where to find free wifi

Free Wi-Fi is a blessing which, thankfully, is available throughout the US. Whether you’re on the East Coast or the West, you’ll always find free Wi-Fi available in almost any neighborhood that you’re visiting.

Pros of using free Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi networks can be Godsend when you need them. A free Wi-Fi hotspot can ease all your worries almost immediately.

You don’t have to waste your precious mobile data browsing Facebook or any other social networking website. And you also don’t have to worry about the generally slower internet speeds on your mobile networks.

Whether you’re working on a project, or you just want to browse the internet for fun, or downloading a big file from the internet perhaps – free Wi-Fi comes to your aid whenever you need it.

Where can you find free Wi-Fi in the US?

According to several studies, people consider free WiFis more convenient than most other stuff, especially when they’re making travel plans. People search for free WiFis everywhere, and when they find one, stay there for minutes and sometimes even hours.

Restaurants, therefore, have started to take advantage of the situation, and are offering free Wi-Fi connectivity to their customers in an attempt to lure them. National food chains even promote free Wi-Fi availability at their franchises so more and more people visit these places and enjoy these benefits at the expense of just a few dollars.

Where to find restaurants with free WiFi?

Now the question on everyone’s mind is: Where can I find restaurants with Wi-Fi near me? Now, there are plenty of restaurant chains offering free Wi-Fi to customers. The following are some chains offering the best and free Wi-Fi hotspots to their customers:

1. Starbucks

Find Free Wi-Fi

Your most favorite coffee house recently partnered with Google and is now providing free and unlimited Wi-Fi access to each of their 7,000 franchises inside the US.

Finding a Starbucks near you isn’t much of a challenge because it is mostly available everywhere. You only need to enter the franchise, order their cheapest coffee, and use the free Wi-Fi hotspot for not more than $2.

2. McDonald’s

mcdonalds free wifi

McDonald’s offers free Wi-Fi access to all its 11,500 franchises located across the US. The download speeds at McDonald’s are also twice as fast as most other national chains.

The food may not be good, but you can try out their coffee or soda while you’re using their free Wi-Fi hotspot. Check their website and restaurant locator to see if there’s a location with free Wi-Fi available near you.

3. Panera Bread

panera bread free wifi

Their food prices are pretty reasonable. And nearly every Panera location in the United States offers free Wi-Fi to their customers. You can find the details regarding their wireless access on their website.

However, if you’re looking to spend an extended amount of time online, avoid Panera during rush hours when Wi-Fi access will be limited to 30-minute sessions only.

4. Dunkin’ Donuts

dunkin donuts free wifi

Dunkin’ Donuts is incredibly popular throughout the US. However, most probably do not know that the coffee chain also offers free Wi-Fi at thousands of locations. Check this page to see where Dunkin’ is offering wireless access.

5. Buffalo Wild Wings

buffalo wild wings free wifi

Buffalo Wild Wings offers an affordable variety of meals, especially during their Happy Hour. Alongside, they’re also offering free wireless connection at most locations. Buffalo Wild Wings also offers all major games and free viewings of PPV events live at their locations.

National chains with free WiFi

Other than the franchises mentioned above, there are plenty of other options Wi-Fi trackers can consider when they’re looking for free Wi-Fi networks. The following are some other places where you can find free Wi-Fi networks that you can connect with.

Restaurants with free WiFi near you

  • Applebee's
  • Arby's
  • Burger King
  • Chick-Fil-A
  • Denny's
  • Einstein Bros.
  • Jimmy John's
  • Hooters
  • IHOP
  • Krispy Kreme
  • Quiznos
  • Subway
  • Taco Bell
  • Tim Horton's
  • Wendy's

Retailers with free WiFi near you

  • Apple Store
  • Barnes and Noble
  • Best Buy
  • Lowes
  • Macy's
  • Michaels
  • Meijer
  • Nordstrom
  • Office Depot
  • Safeway
  • Sam's Club
  • Staples
  • Target
  • Whole Foods

Find free Wi-Fi networks in New York City!

Other free Wi-Fi options

  • EZ Lube Oil Change
  • Grease Monkey
  • Jiffy Lube

Find free Wi-Fi networks in London!

Which free Wi-Fi networks are offering the fastest speeds?

