AirPort is your “Gateway to a Wireless World,” according to an
Apple Hot News article. With an AirPort card, you can “e-mail your boss, get weather reports, book a new flight, forward your presentation, change your hotel reservation, find out who won the game, trade stocks, check the news, see your kid on the Web cam — from your boarding gate, hotel lobby or favorite coffee hangout,” the story says.
The emerging world of wireless Internet access is possible due to specialized Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Instead of providing individual service to homes and businesses, they partner with hotels, airports and restaurants to offer high-speed wireless access in public locations using a standard called Wi-Fi, or IEEE 802.11b. Because Apple AirPort technology is based on the same standard, you can take advantage of these wireless services today, Apple says. However, since public wireless access is new territory, provider choices are limited.
“Which you choose depends on the places you frequent,” Apple says. “For example, if you’re a business traveler, Wayport might be best because they cover more hotels and airports than anyone. If you’re a Starbucks fan living in Seattle, San Francisco, New York or Texas, then MobileStar Network is the one for you. If you’re a starving student living in the San Francisco Bay Area, go with AirWave Wireless or Surf and Sip Network because, hey, they’re free.”
To find wireless access locations, check out Apple’s Hot News article, which contains Web sites for the aforementioned ISPs and more. The story also tells about writer Diane Cohn’s own experiences with specialized ISPs and AirPort.