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robcaro
04-03-2009, 08:40 PM
I am going to the USA for vacation this month. I want to use my WiFi connection to keep up to date with news, banking etc. Is there anything I must do to connect to WiFi for protection? Just getting connected is kind of a mystery. Anything will help.

Captain Socks
04-03-2009, 09:41 PM
All you need to do is walk into an area that has WiFi use, such as a bookstore or cafe, and turn on your computer. Your computer should then tell you that there is WiFi there, and ask you if you want to connect. I'm not sure what you mean by "protection", but in my experience the only way you can truly be protected on WiFi is on your home network.

HorseloverFat
04-04-2009, 02:39 PM
Wifi is an international standard, so it will work the same as using it at home or a cafe in your country.

What you should do is make sure your windows firewall is on and make sure you install all the latest security patches for your computer via windows update.

Chief Pedant
04-04-2009, 03:18 PM
I am going to the USA for vacation this month. I want to use my WiFi connection to keep up to date with news, banking etc. Is there anything I must do to connect to WiFi for protection? Just getting connected is kind of a mystery. Anything will help.

Your first issue will be where to find WiFi. Some places have publicly available free WiFi access points. For the most part the US model has been fee-for-service. You can sign up on an individual day basis (usually about 7-10 bucks/day) or monthly service. Or check at a Starbuck's; their WiFi service is from ATT and you can get a couple hours a day free just for buying a Starbucks card and using it occasionally. If you are on a budget, you can probably find totally free access points by asking around.

I am not sure what you mean by "protection." If you connect using WiFi you should consider that in theory you are on a public network, so make sure your own computer security is up to date.

Most libraries have computers hooked up to the Internet; some have WiFi to boot. I am assuming you want to use your own device.

KneadToKnow
04-04-2009, 03:45 PM
Be very picky about the websites out there that tell you where to find wi-fi hotspots. I just tried one (http://www.wi-fihotspotlist.com/), and it's info on my vicinity is frighteningly out of date.

If you want to test a website, put in "Charlotte, NC" for a location; if you don't get a slew of public libraries, it's way out of date.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
04-04-2009, 04:01 PM
My experience has been that independent cafes usually provide free wi-fi, but you may need to ask the barista for the passkey. The one big, big, coffeeshop chain that's all over the place also provides free service, but they do it in a roundabout way. If you buy one of their load-up cards and register it on the website, then you can use their ATT WiFi hotspots for free. You use the card just to pay for things in the cafe that you would be buying anyway, but the internet usage is essentially free if you have the card.

University and college campuses are a different matter IME. We've talked about that here before, but, usually, if you are not a student, faculty member, or other employee you can't use their wireless system, period. Unless you bring your own air card, there's no Internet access for you. You might have library privileges through your alumni membership or other organizational affiliation, but you won't be able to sit at a table and do online research on your laptop. I iimagine that may change after some extenstion student or affiliate library patron gets murdered in a campus killing spree, because not having a campus login they were unable to register for the mobile phone emergency notification service, and hence didn't get the message to shelter in place.

robcaro
04-10-2009, 07:00 PM
Well, for what its worth, I only plan to use the WiFi when I am staying at hotels. I will have about 12 different hotels along the way. Most of them provide free WiFi, but I don't know if they have to give me a password or what.

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