Where and how to find free W-Fi connections

Free Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi is available at many businesses. Image: roland/Flickr/CC BY

Most of us are so wrapped up in the cyber world now that to go without it seems unthinkable. But staying connected can be an expensive proposition. Fortunately, there are free Wi-Fi hotspots available in many places. One just has to know where to go, or how to find them.

Buy food, we have free Wi-Fi

Many businesses that want you to stay a while and run up a bill are now offering free Wi-Fi to allure customers in. If you’ve ever walked into a Starbucks — and who hasn’t? — it would be nearly impossible to miss all the hanger-outers with their laptops and steaming cups of joe. But there are lots of other businesses that do so as well.

Did you know that many McDonald’s restaurants also offer the same enticement? Panera Bread, a bakery-cafe franchise, also has a free hot-spot for lovers of the Internet and freshly baked goods.

Non-food related

Some non-food related national retailers also offer the service. Barnes & Noble is one. Federal Express, where Internet access can be a great assistance to shipping needs, does as well.

According to the American Library Association, 82 percent of the nation’s libraries offer free connections to those who want to sit and surf the web. And you don’t even have to buy a cup of coffee. But quietly, please.

It’s the right time of the year to get out and enjoy the sun while you get your work done. Many parks across the nation are now offering Wi-Fi for people who want to enjoy the green without spending any. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce to see if there is one in your vicinity.

Many airports offer Wi-Fi as an amenities to travelers. Some offer it openly through the entire airport. Others restrict it to specific areas. Others still require a club membership. However, wififreespot.com warns to travelers to beware of networks called “Free Public Wi-Fi” in airports. Most of these, according to the site, are unsecured scams designed to steal your personal information.

Wi-Fi finding tools

To find Wi-Fi hot spots specific to your area, check out the website wififreespot.com.

In addition, there are several apps available for finding hot spots. A free one is the aptly-named Free Wi-Fi Finder by JiWire Inc. It is available for download now in Android and iOS versions. Likewise, there are downloads for your laptop that will do the same thing: NetStumbler of PCs or iStumbler for Macs.


Wi-Fi Free Spot


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