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Verizon FiOS/DSL Customers Get Free Wi-Fi Across US

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the windows-only dept.

Wireless Networking 168

Glenn Fleishman lets us know that Verizon is finally offering nationwide Wi-Fi access to its high-speed Internet customers, long after Cablevision's similar service went live. While Cablevision is building out an in-house network of hotspots, Verizon is relying on a deal with Boingo Wireless — a strategy with both strengths and drawbacks, as Wi-Fi Net News points out. Neither Verizon's nor Boingo's announcement reveals the mechanics of how existing Verizon DSL and FiOS customers will get access, but an AP report spells it out: "To use a hotspot, the customer must install software that works only on computers with Windows Vista or XP installed. Phones, iPods, and Macintosh computers with Wi-Fi can't access the hotspots."

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168 comments

Man, I wish I could have been in that meeting (5, Funny)

NaCh0 (6124) | more than 4 years ago | (#28844999)

Marketing Douche: Say, how about we offer mobile internet access that won't work with mobile devices.

PHB: Great idea!!

Re:Man, I wish I could have been in that meeting (1, Troll)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845111)

You ever hear of this thing called a laptop? Some people like me have one. They even have build in wireless b/g/n. I think that whole laptop thing might really catch on and soon people will want wireless connections for their laptops when they're traveling.

Re:Man, I wish I could have been in that meeting (0)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845343)

Laptops with wifi are sooo 10 years ago. Ever hear of thing called a handheld wireless device (cellphone, pda, etc)? THEY are really catching on right now.

Re:Man, I wish I could have been in that meeting (3, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845839)

This is Verizon you're talking about here. They have this control thing- and moreover, if you're using a Cellphone/PDA, you're supposed to be using their more expensive EvDO service you know... :-D

Re:Man, I wish I could have been in that meeting (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845881)

you're supposed to be using their more expensive EvDO service you know... :-D

You mean the crippled "internet" service that you can't use for anything other than e-mail/web browsing and VPN?

Re:Man, I wish I could have been in that meeting (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 4 years ago | (#28846341)

Hey now, you can also peruse Verizon's walled garden of cherry picked non-free-as-in-beer content. that's cool too, right? Right?

Re:Man, I wish I could have been in that meeting (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#28847669)

That depends on whether you're using a PDA phone or not...but yeah...they want you using THAT instead of WiFi... :-D

Re:Man, I wish I could have been in that meeting (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845613)

I thought a "Marketing Douche" was what one used after lying to one's customers for the umpteenth time, to get rid of that "not-so-fresh" feeling.

Re:Man, I wish I could have been in that meeting (2, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845711)

If only I knew what WiFi was. Is it anything like SciFi? Does it come with my AMD K5 laptop, or do I need a separate device? Does it work anywhere, or only in certain locations like coffee shops?

Aside-

Other "free" things we privileged members of Verizon get include access to espn360.com and disneyconnection.com. Try to contain your excitement.

Sadly . . . (4, Insightful)

grahamsaa (1287732) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845003)

Neither this wireless service, nor FiOS, are available to users in many markets. Where I live we have a telephone company and cable company duopoly over broadband service. A little more competition would be nice. . .

Buy one for your friend, use the WiFi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28845283)

You could pay a small part of the fee for someone who lives in the area where it is available in exchange for him letting you use the WiFi.

Of course, not feasible for everyone. But I think it might work for some in case the WiFi is worth anything.

Re:Sadly . . . (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28845433)

Move, you sniveling fucktard.

(Posted using a Verizon EVDO card. Verizon, we bring the network to you.)

Re:Sadly . . . (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28846971)

Einstein? Is that you?
No sorry...it's only Captain Dickhead.

Re:Sadly . . . (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#28846769)

Same here. Only the telephone half of that duopoly is Verizon, and I still can't get FiOS. Hows abouts they work on 'making their product available' before they waste money on 'making the product popular'. If you can't buy it, you won't buy it, no matter how great the deal is.

