AT&T Wi-Fi (or AT&T wireless Internet) allows subscribers to access remote wireless Internet access via laptops or Wi-Fi enabled devices (such as a PDA) to an AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spot. This allows high-speed Internet access in many locations without having to plug into a port.
The AT&T Wi-Fi network is available in some of the most popular places in the world, including McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Barnes & Noble, along with countless other cafes, bars, restaurants, and airports. Whether a subscriber connects to the Internet to study, look up stock reports, play games, or use social networking sites, it can easily be done while relaxing in a café with a cup of coffee or while on the go during a busy business trip.
One of the best features of the AT&T Wireless Internet Access network is AT&T On the Spot. This allows people who are interested in testing how AT&T Wi-Fi woks with their portable devices before subscribing to the service. Using a one-time only access connection, users can patch in through any of the above listed AT&T Hot Spots. Just open a Web browser, and On the Spot can be purchase for a nominal fee. This service is currently not available at McDonald’s restaurants.
There are two types of AT&T Wi-Fi network subscriptions:
- Basic – AT&T Wi-Fi Basic service allows subscribers of AT&T Fast Access DSL, High Speed Internet, or iPhone users to access thousands of AT&T Hot Spot locations. Certain BlackBerry and laptop users can also subscribe to this service.
- Premium – AT&T Wi-Fi Premium service subscribers have the same service as basic subscribers, but can also access roaming partner hot spots for a monthly fee.
AT&T does protect against certain types of intrusions through their Wi-Fi network. It features a firewall that restricts access before logging into the network. However, as it stands today, there are still drawbacks from using any Wi-Fi network because they are wide-open networks and information can go two ways. AT&T recommends the following while using a Hot Spot:
- Disable file sharing – If a laptop has been networked with a home computer, it may be open to intrusions in a hot spot environment. Disable this feature before connecting to Wi-Fi.
- Restrict Web browsing – AT&T suggest to not visit any site where a user may be required to enter personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers.
- Beware of “Evil Twins” – “Evil Twin” Web sites are a form of phishing, or posing as a trusted site in order to steal information.
Basic AT&T Wi-Fi is also available as a part of its two types of High Speed Internet services: