Will iPhones Fly with Free WiFi?

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AT&T has now made it so you can now get online with your iPhone anywhere there is a HotSpot of theirs… including airports! Finally! It used to be a pita to try to get a connection in an airport. Not anymore, thanks to AT&T… or is it true??

On April 30th, MacRumors announced that “AT&T hotspots are now offering free WiFi access to iPhone users. Barnes and Noble, Starbucks and presumably AT&T’s 71,000 other WiFi hotspot locations are now offering iPhone users a custom portal to access free Wi-Fi. A special iPhone formatted page asks for your mobile phone number. Once entered, you can access the WiFi access for free.”

However, as of the date this video was uploaded, things have changed. Apparently, the WiFi was temporarily suspended. “No official announcement had been made, however, and AT&T representatives reportedly declined to comment. Today, many users are reporting that the free iPhone access has been removed and users are unable to log-in with just their phone number. This appears to be true at locations that were verified to offer the free WiFi access just days before.”

Hopefully, we’ll be able to re-announce this excellent service in the very near future.


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103 thoughts on “Will iPhones Fly with Free WiFi?”

  1. Pingback: hot-iphones
  2. That sounds really good. I don’t own a iphone, but I do own a normal cell phone and know that the more hotspots you have the less you have to walk around with the phone up in the air looking for bars. Thanks for the information. It will probably help iphone users :).

  3. Finally a phone company understands what users want. If only i didnt have Verizon…but maybe i can get FiOS. Having WiFi on the plane would open so many opportunities to make the flight that much better by being able to surf and check email or watch videos. The future is looking pretty good right about now.

  4. I wish T-Mobile would do that too because I have a data plan. If I had AT&T, I would be jumping for joy!

  5. That is a good move for att to do this
    it might convice some people to buy the iphone
    i will just wait to the time when price goes down
    and i will get one
    but this gives me a better reasson to buy one

  6. Well, i guess it is good that iphone can surf the net but can it ever replace a laptop?, i wonder how secured it is against hacking and other stuff like that, if it can connect to the net it can be hacked, anyone that has tried to connect to the iphone wifi? did you in that case encounter any problems and how long did it take to get it to work? is it true that there is a iphone with 16GB and does it you use EDGE or 3G , isn’t it better to buy a ipod touch, it has 32GB, what is the difference between ipod touch and iphone, they look pretty much the same to me.

  7. I really hope that all works out. I think free wi-fi would be a really nice incentive for buying the iPhone and going through AT&T to get you phone service. I wonder if there would be problems monitoring whether the wi-fi was being accessed by genuine iPhones or not. On that same note I wonder if people with iPod Touches would have that same access for a small nominal fee.

    Wi-Fi everywhere is the future and I’m just hoping that this plan is set into action.

  8. free WiFi = too good to be true. maybe it was just something to see how many people would be into it, so they can start charging for it? either that or it could have been some fluke in the system…they could have been testing it out, and someone just happened to try to pick up WiFi somewhere…bam, it explodes into this huge thing. oh, the power of the internet.

  9. Yes there will be free wi-fi in hotspots(I hope) right now I’m on my iPod touch and if I go to the Internet cafe I always bring it as the pc’s there are really bad and the wi-fi is not password protected. I heard you can do this with MacBooks, MacBook pros, MacBook air and most laptops with wi-fi enabled. But if the wi-fi is password protected you have to get permission from the owner to use the wi-fi.

  10. This would be a great addition to the iPhone. I hope it comes back because I plan on purchasing an iPhone soon just as my town will be adding more hotspots.

  11. iPhone ftw
    thats cool, if im ever at a ATT hotspot ill try that

    but still, it might be a aim to get more people to get a iphone

  12. Good to see the cell phone company open up doors on the wireless. It makes small devices a definite an option for more people instead of just a traditional desktop or laptop. My friend use to blog on his phone, uploading pictures… that until he received the bill. 🙂

  13. I don’t have money to spend on an iPhone, but wow mobile internet like the video suggests would be great. I wonder why AT&T would pull the service? Seems like it would be a good image-improver, if nothing else for them.

  14. I´m almost 100 % sure AT&T will announce this somehow in the near future.

    But what I don´t seem to understand. Why would AT&T pull of this great (free) Wi-Fi hotspot service, and then 3 days later disable it? And I´m sure it wasn’t a mistake. It just can´t be!

  15. I think the iPhone is a bit ahead of it’s time. It’s ahead of basically every other handheld device which is why it is insanely expensive. Within 3-4 years and iPhone 2.0, other wireless companies will– hopefully–have access to the iPhone fixing the cost and internet issues.

