iPod Touch and iPhone Wi-Fi connection at Starbucks for Bell Internet customers


You may have heard that Bell Internet customers can now wirelessly connect to the Internet at Starbucks locations across Canada. Although the Bell website only mentions laptops running Windows, I thought I'd go grab a grande latte and see what the process was to connect with my iPod Touch. It worked, and I could browse the web and connect to the internet with all my applications, too. Here's a set of screen captures walking through the process.

Restrictions: Check the Bell FAQ page for the latest set of restrictions. In particular, this free internet connection is apparently not available to Bell dial-up customers, and I didn't notice any requirement to actually purchase anything from Starbucks while you were there.

First thing you'll need before heading out to Starbucks is your 'My Bell' user ID and password, which is not the same as your b1?????? user ID and password.

Once you're in Starbucks, open the Settings application on your iPod Touch (with the gears, and select the Wi-Fi settings. Move the slider to 'On', and eventually the 'hotspot_Bell' network should appear in the network list (along with any other networks in the area, as with the protected 'S_net' in my case). Tap it to select it; no configuration is needed at this step.

Close out of the Settings app, then open the Safari web browser. Try and open any web page, and the 'wireless hotspot access' page will appear.

Tap the 'Bell customers' option then enter your Bell username and password on the next screen.

If you manage to get everything entered correctly on the little keyboard, you'll be logged in!

I clicked on the 'Continue' button, which displayed a page with a 3 hour countdown, and probably more relevant, a 9 minute inactivity countdown.

At this point I could open a new browser window and surf the net, but I could also use the Wi-Fi connection with all the other applications, like the App Store, update Instapaper, or get map data through the Google Earth app.

I'm not sure that it really matters, but once I had my fill of coffee and the net, I went back to the session status web page, and clicked on the Logout button.

Overall the process was easy enough, and works exactly as I expected. With the number of Starbucks around this can be very handy. I'm not sure if they leave the access working 24 hours a day, I'll have to give this a try outside a Starbucks one night after they've closed (or, I guess I could just ask). Good luck, and comment here if you have any trouble or find a different process somewhere.