When Free Public WiFi Really Isn't Free

How do you feel when you’re at a public place, like a Starbucks, and you search for a wireless network and you are given a few options, leading you to choose the one that you get as a benefit of being a subscriber.

At this Starbucks in Troy, MI, for instance, I was given the option to choose AT&T’s wireless network that is part of the Starbucks or the XFinity WiFi that must be at a nearby business. For the first time in my life, I chose the XFinity network because I felt it would be more reliable than AT&T’s and I’d be getting some use out of my XFinity account. You have to log into the XFinity network with your XFinity credentials to use the wireless network.

Anyway, long story getting long, I’ll make it short. The network just dropped me after a few minutes. I was in the middle of sending a few emails and an error popped up in Postbox (I still love using that for my Windows e-mail client of choice) saying that the SMTP connection couldn’t be made.

So AT&T, thanks for being more reliable. XFinity, I’m disappointed.