Mac Wireless internet at Airports?

I have this nice cool PB G4 with Airport xtreme. I have an Hinet ADSL connection here in Taipei. Now, next month I am going to Hong Kong then LA and other places, how can I connect to the internet from these international airports? do I need to buy a card at each Airport or something like that? Anyone has experience with that?

I have a PowerBook G4 too. I’ve used it in Wi-Fi hotspots around the globe, including North America, Singapore and Europe. Your AirPort Extreme card works seamlessly with all standard 802.11b and 802.11g networks … which is all you’ll ever run into at public hotspots.

Normally, you will see the networks available to you under the AirPort icon at the top of the screen at the menubar (make sure your preferences are set to show the AirPort icon on the menubar at all times).

Select one of the networks. Then type any address into your Web browser. The network will automatically restrict you to their home page until you’ve authenticated as a member (until you’ve signed in). If you have an account, sign in. The network’s proxy server will then give you full access to the Internet. If you are not a member, you’ll most likely be given the option to use your credit card to create an account with a certain amount of minutes. Sometimes, depending on the location, the establishment will provide a “card” for purchase at the “counter” with a temporary username and password. In other instances, the Wi-Fi hostspot is open and free. In that case, after you select the network, you’ve already connected. In one other funky situation, if you have a tri-band phone, often the network you are roaming with will send you an SMS welcoming you to the country and providing you with an otpion to call a number to get a username and password to use Wi-Fi hotspots at certain locations (like bookstores, fast food restaurants and coffee shops). In that case, you wouldn’t need to use a credit card. The cell phone company would charge your home telecom company and you’d see it on your home cell phone company bill. Kind of convenient, but could be a bit pricey. I’ve seen this in Singapore.

I have an iBook and my experiences have been good as well. Airports in Dallas, LA and Hong Kong were all no problem whatsoever. It’s a Mac – it just works!

OK Pinesay, your explanation is very complete, however I forgot to mention that you are answering to a complete idiot when it comes to computers. so, bare with me please.
When you say “Select one of the networks.” How do you do that?
How do I “Sign In” to anyting if I am in LA?
This is what I understand, I open my PB at the airport, I click on “Turn AirPort ON” and I should be ONLINE, right?
Please Help!! I am looking at HOURS in different airports this month, and I’d rather be online, really!!!

Perhaps I tried to explain too much. With Macs explaining things too much defeats the purpose of a Mac.

If AirPort is turned on, your Mac automatically detects all available networks. You can see all available networks by clicking on the AirPort icon in the menubar. If the AirPort icon does not appear in the menubar, you can make it appear as an option from the “Internet Connect” application in your “Applications” folder. (Note: I am using Mac OS 10.3 Panther.) The AirPort icon looks like curved lines representing transmission waves.

When you get to LA and are sitting in the airport or coffee shop or whatever, of course you won’t have an account to sign into. Once you select a particular network and use your Web browser for the first time, you will be restricted to only the “sign-in” page of the network until you sign-in. Oh, but you don’t have and account yet! So, they will have another option on the sign-in page that lets you create an account. After you create an account, then you’ll be able to sign in. IT IS NO DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER WEB SITE ON THE INTERNET. YOU EITHER SIGN IN OR CREATE AN ACCOUNT TO SIGN IN. The catch is that you’ll have to pay for the account with your credit card.

If you choose the method of buying a card with a scratch-off username and passord at some kiosk or counter, then you can just sign in directly with that information at the sign-in page.

This isn’t rocket science. It is so easy, and I just over-explained it again. Here is a more simple presentation:

STEP 1: Turn on AirPort if it is not already turned on.
STEP 2: Select a network from the list of available networks.
STEP 3: Type “” into your Web browser.
STEP 4: You will be forced to a sign-in page of the wireless network. Enter your username and password.
STEP 5: Oh, you don’t have a username and password yet! OK, then sign-up with your personals and credit card information.
STEP 6: Sign-in!
STEP 7: Enjoy. You can now browse the Web and download your mail as usual.

OK Pinesay, I appreciate your time and willingness to answer. It’s much more clearer now.
You drop by my office anytime, get the best coffee you ever had!!!
Thanks again,

Download KisMAC and install it.
It will show you all wireless networks in your area, public and private. Just choose a network and log on…

OK, so I went to my local park, and tested this baby.
I got signals right away,I connected to a network, all green light, but when I type an address on my browser it’s a NO GO.
WHY??? IT LOOKS AND SOUNDs SO EASY, seems like the rest of the world can do it, and I can’t.
Airport is turned ON, I see all the signal (got 4 of them) when I click on the little radar icon it shows a check thingy next to the network name.
When I go to System preferences-Network it shows green light and says, you are connect to network SVC or whatever the name is. But still can’t browse.
Any help? Anyone?

That happense to me too. If you weren’t asked for a password, then this means that you are able to connect to their network, but are locked out by them from using Web services … or any other service they want to lock you out of. This is common. Don’t worry about it. It simply means that those are private networks that don’t want you free-riding off their Web access.

Once in a while you’ll hit the jackpot with a wireless network around town (probably a home user that doesn’t know how to configure the wireless repeater) that gives you instant and full access to the Internet. Many times these networks are called “default”, as the user simply took the thing out of the box, plugged it in, and started using it, forgetting to either restrict by password or restrict by the network card address of the computers using the network.

If it is a commercial service, then the most likely way to sign-on is to use the Web broswer for the first time.

Hmmm!!! it’s getting more and more clearer. Thanks,

Depends how the acess point is configured you can either log on to it, and brows the owners home network or even the internet. It really depends if a dhcp server is running, MAC is used and the WEP encryption is activatet. But if you use the KisMac it will tell you a lot about there networks, and if you know the vendor of an acesspoint it usually it very easy to log on. Most of the time the owners dont secure it propperly.

I did download KisMac but I am not too familiar with the “WEP” “Ch”, etc…
So, what do I do with all that? You want to tell me more Rob?

I found kismac to be a toatal waste of time. It won’t stop running and I always need to force quit it, plus when your airport is set to default you pick up any available nearby network anyway. I’ve been to two parks this week around Anho area and picked up signals and surfed at both.