So it’s finally official: you can get free wifi at AT&T HotSpots, all over the US. Starbucks lovers rejoice. Now you have one more reason to spend hours in your favorite coffee shop (side note: I hate Starbucks). But if you thought you could just walk in and get on the wifi right away, well, think again.

In order to enjoy free wifi from AT&T, you will have to authenticate your connection. What does that mean? To understand better, let’s have a look at what AT&T says about how to get started:

  • Activate Wi-Fi from the settings icon on your iPhone
  • Select “attwifi” from the list of available networks
  • Enter your 10-digit mobile number and check the box to agree to the Acceptable Use Policy. Tap ‘continue’
  • You will receive a text message from AT&T with a secure link to the AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot. You will not be charged for the text message.
  • The SMS link will only be valid for 24 hours at the location it was requested. Another request must be submitted when using another hotspot location.
  • Open the text message and tap on the link for 24-hour access to the AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot

Basically, you have to “ask” to use their wifi and wait for a confirmation.

Now my question is: do you think there’s a way to “hack” this and enjoy free wifi on your laptop? Maybe PDAnet will work on such a feature. Think about it: you access free wifi on your iPhone, you connect your iPhone to your laptop and BAM, you get free wifi on your laptop, using your iPhone as a modem.

I’m sure there has to be a way. If you’re aware of any hack, let us know in the comments.