Imagine you would not have to go to work to work. Imagine you could work from home, from a nearby cafe, from the park, or from the beach somewhere far away. In other words, imagine you were free to work from anywhere.
This scenario is becoming increasingly real. Many people work in jobs that don’t rely on their physical presence since they can complete and submit their work electronically. Thus, they are free to work wherever they want. An essential ingredient for this freedom is wireless LAN or WiFi.
Besides, having access to the internet from anywhere is nice to have, even if you don’t need it for work. This article covers free WiFi sites that allow you to find hotspot locations near you.
Wi-Fi Hotspot Directory [No Longer Available]
This directory lists over 30,000 hotspots worldwide. The most prominent locations are Europe and North America with over 10,000 hotspots each. Not all of the listed hotspots are free.
To locate free WiFi locations near you, use the search form, where you can select your country and enter your state, city, or ZIP code. You can also specify an operator and the type of place you’re looking for, i.e. park or internet cafe. To find only free wifi hotspot sites and locations, be sure to tick the respective box!
The search form also provides a link through which you can browse all cities.
Do you crave for a cafe that serves delicious coffee, offers free WiFi, and a power plugin for your laptop? Then you need to have a look at LaptopFriendlyCafes.com. Here you will find a list of places that offer the full service.
So far, their collection contains over 300 cafes, with most being situated in the cities London, New York, and Sydney. If you know another one anywhere in the world, please go ahead and [NO LONGER WORKS] submit it.
Do you have an iPhone? Get their [NO LONGER WORKS] iPhone app to spot cafes close to where you currently are.
This is a very easy to use WiFi hotspot finder that integrates Google Maps to show you exactly where to find a free wireless access point. Simply enter your location and check the Google map for WaiFi flags. A click on the flag will bring up details, i.e. the category, location, and carrier.
The site is powered by users. You can add WiFi hotspots easily by clicking the button at the bottom left of the map, which will bring up a WaiFi flag. Drag the flag to the exact location and fill in the details.
A site similar to WaiFi is FREE-hotspot.com [No Longer Available]. It’s a little more convenient to use, albeit not as stylish. It also uses Google Maps and provides lots of useful information for WiFi beginners.
One very convenient feature is an indicator of whether or not a listed hotspot is currently active (green or red flag). Additionally, the list of all currently displayed WiFi locations is displayed in a menu on the left-hand side. An interactive filter menu pulls out from the top of the map on mouse-over and can be used to find specific hotspots.
Unfortunately, FREE-hotspot.com appears to cover fewer locations than WaiFi, at least for the places in North America, Europe, and Australia I checked.
Last year, David introduced 5 Wi-Fi Hotspot Finders To Find Free Wi-Fi Spots Near You. In this article he also covered WiFi-friendly chains and airports and linked to the following sites:
- Chain restaurants with free wirless internet access
- Wi-Fi-FreeSpot Directory – locations that offer Free WiFi
- Free wifi airports
Do you own a PSP? Simon explained How To Use Your PSP WiFi Scanner To Find A Wireless Internet Hotspot.
Before you go out hunting for a free WiFi hotspot, however, make sure you’re all prepared. Karl reminds you of Things To Know When Using a WiFi Hotspot Or a Public PC and Ryan showed you 4 Free WiFi Software Downloads to Get Most of Wireless Networks. Both articles contain important security-relevant information.
Finally, if you’re wondering how wireless works in the first place, read Guy’s Technology Explained article on How Does Wireless Internet Work?.
What is your favorite location to make use of free public WiFi?
Image credits: duchessa