As Mac usage skyrockets, Boingo Wireless releases GoBoingo for Mac

The Mac traveler now has a convenient way to access Boingo Wi-Fi at more than 100,000 hotspots worldwide. A Mac version of the lightweight GoBoingo! client software, which simplifies the process of logging in to public Wi-Fi hotspots, is available for download at

GoBoingo! is a tool for travelers who want high-speed Internet without the hassle of searching for coverage, memorizing multiple usernames and passwords, and paying different Wi-Fi providers at each stop during a trip. Boingo offers monthly plans for both North American and international usage, as well as a “pay as you go” option.

“With our GoBoingo! software for MacBooks, you are now just one click away from enjoying Wi-Fi service at hotspots around the world,” said Dawn Callahan, vice president, consumer marketing, Boingo Wireless, in the press release. “We now have an easy-to-use Wi-Fi utility for the legions of MacBook users who want to be connected to Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots at airports, hotels and retail locations.”

GoBoingo! for Mac works on MacBooks running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard, and PowerBooks running Mac OS X 10.4. The lightweight authentication tool automatically determines whether a hotspot belongs to a Boingo roaming partner and helps users log on to the Internet with their Boingo account in a single click. Less than 1 MB, the tool stays in the background until the Boingo member needs to log into a Wi-Fi network.

According to usage reports from airport Wi-Fi networks operated by Boingo, there is a steady increase in Wi-Fi connections from MacBooks and PowerBooks. As of January 2008, nearly 20 percent of airport usage comes from Mac laptops, an increase of 30 percent since January 2007.

Boingo accounts work at more than 475 airports, including 85 of the top 100 airports worldwide. Boingo is also available at more than 17,000 hotels, such as Hilton and Marriot, and retail stores, such as Barnes & Noble. Other locations include coffee shops, restaurants and cafés.

Boingo operates Wi-Fi networks at 30 major U.S. and U.K. airports, including Atlanta-Hartsfield, JFK and LaGuardia in New York, Chicago’s O’Hare and Heathrow in London.

Source: Boingo Wireless


  1. Very cool, but the fact remains that it’s already a piece of cake to do this on a Mac. Part of the reason there a third less developers for OS X is that the kajillion little utilities etc. one finds for Windows are plain superfluous on the platform. OS X doesn’t come out of the box broken, yo.

  2. @James

    from what I understand, this isn’t for free wi-fi, but for paid wi-fi where you have to have a user/pw to login and use their connection. goBingo appears to be a central service with contracts to these various other places allowing their users to use those networks as well. Might not be a bad thing. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    Of course I could be wrong…

  3. why should you need a special piece of software just to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot???

    what’s wrong with a web-based login page and user/account and password to login the first time? that’s how everyone else seems to do it…

    and if the hotspot is in your recognized list of networks, your Mac automatically can join the network every time you come back to this location. what could be simpler than zero clicks?

  4. In some ways this is silly. It’s a wi-fi network. I don’t need special software to get on it. They should just do what all the other businesses do. Intercept your first web page access and put a splash page with some advertising then kick us back to the web. That or present auth login boxes (like Starbucks and Borders).

    I suppose Windows users just need special software to do everything because their computers can’t do all this stuff out of the box.

  5. I think they DO have an initial login page, so you don’t HAVE to use this software. I assume the software allows you to skip that process. For frequent travelers, one less step is always welcome. The important news here is that: a) Macs are 20% share of this market (mostly business travelers), and; b) this company felt compelled to accommodate Mac users. Great on both counts!
    Go Apple!

  6. If you are a frequent traveler this is nice.

    Of course you know all the free hot spots where you live and the other close cities you visit regularly, but land in Brussels Belgium for the first time and try to find a free hot spot quickly…. Not so easy.

    This isn’t for the teenager crowd. Go spend your money on the next new video game.

  7. “GoBoingo! for Mac works on MacBooks running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard, and PowerBooks running Mac OS X 10.4”

    What about Powerbooks running Leopard? Are they excluded, or this omission an example of how much they understand the workings of the Mac?

    BTW, I don’t really care as I’ve decided that paying for wifi access is a scam, and only airports and expensive hotels seem to get away with it. If I need something while I’m traveling, I use my iPhone. Otherwise I wait until I can find a free hotspot.

  8. @Malthus – I’m sure that Boingo’s software would run on any 802.11-enabled Mac with Tiger or Leopard. I think you are right that they understand little “the workings of the Mac”.

    Anyway, I had a layover at Chicago (ORD) yesterday on my way home to Hawaii. I tried to use my iPhone to find out what hotels were in the area. Boingo’s page popped up first (as one would expect) and offered two options: login with a Boingo username and password, or get “free” access in exchange for watching some ads. “OK,” I thought, “this should be fun. I’ll try for free.”

    But the free ride ended right there, because whatever ads they were serving didn’t show up on the iPhone, so I could not get on. I got out the trusty MacBook Pro and tried again, but to my amazement, I was sent to a different splash screen that the one that came up on my iPhone (Safari in both cases), and the “free” option was not available! Sheesh!

    Regardless, I have no idea why this software from Boingo is even necessary, as others have pointed out. But I do think it’s great that at least they have noticed a positive Mac trend and have publicized the fact. In actuality, they should have of course mentioned iPhone, as I am guessing that it will grow rapidly and eventually eclipse other handheld computers on their networks….

    Hey wait! Do you think that perhaps they are counting all instances of Safari accessing their networks and aggregating them under the heading “MacBook” (as in the article)? Perhaps much of the spike in usage could be coming from iPhones. I wonder…?

  9. Boingo is a scam. They will charge repeatedly for a single day’s connection, and trying to get the charges reversed is an utter nightmare. Their software insists that it needs to install a “convenient” popup on your computer, and then that popup insistently interrupts every time you move into wireless range. They are a pack of thieves. Avoid at all costs.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.