access the stats and status as a venue?

Monthly cost.

What do I get when I order a Less Networks® < Smart WiFi Hotspot Server?

Registration

Why do I have to register to use the free WiFi at this venue?

How does a guest sign in?

Why does the service require me to login every 2 hours?

What do I do if my user name already exists?

I tried to register, but there's a prompt that says my e-mail is taken.  What should I do?

How can I check my email to register if I don't have access to the internet?

Password Troubles

How do I change my password?

What do I do if I forgot my user name?

I forgot my user name.  I remember my password.

Trouble doing stuff (email, VPN, etc.)

Why can't I send email from one of your hotspots?

I have a VPN connection to work.  Why can't I connect?

Authentication

Why does the service drop you every 2 hours?

 

Answers

General

What is Less Networks® < Smart WiFi?
Less Networks® < Smart WiFi is a WiFi wireless broadband Internet service in public locations ("hotspots") such as coffee shops, restaurants, bars, bookstores, libraries, parks, transit stations, and hotels.  You can also find Less Networks® < Smart WiFi in waiting rooms at auto dealerships, auto repair shops, car washes, and doctor and dentist offices, or anywhere you want to make good use of your time while you wait and have a meeting.  Hotspots can be located in independently-owned local businesses such as Quack's 43rd Street Bakery in Austin, Texas, municipal venues such as the Round Rock Public Library in Round Rock, Texas, or franchises of well-known brands such as Dairy Queen®, Burger King®, or Sleep Inn®.  Using either a laptop or handheld that is WiFi 802.11b wirelessly-enabled, you can access the Internet or your corporate intranet at speeds up to 50 times faster than dial-up.
Top of Page

What do I need to do to access the service?
You will need three things to begin using Less Networks® < Smart WiFi.

  • First you will need a laptop or handheld with Wi-Fi 802.11b wireless capability.  When your device is wireless-enabled, you will need to set your SSID (or network identifier).  Typically this happens automatically.  The SSID is often the name of the venue such as "quacks" or "360primo".  Refer to your wireless network card documentation for specific instructions on how to make this change.
  • Second, you will need a standard Internet-ready browser on any operating system.  No additional software is required.
  • Third, you will need a Less Networks® account.  Less Networks® accounts can be obtained for free via a simple sign-up process.  You can sign up online at a hotspot or at www.lessnetworks.com.
Top of Page

How fast is the service?
In order to keep the service free to you, broadband speeds are determined by each Less Networks® venue so that they can control their costs.  In other words, a busy hotel might have a full T1 connection, which provides users with speeds of up to 1.5 Mbps, while a local coffee shop might have a business-class DSL connection with speeds similar to what you might have at home.  Also the wireless technology (routers and access points) may vary from location to location.  In other words, while WiFi 802.11b standard technology allows for speeds up to 11 Mbps, throughput is governed by the speed at which the venue is connected to the Internet.
Top of Page

Can I access my corporate network using Less Networks® < Smart WiFi?
If your employer has provided you with a virtual private network (VPN) client and a firewall, you may be able to access your corporate network.  However, your VPN software may not work at all hotspots, depending upon how a particular venue sets up its network.  You will likely need to disable your VPN software long enough to log into your Less Networks® account.  After you successfully log in, you should re-enable your VPN.  Do not disable your VPN without first consulting with your corporate IT department.
Top of Page

What operating systems are currently compatible with the service?
Less Networks® < Smart WiFi is not OS-specific, and will work with any operating system as long as there is a compatible, Internet-ready browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Mozilla, or Netscape Navigator.
Top of Page

How do I know if my wireless network card is supported by Less Networks® < Smart WiFi?
Most Less Networks® < Smart WiFi hotspots are Wi-Fi 802.11b or 11g compliant; therefore, any Wi-Fi certified wireless network card will work.  Look for the Wi-Fi certification on the wireless network card before purchasing it.
Top of Page

Can I access my personal e-mail account through Less Networks® < Smart WiFi?
You can access any Web-based e-mail account such as Yahoo Mail or Gmail.  You can also access corporate e-mail accounts if your employer provides you with a virtual private network (VPN) client and a firewall.
Top of Page

Can I connect using a Macintosh computer?
You will need to set your AirPort card to select the Less Networks® < Smart WiFi network.  Typically, it's the name of the venue.  See the AirPort card documentation for specific instructions.
Top of Page

Where can I use Less Networks® < Smart WiFi?
Less Networks® < Smart WiFi is a WiFi wireless broadband Internet service in public locations ("hotspots") such as coffee shops, restaurants, bars, bookstores, libraries, parks, transit stations, and hotels.  You can also find Less Networks® < Smart WiFi hotspots in waiting rooms at auto dealerships, auto repair shops, car washes, and doctor and dentist offices, or anywhere you want to make good use of your time while you wait and have a meeting.  Hotspots can be located in independently-owned local businesses such as Quack's 43rd Street Bakery in Austin, Texas, municipal venues such as the Round Rock Public Library in Round Rock, Texas, or franchises of well-known brands such as Dairy Queen®, Burger King®, or Sleep Inn®.  You can consult our real-time hotspot directory.  Click the HOTSPOTS tab.
Top of Page