  16. That is great that they started the free WiFi dervice for iPhone customers, but why did they just suspend it so suddenly without explaining?

  17. Hey P-train,

    Glad to hear you mention security as it relates to cell phones — that’s something that I’ve never really though about, but I suspect it’s going to become a bigger and bigger problem as the years go by.

    The hot-spot thing is certainly a good move by AT&T. My concern as a consumer, however, is that there would simply not be enough of them. (I hate being limited as to where I can go when I want to use the internet!)

    That said, this past February Japan launched a satellite that will begin to provide ultra-high speed internet to its country. (I think it’s supposed to be three times faster). Maybe I’ll finally give in and purchase an iPhone as soon as we get a satellite up there. :O)

    Straight chillin’,
    James Gia

  18. This has just reminded me not to be putting my passwords on the internet when I’m not on a secure network, thanks chris. Hope this works with ipod touch wifi to, seeing as I can’t have an iphone where i live…

  19. This is pretty cool chris, I’m getting an iphone on july 22 when my verizon 2 year plan is over, i just can’t wait, a good amount of my friends have them and they absolutely love them, though almost half of them were dropped and screen is all messed up now, but i feel that i will be pretty careful with mine after paying a good 400 dollars for it. but i hope somewhere near my school theres’ a at and t hot spot because our school network is entirely blocked pretty much everything. ok thanks chris.

  20. It’s all about sharing! I am waiting for version 2 of the iphone and will be ditching the old blackberry brick at that time. I am ready for more services like this to follow suit.


  21. I’m tired of the talk about the iPhone’s features. What I want to know is if/when the iPhone will be modified to work on networks like Verizon?

  22. Really sounds good to me. Even though I currently don’t have a iPhone, I am looking to get one. This is one of the more reasons tha5t I would want to get one. Not having to pay for wifi who wouldn’t want that.

  23. While I don’t have an iPhone (I really would like to and hope that the rumors are true about the price of iPhone 2.0) I think it is a great idea that Apple and AT&T are opening up WiFi access to all of the available At&T HotSpots. For the sake of preventing mass chaos from the Apple community, I hope this “feature” comes back or “heads are gonna roll.”

  24. Yes, it will. Free Wifi is inevitable in the ever changing world of the internet. The Iphone is the top of the line in SO many aspects of todays market. I dont see how this would be any different.

  25. Just off the top of my head, I would imagine that the sudden lack was due to some security issue, but of course I don’t know for certain. That’s just a first blush guess. I look forward to further comments to see whether I am near, or wide of the mark.

  26. Will WiFi be everywhere, in the future? And will it be free?
    I think so. With WiMAX coming up I think this will be the case in all major cities. What do you think?

  27. I don’t think there ever was free wifi for iphones, If there was, does the iPhone give out OS information in the Header of the browser? If not this would require an update

  28. hmmmm…. I’ve seen an iPhone but i haven’t used one… hope this would be true but for now, I’ll just look around for money to buy those cool stuffs such as the iPhone and someday with a free WiFi… but I think that this free WiFi will affect the activities of the people, they would spend more time on their iPhones instead of doing their jobs…

  29. Hey dude have you heard of 1-800-info-fast. its free 411 over the phone with live operators can you give us some feedback on that number.

  30. I think the iphone will have increasing slaes if they have free wifi because not every cell phone comes with free wifi for surfing the internet or whatever you want to do. I think it will also become very poular in Canada once it comes out their. I heard that later this year it might be hooking up with a plan from rogers.

  31. There were rampant reports of how easy it was to “hack” any wifi device for free access. This may have something to do with the removal of the service.

  32. wow, america is really becoming a world leader with regards to phones, i can remember when americans would keep mobile phones in their cars, they were so big, yet other countries already had smaller phones. Its geed to hear that you can get online more easily now.
    I wish i lived in America!!!

  33. I’m always reluctant to access free wifi service for the same reason that it can be honeypot or somebody might be sniffing that network and eventually attack my computer or uncover personal credential that I exchange to and from the internet. If I really have to though, I just vpn to my work and surf from there. Still, I surf in a limited manner. I don’t check bank accounts, transact online, or anything where money and personal information are exchanged. I may use the internet to watch / read news and thats about it. I work for a sniffer company and trust me it’s just tremendous how much information (internet traffic) sniffer can decode (uncover).

