wireless companies

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Cindy, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. Cindy macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2003
    I would sure like a wireless connection for my ibook. Can't get broadband or DSL in my area.
    I called Verizon since that's my cell phone company. They have a set up but the cost is high. A one time set up fee and then 60.00 for unlimited internet use.
    I work at a University and I'm going to download their software for the use up there.
    But I was thinking about vacations.... I can probably just hit a starbucks etc. and hook up there.
    My question is... is it worth the cost to go with something like Verizon or should I just stick with what is available where I might be??
  2. AstrosFan macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2005
    I would also look into companies that have wireless hot spot networks across the country - for example, SBC has a partnership with FreedomLink and Earthlink has a partnership with Boingo.
    You say that you don't have availability of DSL/cable in your area - then it would depend on if any of these "hot spot networks" can fit your needs.
    If so, you sign up for the wireless service, but have the added benefit of being able to use their hot spots.
    Otherwise, I think the next place to look would be cell phone companies - are you limited only to Verizon in your area?
  3. Cindy thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2003
    No, I'm not limited to Verizon but I am for now. I had to sign a year lease contract and I'm only about 3 months into it.
  4. AstrosFan macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2005
    $60 just seems so high to me - I was previously used to paying ~$40 for broadband access.
    Recently, though, DSL prices really dropped in my area, so I signed on for a year commitment at $15/month.

    I have friends who couldn't get cable or DSL at their home, so they ended up going with 'satellite' broadband - I'm not too sure of the details, but I don't think it was quite $60.
    That may be worth looking into.

    Good luck!
  5. Cindy thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2003
    WOW - 15.00 a month! That's a steal. I really don't want to get satellite - the ones I checked into were very expensive. My neighbor has satellite and her reception is hit and miss. Storms come in and her reception goes out. We get lots of wind and that could cause more problems.
    Our tv is on satellite and we always have problems when the wind picks up.
    I just want something easy for my laptop. I have a desktop - emac - and it's fine on the dialup.
    What I can do for when on vacations is hook on with verizon - pay for a month and then discontinue. I'm not sure how that would work. They said I could cancel and continue anytime. The one time hook up fee is for the software/cable and if that's good forever.... might be the way to go.
    I just wouldn't want to pay 60.00 a month for many months.
    How do the starbucks and other places work? Is there alot of configuration to do? Is it free?
  6. AstrosFan macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2005
    Starbucks uses a T-Mobile hot spot network. You have to have a subscription plan, the details of which can be found on their website (not particularly cheap IMO).


    Barnes & Noble uses FreedomLink, which is partnered with SBC. Other places that use this same network include airports, hotels & restaurants (McDonald's for example).

    There is also Boingo, but I don't have much experience with it.

    I've used both the T-Mobile & FreedomLink services, and haven't had any difficulties with configuration.

    Good luck!
  7. Cindy thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2003
    I was just now looking at TMobile. No, it's not very cheap. I have so much to learn! I thought I could just walk in and there it is. What about the places that say - free internet service? How do they do this and how does that work?
    Which ones or one do you use now? Which one would you suggest?
  8. AstrosFan macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2005
    There are places that advertise free internet - I've been to several locally-owned restaurants that do that, for example. When I've asked, they provide you with the password for their network & then you can log on.
    Also, another one that comes to mind is Panera Bread Company - it's a chain restaurant that serves sandwiches, salads, baked items, etc. They advertise wi-fi and to my knowledge, it's free. I haven't honestly used it, but I see the signs when I eat there.

    I currently use FreedomLink - with my home DSL through SBC, it only costs me $1.99/month extra to have unlimited access to FreedomLink hot spots.


    My experience with it thus far has been good.
    In the past, I have also used T-Mobile and again, the experience was good (though the price was high).

    I would base your decision on what is most pervasive in your area among the places you would frequent.
    Also, it depends on your internet-habits - do you definitely need to join a hot-spot network? Are they business/restaurants, etc. in your area that do offer free internet? All worth looking into.
  9. Cindy thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2003
    In my area (day to day life) I really don't need wireless. At home, I just connect onto my dial up ISP (no problems there).
    I work at a University and I could use their wireless service which is free (I still need to download their stuff for password etc.).
    I guess I just want to use it because it's there :eek:
    I have built in wireless just sitting there itching to be used!
    I just want to try it out and see what it's like. When we go on vacation, I thought it would come in handy. Maybe not.
    When we are in the condo, I could just hook into the phone connection and use my 1-800 number thru my current ISP.
    Using ones like Earthlink or TMobile... is it fairly easy to find hot spots? I looked at some of the sites and looks like popular areas are UPS stores and McDonalds etc...
  10. AstrosFan macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2005
    I would definitely take advantage of the free wireless that's already there - you can't give that up!
    As for hot spots, my experience has been that they're pretty ubiquitous.
    Also, when I go on vacation, high-speed internet availability is one of my most important selection criteria in picking a hotel.
    That's a spot where having Airport Express has come in handy - if the hotel has wired high-speed, I can turn it into wireless!

Share This Page