Finally, MSP Airport is getting free wi-fi.
Travelers will start seeing free wi-fi connectivity at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport starting as soon as Oct. 1, when provider Advanced Wireless Group begins its service.
AWG will offer a hybrid wi-fi access model to MSP travelers, which means you can connect as many times as you want to free wi-fi for 30 to 45 minutes, with commercial interruptions. You can also purchase a premium service with no commercial interruptions and greater bandwidth.
"We are seeing a continual trend where the traditional, single, flat fee model for wireless connectivity no longer works for today's traveler," said Scott Phillips, President and CEO at AWG. "Airport travelers to the Twin Cities will be offered a Wi-Fi model that is tailored specifically to their needs."
AWG will also be providing airport wi-fi at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Boston's Logan International Airport (BOS) and Indianapolis International Airport (IND).
Airport internet users have probably seen a "free wi-fi" option in their available networks in the past, but those were virus-spreading ad hoc networks. That means the user is actually connecting to someone else's computer rather than a router or wi-fi hot spot.
"Free Public Wi-Fi" spreads like a virus as other computer users within range see that network and try to log onto it. Microsoft created a fix two years ago with Windows XP Service Pack 3, but many users never updated their computers.
The Houston Chronicle reported on the problem in 2006 when blogger Dwight Silverman discovered it.
"Generally, you want to avoid ad hoc networks in public places," he wrote. "At best, they're a radio signal to nowhere; at worst, they could be someone looking for a vulnerable PC to compromise."