The following franchises are offering free Wi-Fi to customers at fastest speeds. You can compare their speeds from the graph given below:

fastest free wifi

(Source: OpenSignal)

We can see from the graph above that McDonald’s is currently offering the fastest Wi-Fi speeds with speeds reaching 4.0 mbps. Other than Best Buy, other places hardly offer half the total speed of McDonald’s.

Find free Wi-Fi networks in Melbourne!

Free Wi-Fi is convenient, but is it safe?

Free Wi-Fi hotspots are one of those small luxuries employed by countless of people. However, most people fail to look at the security level of these Wi-Fi hotspots.

Security level on most free Wireless hotspots across these franchises is usually zero. Though these franchises often set up password logins on their network, but since these credentials are available to everyone, thus they provide no security to connected users at all.

Requiring login credentials to join a network may feel reassuring to some people, but it never actually helps in improving the security of the hotspot. If hackers can use these credentials to log into the network, then you’re as exposed to his malice as you would be if the hotspot had no security at all.

Hackers don’t dress in black, and neither do they wear that evil look which most people expect on their face. They look no different than a regular guy sitting in the corner quietly searching for stuff on his laptop.

And even if you’re in a hotel and have access to your very own Wi-Fi network, you’re still vulnerable to hacking attempts. Cracking a Wi-Fi password isn’t as difficult as you think it is. Equipped with the right tools, which are available for free on the internet, anyone can hack the Wi-Fi password with ease.

Risks of Joining an Unsecure Wi-Fi

Connecting to an unsecure public Wi-Fi network is no different than lending your device to a hacker or cybercriminal.

  • Once connected, a hacker can easily exploit the vulnerabilities in the network and can access your connected devices with ease.
  • Without your knowledge, all your private details, pictures, videos, emails, credentials, and even your mobile wallet and financial information will be within the hacker’s reach.
  • Apart from your money, you can also lose important files from your devices. These files are generally used to blackmail the victims into paying the hackers money. And even when you pay, there’s no telling if the hacker would delete the file from his own storage or give it back to you.
  • Sometimes, these hackers install a keylogger malware on your device once they’ve hacked it. This tool reveals your passwords and other sensitive data that you type on your keyboard to the hacker.
  • An insecure Wi-Fi can even lead to webcam hacking, which can be more dangerous than other forms of hacking.

All in all, a few hours of entertainment via a public Wi-Fi can expose you to some very serious and dangerous consequences.

Public WiFi safety guaranteed in 4 easy steps

Find Free Wi-Fi

Using free Wi-Fi network may be dangerous, but there are ways to surf in these dangerous waters with safety.

The network may be unsafe, but you can prevent hackers from accessing your device or from monitoring your online activities. Just follow the steps given below to enhance your public Wi-Fi security:

  • Never enter sensitive information.
    Avoid visiting your banking or online shopping websites while you're connected o the public Wi-Fi network.
  • Use ‘https’ (secure) websites.
    While most popular websites (Facebook, Twitter, etc) automatically convert the URL to a secure connection, keep an eye on the URL to be sure.
  • Use VPN.
    Make sure that you have an active VPN connection in place. PureVPN encrypts your online communications and makes sure that no hacker can monitor or access them.
  • Enable two-factor authentication.
    By adding an extra layer of protection to any password-protected website, (Facebook, Linked-In, Twiiter) you are effectively reducing the likelihood of any hacking attempt.

Get the ultimate public WiFi security now!

Thankfully, the safety measures aren’t too difficult to put on.

For ultimate security, all you require is an active PureVPN subscription and your devices and your data shall remain safe from any hacker or cybercriminal.

Also read "How To Stay Safe When Using A Public Wi-Fi"

PureVPN adds a layer of encrypted protection between you and the internet. It does this by routing your online communications in an encrypted format through physical servers controlled and owned by the PureVPN network.

These servers are equipped with all kinds of security and privacy features. And they not only keep your data safe, but they also keep you anonymous on the internet.

Subscribing to PureVPN should be a no-brainer because it guarantees your safety from all kinds of hacking attempts which happen from free Wi-Fi hotspots. Other premium features offered by PureVPN include multi-platform apps and excellent streaming and surfing speeds, making it all the more feasible for you.

So what are you waiting for? Get PureVPN now!

Sheheryar Ahmed Khan is a privacy enthusiast, currently affiliated with PureVPN. His reporting covers subjects related to online privacy, anonymity, and security. Also a believer in online freedom, Sheheryar likes to spend his free time streaming football matches and TV shows online.

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