Today's tip is just a heads-up. People are surprised to find out that many McDonalds are now Wireless HotSpots, providing high-speed Internet access while you are enjoying your fast food fix. However, what those people don't know is that most of the McDonalds require you to PAY for that high-speed access. In fact, they provide Wayport service, so you need to become a Wayport member or, more easily, buy a prepaid Wayport card, just in case. It might be worth the money if you happen to be at a hotel, McDonalds, Hertz, airport or other retailer that uses Wayport wi-fi service.
Here are the prepaid card options and prices: http://www.wayport.net/prepaid.aspx .
Here are the Wayport locations, and there are many. In my state (Michigan), McDonalds is the biggest user of Wayport access, although more airports and hotels have jumped on board in other states. A $25 card buys you 3 connections of up to 2 hours at a time, or from purchase time until the next check-in at a hotel and until midnight in airports. A $50 card buys 8 high-speed connections, and a savings of over $2.00 per connection (versus the $50 card), and for those who really want to pay in advance, a $100 card buys 20 connections at $5.00 per connection.
Now, I am not promoting Wayport access. I am merely making you aware that it exists at various locations, and for those who were excited to find out that McDonalds, many hotels, Hertz, hotels, airports, etc. were providing "free" Internet access...this is really not true. Especially at McDonalds. While this may be one of the fastest methods of high-speed Internet, unless you are a Wayport member (Annual Membership=$29.95 per month, with a one-year agreement or Month-to-Month Membership= $49.95 per month. Your credit card will be charged each month until you suspend your account), your best bet is to buy one of the prepaid cards. For some people, a Wayport membership might be the best overall deal. It all depends on how often you need high-speed wireless access, whether you have any convenient, free high-speed locations in your town, and, more importantly, how much time you spend at McDonalds.