Re:Sadly . . . (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#28846855)

I mean.... Verizon's customers don't have very much choice in the matter either. We can get our phones/internets/TV from the cable company, or from Verizon.

The bizarre difference is that, even though Verizon aren't exactly the cuddliest company around, they certainly know a thing or two about running a network. I received one of the first FiOS installations on the east coast, and the service has been absolutely fantastic since day-one.

(On the other hand, I have nothing nice to say about Verizon Wireless, which remains the single nastiest entity I've ever had to deal with, beating out lawyers, airport security, and the DMV for the honor)

Reverse engineering in 3, 2, 1... (4, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845007)

"To use a hotspot, the customer must install software that works only on computers with Windows Vista or XP installed. ..."

How long until THAT is reverse-engineered? (And/or will it run under WINE? Is it a control app or something that goes into the protocol stack?)

Re:Reverse engineering in 3, 2, 1... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845215)

Being pretty ignorant when it comes to things like this, I have to ask what is probably an ignorant question: it was intentional that they made it work only with vista or XP? I thought it was just that they were too lazy to add support for anything else.

Re:Reverse engineering in 3, 2, 1... (2, Informative)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845415)

Given the rich variety provided on this list of supported devices [boingo.com] from Boingo, I would have to say that it must have been intentional douchebaggery on Verizon's part. (i.e. if no one uses the 'free' access, then Verizon doesn't have to pay for it)

Re:Reverse engineering in 3, 2, 1... (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845999)

I have to ask what is probably an ignorant question: it was intentional that they made it work only with vista or XP? I thought it was just that they were too lazy to add support for anything else.

It pretty much has to be intentional. There's no shortage of off-the-shelf wifi access points that implement standard Internet protocols, and work with anything. You can walk into any Radio Shack or Best Buy outlet and walk out with one. If this isn't true for their access points, they had to have bypassed all the existing access points, and implemented new protocols that specifically require a Microsoft OS underneath. This is harder than just using standard off-the-shelf libraries, so it must have taken them some effort to implement it.

Re:Reverse engineering in 3, 2, 1... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28846035)

I assume it is their auth protocol which is special. My university's encrypted wireless network only works on Windows and Mac (they have an unencrypted one, too, so it's not really an issue). I sent an e-mail to the IT help desk complaining and got a reply that the person responding to my e-mail was also a Linux user annoyed at the setup.

Re:Reverse engineering in 3, 2, 1... (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845353)

I'm of two minds about this.. Sure, it will probably be reverse engineered in a matter of weeks so no big deal. On the other hand, why should it be up to the community to do this? I think it's better overall that not a single iPhone, Mac, Linux or other device works on their network. That way they will ship a proper client and support it. If it's reverse engineered they can easily say, "We don't support that," and still get the benefit of subscriptions.

Re:Reverse engineering in 3, 2, 1... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 4 years ago | (#28846213)

I was with you until I discovered that I would have to go to a McDonald's or a Starbucks in order to get service in my area. I don't see that happening so I guess I just don't care now. And yes, I'm a Verizon DSL customer.

Troll? (-1, Troll)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845041)

Yet another anti-windows troll, brought to you by Slashdot.

On the other hand, it's a direct quote from the Associated Press via Boston. Verizon, I expect a Mac client at the very least or I'm switching phone providers.

On the other hand, I'm looking at buying an ARM netbook whenever they seriously surface, so really, Linux sometime in the next year please.

Re:Troll? (4, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845213)

It's not an anti-Windows troll...

If you use MacOS or Linux, it truly IS worthless. Moreover, it axes many useful usages, like a Nokia N770/N8X0/N9XXX mobile device, which uses Linux as it's main OS; and we won't get into the other WinCE devices which would have used it as well.

It's a short-sighted thing they've done here. Seriously.

