I figure this might serve as a bit of reference for some people:
This morning, I decided that I had had enough of the heat and humidity and decided that I might be able to leach some free Wi-Fi down at the Eaton Centre while enjoying air conditioned comfort at their expense.
I started off by looking at the WiFiBandit's website to see what they thought was available...hrmmm...two APs...one at Telus and the other at the Sony Store. Kewl!
I went downstairs...walked past the Sony Store and did not stop because there was no seating. I continued on to the Telus store and and asked if they still had free WiFi? The girl said no, they don't. Odd...but it could be old data...the WiFiBandit's entry was from 2003 I think.
I then went upstairs to the Info booth and the girl there said that she has never heard of any store providing free Wi-Fi at the Centre. Disappointed but went down to the food court to see if maybe they didn't know what they were talking about. Fired up the old IBM T20 and lo and behold found at least four wireless networks!
The strongest and most open seem to be the Rogers' hotspot that was provided in conjunction with the Second Cup and, once you agreed to their "Terms and Conditions", you get a free trial period. I decided to go up to the Rogers' store on the third level to ask how long was the free trial period good for. Here's the conversation:
Me: "Hi there, you guys have free wireless right?"
Rogers' drone: "No, we do not."
Me: "You sure?"
Rogers' drone: "Yes...why? Are you picking up something?"
Me whipped open the T20 and showed them the log-in page.
Me: "Yeah, I just wanted to know how long was the trial period for...but since you don't know anything about this."
Rogers' drone recovers quickly enough to suggest asking at the Second Cup just across.
Second Cup had no clue and they were actually closing (permanently) that location the next day.
So, I sat down next to the Disney store to figure out my options...while there I scanned around for other networks...found a couple more but they were private ones...such as the law firm that booted me off their network.
I also tried Indigo but they must have leadlined walls because there is absolutely no wireless network signal in that store.
I went back downstairs to see if maybe the Telus girl was wrong. Sat down outside the store and fired up the T20 again...and what do you know? I connected to "Teluswifi" but was unable to surf the web due to the earlier wireless altercation with the law firm.
So, I gave up after close to an hour and a half of wandering around the place looking for free Wi-Fi. I may go back tomorrow and see if I can surf using the Telus connection...hrmmm...
Well, that's it for this rambling post...if anyone knows of any free Wi-Fi hotspots in the vicinity where I can get Internet access without paying a dime, either directly or in terms of victuals, let me know!