Wi-Fi hotspot

How to manage Wi-Fi networks in OS X

Chances are that if you use a modern Mac system, especially a portable system, you will regularly be accessing at least one Wi-Fi network for connecting to the Web, email, and other on-line services.

If you use your system at more than one location, then you might regularly log in to multiple Wi-Fi hotspots, be they private ones such as those at work, or public ones at cafes. Sometimes, at conventions or large workplaces, you might find yourself switching between different hotspots, depending on the signal strength available.

When you make these various connections, you may find various problems with … Read more

Get a Karma no-contract 4G hot spot for $64.86

This is an update of a deal I wrote about last year. Now it's even better.

By now most of you have heard of FreedomPop. The company started out offering tempting goodies like Clearwire-powered 4G service with a "free" mobile hot spot and 500MB of data per month, with the option of earning extra by referring friends.

Say hello to the competition. Karma offers a Clearwire-powered 4G mobile hot spot with 1GB of free data, with the option of earning extra by referring....strangers.

Say what? Here's the deal: StackSocial has the Karma WiFi HotSpot for $64.86 shippedRead more

Get a FreedomPop 4G MiFi hot-spot bundle for $199 shipped

Real quick: Thank you so much for the incredible response yesterday to "The Cheapskate Rules." You folks are the best. I'm eternally grateful for the kind words, the support, and the reviews on Amazon. And per your many requests, the book will definitely be coming to Nook, Google Play, iOS, and other platforms! Stay tuned.

Now, back to business. Most smartphones can pull hot-spot duty if needed, though usually that means paying extra to your carrier and dealing with much faster battery drain. And, lest we forget, not everybody has a smartphone. (Crazy, right?)

Another consideration: What … Read more

Ending the headaches of Wi-Fi

Soon wireless subscribers won't even have to think about signing on to a Wi-Fi hot spot. New standards that will be included in the latest generation of products will take the headache out of Wi-Fi.

Millions of wireless customers access public Wi-Fi hot spots every day. Some people get free access to Wi-Fi through their mobile operator and use the networks to avoid going over their data caps. Others subscribe to Wi-Fi services to get access to higher-speed data wherever it's available. Whether you use free Wi-Fi or you subscribe to a service, getting on to whatever Wi-Fi … Read more

Hands-on with the FreedomPop Overdrive Pro

About two weeks ago, wireless Internet provider FreedomPop introduced the Overdrive Pro, a Sprint-powered 3G/4G mobile hot spot with a tantalizing price tag: $39.99 for the hardware, 500MB of data per month absolutely free, and low rates on additional data.

FreedomPop's previous products all relied solely on Clearwire's WiMAX network, which left users like me (who live where there's no coverage) out in the cold. But the Overdrive Pro changes that, and so I was excited to test-drive one.

Which I've been doing for the past few days. The good news is the Sierra … Read more

Get a Virgin Mobile Overdrive Pro 3G/4G mobile hot spot for $83.99

Remember back on Monday when I said I was the victim of flaky hotel Wi-Fi? It's true: I couldn't publish my Cheapskate post because my room had a weak, inconsistent signal. It was incredibly frustrating, like trying to work using a dial-up modem.

The smart thing would have been to pack a mobile hot spot. Of course, I don't want to get stuck with a two-year contract and hefty monthly fees for a gizmo I need only occasionally. That's why today's deal is so appealing.

For a limited time, Virgin Mobile has the Overdrive Pro 3G/4G mobile hot spot for $83.99 shipped. … Read more

How to find truly free wireless access

You're in the middle of a city park. You're at a rest stop on the side of the road, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Or maybe you're simply in your living room. You turn on your computer and have instant, secure access to the Internet without requiring any network cables or log-ins -- or even any payment to an ISP.

Yeah, right.

Ubiquitous, free, and safe Internet access is a long, long way off, and many skeptics believe such a day will never arrive. The glass-half-full among us will point out that the number of people … Read more

How to turn your Windows 8 PC into a Wi-Fi hot spot

In Windows 8, Microsoft quietly removed a useful networking feature: ad-hoc networks.

In Windows 7 (and previous OSes), the tool could turn your PC into a Wi-Fi hot spot, allowing it to share its Ethernet or other Internet connection with other devices by broadcasting its own network.

So, if you paid for Internet access at a cafe, or you're at work, and want to share your PC's Internet with your phone or tablet, this feature would let you do that.

It is very possible to do this in Windows 8, but the built-in method requires fiddling with the … Read more

How to fix a blank Wi-Fi login screen in iOS

For as long as I can remember, my iPhone 4S has had trouble connecting to certain Wi-Fi hotspots.

When I go to Panera Bread, for example, I can connect to their network on my laptop without a problem. But it requires visiting a landing page in my browser and clicking a button to agree to the terms of service.

When I try to make that same connection on my iPhone, a log-in screen immediately pops up -- but stays blank. For some reason, it fails to load that landing page, meaning I can't tap "I agree" and … Read more

Facebook tests free Wi-Fi hot spots in exchange for check-ins

Facebook is testing a new Wi-Fi hot spot service for local businesses that lets users surf the net for free if they do a Facebook check-in.

First noticed by developer Tom Waddington today, the social network's experiment has businesses providing the Internet service in exchange for a Facebook router that will direct customers to the businesses' Facebook page after they check in.

Facebook confirmed to CNET that it's rolled out the "small test with a few local businesses," but didn't name any names.

"When you access Facebook Wi-Fi by checking in, you are directed … Read more