    If this WIFI service will require your phone number and password, i’m sure it is https. But still that’s not fully secure. A hacker can just sniff and save that traffic into his hard drive and decode and crack them at later time. So if i may, surf with caution. Remove temporary internet files or cookies before and after surfing. I dont have iPhone yet but I’m planning to buy my wife one when att offers them at $199. BUt make sure that you have all the security setup on iPHone if there is one.

  34. I have a quesiton though. Is sniffing in public internet wifi or otherwise illegal? I’m liking it as a paparazzi trying to take picture of somebody famous in public area. It’s legal by the mere fact that the person is in public domain. I wonder if the same applies to the public internet.

  35. I think that that it probably will not fly because the fact is Apple is trying to make money and that all they want to do. Maybe it will fly for the fact that the free wi-fi will get more buyers of the phone, which will bring more mac user that will get them more money.

  36. in the UK o2 offer free access to their parterners, The Cloud who have 7500 netwroks networks which are dotted all over the place, pubs, cinemars, Ten Pin Bowling allies, shopping centres, airports etc.
    The system works in the same way as AT&T have (presumably) tested, you enter you phone number and then it connects you.
    Does it boost iPhone sales? No I don’t think it does as it has always been availible to us. However, with it being a new feature in the US it may tempt a few people to buy an iPhone.
    You don’t have to look far to find some convincing evidence that there is a new iPhone coming shortly that will use the faster 3G network, if this rumor comes true, will there be as much of a demand for wifi? I think not. Wifi will still be quicker but I can’t see what you are going to need that speed for on an iPhone. The most data demanding task you can do is watch youtube videos that work fine on a good EDGE signal so surly it will be fine on 3G. Okay, web pages will load quicker, e-mails will download quicker, but is the difference going to be so big that it will sway people to buy an iPhone becaus of the free wifi?
    The iPhone does use less battery on wifi however which for some people (like those using the wifi in an airport before a long flight) will be very important.

  37. i think that the the iphone should have free wifi because that would be so much more convenient but also i believe that everywhere should have free wifi for laptops so you can always get online were ever you go so when your not at home you could still check your email and surf the web

  38. This has to be THE question for the cellphone industry. WiFi “everywhere” could put the cellphone industry out of business.

  39. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to re-announce this excellent service in the very near future. ”

    This likely sounds like a change that will come along with the 3g iPhone this June. A $200 version will already be incentive enough for many people (including myself) to explore the world of the iPhone, but offering free access to the AT&T hot spots will draw even more people in.

    If this is indeed going to happen, I think it is smart of Apple to wait for the summer.

    I know I am looking forward to my iPhone then~

  40. I don’t think this is a good idea at all. First of all I’m going to bet that someone is going to figure out how to hack it. That’s a given. I really do not like it when you have to pay for internet. I’m not saying that I hack WEP or what ever, but Airports should provide free WiFi to their customers while they are waiting and waiting and waiting for their flights.

    This is not a reason for me to get an iphone, but I think that it would be a good idea if they maybe extended the service to an ipod touch. That would be interesting.

  41. That’s why I like having a phone with HSDPA. If I’m just using the phone’s browser, HSDPA is just about as fast as wi-fi would be if there was a hotspot. The only noticible difference is when I use my phone as a modem (something the iPhone cannot do). In tha case, it’s nice to have wi-fi. So for every day browsing in my phone, it is almost like I have wi-fi wherever I go, I don’t even have to look for a hotspot.

  42. I don’t have an iPhone but I think it would be a good idea because I’ve played with an iPod touch and the speed of a good connection on a portable device is great. Also, depending on your wireless plan, it’d be cheaper just to use the internet connection of your household rather than the pay-per-byte system that most WAP connections use.

  43. Man.. I hope the ATT will change their minds, internet access is so easy to get nowadays and its unbelievable that we have to pay for it 🙁 In due time however, hopefully there will be free internet everywhere

  44. I hope that ATT will reconsider their opinion on free wifi and we users can have free access in the near future. I find it hard to believe that internet in public areas cost money as it is such an integral part of my life. Nice blog post!

  45. What’s the point of it? No, really. I mean, can’t you just join a public network in the United States? Why does AT&T do that?
    I mean, why do you need so many WiFi hotspots there? Isn’t there enough already?
    I don’t really know much about Wifi in the states, but here, in Estonia, there is a wifi hotspot (with a good range!) around every corner of every street of every city. I have 5(!!!) in my school (i carry my eee around every day)!
    And why does it include some awful phone number password? Can’t i just type in my friends number to do that? It would be easier for everyone, if it was an unsecured network.

