Ready to Get Connected?

At some point in the next ten years, we’ll probably see free high-speed Wi-Fi Internet access available everywhere, like it is with electricity.

This is happening already at a diverse collection of locations including McDonalds, Starbucks, and many airports. But what if you’re travelling through an airport that doesn’t have free Wi-Fi?  And what happens when you get to your hotel? Because most mid- to high-end hotels only offer free Wi-Fi in the lobby areas–there’s a fee (usually a pretty hefty one!) to access the internet from the guest rooms.

Well,  as usual, we have a solution for you–two actually, one right here, and a second option in next month’s “Tools of the Trade” column!

Not Bingo...Boingo!

Everyone is familiar with the game of Bingo–the first one to get five in a row wins. Many of you have attended one of my live programs at a conference or convention, and have participated in the Bingo game we do at the end of the session. It’s a special game that’s “rigged”–even though the cards are all different. When I call a specific sequence of numbers, every person in the room wins when I call the final number: G-51.

In case you haven’t experienced it yourself, let me tell you, it’s hysterically funny to watch a few hundred people jump up and scream “Bingo!”–excited that they’ve actually won something for the first time in their lives.

But if you take the word “Bingo” and add an “O” you get access to Wi-Fi networks in hotels, airports, coffee shops and lounges at over 500,000 hot spots worldwide depending on the plan you choose.

And recognizing that most people use mobile devices like Smartphones and tablets, Boingo allows you to have two devices using the service simultaneously– and you can add more devices if you need them.

Boingo_#1

How Do I know When I Have Coverage?

It’s actually easier than you might think, because Boingo has an app you can download to your desktop, laptop, iPad, or Smartphone that runs in the background and alerts you when you’re within range of a valid network.

All you do then is give the “green light” for it to connect, and it selects the network for you and provides any necessary passwords.

This has proven an invaluable tool for us in several ways, especially when Lorie is travelling with me.

Boingo_#2

For example, if I find myself in a train station where there isn’t any public Wi-Fi (free or paid), I can frequently get access to a “private” network that’s in the Boingo family.

On other occasions, when I’m in a hotel, the daily charges for high-speed Internet can be as much as $20 per day...and the “high-speed” part is almost laughable. In many of these cases, the hotel itself is frequently on the Boingo network, and I can access the Wi-Fi connection for free as part of my subscription.

And when Lorie and I are travelling together, we can both access the network because Boingo allows us to have two devices connected simultaneously.

Access to the Essentials

It’s possible to go without food for weeks and not do any long-term damage to your body. Water, on the other hand, is a very different story–3 to 5 days tops, and then you start experiencing the very real and very serious symptoms of dehydration.

In our world, fortunately or unfortunately, connectivity is like water. People who are “off the grid” for even the length of a plane ride show signs of withdrawal. The good news is that Boingo makes it easy to stay connected when you’re on the road, and at just $9.95 per month, it’s a good deal.