You're on the road, and you've found a location with a Wi-Fi broadcast device that your mobile computer can talk to. A Wi-Fi broadcast device is variously referred to as an access point, an AP, or a hotspot.
With your access point located, you're ready to sit right down, establish a wireless connection, and start reading your email and surfing the Web, right? Not so fast, partner!
It's really important to understand that being able to “talk” with a wireless access point just means that you can “talk” with a wireless access point. It doesn't mean that you can connect to the Internet unless the wireless access point is itself connected to the Internet.
So if Starbucks (or whoever) wants to provide you with the chance ...