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.

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  • Manty

    Hi Sebastien

    I’m trying to understand how could PDANet do such a thing and how are you sure it’s possible.
    There are 4 ways connecting the iPhone to the outside, WiFi, EDGE/3G, Bluetooth and USB. The third one is currently unusable both inside or outside the SDK.
    The WiFi would be connected to “attwifi”, this let us with EDGE/3G and USB to connect to laptop in order to “route” the connection. USB unless you hack MobileLibrary.framework seems very far to be the solution. And EDGE/3G don’t worth trying.

    This is although a very interesting matter and I would like as much as you to hear a possible solution.

  • pip

    sebastien does jailbreaking and unlocking the iphone affect in any way the ability of the phone to connect to the attwifi or compromise the phones ability to the wifi hotspot???

    • @pip I’m pretty certain it doesn’t affect anything