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Wi-Fi by the Hour Now Available for iPad

Credit: Apple (Image credit: Apple)

Good news for people who are springing for the cheaper Wi-Fi edition of the iPad due out this Saturday. Wi-Fi service provider Boingo today announced "Boingo Wi-Fi Credits" available through the iTunes store. iPad users can buy one hour credits for $1.99 in advance or at the time of connection, decreasing the chance of getting caught without a Wi-Fi connection.

"The iPad may be a new product, but it’s one with a familiar need: super-fast Internet in places where you’re likely to connect – coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, airports," said Dave Hagan, president and CEO for Boingo Wireless in a statement. "Right out of the gate, iPad users will have the ability to access Boingo Wi-Fi as a convenient and affordable alternative or add-on to 3G Internet access, especially for the first wave of users for whom Wi-Fi is the only connection choice."

The "Boingo Wi-Fi Credits" application is immediately available for download from Apple’s U.S. App Store. Boingo credits can also be used for iPhone and iPod Touch Wi-Fi connections.

Credits can be bought by the hour; users who buy credits in blocks of ten will receive one free hour of Wi-Fi connection.  Credits are good for up to one year after purchase. An unlimited monthly service is available for $7.95.

The "Boingo Wi-Fi Credits" app also identifies Boingo hotspots and allows Apple users to search for hotspots using a mapping feature.  Boingo has more than 30,000 North American hotspots, including most major U.S. airports, Starbucks, McDonalds, and Marriott properties

iPad users may choose Wi-Fi as a lower cost alternative to cellular service; to boost data  transfer rates; bypass a congested 3G network; or avoid international data roaming fees.

Boingo also announced it would award a free iPad to the 1,000th person to download its "Boingo Wi-Fi Credits" app.

Leslie Meredith is a contributor to Live Science. She has a bachelor's degree from UCLA in psychology and has directed tourism and ski publications for the Salt Lake Visitor & Convention Bureau and managed promotions and events for Sunset Magazine.