Re:Troll? (3, Informative)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 4 years ago | (#28846221)

http://www.boingo.com/download-boingo.php [boingo.com] Assuming this is Boingo network, I don't see how Boingo software can't be used within Boingo network. Currently Boingo supports from Windows XP, Mac OS X, Nokia N series, WindowCE, Blackberry, Android and iPhone/iPod Touch. Most likely Verizon partnership with Boingo is to include the Verizon netbook promo users for branding. I mean, even the most stupidest marketing idiots should be able to see the idiocy in supporting only Windows XP/Vista. I really really really don't want to lose my faith in humanity because of this...

So, in other words (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845075)

it is completely useless.

Re:So, in other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28845139)

Not to folks who use Windows XP or Vista on their laptop. Yay for me!

Re:So, in other words (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845217)

Heh... But what if you're not using a laptop, hm? There's quite a few devices that would have used this nicely enough, including WinCE devices that just won't be doing anything of the sort now.

It's quite a bit less useful than they could have made it, regardless of how useful it might have been to you...

Re:So, in other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28845405)

The term was completely useless. It's not useless to everybody. Hence, not completely useless.

That it's less useful to some? I honestly don't care, there's a thousand things being advertised touting features I can't use, so what's one more to somebody else?

When I bought an OLPC laptop, it came with a free T-mobile account. I used it like once, when I was staying at a hotel. Good deal? Not really, but not completely useless either.

Included software count over/under (3, Insightful)

mustangsal (597422) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845097)

Starting at TWO. You have to figure on at least a homepage change and a Yahoo toolbar.

TCP stack crash included at no extra charge (3, Insightful)

mustangsal (597422) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845115)

So now I'll have the Verizon Access Manager, the Boingo tool, several VPN clients... How long until it all crashes... How stable can it be if it only runs on...

Re:TCP stack crash included at no extra charge (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845797)

If the announced service, and the associated software, is anything like the homicidal obstacle course they have for what passes as Customer Service, then expect it to be the use-it-until-you-have-to-deal-with-a-human disposable technology that most mass-produced electronics have become.

It's great until it breaks, at which point it is tossed and replaced with the newest iteration of the same technology. Exactly as planned. Only thing different this time around is that they have integrated the strategy into SERVICE as well as physical products.

Far worse when your locked in by a Machiavellian contract that renews when you ask for a copy of your bill.

This is fucking BULLSHIT, and it has mshaft (1, Insightful)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845127)

ALL OVER, or it has dumb-ass STUPID verizon marketing, legal, and ms/verizon/stupid-lazy-programmers/marketing-kickback dollars ALL OVER IT.

Why can't these fuckwads operate within normal, existing, working, trusted, proven, os-agnostic protocols. These kinds of people deserve to be keelhauled, razor-wire-whipped, then possibly drawn and quartered. I wonder how many Apple and Linux customers of verizon would be compelled to buy a PC. This damned shit sounds like a trial balloon to lube and lure people into buying into windoze 7.

Let's all barrage the various congress/senate/state public utilities authorities, even if we are not verizon customers. THIS SHIT SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO STAND.

(Looking for a new gasket since the current one just blew...)

Re:This is fucking BULLSHIT, and it has mshaft (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28845183)

ALL OVER, or it has dumb-ass STUPID verizon marketing, legal, and ms/verizon/stupid-lazy-programmers/marketing..........

Show me, on this doll, where Verizon touched you.

Re:This is fucking BULLSHIT, and it has mshaft (4, Funny)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#28847537)

ALL OVER

Re:This is fucking BULLSHIT, and it has mshaft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28845265)

I don't get what the problem is?

--AC is then hauled off, his ass kicked, and a 17" Thinkpad is then shoved up his ass - the long way.

Re:This is fucking BULLSHIT, and it has mshaft (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845269)

Heh... You'll get better results without the language... ;-)

Re:This is IDIOCY has mshaft earmarks (0, Flamebait)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845883)

ALL OVER, or it has myopic/corrupted/ignorant/insensitive STUPID verizon marketing, legal, and ms/verizon/stupid-lazy-programmers/marketing-kickback dollars ALL OVER IT.