  46. Logicly the iphone will sell more people would think it usefull to be able to just quickly check somthing online when there up and about!

  47. Perhaps the sales will go up in the US, but here in my country, you receive 3 hours/month free internet in these so called hot spots already…
    As for the IPhone, it isn’t released in Belgium yet, because the law forbids monopoly’s on products and services, and since the IPod requieres you to take a year subscription to ONE provider; it it is forbidden…
    Perhaps Apple should be thinking more of the release here instead of giving more services in countrys where it is already released… rumors already say that the Iphone will cost €800 = $1200 in Belgium ! instead of $600… therefore I think the IPhone won’t be selling a lot here.

  48. We can only hope that wifi becomes free on the iPhone. The one thing that aggrivates me most about my Xbox 360 is that it does not have free built in wifi while the PS3 and even the Wii do. I think that if we are paying 300 dollars plus for these expencive gadgets that the least they could do is throw in free wifi to go along with it. Like with video games, when I buy a video game I don’t want to play the game online just to find out that this kid can spend 5 bucks and have the best stuff in the game, when I buy something I don’t want hidden fees, I don’t mind downloadable contenet but when you have to pay extra to get it… what ever happend to cheat codes?

  49. I think that its a great move to offer free wifi at all of those many hotspots. Now people with an iPhone can get online for free while they are drinking there coffee at starbuck instead of having to pay a fee just to get online for a little while. I think that its a great move for them. But now that it has been temporarily (Hopefully) suspended for the time being we’ll have to wait and see what happens. Hopefully they will put that back into action.

    Eee ya later

  50. So it’s AT&T wifi that you can only get on if you’re an iphone user? That’s cool for iphone users, but what about the rest of us 🙁

  51. It’d be great to be able to access the web for free on the iPhone (maybe some love for us touch users?). From what I gathered reading though my mounds of RSS feeds, was that there was a problem with the service that allowed for people not using iPhones to access the free WiFi, and from the report I read it wasn’t too hard, just spoofing client name, and borrowing a friends iphone number. Hopefully Apple has just removed the access temporarily to fix this problem and make it so that only iPhone users can access the service.

  52. I just got my first wifi device (an old hitachi tablet. more like a 12″ pda than a pc). I’d really enjoy free wifi hotspots.

  53. I think that giving free internet is a good thing. Because in the future internet will be free, fast, and reliable.

  54. Are you kidding me? Come on people the give away and only 18 comments on this video? Get commenting! If you really want that notebook then act like it.

    Back to topic.

    Thanks for that tip about spoofing.

  55. Cool. I wish this would extend to the ipod touch! Why not pay a smaller amount of money and just get unlimited internet access with the touch? Does that sound like a good idea? Or even better. Figure out a way so iphone users and/or ipod touch users can use Skype to communicate! I would totally buy one then. Right now the only thing that is holding me back is the contract price and not everyone hates their phone, so Apple shouldn’t say that the iphone is the right phone for everyone. That is totally not true. It might be the coolest, but so was the RAZR and now you can get one for $10. Just a thought.

  56. The reason reported for this on other blogs is because of how easy it was to get past the iphone and get free access on ANY device with just changing a few settings in firefox. BUT! If anyone noticed this good job. Any AT&T subscribers that have a home DSL connection of above 1.5mb with AT&T get free access to all the hotspots. About the only good thing I have found good about my DSL service.

  57. the iphone is addictive at first i was like thats dumb but now i am mclovin that phone it is a great investment and that you can now get free wifi instead of paying like 10 bucks and hour for like five minutes this is GOOD news

  58. this wont work with the itouch would it cuz i only have the itouch cuz i didnt want to buy the phone cuz u have to buy a plan witch is like 59.99 i mean the thing is spendy already so i went with itouch but it sounds like a cool idea

  59. Free iPhone internet huh? I wish I had an iPhone. It’s just too bad that this isn’t for the iPod touch (I’m assuming because the Touch has no AT&T relations) because the Touch doesn’t charge a phone bill, not that I have one of those either.

  60. wow thats unusual. It is an amazing service though. If it were re-introduced that would certainly make alot of people happy and hopefully me when and if I ever get one.

  61. Lord I hope they give us iPhone users free WiFi. I love my iPhone, and I don’t think there are enough WiFi hotspots. I can’t stand it when I got to a big place, where I know they have WiFi, just to lean that it is a paid service. It P’s me off so bad! Finally.. AT&T is starting to see the light.

