Free Wi-Fi not far away
BY KIM KOMANDO
Sunday, March 17, 2013
3/17/13 at 6:40 AM
When you're on the go, you want the ability to email and access important documents in the cloud with your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Maybe you just want to find a quiet spot to scan the news and sports headlines of the day.
At a free Wi-Fi hot spot, you can connect with little hassle, and you won't be using your cellular data plan and risking overage charges.
Unfortunately, finding free Wi-Fi hot spots isn't always easy. With the right tools, however, you'll never be too far from a free hot spot. Just remember to stay safe. You want to turn off file sharing and be smart about mobile banking and shopping.
Think outside the Wi-Fi box. Everyone knows they can get free Wi-Fi at McDonald's and Starbucks. But if you're trying to cut back on fries and cappuccinos, there are unexpected places you can try.
Truckers are some of the most connected workers on the planet, and they make sure their truck stops have speedy Internet access, as well as decent food. Some independent truck stops offer free Wi-Fi to lure truckers away from the chains, which may charge a small fee.
Does your car need a wash or an oil change? Many auto shops offer free Wi-Fi to keep customers happy while they wait.
Try public places. City halls, courts, libraries and even some parks offer Wi-Fi connectivity.
When possible, it's best to look up free Wi-Fi hot spots in the area you plan to travel. That's where Wi-Fi databases come in handy.
The Wi-Fi FreeSpot Directory has thousands of free spots. It organizes hot spots by state or business and has special sections for airports and hotels. You can even find RV parks and campgrounds with hot spots.
Original Print Headline: Free Wi-Fi often just steps away
Kim Komando hosts the nation's largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. Listen to her show from 1-4 p.m. each Sunday on KRMG am740 or fm102.3. To receive her newsletters, go to tulsaworld.com/komandonewsletters.