Why can't these geniouses operate within normal, existing, working, trusted, proven, os-agnostic protocols. These kinds of people deserve to be keelhauled, razor-wire-whipped, then possibly drawn and quartered. I wonder how many Apple and Linux customers of verizon would be compelled to buy a PC. This damned shit sounds like a trial balloon to lube and lure people into buying into windoze 7.

Let's all barrage the various congress/senate/state public utilities authorities, even if we are not verizon customers. THIS MEGALOMANIA/MYOPIA/VENDOR-FAVORING SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO STAND.

(Looking for a new gasket since the current one just blew...)

[[[ Is that a little better NAIOOWWWW??? CAN YOU HEAR ME NAOOOWWW??? ]]]

Re:This is fucking BULLSHIT, and it has mshaft (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845369)

I think you may need a vacation.

Re:This is fucking BULLSHIT, and it has mshaft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28845391)

I wonder how many Apple and Linux customers of verizon would be compelled to buy a PC.

Not this one. However, I will be compelled to demand a reduction in my monthly bill, for being unable to use a bundled service, and, if no reduction is forthcoming, to start a class-action lawsuit.

Re:This is fucking BULL (1)

daryl_and_daryl (1005065) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845663)

I have (and love) FIOS - and run a Mac - but for this i could go for dual boot - I have a enterprise copy of XP - since it would be mostly for surfing and gmail - it should work ok - iphone gives me ATT, so i would be covered fairly well

Re:This is fucking BULLSHIT, and it has mshaft (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#28846479)

Why can't you make a post with your point that doesn't use mis-spellings of words that were tired and warn out 10 years ago?

It was cool and funny when I was fifteen. It was old but didn't bother me at 20. 10 years later and now it just makes you look like a 15 year old.

You can't really call it 'stupid lazy programmers' when they had to write more code to do it this way than had they used existing protocols since the OSes would already have the required code.

Also, since they have an Apple client, and one for several mobile phones, before you start ranting, you should do a slight amount of research rather than assuming ANYTHING posted by kdawson has even the tiniest amount of truth to it. I'm pretty sure the only thing right in the summary is the spelling of Verizons name.

Qwest (2, Interesting)

Phroggy (441) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845237)

Qwest DSL customers have free access to AT&T wifi hotspots, including at Starbucks and McDonald's. This is for anyone using Qwest's DSL connections, regardless of their choice of ISP.

Re:Qwest (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#28846121)

Qwest DSL customers have free access to AT&T wifi hotspots, including at Starbucks and McDonald's. This is for anyone using Qwest's DSL connections, regardless of their choice of ISP.

Really? Currently I use cable my ISP gets through ComCast but they offer DSL through Qwest as well. Though I don't spend as much tyme there as I used to I could spend more tyme at Barnes and Noble which has ATT hotspots.

Falcon

Re:Qwest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28847219)

Will it work on Opera Mini? Socket with wifi checked?

Windows only? Boingo Has an OS X Client (4, Interesting)

weston (16146) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845241)

This is odd, because Boingo has an OS X client for accessing their service. If Verizon is using them as the provider, why would it be locked out?

Re:Windows only? Boingo Has an OS X Client (1)

kingrooster (966028) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845483)

They also have an app for almost every smart phone platform available.

http://mobile.boingo.com/download/ [boingo.com]

Re:Windows only? Boingo Has an OS X Client (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28846697)

Yeah, too bad you have to install some spyware shit just to use standard wifi.

Re:Windows only? Boingo Has an OS X Client (2, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845507)

Because it's Verizon? The only nice thing I can think of to say about Verizon is they aren't AT&T. I wonder why we can't have a decent wireless provider in the US. Must they all suck. Except for AT&T who swallow.

Re:Windows only? Boingo Has an OS X Client (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#28846177)

Funny, I've got an ATT wireless adapter that works just fine with Ubuntu. What are you doing wrong?

Re:Windows only? Boingo Has an OS X Client (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28846759)

I thought swallowing was a good thing

Re:Windows only? Boingo Has an OS X Client (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#28846171)

Backroom deals with Microsoft.

