Free WiFi @ AT&T hotspots...or not?

sunday888

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 30, 2007
81
0
Silicon Valley
According to a couple threads, like this one, iPhone users are supposed to have free access to AT&Twifi hotspots.

I was in a Barnes & Noble tonight, noticed the AT&T Hotspot sticker and decided to give it a try. No luck. I got an AT&T login/pay screen on my iPhone. So, is this an urban legend? Is there a special login that you need to have? Or something else? People claim to have done this, but for real?
 

RedInAustin

macrumors newbie
Feb 17, 2007
21
0
AT&T WiFi hotspots are now (as of this week) free for AT&T DSL subscribers. If you have an AT&T DSL subscription higher than the 14.99 plan just use your user id & password from your DSL account when the login screen appears.

McDonalds and Barnes & Nobles are the main hotspots. There's a map & text listing on at&t's site of their hotspots.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,400
12,510
I thought McDonalds' hotspots in the US had always been free to all users....
Nope.

Our local service providers provide high-quality Wi-Fi service through several convenient connection options: on-line credit card payment, subscriptions, prepaid cards, or (sometimes) promotional coupons. If you have questions or need technical help, the Wi-Fi provider's customer support number should be handy in the restaurant.
 

marksman

macrumors 603
Jun 4, 2007
5,764
5
I thought McDonalds' hotspots in the US had always been free to all users....
I think in some cases they did have it open. Today I was by my local McDonald's though and they had a wayport sign up screen. I suspect until they got things set up they had it open for everyone.

For AT&T Broadband customers over a certain level you can use your broadband login to use the AT&T wifi spots.
 

megfilmworks

macrumors 68020
Jul 1, 2007
2,045
15
Sherman Oaks
I think in some cases they did have it open. Today I was by my local McDonald's though and they had a wayport sign up screen. I suspect until they got things set up they had it open for everyone.

For AT&T Broadband customers over a certain level you can use your broadband login to use the AT&T wifi spots.
Interesting...I'll watch for that
 
I think in some cases they did have it open. Today I was by my local McDonald's though and they had a wayport sign up screen. I suspect until they got things set up they had it open for everyone.
Yeah... its interesting though. I was at a SIMONS mall the other day, and I got all happy 'cause I saw them popup in my WiFi zone, before I saw the screen saying they wanted $1 for like 5 hours or some such. I'm like "$1"??? If I could pay them $5 for the next 2 years, I'd just do it... not as if I'm there everyday. But $1? Nickel and dime ya everytime. :p

It's interesting to read about the issues involved though:
http://www.wi-fiplanet.com/columns/article.php/3456191

Nice that some of their locations offer it for free though, why not everywhere?
http://www.simon.com/mall/event_details.aspx?ID=1229&EID=60601

~ CB
 

voidptr

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2007
127
0
Yeah... its interesting though. I was at a SIMONS mall the other day, and I got all happy 'cause I saw them popup in my WiFi zone, before I saw the screen saying they wanted $1 for like 5 hours or some such. I'm like "$1"??? If I could pay them $5 for the next 2 years, I'd just do it... not as if I'm there everyday. But $1? Nickel and dime ya everytime.
I'd love to have $1 for 5 hours in airports. All the majors I've been to are $8 for a 24 hour block, but waiting for a connection I only need a couple hours. If you have multiple connections that day and the same provider covers both airports at least the login goes with you, but it's still steep. If you're not lucky, you'd have to shell out $8 at one to AT&T, and $8 at the next for boingo.

The free wifi thing is almost enough to make me switch to AT&T DSL from TWC, except they don't sell DSL without a voice line as well, which I don't currently have. Adding a phone line to the mix makes AT&T about $10 or $15 more expensive than Road Runner. Without the voice it's actually cheaper.
 

Dfndr90

macrumors regular
Nov 27, 2006
225
0
I have used the ATT Wifi at two Barnes and Noble locations so far with no problem, No sign on page what so ever. It was great, I was looking for a book, and did not remember the authors name, did a google search for the Wired Magazine article and BAM, I had the authors name.

B&N did not have it in stock, so I checked Amazon on the IPhone while at B&N and found it cheaper there. If I am going to have to wait for B&N, might as well get it cheaper form Amazon with the free super saver shipping.

Matt...
 

sunday888

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 30, 2007
81
0
Silicon Valley
So there's no apparent consistency from one AT&T hotspot to another. Trial and error, I guess. I checked into AT&T's rates for JUST hotspot access, nationwide. $20 per month. Um, no. It's not like I live at Barnes & Noble or MacDonalds!
 

ian-frs

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2007
447
32
Jax
I have bellsouth which was just bought by AT&T so can I use that DSL account to access these wifi spots?
 

fart

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2007
147
0
The Nation's Fartland
Panaras, Bear Rock Cafe, and Corner Bakery Cafe all offer free wifi and work great with the iPhone.

They also have great coffee, better than Starbuck's normal brew, but they don't offer much in the espresso department.