Now more than ever, we need WiFi.
There’s work to do from home, and free activities online to keep us entertained, and digital homework for the kids and grandkids. If you don’t have a regular internet service already in place, you may be waiting for a while before you are able to get one installed.
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But you do have options. The Miami area has almost 4,000 WiFi hotspots available. Just check out the map here to find your nearest location.
There’s also an extensive list at Open WiFi Spots. Click here to browse by city or state.
Here are other ways to stay online:
AT&T customers (including prepaid customers) can use a hotspot that is included in some of the more expensive plans. But the company is also offering free WiFi access to everyone at its public WiFi hotspots, by looking for “att-wifi” or “attwifi” on your device’s list of networks.
AT&T also has a program that offers internet access to low-income families who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. If you are a new Access customer, you can receive two months of service when you order by April 30, 2020. AT&T’s Access program has been expanded to include families participating in Head Start or the National School Lunch Program.
Until further notice, Comcast’s Xfinity will offer all internet users access for the next 60 days. Search for “xfinitywifi” network and download the Xfinity WiFi Hotspots app, or look for the nearest connection on Xfinity’s website. Comcast is pausing its data plans for customers, with no disconnections or late fees, and every customer will have access to unlimited data at no charge. Non-Xfinity users will need to accept Terms and Conditions to access the network when requested to receive the free unlimited access.
Other places to find free wifi
Fast food and coffee shops
Although many restaurants and drive-through beverage shops have closed, some have continued to serve curbside. Businesses that usually offer internet access include Starbucks, McDonald’s, Walmart, Panera Bread, Dunkin’ Donuts, Buffalo Wild Wings, and the Apple Store. Your mileage may vary, but it’s worth a call to your local restaurant. Many still offer internet use to customers, through an app or by agreeing to terms at the website login. If you are a customer, call and ask if this perk is still available at curbside.
Whole Foods provides an awesome and free WiFi connection, as do Publix and Sam’s Club. Your shopping times might be limited, but call and ask your store manager if WiFi is available outside the brick and mortar store.
Cities with WiFi
New York City never sleeps, and as a result it keeps the internet on. Other cities like Sunny Isles Beach have free WiFi spots through local internet providers. If you aren’t sure, call your local Chamber of Commerce for more information.
What? Yes, many public parks are plugged in and offer free WiFi. In Miami, we have Evelyn Greer Park in Pinecrest.
Visitor bureaus and welcome centers, highway rest stops
Maybe you don’t typically visit those rest stops that are located near your home, but they usually offer free WiFi to weary travelers.
A word of caution
If you are using public WiFi, practice safety. Do not enter any sensitive information and always look for secure sites (https). Don’t use the “connect automatically” option, as this can expose information. And enable the two-factor identifier on frequently used sites so you can avoid hacks.