Posting from a Mac with my secondary display packed with terminal sessions into about a dozen Linux machines.

Uh guys? about that iphone/ipod thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28845247)

http://www.tuaw.com/2008/12/08/boingo-mobile-comes-to-the-iphone-ipod-touch/

No FIOS here, but... (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845263)

...if I downgrade my broadband speed by a factor of 5-10 from cable, and downgrade my OS to one of their supported honeypots, there'll be some areas where I can get free WiFi. Yay.

Re:No FIOS here, but... (2, Insightful)

virtual_mps (62997) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845773)

...if I downgrade my broadband speed by a factor of 5-10 from cable

You have a 300Mbps cable connection? What market is that in?

Re:No FIOS here, but... (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | more than 4 years ago | (#28847289)

You have a 30Mbps DSL connection? What market is that in?

In the ten years since I first got DSL, I think Verizon may have improved their physical plant enough to offer me 1.5Mbps down (instead of the 768Kbps down I had at the time, with 16Kbps CIR). RoadRunner came in at 3Mbps, I believe, and they're up to 12Mbps burst and 7Mbps sustained now.

Oh, and verizon may be planning to roll out FIOS somewhere in my state sometime in the next few years, but if they are, they aren't telling anyone.

Re:No FIOS here, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28847301)

Haven't you heard of the new technology? My router can go 380mbps!!!!!!

Re:No FIOS here, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28846771)

Actually, unless you pay a ton, you'd get substantially better connectivity. I pay $100/month for a premium TV package plus 20Mbit down, 5Mbit up FIOS. They're not kidding either -- when downloading a 7GB file from Steam I averaged 22MB (not Mb, MB) per second.

Not even on linux?? (1)

Tippu (1362267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845301)

So you cant access with Linux too. ( Im new to linux and I love it, and i dont know if there is way). It sucks man!!

Re:Not even on linux?? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845527)

Well there's virtualization or Wine maybe.

Re:Not even on linux?? (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845727)

Worst case scenario, like my sibling post said, you can virtualize. Just use a usb wi-fi dongle and attach it to the virtual machine. There's probably some way to share the connection out to the host OS. Unfortunately, I don't know what that is.

verizon fail (1)

antiquitas (1489845) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845511)

i despise any company that installs its own thing that infects itself into pre-existing programs, like Comcast into Internet Explorer. one more reason to go Firefox. and Linux for that matter.

Re:verizon fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28846497)

Open-source, the solution to everything to mindless corporate-hating numbskulls - who don't even know why they say what they do. Good job.

No software needed for AT&T customers (2, Informative)

linuxguy (98493) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845559)

AT&T does the same for their broadband customers. Free wifi at McDonald's, Starbucks and many other places. The biggest difference is that you do not need any specially dumb software to connect.

Verizon on the other hand require particularly dumb software that works only on limited set of OSes and according to this: http://forums.verizon.com/t5/Verizon-at-Home-Blog/Verizon-Brings-Free-Wi-Fi-to-Millions-of-Broadband-Customers/ba-p/59727;jsessionid=51BB9F7245B9EA45C39F3F2F9A5DB41D#A76 [verizon.com]

sits in the background and continuously scans for a Verizon wifi hotspot. Who comes up with these brain-dead ideas to slow down customers' computers?

BTW, I am a Verizon FIOS customer and I tried to place a comment on their blog entry, linked above. I could not do that, even after I logged in using my Verizon credentials. They kept asking me to login. But I am already logged in, you dumbasses. Sometimes I wonder how is it that Verizon can stay in business. These people are utterly clueless. And dont get me started on their "customer portal". A bunch of monkey can put together a better user interface than that. I sometimes have to use it to pay bills/update credit card on file etc. And I cringe at the thought of ever having to use it.

Mac OS X works... (1)

ghostis (165022) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845597)

TFA: "It's available for Mac OS X and Windows."

