Looking to be Productive Anywhere? Free WiFi Can Help!

Updated: November 19, 2010

Free Internet WiFi is popping up everywhere. Companies (like Panera Bread, Barnes & Noble, Starbucks and McDonalds) with multiple locations offer Free WiFi. Add to that local libraries, airports, hotels, stores and other public services and parks, it is becoming easier to stay connected when you are on the road. It is not uncommon to find business people camped out at one of these locations throughout the day as they perform work in-between or in preparation for their next appointment. Avoiding unnecessary trips back to the office is a key element of productivity, efficiency and saving money.

A growing number of local "WiFi Hot-Spots" are maintained by the telephone or cable company, offered to you for free as a part of your office or home service package or mobile device. Verizon, AT&T, Cablevision, OptOnline and Time Warner each have such a product. More information can be found by calling them or consulting their website.

The Internet has a collection of directories that list other free WiFi sites throughout the country. You can find them with Google or Bing, searching for "Free WiFi". There is even an iPhone App called "WiFi Finder". While many of these "Hot-Spots" impose a time limit on usage at various times of the day, not all do and sometimes you don't need a very long time to perform a specific task.

Unfortunately, there is NO free lunch here. Don't forget about security. These free / open WiFi hotspots typically do not have any security or protection for you, your computer or data. They often require you to accept their "Terms of Service", which makes it clear that this is your responsibility and you will not hold them responsible if something happens. Be sure to take the minimal precautions:

  • Make sure you device / laptop has anti-virus / anti-malware protection.
  • Avoid using software or sites that transmit passwords or confidential information in clear text. If you do, be sure the website you are visiting are encrypted (i.e. HTTPS).
  • Use a VPN connection back to your office whenever possible.
Related Categories
Featured Research
  • Securing Enterprise Information Technology

    In the 1980s and 1990s, business applications and data were largely confined within and protected by a Local Area Network (LAN). The 2000s introduced a significant change. Download this white paper now to learn why the shift to the cloud is changing how companies think about and manage their IT infrastructure. more

  • Office365 Adoption eGuide

    Microsoft moved to the cloud in 2014, and, as a result, Office 365 is taking off. Now, Okta customers are connecting to Office 365 in increasing numbers. This eGuide explains why IT departments should plan and deploy solutions around identity and mobility management in concert with their Office 365 roll out to get maximum user adoption. more

  • Okta Directory Integration

    For most companies, Active Directory (AD) or Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) play a central role in coordinating identity and access management policies. When on-premise applications are integrated to Active Directory or LDAP, users get the best possible experience. That's why Okta's cloud-based identity and access management service provides a highly useful single integration point. more

  • Top 8 Identity and Access Management Challenges with Your SaaS Applications

    With more and more businesses adopting Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, enterprise IT is fundamentally changing. This whitepaper presents the eight biggest Identity and Access Management (IAM) challenges associated with adopting and deploying cloud and SaaS applications, and discusses best practices for addressing each of them. more

  • Better BYOD with Pulse Secure and MDM Partners

    Learn how Pulse Secure and leading MDM product partners are transforming the way employees and IT benefit from the productivity and flexibility of BYOD — without compromising security or increasing management complexity. more