Free Wireless Internet Access at Dana Street Roasting Company

A LIVE555 Neighborhood Network

Mountain View's best coffee house - "Dana Street Roasting Company" (744 Dana St., between Castro & Hope [N37.39236,W122.07904]) - now has a SDSL Internet connection, with an attached wireless LAN.

If you have a laptop with a 802.11b (aka. "WiFi") wireless network interface, you can use this to surf the Internet while enjoying your coffee.

How to connect to the network

To connect to the network, please note the following:
  1. The network name (SSID) to use is "LIVE555" (without the quotes, and all upper-case).
  2. The network uses channel (frequency) number 8.
  3. In your network TCP/IP 'control panel', you should not enter an IP address. Instead, you should check the "Obtain an IP address from a DHCP server" button. Nor do you need to enter a DNS server. (The base station has DHCP and DNS servers.)

Mail and News servers

If you need a SMTP server (i.e., for outgoing email), please ask me (email: finlayson(at)live555.com), and I'll tell you the name of a server that you can use. (Yes, I realize that there's a bit of a "chicken-and-egg" situation here, but I'd like to avoid 'drive-by wireless spamming', so want to make it at least slightly difficult for people to access the SMTP server.)

A Usenet news server (NNTP) is also available, at "news.danastreet.live555.com".

Frequently Asked Questions

This is great, but why did you do this?

Two main reasons:
  1. As a regular customer of "Dana Street Roasting Company" who enjoys reading/answering my voluminous email while sitting there, I wanted a better wireless link than Ricochet (which no longer exists anymore anyway).
  2. I plan to use this as a test site for software and hardware being developed by my company Live Networks, Inc..

Is it really free? What's the catch?

There's no catch, other than that you'll be sharing the (wireless & Internet) link with others. The friendly management of Dana Street Roasting Company kindly agreed to let me set this up, so please show your appreciation by buying lots of their coffee and pastries, and tipping generously.

In the future, additional, enhanced Internet services might also be made available, for a fee.

You mean I can just walk in and use the wireless Internet connection? Don't I have to register or something?

No - at least not at present. If you're within range of the wireless network, you'll be assigned an IP address automatically (using DHCP), and you'll be able to access the Internet immediately.

Please don't abuse this (e.g., by doing something nasty like sending spam). If you do, you'll be blacklisted from this and any future LIVE555 neighborhood networks.

Does the coffee shop have any power outlets where I can plug in my laptop?

No. Make sure that your laptop battery is sufficiently charged beforehand.

I don't have a wireless LAN card, but I do have a traditional (wired) Ethernet interface. Can I access the Internet using this instead?

No. The coffee house has no way of making wired Ethernet outlets available (at least, not without stringing ugly cables around).

Does the network provide real IP addresses, or do you use NAT? Also, am I behind a firewall?

The DHCP server gives you a real, globally routable IP address. (NAT is evil.) Also, there's no firewall; you have full end-to-end connectivity throughout the Internet. This means, for instance, that you could - with appropriate client software - take part in a VPN from this network.

What about security? Could other people on the wireless network see my packets?

Yes - this is an unavoidable property of a shared Ethernet network like this. Because of this, you should be aware when your web browser warns you that it's sending data non-securely. Also, instead of "telnet", you should use a secure alternative such as a SSH client.
(For Windows users, two good SSH clients are "SecureCRT" and "PuTTY")

Note also that, because there's no firewall, your laptop is potentially exposed to anyone else on the Internet. In short, you are responsible for the security of your own system.

What's your Privacy Policy?

As noted above, we can't prevent other users from potentially seeing packets that are sent from, or received by, you. However, our base station never inspects the contents of your packets; it merely routes them to/from their destination on the Internet.

The only information we record about you is the MAC (i.e., wireless Ethernet) address of your wireless LAN card, and the time(s) that it connects to the network. (This information is obtained from DHCP lease records, and is used for statistical analysis.) We do not know - and therefore, keep no records of - your name or email address.

What more should I know about this service?

Our upstream ISP, MegaPath Networks, has an "Acceptable Use Policy" that you should read.

What kind of access statistics do you keep?

Access statistics for this network are online at http://www.danastreet.live555.com/stats.html. This data comes directly from the network's base station (via a built-in web server), and is recomputed every few hours.

Does the network support IPv6, as well as IPv4?

Yes. The network has full IPv6 connectivity (via Hurricane Electric's IPv6 tunnel broker), so if you have an IPv6 client that implements "Neighbor Discovery" (the IPv6 equivalent to DHCP), you will get an IPv6 address.

You can test this IPv6 connectivity by running (for example) from a console window:

ping6 www.kame.net

Can you tell me more about the wireless base station?

It's a x86-based computer, running FreeBSD Unix.

That seems rather heavyweight. Why didn't you use a dedicated WaveLAN router, like Apple's "AirPort"?

These are good products, but they don't have the flexibility needed to support IPv6, and other possible enhanced services in the future.

What sort of "enhanced services" might these be?

The many possibilties include:


Ross Finlayson
LIVE555