Another dot in the blogosphere?

Updates on Wireless@SG bugbears

Posted on: October 30, 2017

Wireless@SG started changing the way laptop users logged in to the service about six months ago. Back then I shared a few teething problems I faced with the changes.

  1. The seamless* experience is not guaranteed.
  2. There is no automated login method for Chromebooks.
  3. The automated connections for laptops is to SG, not the more secure SGx.

*The seamless process is how laptops might log in to the wireless service automatically like on your phone.

Complaints 1 and 3 are mostly not true today. As long as you have installed a profile on your Mac or PC, your system should automatically log in to the nearest Wireless@SGx access point.

However, I have noticed over the last six months of using the same laptop at different spots that the experience varies. A few times I got the pop-up log in option, most other times it was like being on my home wireless network.

However, the Chromebook option is worse now. Whereas I could log in manually before, now I cannot even access Wireless@SG.

On my Chromebook, I get this error message: “Error requesting OTP. Please try again in a moment.”

Wireless@SG error message on Chromebook.

The One-Time-Password (OTP) is sent to my phone, but I cannot get to the next screen where I enter the OTP. (Note: The screen shot above shows the error message. The Verification Code field is not for the OTP; it is for the captcha code).

To be clear, the error message is wrong because the OTP gets to my phone. It is the log in screen that gets stuck on the first page. The OTP needs to be entered on the second page and this prevents access to Wireless@SG.

This is ironic given how Wireless@SG is meant to help users connect to the Web and Chromebooks are essentially thin clients that rely on Web services.

In my previous reflection, I also shared three updates later that same month.

My first update was a complaint that my iPad did not join Wireless@SGx consistently. This no longer seems to be a problem.

My second update was about my MacBook Pro not auto-joining despite having a Wireless@SG profile in the system. As I described earlier, this is no longer the case. Sadly I cannot say the same for my Chromebook.

My third update was that some Wireless@SG hotspots seem to reject VPN connections. This still seems to be the case. The default connection now is to Wireless@SGx, which is supposed to be more secure.

Video source

With the news about the KRACK wifi exploit, I would like to use a VPN service for my own peace of mind. I do not see why Wireless@SGx seems to block it.

To the IMDA I say: One size does not fit all. The exceptions are the rules.

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