Commercial Wi-fi zones?


has a mac beyond repair
what places have wi-fi you can use that are popular business chains?

i can think of:

Borders Books & Music

Only problem with Borders is that its t-mobile and they want you to pay :):rolls eyes::)..Im looking for a free place to browse the net. After all, Im buying something if its a commercial place.


Bust out Kismac or Macstumbler and start searching. I found WIFI from a Royal Farms store to Bank of America. (There's a funny story about the Bank of America search) also get by a Apple store. Free WIFI there.

Not saying that it's ok to use there WIFI I just know that it's there.:D


Bah! Commercial only, eh? Well for non-commercial there's always appartment complexes (comcast is now up in almost all in the US). As for businesses:

McDonalds is now setting up wireless access. Starbucks, as mentioned. I also believe B&N is taking the Borders approach to Wi-fi as well.


I'm not real fond of Starbux anyway, so I was thrilled to discover that my local independent coffeehouse had free wireless internet (unlimited). So, you might look around and see if there's an alternative like that where you are.

As for Borders... well that's unfortunate. I'm not a big fan of doing the T-Mobile thing, but they do have a pay-as-you-go option for $6.00/hr if you're an infrequent user. They didn't have that (that I noticed) when they first started the hotspot plan.. It might be worth it if it works well. I may have to try it the next time I'm @ Borders...

BTW, Hydroglow, the BofA story is a bit scary without even hearing it. I worked in IT for a Bank (not BofA) for about 3 years, and bringing up an access point on the internal network was a termination offense. I got quizzed once about my laptop, not connected to the corpnet, but running a AdHoc node that showed up on the wireless audit. I was "asked" to shut down the wireless bits, even though the laptop wasn't connected to anything. Did you actually get on their network, or did Stumbler just show its presence?

Also, using someone elses network like that may not satisfy your need for free surfing anyway. Once you're on their internal network, you then have to work out how to get back out again if they're using some form of caching proxies. That might also prevent non-web traffic getting out at all. Oh, yeah, and there's that delicate issue of your having "broken in" to their network... Be careful.


Add Schlotsky's Deli and Mobil to your list of corporate wifi hotspots. B&N, borders, and starbucks want you to use a cc# and set up a monthly account, or pay 10 cents per minute -- which is crazy since they need the DSL hookup for their business anyway, and a wifi hub costs all of $19 at your local MicroCenter.

I set up a restaurant client of mine in Chicago (north point cafe) with wifi because I needed a place more central to the rest of my customers, and they thought it would be good for business by attracting the young, mobile professional crowd that's moving into the neighborhood. sadly, they had to stop advertising wifi service because the city came in and threatened them with fees for not being a "licensed provider of wifi". what a crock. anyway, if you're in the area (north ave west of damen, east of western) you should check this place out. They've got great polish food in addition to burgers, burritos, salads, omlettes and all that. Plus, since they've got a liquor license, they actually were the first wifi BAR in Chicago. hooya!