The Secret to Finding Free Wi-Fi. Anywhere.
Need to get online? Here are the top places to find free Wi-Fi (that aren’t your local cafe and don’t require you to buy a $6 latte for the code).
If you are a freelancer that works out of your home, then you know the importance of having access to the Internet. Even though you probably have a reliable connection in your home, travel or other circumstances may have you venturing out into the real world — which means that if you want to continue working, you will need to find reliable sources of decent Wi-Fi.
But, like desert oases, good internet in the urban landscape is hard to find unless you already know where it is. Freelancers especially know the hair-tearing frustration of needing to upload one — just one! — file to a client, but being totally unable to find a place with accessible internet.
Whatever the reason, try one of these nontraditional locales for that free, quick connection you need.
No matter where you live, you can often find laundromats that offer free Wi-Fi while you wash your clothes. As any freelancer knows, time is money, so if you are stuck doing chores, you might as well break out the laptop and get some work done.
Be aware of any restrictions, such as a time limit, since not all places will offer unlimited Wi-Fi for free.
City Buses and Public Transportation
If you are in a city and make use of public transportation, then you will be happy to hear that some bus lines actually provide free Wi-Fi while you ride along. If you feel so inclined, you can pull out your tablet and do some extra research while waiting for your stop.
Sadly for denizens of San Francisco and Silicon Valley, Muni, BART, and CalTrain are stubbornly behind the times on the Wi-Fi front. But, at least there’s hope for you, oh rider of the New York subway.
Fast Food Restaurants
While the option of eating fast food might not appeal to everyone, places like McDonalds and Burger King normally offer free Wi-Fi while you munch on your meal. You can order a simple drink or ice cream cone if you’re not looking to chow down on a full meal — then break out your laptop or tablet to get started on your next project.
Yeah, you may not look as cool as you would while propped up against a fake bookshelf at your favorite hipster coffee haunt, but we all have to make sacrifices for our work, don’t we?
I know, working outside?!?
For those that like to venture outdoors, many cities like Los Angeles and New York offer free city hotspots that can be accessed in parks. These locations are a great choice for those of you that have the tendency to hole up in your apartment while knocking out that big assignment. Instead of hiding indoors, you can go out and breathe a little fresh air, which can do a lot for your creativity.
Big Chain Stores
You probably know this situation rather well: while walking or driving to another meeting, a client will send you a file that you need to look at right away. What do you do? Well, if you are around a major chain store such as Best Buy or Office Depot, you are in luck, as many of them offer up free Wi-Fi for customers while they shop. You can pop in, get the file and send any necessary feedback.
And if a clerk comes over to bug you while you frantically type, just say you’re comparison shopping. They won’t like you, but at least they probably won’t ask you to leave. (Probably).
Even if you are not anywhere near a library or coffee house, you can still find a dependable Wi-Fi connection. As more businesses catch on, the list of places offering free Wi-Fi will grow even more, allowing you to be connected at almost any location.