Re:Mac OS X works... (1)

Matthew M. McClinch (1606791) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845923)

Verizon web site: "*Verizon Wi-Fi is available with select FiOS Internet packages and in designated locations only. The service requires Windows Vista or Windows XP 32-bit with Service Pack 3. Verizon Wi-Fi is not available on Macintosh, Windows XP 64-bit, or Windows 7 operating systems."

Re:Mac OS X works... (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#28846183)

is not available on Macintosh, Windows XP 64-bit, or Windows 7 operating systems.

Until it magically works with Windows 7 after it's publicly available.

Level heads (1, Insightful)

intx13 (808988) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845625)

Level heads, people, level heads. This is a report from the AP; neither Verizon nor Boingo have commented on the mechanics of the service.

Verizon has little incentive to refuse access to portable devices or Macs or anybody else for that matter. They're probably not into Windows evangelism nor do they really benefit from offering a "free" service that nobody can use (roll out costs will trump usage costs for the near term and if the service isn't used it won't attract more customers anyway). Finally, Verizon is a major phone company and knows as well as anyone that mobility is the present and future. They're not going to ignore that segment.

Similarly, Boingo, whose whole business is providing easy-to-use wireless access, would suffer from word-of-mouth. Furthermore, as other posters have commented, Boingo already has applications for many platforms, including most smart phones.

Therefore I find it hard to believe that Verizon, with Boingo's consent as business partner is allowing only Windows XP and Vista to access their new hotspots. I'll wait until Verizon and/or Boingo make an official announcement before getting the ol' pitchfork out the closet.

Re:Level heads (3, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845807)

Oh, no... This is truly a Verizon gem.

Here's the Link [verizon.com]
And here's the VerizonWiFi link for the service... :-)

Verizon Wi-Fi is not available for PDAs, phones, desktop PCs or Macs.

The software's only available for Windows and only intended for "laptops" right at the moment- they're not using Boingo's usual software, it's something special for Verizon.

Re:Level heads (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845815)

Arrgh... Boggled the link to the service webpage...

Here it is, in unbroken form [verizon.com]

Re:Level heads (1)

intx13 (808988) | more than 4 years ago | (#28846009)

I stand corrected!

Verizon Wi-Fi is not available for PDAs, phones, desktop PCs or Macs.

Not available for desktop PCs? What exactly is the difference between a laptop and a desktop running Windows, except for form factor?

This is an incredibly stupid decision for Verizon to make, and for Boingo to go along with. Bad business sense.

Re:Level heads (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#28846193)

Boingo isn't a knight in shining armor here, but they support Macs for their own stuff. It really is a case of complete idiocy on Verizon's part, likely couple with a healthy infusion of partnership dollars from Microsoft.

Re:Level heads (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#28847095)

What exactly is the difference between a laptop and a desktop running Windows, except for form factor?

Well, the presence of a Wi-Fi interface for one.

Re:Level heads (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 4 years ago | (#28847281)

What exactly is the difference between a laptop and a desktop running Windows, except for form factor? Well, the presence of a Wi-Fi interface for one.

Yeah, because nobody makes PCI wireless cards...

Not supporting any operating systems besides Windows makes them evil. Claiming to not support "desktop PC's" just makes them retarded.

Re:Level heads (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#28847689)

Or USB dongle Wireless devices, for that matter.

What they're wanting people to not do is cheat a bit and have one DSL/FiOS connection and then have somebody elsewhere (Other family members) DX an AP with a Cantenna or other high-gain directional on a home machine or router. Not that this will stop people from futzing with the setup anyhow...

Correct approach (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845637)

Obviously this is a stupid way to do it (sounds like they may just have an authenticated vpn run on the client), but what is the best way to implement this without opening up your clients to MITM attacks (both from fake hotspots and malicious hotspot owners)?

A secured web gateway/proxy, seams like a solution that would work anywhere and would be pretty simple stuff for an ISP to setup. (explain https at the login page to prevent fake hotspots)
enterprise WPA2 solutions may be even better (less overhead) and seams to work for eduroam (which worked a lot more of the time than my uni's cisco vpn solution)

well, this is useless (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845757)

We are FIOS customers. Mobile devices have gotten good enough that we prefer to leave the laptops at home in favor of a pair of wifi-enabled smartphones and an iPod Touch. This "service" is therefore useless to us.

