ip address at a wireless hotspot

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IP address
When I connect at an internet cafe, is my ip address the cafe's?  In other words, does my computer have anonymity?  if I open a free email account while at the cafe, nothing can be traced back to my computer later?

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Correct, the public IP Address will be that of the cafe. However the cafe probably keeps track of who is logged into their access point, especially if they make you sign in. Those records could be turned over to the court if subpoenaed.

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Note that the IP address provides convenience in tracking routing of packets. However, the IP address is assigned to a specific MAC address, and that (more or less) is what provides the unique identification of your NIC card.

Tom

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  • Kevin Beaver
    I'd be *shocked* if any but the most advanced (and paranoid) cafes are doing any sort of tracking/monitoring/log retention. Is there any reason you can't do this from home? ;-)
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  • SiThu
    OK here is funny hacking, if you do not want to trace back to your computer when you use on internet cafe, buy an extra usb wireless card and use it. Don't forget to disable your build-in card when use.
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  • Jquestion
    [...] A member asks about the anonymity of wireless cafes, and TomLiotta, MrDenny, KevinBeaver and SiThu weigh [...]
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  • martok982
    my questions are if a router is turned into a wifi hotspot by the service provider is it more vunerable to be sidejacked? and if somebody accesses the signal and downloads a movie whose ip is the one who gets busted for downloading the movie?
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  • Kevin Beaver
    For your first question, it's hard to say what the specific vulnerabilities might be not knowing the wireless setup. As for the second question, your attorney can best answer that one.
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