No Connection at Hotspots

The New York Times helps us understand why we may be at a hot spot but can’t get any connection.
Just because your notebook can detect a WiFi signal and appears to connect does not mean you can get online. So what do you do?
The NY Times writes YOU’VE bought a wirelessly equipped laptop. You sit down in an airport, hotel or coffee shop where there’s supposed to be a hot spot – an invisible bubble of radio waves that lets laptops get onto the Internet at high speed without cables. A message pops up on your screen indicating that the laptop has indeed detected that it’s in a hot spot. That’s when you discover that, in fact, you can’t get online.
So much for the wireless life.
As it turns out, the distance between your wireless laptop and the Internet is a lot longer than you might have imagined. In between is a labyrinth of software, settings and people that often deprives road warriors of the pleasure that a wireless laptop is supposed to provide: instant, hassle-free connections.
What can go wrong? Let us count the ways.