When Free Isn’t Cheap

Lots of services are free these days.  And who doesn’t like to save a little money?  But sometimes “free” costs you in other ways.

Consider the plight of Georg Lindsey, CGNET’s CEO.  He recently found himself at O’Hare Airport in Chicago with a multi-hour wait for his connecting flight to Virginia.  “No problem!” he thought. “I’ll just connect at a free Wi-Fi hotspot and download those documents that [Georg’s wife] June needs to edit.”  Georg figured it would make the time pass more quickly, and keep him busy so he wouldn’t be tempted to wander off and order one of those Chicago-style hot dogs that taste so good.

Sounds like a plan.  The only problem:  the first download is taking f o r e v e r to complete.  Georg (being the techie that he is) checks the download speed of the Wi-Fi hotspot: 0.08 Mbps.  That’s 800 bits per second for those keeping score.  “Well,” Georg thinks, “maybe they should charge me for Wi-Fi and give away the coffee for free!”

But all is not lost.  Georg remembers his recently installed Open Mobile client.  Open Mobile? Oh yeah, that’s that new no-hassle service from CGNET that gets you onto the Internet easily and securely.  Georg fires up his Open Mobile client and selects another Wi-Fi hotspot from the choices Open Mobile has found.  After entering his Open Mobile credentials, he’s off and running… at upload/download speeds of almost 3 Mbps.  That’s more than 30 times faster than the “hey, we’re free!” hotspot, for those still keeping score.

Downloading problem solved; thanks CGNET and Open Mobile!  “Now,” says Georg, “if I can just resist those Chicago dogs…”

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