How to Use the SMC Skype WiFi Phone with a Hotel Broadband Internet Access

Purpose

We know that the SMC Skype WiFi Phone, WSKP100, does not provide a built-in web browser for users to get past the authentication process that most hotels require in order to access their broadband internet service. We wanted to find a small-size router which can be plugged into the Ethernet port on the hotel wall, to handle the authentication process, and to broadcast a wireless signal that travelers can still use the SMC Skype WiFi phone with when they are away from home.

Therefore, we found:

Pocket Size D-Link DWL-G730AP Wireless G Router

We found that the D-Link DWL-G730AP wireless G router works well for our test purpose. Let us first examine whether the D-Link DWL-G739AP is suitable to take on the road. In the picture you can see that the D-Link DWL-G730AP is truly a pocket-sized router (it is similar in size as my business card). In the retail box, D-Link provides a carrying bag in which users can put the router, the network and USB cables, and the AC adapter – all in one handy, paperback book-sized package. D-Link provides a USB power cable so that users can power the router through the computer itself in case there is not a handy power outlet in the hotel room. With the small-size design, the organinal carrying bad included, and the alternative power method provided, we think the D-Link DWL-G730AP wireless G router is a good product to take on the road.

Using the D-Link DWL-G730AP with the SMC Skype WiFi Phone

1. Pre-configure the DWL-G730AP in Router Mode (using the wizard is a great start in getting this taken care of) to obtain an IP address automatically from the DHCP server, and set the LAN portion to assign IP addresses in a range that is not part of the normal 192.168.0.x range. Choose something a little different so you don’t interfere with other mini-networks nearby, such as 192.168.yy.x (where yy is a number between 2-244). This is still in the realm of a private/home network, but is not the same as everyone’s standard network. You WILL need to set up encryption and a WEP key of some sort, but you can get away with all “0”s for the key to make it simple. And set up the network ID to something you’ll remember and can identify on the laptop & phone easily. That’s it. Once you’ve followed the easy instructions that Dlink provides, you’re ready for your trip.

2. After connecting the DWL-G730AP to the Ethernet port on the wall, the hotel router should provide the DWL-G730AP an IP address for their network (call it address A).

3. Then turn on the laptop. Make the laptop connect to the network that the DWL-G730AP is broadcasting wirelessly. The laptop will receive an IP address for that wireless network (192.168.yy.x – call it address B). Then run the web browser.

4. When the hotel router sees the web browser opened for the first time for address A, it will send out a challenge request to the browser. The user can now go through the authentication process on the laptop (or response – check with the hotel staff for details on how to respond to the network challenge).

5. After the authentication process is done, the hotel router will grant access to the device on address A to the public Internet network. The hotel network usually only looks for one response to the IP address it gives out during the length of time that address A is valid. The user can now turn off the laptop if they want to. Because the DWL-G730AP is still on and connected to the hotel router, it will keep the hotel IP address and the associated permissions.

6. Now, the user can turn on the SMC phone, connect it to the DWL-G730AP network (don’t forget your encryption code), and from there, the world.

Test Results

Todd Belding, our in-house tech support, tested this proces at the Omni Hotel (at 13210 Katy Freeway, Houston TX 77079) yesterday (11/7/2006) while at a Microsoft Ready 2 Rock Roadshow featuring the benefits of the upcoming Windows Vista and Intel Dual-Core processors. He has put the D-Link DWL-G730AP in both opened and WEP modes where they work fine. He used the SMC Skype WiFi phone to make a Skype call after going through the above procedures. With pre-configuring the router before attending the conference, he was able to plug into the network and power in seconds and be out of the way of traffic, then leisurely use his computer to connect at a safe distance and activate the connection. The process took only took 3 minutes from the time he connected to the network until the call was made (but his laptop was on already so there is some cheating there).

An important tip he wants you to keep in mind: remember to setup the connection between the D-Link DWL-G730AP and the SMC Skype WiFi phone before going on the trip, and make sure the SMC Skype WiFi phone remembers the SSID and the encryption key setting connecting it to the D-Link DWL-G730AP network. It will make the whole setup much easier and faster. Since the setup gets an IP address from the host network automatically, you can try this at home and make sure you can make a Skype call through the new network, then you can look like a pro when you connect it on the road and not have to worry about technical details when you’re rushed.

Link to the SMC Skype WiFi Phone WSKP100 Review


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19 Responses to “How to Use the SMC Skype WiFi Phone with a Hotel Broadband Internet Access”

  1. rob Says:

    Would it be possible to share the wifi access your laptop has (having already authenticated at the hot spot) using a second wifi card or usb adaptor and connect the phone to the laptop using ad hoc mode?

  2. Hotel Break News Says:

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    Thanks, Interesting read.

  3. david Says:

    why bother ? if i have a lap-top with me , then i don’t need the SMC …..
    i can connect to skype directly from the computer…

  4. is this possible Says:

    hi guys! i currently dont own a dlink dwl g730ap but im wondering if its possible to be connected to the internet via wifi on your laptop and then use this device to make a wireless access point?
    Or if there is anything out there that u can do this on please reply
    cuz im really curios to find out and have a free internet (Wifi) and access point (dlink) of my own

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