Tech blogger (and winner of our hearts) Dave Taylor answered the call of a distressed hotel guest who ended up in a "hotel where they charge by the laptop, rather than by the room" for WiFi and wanted to know if he and his travel buddy could get around both paying $25 a day to connect their individual computers to the hotel's network.
Dave gives two recommendations:
What I really like are little wifi base unit gizmos like the Apple Airport Express or similar. For $99 it's a tiny little device that does just what you want.
If all you have are laptops, there's another cool solution, one that's super easy to set up on a Mac and super hard to set up - in my experience - on a PC: Set up a computer -to-computer network so that your computer becomes a wifi base station!
The wrinkle: the device that's going to act as a base station and let other computers piggy-back on the Internet connection has to be hard-wired into the network. That is, you can't connect to the hotel wireless via wifi and also serve as a base unit. If you have an Ethernet option and the right wire in your room, however, here's how you proceed...
We haven't gotten the chance to try this out ourselves yet, but if you have, let us know how it's worked for you.