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The Hassle Of Getting On Public Wi-Fi With A SmartPhone

The Hassle Of Getting On Public Wi-Fi With A SmartPhone

Old Nov 25, 13, 1:57 am
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The Hassle Of Getting On Public Wi-Fi With A SmartPhone

Like myself and like everyone else, your brain is semi-tethered to your smartphone. Much of the time you get your internet access from the cell phone network, but then, sometimes, you wander into range of a Starbucks, McDs, airport network, hotel network, or other source of Free WiFi.

At that point your smartphone inexplicably fails to connect. The problem is that you have not Signed On to the Free WiFi access point. That is to say, your web surfing will be interrupted until you:

1) Open the web browser app;

2) Open a web page;

3) Wait for the Free WiFi Sign On page to automatically appear. This consists of much impenetrable legalese, or a link thereto, in which you Promise To Be Good and not hack (or ever sue) the Free WiFi provider. You must then

4) Check the box, enter your initials, or enter someone's email address; so that

5) You will be finally allowed onto the Free WiFi access point; and

6) You can go back to whatever you were doing via the cell phone network, except faster.

Can someone please invent a method of skipping steps (1) through (5), automatically agreeing on your behalf to some standardized contractual verbiage as is normally encountered in steps (3) and (4), so that your phone will just connect?
mbstone is offline  
Old Nov 25, 13, 5:15 am
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Steps 1-3 are really just 1 step: when I turn on the WiFi I get the "sign in to WiFi network" notification. I click on it, it opens a browser and loads the sign-on page.

For steps 4 and 5 you can probably define a browser macro.
florin is offline  
Old Nov 25, 13, 6:10 am
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There are some apps that will do this for you, or make it easier. Search apps for "wifi login".
swag is offline  
Old Nov 25, 13, 6:21 am
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I even found a hotel where you could only use the wifi if you'd connected via a cable first. Hard to do with a smartphone
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Old Nov 25, 13, 6:53 am
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It's pretty easy in New York whether I'm at the library or a Starbucks. You turn on wifi, touch the browser icon, double tap to make the screen mobile-friendly, tap the "I agree" and then you're on line with a strong signal.

It's a hassle searching for free wifi on my travels in England and Germany as it isn't as prevalent as it is here. When it exists, the signal is often too weak to go from page to page. New York overseas tourists have it so easily here. Free wifi is almost ubiquitous.
Analise is offline  
Old Nov 25, 13, 7:35 am
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Just use a task automator to turn off wifi when you're not at home or your office, and the problem goes away.
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