Monday, 04 October 2010 – By Bernie
Here are some free Wi-Fi tips to help you while you are out on the road. To help me find open Wi-Fi Hot Spots I use a little hand held Wi-Fi detector. I have had this jewel for many years. It is a $60 investment or so, but I think it is well worth it if you are an Internet Junkie.
Sorry the pic is not real clear, but it is made by “Canary Wireless.” I got it from CyberGuys.com. Go there and type in Wi-Fi Detector in the search bar and you will see a couple different ones that they offer.
So how do you use it? Simply push the little button and it goes to work. So simple even I can use it 🙂 Once a Wi-Fi hot spot shows up, it will show you the signal strength, if it is open or secure and some other items not always of use. To find another Wi-Fi Hot Spot, just push the button again. The next available hot spot shows up, or it just returns to the same one.
Also note that just because it says it is open, you may still have to enter a user name and password. Some of the motels in Vegas require you to enter your last name and room number for access.
To find a Wi-Fi Hot Spot, all you have to do with this little guy is cruise by the big Hotel/Motel chains, as most are open. I have got access to Best Western, Holiday Inns, Super 8 and some other small chain motels. Always check the local library, apartment buildings, bed and breakfast, and some states like Texas and Iowa have Free Wi-Fi at the rest areas.
Barnes N Nobles is another good one to get you out of the heat, but I could not find a 110v plug in. Many RV Parks offer Free Wi-Fi to their guests. Always ask when you go to your favorite restaurant, as Taco Bell had some locations with Hot Spots, as well as Burger King and Krystal Hamburger stands.
With this detector, you will be amazed at the number of open connections you can get from homes. I have never connected in that situation, but I am willing to bet that people just don’t know the dangers of having an open connection, or that they just simply don’t know that it is open.
My favorite Free Wi-Fi Hot Spot is Panera Bread, which cruises along at about 150kbs or better. I can get out of the heat or cold, and have a comfy seat. I also get refills on my drinks all day long. Of course, I get hungry and spend way to much for a cold cut sandwich, but they really are good.
Mc Donald’s is always easy to find, and most of them have Free Wi-Fi, but the top speed is about 40 kbs on most. Fast enough to cruise the web and check E-mail. Some Mc Donald’s have some comfy chairs. However, that is not to often, and most are not plentiful with plug ins for power.
When I am in Vegas, some casinos have free Wi-Fi. I was at the Orleans one night sitting in what looked like it was going to be a comfy chair. Well, it was a little bit better than sitting on a board, and it did get me out of the extreme heat.
Speaking of getting out of the extreme heat, I really like Williams, AZ. Williams is known as “The Gate Way To The Grand Canyon.” There is always something going on there, and the BBQ cook off competition weekend is one of the best! You can enjoy Free Wi-Fi from Safeway, Mc Donald’s, American Flyer Coffee Shop, which has a large screen TV and comfy chairs, JD’s Expresso and several other places. There are several motels there that would probably work as well but I did not check them out.
Most truck stops have Wi-Fi hot spots, but they are not free. Also, you have to be careful if you go that route, as some have a limit of what you can do as far as transfer. Once you hit your limit, you are shut off. The Flying J truck stop for a while did have “Happy Hour” from like 9 am to 10 am where you could come in and connect free for that hour. Nice deal to check on the E-mail and your favorite blogs. Not sure if that deal is still going on.
PS Here are some URL’s to help you find Free Wi-Fi Hot Spots around the world! There is so many places popping up all the time offering this service to attract guest into their place of business. Like Pizza? Peter Piper Pizza is getting in on the Wi-Fi gold rush.