Getting Online Wi-Fi Hotspot with ip address

Step 1: Connect to the Access Point
Once you arrive at a hotspot, the first thing you need to do is connect to the Wi-Fi access point. You will log on in a bit, but first you must get your Wi-Fi card "talking" to the network. Turn on your laptop or PDA and open the Wi-Fi connection utility. In Windows XP systems, the utility is in the System Tray, for Mac OS X, it is in the menubar.

Both Windows XP and Mac OS X will try to associate with known SSIDs (network names) if available. Since most hotspots use the same network names around the country (such as tmobile, Wayport, and STSN), after you've signed on once to a particular network, you should connect automatically the next time you visit a site serviced by the same provider. Once connected, the Windows XP system tray utility will show the strength of your connection, as below.

If you don't get connected automatically, or just want to check which network you are on, click the Properties button, which brings up the following screen. Here you can choose from available networks, and also decide which networks you want to connect to automatically in the future. Using Mac OS X, you simply select the network name from the drop-down list under the AirPort icon in the menubar.

Note that some service providers offer their own software for getting connected, such as Boingo, iPass, and T-Mobile. However, T-Mobile does not require the use of its software, you can also get connected with the standard system utilities.

If you are having problems getting connected, also make sure that your computer is set to obtain an IP address automatically via DHCP. This is required for connecting at any public hotspot.

Step 2: Log On to the Hotspot Service After you have successfully connected to the network, open a new Web browser window. A login or account registration screen should appear, similar to the below (which is for the STSN service). Enter the router password.

Follow the directions on the screen, entering credit card information as needed. If for some reason a login screen does not appear, quit your browser and restart it.

Once you've either paid or logged into a monthly account with your user name and password, you'll be connected to the Internet and can check email, surf the Web, or use instant messenging services. If your company has a VPN for remote access, you can connect to it now. Most hotspots support common VPN protocols, although not all.

Finally, if you have a problem sending email, look up the SMTP (send mail) server for your service provider (mail.wayport.net for Wayport, for example), and substitute it for your regular SMTP server in your email account setup area. Another way to get around this problem is to simply use your provider's Web-based email.

Step 3: Log Off When You're Done That's it! You've successfully made your first Wi-Fi connection, and we bet it won't be your last. If you are using an hourly account, be sure to log off when you're finished, so you don't get charged extra minutes.