Some hotels offer free wireless internet access, the most important amenity for hotel guests. Even if a hotel isn't one of the top free Wi-Fi hotels, however, your hotel will most likely offer wireless access for a daily fee. Here's how to connect to a wireless network in a hotel, and make the best use of it.
The setup is pretty straightforward and follows the basics of creating a wi-fi connection in general, but there are a few special considerations and things to do before you get started working out of a hotel:
Make sure your system is up to date and use a VPN to secure your information. Most hotel wireless networks aren't password-protected or encrypted with strong WPA2. Open wireless networks or ones that use the WEP older protocol are not safe, making any information you transfer over the network prone to hacking. So, first, make sure you have a firewall installed, the latest system updates, and the latest antivirus updates. Then, secure your browsing session by using VPN or a remote access solution.
Make sure your wireless adapter is on. Naturally you'll need for your laptop or mobile device to be able to use Wi-Fi. If you don't have one built in, you can purchase a USB wireless adapter or a PC card for your laptop instead.
Now, your first step is to find the available wireless networks:
- Find the wireless network icon on your computer. On Windows laptops, the icon is in the bottom right on the taskbar by the date and may look like 1 or 2 monitors or a set of bars. On Macs, look to the top right of your screen and find the wireless symbol (which looks like a striped handheld fan).
- Click on the wireless icon to see the list of available networks. (On Windows XP, right-click it to "View Available Wireless Networks" and on Vista, click it and select "Connect or disconnect...").