How much does it cost to use Less Networks® < Smart WiFi?
Basic Internet access through Less Networks® < Smart WiFi is is a free service made possible by venue and network advertisers.  We encourage you to support our advertisers and venues with your business so that we can continue to bring you the highest quality free WiFi service available.
Top of Page

Whom do I call if I have questions?
In order to keep our costs down and keep the service free, Less Networks® < Smart WiFi does not provide free telephone support to users; however, some of our venues have arranged for us to provide free support to their customers.  If you are a customer of one of these venues, they will make our support number available to you.  There are limitations to the type of support that we can offer.  We cannot help you with your hardware or software – those are your responsibility.  We can help you with creating a Less Networks® account, logging into our welcome page, and using our website.  If you need assistance, please feel free to email us at support @ lessnetworks.com.  If you need assistance with your hardware or software, we suggest that you contact your retailer or manufacturer for support.
Top of Page

Policies

What is the Less Networks® Privacy policy?
This is the link to the Privacy Policy.
Top of Page

What are the Less Networks® Terms of Use?
This is the link to the Terms of Use.
Top of Page

What is my venue's liability for providing free internet?  If someone should use our internet connection to download illegal or offensive materials, will we be liable for any fines or lawsuits, or is it the liability of the user that downloaded the files?
You are already responsible for anything that occurs on your property.  You may not know that this includes your network.  When you provide access to your network, you are also responsible for the actions of your employees and customers.  Their activities can subject your business to investigation and inquiries from ISPs, the RIAA, and law enforcement agencies particularly when those activities involve illegal file-trading and copyright violation.  Compared to an open access point with anonymous usage, Less Networks® < Smart WiFi is a more responsible way of providing internet access to the public.  When users register for a Less Networks® < Smart WiFi account, they must agree not to use the service for illegal purposes.  Please see our Terms of Use.  These terms and our requirement that users maintain an account with a verifiable email address serve as a deterrent to undesirable behavior.  While we cannot guarantee that you will not be held liable at some point, we believe we are providing you the best solution available for responsibly providing public access to the internet.  Should you need to respond to a legitimate inquiry about your network usage, we will help you provide a responsible response.  Some of our venues, particularly city-run venues, display warnings or disclaimers on the landing page or direct users to a page to that outlines permitted and prohibited use.  To date, government-operated hotspots account for about 30% of our network because of the comfort level we provide compared to an open access point.
Top of Page

Hotspot Server Benefits/Specs/Requirements

Who is using your Hotspot Server software?
We've been powering a worldwide network of free WiFi hotspots and users since March 2003.  Venues have included municipalities, parks, libraries, restaurants, tradeshows, conference rooms, waiting rooms, airlines, military, and hotels.  Unlike our competitors, we have a tradition of sharing our usage statistics so that you can see how we're growing and where.  We depend on venues to grow the network organically, one hotspot at a time.  Once you create a Less Networks® < Smart WiFi hotspot, let us know what you think so that we can meet your needs.  We're a software company.  We can do anything!
Top of Page

What operating system will best support the hotspot server software?
The Less Networks® < Smart WiFi hotspot server software includes the Red Hat distribution, NoCatAuth, and our software.  The kickstart disk will self-install on most any operating system with a CD-ROM.  The caveat is that it will erase everything that's there before installing itself.  The PC will be transformed into a Linux-based appliance called a Less Networks® < Smart WiFi Hotspot Server.  The Hotspot Server runs without a monitor and is managed via its web interface.
Top of Page

What are the minimum hardware specs for the hotspot servers?
We don't require much; in fact, it's hard to find stuff this low power :-) We require at least Pentium-class, 64MB RAM, 500MB hard drive, 2 NICs, and a CD-ROM drive.  We recommend NICs based on the Intel Pro 100.  For a complete list of supported NICs see http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Hardware-HOWTO/nic.html.  If you do not have the inclination or time to build your own, you can purchase a pre-built, tested, and warrantied Hotspot Server from us.  We can build to most any form factor and can use refurbished equipment as an option to reduce costs.
Top of Page

What are your suggestions for an AP vendor?
We work with most 802.11b and g certified wireless routers and access points.  Don't forget to turn off the router/AP's DHCP server because the Hotspot Server will handle that for you.  Choose an AP that suits your needs in form factor, performance, and price, and let the Less Networks® < Smart WiFi Hotspot Server integrate it into a global network and managed solution for you.
Top of Page

