Recently I bought an 8MB iPod Touch and highly recommend it. One of the most useful attributes is its wi-fi connectivity. The iPhone is connected everywhere through the same network that is used for calling, but the iTouch can only surf the web or use other enabled functions (like weather, mapping, etc...) while on a wi-fi network. You CAN do items like browse saved content, so that if you have a feed reader and you are on a network briefly you could synch up and get all the posts from good ol' LITGM and then read them offline with no connectivity, or do the same with the NY Times or some other paper (they don't have a WSJ version yet).
Wi-fi is easy to set up - the iPod Touch automatically connects to unsecured wireless connections, and if you come to a secured connection, once you get the password in, the iPod will remember it indefinitely. For example, right now I have wifi connections saved at my condo, a few friends' condos, my parent's house, etc... and as soon as I walk into their house within wifi range I can immediately use those wi-fi enabled functions.
There are a couple of main ways to accomplish this. If you are setting it up on your wifi network at home or at a friends' house, you need to go into settings, select the network, and then enter the password and the encryption type. Once this has been done successfully, then you don't have to worry about it anymore the iTouch will automatically reconnect to that connection whenever you are in range without having any type of setup. If your friend or family member is extra-paranoid about security, you can even hand them the iTouch when the security settings come up and THEY can type in the password which is saved on your iTouch then forevermore. You won't be able to see the password but you can now surf off their connection (note - there may be some crazy developer out there who knows how to pull the passwords out or hack in but I don't know how to do it and I don't believe it is something a casual user or typical thief could do. And even then the thief wouldn't know WHERE that wi-fi hostpot was located by its name).
The second main way to connect wirelessly is to go to a "public" hot spot or anywhere with the wi-fi logo. This method, while it works, is more tedious as I will walk you through, and needs to be done EVERY TIME you want to surf the web or use wifi-enabled functions, like the "Around me" application.
There are a couple types of wi-fi "hotspots", broadly defined. There are some plain ol' unsecured wi-fi connections that might be there at a restaurant or local pub. The iTouch will have NO problem with these connections - you just turn it on, it will see the unsecured connection, and sign in and start surfing away. These types of totally free, unsecured wi-fi hotspots are relatively few and far between, however, because they are a magnet for snooping and hackers.
The second kind is a secured connection. The photo above shows me using the mapping function (which pretty much only works in a wi-fi enabled location, although you can look at what you've already stored) at a Caribou Coffee in Chicago. If you are at a location with wifi like a coffee shop chain, you will need to go to the Safari browser and not the "settings" icon and try to go to a web page that you typically use (like Yahoo!). When you click on that page, the web page will automatically redirect you to a new page for sign in to that establishment's home page. At Caribou Coffee it was very easy - I just selected a user name, password, and agreed to the terms of service (it is a check box) and was surfing right away in about 30 seconds. The next time I am there (assuming I remember my name and pwd) it will be even faster. For Starbucks, it is a little harder. You need to have either a prepaid card or a "gold" card (I bought one recently, I think it was $25) and then use it once within 30 days and then it allows you to link to AT&T public wi-fi (which runs MOST, but not ALL, of the Starbucks locations, which is confusing) where you log in with your name and password and then start surfing. It is my own fault but I selected a long name and pwd at Starbucks / AT&T and for some reason it always seems to get rejected at least once so with the "hunt and peck"virtually keyboard on my iTouch it takes a few minutes to get connected, for me at least. I wish that you could just "save settings" like when you connect to a private wi-fi connection (such as at your home) but that isn't the case.
Thus I briefly walked through the various ways to connect your iTouch to the internet. Remember, unlike the iPhone, it costs NOTHING every month to connect your iTouch once you establish a wi-fi connection, and it works and surfs very quickly (often wi-fi is faster than the iPhone network, depending on the underlying internet connection, for example your cable modem is faster than DSL, and depends on how many people are on it at once).
I highly recommend the iTouch and it is great fun. Later when I get some time I will walk through the applications but wanted to focus a bit on the FREE wi-fi connectivity that comes with it right out of the box.