WiFi Hotspots Configuration?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Amani, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. Amani macrumors member


    May 31, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    Now that I have wireless hook up at home, I'm wondering about doing a wireless hook up at in a hotspot. Is it difficult to do? I tried doing some reading on this topic, but all I've found so far is about the existence of hotspots and the benefits of them. But if I go to say Starbucks and try hook-up, what type of changes will I have to make inside my internet configuration to get that type of wireless hook up?

    My system is working so nicely at home, I want to make sure I don't screw it up by trying to configure another ISP. So is it pretty easy to make a hotspot connection?
  2. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    i jsut turn on my airport to automatic and it connects eventually. whatever service hotspot you are in will take you to a their respective webpage and they will show rates and plans etc.
  3. legion macrumors 6502a

    Jul 31, 2003
    It's easy. Do just a day or hour thing the first time just to see if you can deal with setting it up. You have to setup an account first with T-mobile (for Starbucks) and then you will automatically be directed to the login page when you start up your browser and hook to the base station. Remember that these base stations don't use any security... just a immediately directed website.

    I've had an account for 2 years now... but make sure you can setup it up first. When I started, Starbucks was giving out free days.
  4. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    I understand the confusion. So many of the hotspots have all these 'troubleshooting' guides and what settings to put where....

    ...ignore them. They're for those fabulously advertised Centrinos...

    Just lift the lid on your 'Book and chances are that by the time the screen turns on and you've got comfortable with your coffee, there will be a message on the screen saying that your Mac's found a network and would you like to join it...

    If it's a pay hot-spot, open Safari and you'll get to the home page where you can set up an account immediately.

    It is worth having a copy of Macstumbler on your laptop tho so you can see what networks are around and what strength they all are. My local Starbucks charges but there's a free spot just across the road which can be accessed too.
  5. aricher macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2004
    The automatic setting usually works flawlessly. These pay plans suck though - check around online to find out who in your area has wifi - there are a ton of independant bars, restuarants and coffee shops here in Chicago I go to. It's very cool being able to open the laptop and have the machine tell me that there are new wireless networks available for me to use.

    Funny thing happened the other day - I was picking up my wife from work, sitting in the car, I opened the PB and it told me that there were 3 wifi networks I could log into - all from adjacent office buildings. 2 were password protected the 3rd was not. I logged on surfed the web and was even able to mount the company servers using "admin/admin" as the login. Not that I did anything evil but man, some people just don't think about security.
  6. MattG macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2003
    Fletcher, NC
    I did this at a Borders (they have T-mobile), and as others have said, it's incredibly easy. You should automatically connect to their network, open up a browser, and it'll guide you through the sign-up process.

    Their prices are pretty outrageous, though. $30 a month if you sign a year contract, $40 a month if you don't, and if you want to quit the $40 a month plan, there's a cancellation fee!!!!!
  7. Amani thread starter macrumors member


    May 31, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    Thanks so for the responses. I didn't realized the hotspots would cost so much. I went back online last night and found a pretty good article in MacWorld about hotspots:. But it doesn't talk about the fees as explained here. Good to know that. All the hotspots near my home are Starbucks and Boarders, which seem to all have a fee. I'm not prepared to do that. I'll look for a free one first.
  8. Godfather macrumors member

    May 11, 2004

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