What is the difference between having an open AP and setting up a Less Networks® < Smart WiFi HotSpot server?  Does the HotSpot server provide more control or admin?
We call the difference CustomerConnect.  Less Networks® CustomerConnect™ is the only free WiFi solution that allows your customers to connect to the internet and you to connect with your customers.  If you think about it, the reason why you are providing free WiFi in your venue is because it's a sales and marketing tool – you want to attract people with your WiFi, and you want their experience in your venue to be better because you have WiFi available.  Less Networks® CustomerConnect™ develops that reasoning into a fully-integrated marketing solution that ensures you meet your sales goals for your WiFi while providing you with incredible capabilities, such as emailing your WiFi customers after they've left your venue – and inviting them to come back with their friends and associates.  To learn more about Less Networks® CustomerConnect™, please visit our website.
Top of Page

How do I access the stats and status as a venue?
All Less Networks® < Smart WiFi venues receive weekly usage statistics reports in a convenient emailed summary.  Additionally, they can access statistics and service status on-demand via their Hotspot Control Center.
Top of Page

Usage Cost.
Our basic services are FREE to users, but venues must subscribe to a service plan. Trial service is available when you flash your own router. Selected non-profits are eligible for discounted rates.
Top of Page

What do I get when I order a Less Networks® < Smart WiFi Hotspot Server?
The specifics will change depending on inventory, but it will be a fully configured and tested Hotspot Server ready to run out of the box.  All equipment comes with a 90-day warranty plus options for a 12-month Extended Warranty and Advance Exchange.  Refurbished equipment is used to keep your costs down but we can build to almost any specification.  Call us with your requirements.
Top of Page

Registration

Why do I have to register to use the free WiFi at this venue?
User registration and login is the standard for quality-controlled WiFi service.  In many venues with professionally-run WiFi services, such as Starbucks and many hotels, you are required to create an account with billing information before you can login.  While we also require you to create an account, the service is free for you to use.  Individual user accounts provide accountability on the network and reduce service abuse, resulting in a better experience for everyone involved.  It enables us to provide better statistics and reporting to our venues that have invested in the philosophy of free WiFi.  It also provides us and our venues with a way of contacting you with information about the venue or the service.
Top of Page

How does a guest sign in?
There is no "guest access" at Less Networks® < Smart WiFi hotspots.  It only takes a minute to create your own free account.
Top of Page

Why does the service require me to login every 2 hours?
Each Smart WiFi session is 2 hours long.  You can have as many sessions as you like.
Top of Page

What do I do if my user name already exists?
This means that someone else, possibly you, has already registered this user name.  If you believe it is you, and you have forgotten your password, you can click the link to request a password change.  Otherwise, you should try registering a different name.  Try adding numbers to the end, such as mike2006, to create a unique variant of your preferred name.
Top of Page

I tried to register, but there's a prompt that says my e-mail is taken.  What should I do?
It sounds like you already registered with that address.  Use the "Forgot Password" process to reset your password.  A confirmation will be sent to your email address.  Make sure to turn off spam blocking and mail filtering and to check your bulk mail folders.
Top of Page

How can I check my email to register if I don't have access to the internet?
We provide you 10 minutes to check your email when you register or have forgotten your password.  Use this time to check your email.
Top of Page

Password Troubles

How do I change my password?
On the login screen there is a link for changing a forgotten password.  For your security, we will send a confirmation to your email address on file.  You will have 10 minutes to check your email for this confirmation and select a new password.
Top of Page

What do I do if I forgot my user name?
Register a new user name to gain Internet access, then contact support @ lessnetworks.com to gain access to your old account.
Top of Page

I forgot my user name.  I remember my password.
Register a new user name to gain Internet access, then contact support @ lessnetworks.com from the original email address you registered with to identify yourself as the account holder.
Top of Page

Trouble doing stuff (email, VPN, etc.)

Why can't I send email from one of your hotspots?
Increasingly, ISPs (not us) are blocking access to their SMTP servers from outside of their network in an effort to control spam.  This means software such as Outlook and Outlook Express may be blocked from sending mail.  Check to see if your ISP offers Authenticated SMTP which enables you to continue to use Outlook and Outlook Express from any network.  If this is not an option, consider using web-based mail while on the road – such as Yahoo!, Hotmail, or Gmail.
Top of Page

I have a VPN connection to work.  Why can't I connect?
You will need to turn off your VPN and authenticate with us first.  Make sure that you don't have a proxy server set.  Make sure that you are configured to dynamic DHCP IP addresses and name service.  Nothing fancy, just the standard settings for using public access WiFi.
Top of Page

Authentication

Why does the service drop you every 2 hours?
Each Less Networks® < Smart WiFi session is 2 hours long.  If you were in the middle of something, hit the back button to return to where you were.  Most sites will preserve your work so that you don't lose it.  In another browser window, go to any site and you will be re-directed to the Less Networks login screen.  After you login, you can resume your work in your primary window.
Top of Page