Q: Our community apartments experienced an extender failure recently and we are without internet service for the time being. While the property gets this fixed, is there any way I can use a temporary Wi-Fi service that won’t require a long-term sign-up or commitment?
— Nelson L., Stuart
A: Short-term Wi-Fi can be obtained in a number of ways these days.
The easiest means, of course, is to head to a location that offers it for free — such as a coffee shop, library and the like — and connect your devices there.
Another option is to locate a free Wi-Fi hotspot within your community. These are often set up by majority service providers so their subscribers can connect to the web without needing to be home or at the office.
These usually are found in popular meeting areas such as city parks, stadiums and government buildings, to name a few. To see if your region contains any, or to locate free public hotspots in your vicinity, inquire with your current internet provider.
If they are available, then simply go to the location of your choosing and connect your devices there (please note: you may need to sign in with your service provider login for full access).
If these hotspots aren’t available to you, then your next best alternative would be to use your cellphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Most smartphones these days can produce their own Wi-Fi signal — created through their provider — and once set up one can simply connect to that signal to access the web.
This capability can typically be rented on a month-to-month basis through the provider, though costs vary by provider and depend on the amount of data used. Call your cell phone provider for more information.
If your smartphone is not able to produce a Wi-Fi signal, then you can purchase an independent mobile Wi-Fi hotspot device either through your cell phone provider or a third-party company to perform this task for you.
These typically are small boxes, similar in size to a router, that connect to a provider and emit Wi-Fi through what you can connect your devices to. In these cases, you purchase the hotspot independently (typically around $50) and then pay a monthly fee to the signal provider based on the amount of data used. Call your cell phone provider or a local electronics store for more information.
A final option is to purchase a Wi-Fi USB dongle, which is similar to a mobile hotspot device, except that it’s smaller in size and snaps into your computer’s USB drive to power up. These tend to produce weaker signals than mobile hotspot devices.
They better serve one machine than multiple devices but it’s still a potential solution if the other options mentioned do not work out. As with the mobile hotspot device, these items are purchased independently and then you pay a monthly fee for service based on the amount of data used. For more information on this type of device, contact a local electronics store.
Untangling the web
Fans of Hollywood lore, both past and present, will find much to admire at this fun Facebook page — facebook.com/WeirdHollywood. Created by graphic designer Joe Oesterle, the page shares an array of content showcasing the glamor, glitz and behind-the-scenes life in Tinseltown, both on set and off.
Sample posts include a shot of William Shatner and Chris Pine — the two Captain Kirks — arm-wrestling, a warm tribute to recently deceased actor Hal Holbrook and a profile of the legendary A-list bar The Dresden, which recently underwent renovation due to fire.
New content gets posted daily and often includes a lot of “social” interaction from the page’s 90-thousand plus followers.
Contact Eyal Goldshmid at [email protected]