Friday, February 13, 2009

Coffee Shops Offering Free (and not so free) WiFi

Since I have been studying via laptop lately at coffee shops, I decided to post a list of places that offer free wifi (see #1 through #4) and not-so-free wifi (#5 and #6). I find it easier to study at a public place rather than at home, where I usually tend get distracted easily. And public libraries, well, forget about it...it's so quiet that I feel like I'm the only one in there studying.

Below is a list of spots that offer WiFi (WiFi allows for wireless Internet connection through a wireless card). It's always nice to get a little free stuff, especially when you will soon be a poor grad student like myself. :P

1. Starbucks

Starbucks, in conjunction with AT&T, has 2 free hours of wifi daily if you register your Starbucks gift card online and sign up on the AT&T wifi website. I usually study at a Starbucks because I receive so many gifts card every year for Christmas and my birthday. The only stipulation is that your gift card has to be used at least once every 30 days in order for your account to remain active.

2. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

For all my west coast friends who have access to a CBTL, they offer 2 free hours of wifi daily as well. All you have to do is ask for the code while you're there and you'll be on your way. It's a 5-digit number that is usually found on the lower left corner of the TV screen they have set up there. Super easy and no registration necessary.

3. Peet's Coffee

Peet's is similar to CBTL: you have to ask the cashier for the code to get 2 free hours of wifi. Peet's is my favorite of all the places I have listed because their coffee is amazing! It's a tad strong though if you're used to lighter coffees.

4. Caribou Coffee

This coffee chain is found mainly in the mid-west and on the east coast. Unfortunately, there's no shops out here on the west cost, but hey, we get Coffee Bean instead. ;) Caribou offers free wifi as well. The website doesn't specify if you need a code but no registration is necessary.

5. Barnes and Noble

Barnes and Noble does not offer free wifi, which is a shame because I love studying there and they have many locations all over the U.S. I've used their wifi before but it's a bit pricey ($3.99 for two hours of use). There's different packages available to choose from (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.).

6. Border's Books and Music

Border's also does not offer free wifi...what is up with all the bookstores, huh? They need to jump on the free wifi bandwagon. To use their wifi, you have to purchase a T-Mobile day pass.

Lastly, if none of these places are to your liking and you shun big, corporate-run coffee shops, you can find a list of free wifi spots here.

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