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iTouch or iPhone? I don’t think The Cloud can differentiate

Now here’s something weird - I was in Manchester the other day, stopping off for a coffee in the Triangle shopping centre (opens in new tab), and used my shiny new iTouch to access my email.

The centre’s Surf-and-Sip (opens in new tab)free WiFi service was offline, so I logged into The Cloud (opens in new tab), and was amazed at being given free access. Later on I used The Cloud at a hotel bar in Salford (opens in new tab).

Earlier this week I used The Cloud hotspots free of charge in Derby and London. On my laptop, they come up as chargeable.

So what’s going on? It seems that O2, the cellular airtime provider flogging network locked iPhones in the UK has struck a deal with The Cloud (opens in new tab)for free and unlimited WiFi access for iPhone users at its sites.

What seems to be happening is that some of the WiFi hotspots can’t differentiate between an iPhone and an iTouch, so they don’t bother, allowing free access to iTouch users as well.

And since the iPhone access is blanket, it seems The Cloud doesn’t require a login from iPhone users - its access points seem to sense the iPhone’s IP network code format and allow free access.

And as the iTouch has a similar IP code format, you can guess the rest.

I hope you enjoy your free WiFi iTouch Internet access…