Applications that worked with in-flight Wi-Fi

27208430 0665A56B3E MOnce we were in the air and received our username and passwords to access the Wi-Fi network on the plane, I quickly tested all the applications I could. Skype: called another Skype user, and called using Skype out to a real phone number. It worked perfectly. AIM/iChat: had two full-screen video conference sessions for 10 minutes or so each. IRC: logged in to irc.freenode.net #joiito. Email, SSH, telnet, web browse SSL (banking), also brought a card that does passive mode and sniffed a bit with KisMac. Streamed video from my home via ORB Networks. Plugged in an Airport Express too :-]

3 thoughts on “Applications that worked with in-flight Wi-Fi

  1. Wi-Fi on a plane sounds like a great idea, until you think about how easy it would be to put a Wi-Fi controlled bomb into luggage or freight.

  2. I don’t think WiFi complicates airplane security. First, even on a non-WiFi equipped flight, you could use WiFi on your laptop to establish a network connection to your WiFi bomb. Airplane WiFi simply gives you access to the Internet.

    My understanding is that luggage and freight is screened with chemical sniffers to detect explosives. Timing and trigger devices can be almost anything… the Lockerbie, Scotland bombing was a barometric device, but almost anything else will do, from a wind-up clock to a text pager.

  3. If a terrorist wanted to trigger a bomb, it could be done with a cell phone more easily and reliably than a WiFi. The airplane passengers on 9/11 were using cell phones from the planes. Admittedly the planes were flying lower than normal, but it would still be possible to detonate a bomb on an aircraft that was climbing to altitude or descending for a landing. Concern about WiFi being used for such a purpose is misplaced, in my opinion.

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