  62. Thats so cool Chris now I can have my IPhone and get wireless internet now YES im so so happy thank you CHris You r so cool……

  63. SO so cool thanks for telling me the good news now i can use my IPhone alot of places and not have to pay!! I hat when i have to pay for Wi-Fi so thank you Chris for telling me… =)

  64. Well, considering just getting out of debt, I don’t have the means to actually afford a: change in plan, b: new phone system, c: considering I don’t travel, and stay home (agoraphobia), Don’t really need WiFi.

  65. Catch up? The iphone is Apple’s first phone! What is there to catch up on? This video is to do with service providers, not the manufacturer.

  66. Personally i don’t own an iphone but being able to access the internet for free via wifi would be a great selling point. The iphone may have edge and son 3g but they wont be as fast sa wifi. But now the the question is will iphones fly with 3g.

  67. Its good, but there may be some hacker connected and if someone is passing information across the network then the hacker could pick it up and use it.

  68. It’s about time AT&T did something that has sparked my interest. I have been a bit upset with iPhone and AT&T about the the whole locked phone concept and only AT&T can be used, but now with this new little feature I am interested in purchasing one. I have always loved the look of the iPhone and I travel alot so this neat feature will save me lots of money rather than paying the $20 to surf the net in the airport as I wait for hours between connecting flights. Thanks for the info Tracker, I was not aware of the DSL connection of above 1.5mb with AT&T and its benefits, may look into that.

  69. I work at starbucks and right now if you are an at&t customer, you can get on the wifi for free at starbucks! When the completely free wifi releases, partners that work for starbucks will even get free access on their laptops! Expect starbucks employees to be a lot more lazy now!

  70. That’s awesome. It’s great when it seems as if companies take a turn to reality and begin to think realistically. When it comes to wireless internet capabilities, convenience and reliability means a lot…especially when it comes free.

  71. I hope AT&T decides re-enables this feature. This definitely beats the $20 service fee that was previously required. Hopefully this would work with my iPod Touch, but I doubt it, considering how I do not pay AT&T a monthly fee for their services.

    However, my advise to everyone that connects to a public access point is to not NOT log-in to any websites. An individual could easily intercept your usernames and passwords when connected to a public access point. Just a word of warning.

  72. That’s too bad that AT&T decided to take down this feature for the time being. I hope they eventually bring ti back, that way it will give those wanting an iphone another incentive to buy one.

  73. Unfortunately this is only for AT&T customers! I would like to see this for iPod Touch users too. Only the iPhone users are getting all these good deals.

    It doesn’t surprise me that AT&T stopped offering this service. A lot of people must have abused it. I read some blogs where people found out how to access free WiFi without being an AT&T customer. This may be the reason why they don’t offer WiFi anymore.

  74. You can use wifi also on winmonbile devices, but yes if it were free I would get an Iphone on the first day, I’m sure that there is a WLmessenger for the Iphone. But then a IPod Touch were also enough fro me.

  75. Aww now that is a bummer, Wireless via Cell phone is just step closer to comfortability. But i have to be honest with you, i don’t own an Iphone, i do like it tough the design and all those features(tough they should have a digital camera attached to it) but i don’t like how apple came into market with it, because it’s not very open and apple only allows just a hand full of GSM providers to use it and make daily calls .S.

  76. I do not have an iPhone, but I do have the Aspen Simulator, and it’s as good as an iPhone. I bring my MacBook with me everywhere. One time we were at Chick-Fil-A and there was a Chick-Fil-A WiFi, and it was real. 😀 So I opened mIRC and Ustream and streamed! While I was eating! Isn’t that cool? A couple days ago we went to Panera and they had wifi, the name of the network was PANERA which was again, real. So I connected, got on IRC, and I did not stream because I did not have my MacBook. But there is WiFi everywhere. I do not broadcast my SSID, but its unprotected, so anyone who knows where I live, and my Wireless’s name, can get in.

  77. I’m sure they may have caught on to people abusing the system… or they have something new up their sleeve for the new version of the iphone coming shortly. It will be interesting to see what unfolds.

  78. I-phone-super cool gadget.I would love to have one.I am sure the Wi-Fi will be soon avilable on it.

  79. I think this was also done since AT&T bought T-Mobile’s hotspots, if I read right.
    But, though I dont own an iPhone, I think it is pretty cool that iPhone users can get free internet on such HotSpots.

  80. Seriously, if people have an iPhone, why would the choose to deal with switching to Wi-Fi when they have the cellular connection? Yes, it may be slower but people don’t like having to swap things around all the time, at least I don’t.

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