It occurs to me that there is, therefore, still a market for hotspots at mom-n-pop establishments, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. As long as the big monolithic companies keep shooting themselves in the foot like this, we'll continue to have choices, even though coverage may be somewhat spotty.

Re:well, this is useless (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#28847299)

Yeah, I spent last week fighting spotty WiFi at a conference in a hotel with no wired Internet. I really have to wonder how much longer anybody will tolerate reconfiguring their network access every time they move over by 50 yards. I'm tempted to speculate the days of WiFi are numbered, although I use it and like it at home.

You must have FAST FIOS to get this (1)

daryl_and_daryl (1005065) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845845)

From 'FIOS Central'

Who qualifies for free Verizon Wi-Fi?
Both new and current Verizon FiOS Internet users who subscribe to a plan with download speeds up to 20 Mbps or higher qualify for free Verizon Wi-Fi service.

Basic FIOS plan is 15 / 5 for $ 44.99

Upgrade plan w/ wifi is 25 / 15 for $ 64.99

I hate to admit it - but i can only suck so much down the light pipe - so it would be a $ 20.00 a month to get the 'free' wi-fi access

Not today

Re:You must have FAST FIOS to get this (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#28845907)

Heh... That's if you're not already getting it. I'm already spending the cash (and a bit more than that...) for my FiOS service, so it's annoying to say the least that I can't take them up on the silly thing- all because they're Windows happy (and they are that...) over there at Verizon.

Point taken. (1)

daryl_and_daryl (1005065) | more than 4 years ago | (#28846461)

this reply was created with OS X

Sucks for FiOS customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28845941)

Boy this makes me sure glad I have ATT U-verse. Mine currently caps out at 18/2, but sometime in the next few months they are increasing that to 36/4, not that I will pay for that plan, considering I only have 6/1 right now, which is good enough

I use the free, non-restricted, no-stupid-software-installing WiFi at McD's and Starbucks all the time, on my Linux laptop...

Sucks to be a FiOS customer. Not only are they 5 YEARS behind ATT on this, but theirs sucks goat balls to boot!

Re:Sucks for FiOS customers (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#28847727)

Only on the WiFi access plan deal. For everything else, it's a push. If I wanted, I could get 50/20 service from FiOS, but I think the ~$100/mo over what I'm paying for the 20/20 service I am currently getting isn't worth the extra speed lift for download.

Ex-boingo customer here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28846015)

I signed up for boingo hotspot access for airport use for about a month (a few months back). The only thing the Windows client gave (as far as I remember) was automatic sign-on. I had no problem using it at the airports (I could never get it to work at the Starbucks I tried) with my linux laptop - it just requires a manual login through the redirect page.

It would be very strange (especially from Boingo's perspective since it reflects negatively on them) that this Verizon deal somehow magically managed to actively filter out Verizon customers on non-windows machines. And as mentioned elsewhere, I believe Boingo also has a Mac OSX client.

PS - I don't trust any of those clients. I prefer to connect without requiring some unknown 3rd party software from a company I rarely hear about (positive or negative).

MobileBroadBand? (1)

ruckerz2k (653900) | more than 4 years ago | (#28846047)

Screw this, I'd like access to their Mobile BroadBand service. Maybe not as fast, but definitely better coverage.

BTW, QWest has a similar deal with AT&T. As a QWest DSL subscriber I have access to all of at&t's hotspots.

