Get Free AT&T Wi-Fi on Your Mac
Let's say you're out and about with your laptop and iPhone, and you see an AT&T Wi-Fi hot spot. You appreciate having the free wi-fi access to your phone, but wish that there was some way you could get it on your computer. Well wish no more.
The system established to lock iPhones into a particular router is fairly rudimentary. It only uses a MAC address to ensure that the iPhone is the only unit able to use the access point. This means it's a simple matter of changing your computer's MAC address. Some basic computing ability is required here -- i.e., I wouldn't give these directions to my mother.
First, record the current MAC address of your iPhone. Do find your phone's MAC address, go to (from the Home screen) Settings > General > About. Scroll down, and you'll see "Wi-Fi Address" followed by a series of numbers and letters separated by colons. Write this number down in a text editor (or on paper, if you're old school).
Next open Terminal on your Mac and when it loads, type in:
ifconfig en1 | grep ether
And hit 'enter.' The returned information (minus the word "ether") is your computer's MAC address. Write it down so you don't have to reboot your computer to reset your MAC address after you've changed it.
With the terminal window still open, type in:
sudo ifconfig en1 ether 01:23:45:67:89:0a
Where "01:23:45:67:89:0a" is the MAC address from your iPhone (remember, you wrote it down a second ago?), and press 'enter.' Your MAC address on your computer is now the same as the one on your iPhone.
Now, sitting within the AT&T wireless hot spot, and with your iPhone's Wi-Fi turned on (Settings > Wi-Fi), attempt to navigate to any web page on your iPhone's browser. The hot spot will stop you and make you put in the phone number of your phone. After that, it will send you a link via text messaging that you click on. After you click this link, go back to your settings and turn off your Wi-Fi.
Open up the browser on your Mac and try to load a page. It should work just fine!
One caveat to this procedure: AT&T Wi-Fi hot spots are notorious for their short timeout times. If you are on a page for too long, you may be required to re-register with the hot spot. If this is the case, just follow directions 4 and 5 to get back on and rolling again. Also, I imagine PC users can do this same trick, though I don't know how to change the MAC address on a PC. At any rate, happy surfing! Oh, and if you want to reset the MAC address on your computer, simply restart the machine, and the OS will automagically make things right again.
Tags: free, wi fi, at&t, starbucks, mac, mac address
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