This won't sound popular but... (1)

fortyonejb (1116789) | more than 4 years ago | (#28846287)

Remember, Verizon Proper and Verizon Wireless are somewhat separate entities. It could be that Verizon Wireless threw a tantrum about mobile devices using the network, that means less money for their Mobile Broadband. Someone at Verizon somewhere is responsible for this "douchery". Its nothing to get surprised about, its pretty much business as normal at our lovely TelCo's.

fros7 pist (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28846487)

That's whyyyyyyy.....aye aye aye... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28846523)

I'm a PC. :) *ba-bum-kssssh*

Linux Guide: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28846623)

  1. Download a Virtual Machine tool such as VirtualBox.
  2. Install a Windows XP virtual machine, set it to two network cards, one bridged to the WiFi network adapter, the other to a Host-only network.
  3. Install the Verizon software inside the virtual machine.
  4. Bridge the WiFi network and the Host-only network inside the virtual machine, so the Verizon-authenticated virtual machine will act transparently as a router

Keep in mind this is all theory, but even on Windows when I see software that I DON'T want mucking around with stuff software has no business mucking around with (networking is a common one) I stuff it into a virtual machine so if it totally screws up the VM I just lose a VM and not the host. Most recently I did this with iTunes because I heard it was horridly slow but I had a gift card for it. It ended up eating my purchased songs and regurgitating them without tags and I had to contact support to get them back. When I was done with it I rolled back the VM and iTunes was no more!

Re:Linux Guide: (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#28847753)

It won't work.

It needs access to the WLAN drivers to do it's thing- and there's no virtualization of those (yet) to be able to do what you're talking to.

Boingo on Linux (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 4 years ago | (#28846877)

Boingo isn't exclusively a Windows offering. Here's a link to Boingo's announcement of a Linux client. [boingo.com]

I just got FiOS installed last week, and let me tell you, it's just the most incredible thing out there. Fiber to the home, plenty of bandwidth, and the best digital television picture I've ever seen. It makes AT&T's U-Verse product look like a pathetic joke by comparison. Free wireless on top of all of that ... well that's just more delicious icing on the cake.

Re:Boingo on Linux (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#28847743)

Yeah, but you'll have to use Windows to actually USE the Verizon offering. Boingo's providing it, but only on a rebranded deal that Verizon's providing the access software with.

On the rest, I'd have to concur. I was one of the early adopters and I've been tickled with it ever since I got it set up.

AT&T does this already (1)

LihTox (754597) | more than 4 years ago | (#28846893)

I have AT&T internet at home and I get free access to their WiFi spots, most significantly at Starbucks and McDonald's.

Apple dominates the $1000+ computer market (2, Insightful)

beej (82035) | more than 4 years ago | (#28846987)

Their users don't need no steenkin' free wifi! They're all waiting for Apple to roll out $100/month wifi with the rounded corners!

Frist S7op (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28847029)

am protesting You don't nned to

AT&T's Been Doing This (1)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 4 years ago | (#28847051)

I don't know all the details, but subscribers of just about any AT&T high-speed internet service (DSL) can enjoy free wi-fi access at a number of their hotspots.

This includes every Starbucks location -- which is basically every other block.

Maybe someone who has the service can comment on it's openness.

Re:AT&T's Been Doing This (1)

jheiss (10829) | more than 4 years ago | (#28847663)

Maybe someone who has the service can comment on it's openness.

It's quite trivial, you browse to the captive portal, click the link for alternate logins, plug in your AT&T DSL username and password and you're set. I've used this for several years, it's a nice little bonus for having DSL from the mothership. Still works now that I've switched to U-verse as well.

Panera Customers Get Free Wi-Fi Across US (2, Insightful)

formfeed (703859) | more than 4 years ago | (#28847067)

.. so do customers of many small coffee shops and library. - And they are open to everyone. And they are Linux compatible. And you don't get tracked.

I have had AT&T's free wifi for years, and haven't used it once: I rather work in a coffee shop than at McD. And I'd rather support a coffee shop or hotel that offers wifi to all of its customers, than one that participates in a subscription only net.

I also assume, that using your DSL provider's "free" WiFi will help to make open hotspots disappear and lead to an internet, where you can't log on without positive identification and account login.

Despite stupid scare tactics, there still is a a fair number of places, that see wifi sharing as a courtesy, and not as a threat to national security.

Just google for it. [tinyurl.com]

I already get free WiFi (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#28847117)

My neighbor's wireless is great!
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