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MaineDon
We leave later this week for a cross-country trip to Arizona, where we'll spend the winter. Can anyone tell me of national chains, in addition to Starbucks, that offer free WiFi? Am I correct in remembering that MacDonalds is now offering this service? Are there other chains......? By popular demand from family and friends, I am doing my second travel blog this winter
. Since we like to stay in COE and State parks, alternate WiFi venues are useful. I know, I know....I could spring for a Verizon card; but having just retired, I am one of those "fixed income" guys now, looking to save $$ wherever possible. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
Denali
This list looks pretty comprehensive: Free Wi-Fi.

I'm not on a fixed income. I'm on a reduced fixed income. smile.gif
MaineDon
Denali...Wow!! Good list! Thanks for providing it. I am printing it out for use on the road. Thanks. MD
chickenpants
QUOTE(MaineDon @ Oct 11 2010, 06:12 PM) *

Denali...Wow!! Good list! Thanks for providing it. I am printing it out for use on the road. Thanks. MD


There are pitfalls of connecting to Free Public WiFi
Free Public WiFi Article
RFCN2
I have frequently for years parked next to Best Westerns and Holiday Inns and usually been able to use their wifi for free. Most seem not to have a log in.
Florida Native
Invest in a good WiFi antenna also to vastly improve your reception.
happyscampers
QUOTE(MaineDon @ Oct 11 2010, 05:09 PM) *

We leave later this week for a cross-country trip to Arizona, where we'll spend the winter. Can anyone tell me of national chains, in addition to Starbucks, that offer free WiFi? Am I correct in remembering that MacDonalds is now offering this service? Are there other chains......? By popular demand from family and friends, I am doing my second travel blog this winter
. Since we like to stay in COE and State parks, alternate WiFi venues are useful. I know, I know....I could spring for a Verizon card; but having just retired, I am one of those "fixed income" guys now, looking to save $$ wherever possible. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Hi Maine Don: We're currently in Maine, 7500 miles into a 10-week trip from California and have found virtually all private campgrounds have free wifi. Some access works better than others, but always ask. I've done a blog for several years now (www.travelswithhappy.blogspot.com) and what I do is write the blog, organize photos in Picasa (all offline) and then just upload photos and copy and paste text when I have internet access. That way you don't have to have it at every site enroute to your destination. (I must confess, I bought the Verizon aircard (used, from a campground host in CA) and it's great. For $50 a month you get all the access you'll ever need.) We go to Yellowstone each spring and Verizon is the only one that works. Still, it is dial-up, so I use the campsite's wifi whenever possible. Happy trails!
Seattle Steve
QUOTE(RFCN2 @ Oct 12 2010, 11:14 PM) *

I have frequently for years parked next to Best Westerns and Holiday Inns and usually been able to use their wifi for free. Most seem not to have a log in.



So while you're there do you go in and help yourself to the "free" continental breakfast as well? Ethically i don't see a difference between stealing internet services intended for their customers and stealing food intended for their customers. As long as you have no problem with theft you might as well get a meal out of it too.
Florida Native
This is a ethical question is one I have thought about all over the United States and have come down on different side than you. The breakfast analogy of course doesn't hold because the hard bagels and weak coffee are items that must be replaced when used. If you walk by somebody's car and listened to your college ball team on their radio would they have to buy a new radio sooner? (They were listening anyway.) Would you be more likely to stay at that chain motel when you didn't have have your RV? Many businesses want to to come in and use WiFi while partaking of their services. (different than the above example of course). Many motels and individuals actually use a security code and most routers come with a code and it is a little harder to set up without a security code. I always assume that if there is no security code, then there is no problem. Free places like Staples, for example, ask you to sign up for their service and then put your on their email flier list in hope you will buy something from them. Some motels will give you 15 minutes or a hour and then ask for a security code. The whole concept of using unsecured WiFi is a lots more complex and deserves a lot of questioning and though.
Seattle Steve
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Oct 18 2010, 10:59 PM) *

This is a ethical question is one I have thought about all over the United States and have come down on different side than you. The breakfast analogy of course doesn't hold because the hard bagels and weak coffee are items that must be replaced when used. If you walk by somebody's car and listened to your college ball team on their radio would they have to buy a new radio sooner? (They were listening anyway.) Would you be more likely to stay at that chain motel when you didn't have have your RV? Many businesses want to to come in and use WiFi while partaking of their services. (different than the above example of course). Many motels and individuals actually use a security code and most routers come with a code and it is a little harder to set up without a security code. I always assume that if there is no security code, then there is no problem. Free places like Staples, for example, ask you to sign up for their service and then put your on their email flier list in hope you will buy something from them. Some motels will give you 15 minutes or a hour and then ask for a security code. The whole concept of using unsecured WiFi is a lots more complex and deserves a lot of questioning and though.



Unfortunately, your radio analogy doesn't hold up either. Despite what most people think, bandwidth is not an infinate supply. Any bandwidth you take is unavailable to be used by paying customers. Not anything like listening to someone else's radio. The only way your analogy would work is if you were looking over the shoulder of a paying customer and reading his computer screen. Then you would not be stealing bandwidth.

Regarding the security code: just because no code is issued does not mean you have been granted a right to use the network. If you fail to lock the door of your RV (or choose not to lock it) are you granting a right for anyone to come in and help themselves to your belongings? Of course not. Theft is theft no matter how easy or difficult it is.
Rib
QUOTE(MaineDon @ Oct 11 2010, 05:09 PM) *

We leave later this week for a cross-country trip to Arizona, where we'll spend the winter. Can anyone tell me of national chains, in addition to Starbucks, that offer free WiFi? Am I correct in remembering that MacDonalds is now offering this service? Are there other chains......? By popular demand from family and friends, I am doing my second travel blog this winter
. Since we like to stay in COE and State parks, alternate WiFi venues are useful. I know, I know....I could spring for a Verizon card; but having just retired, I am one of those "fixed income" guys now, looking to save $$ wherever possible. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.





Thanks for the wifi list looks comprehensive.
Florida Native
I really donít consider using an open connection as stealing somebodyís bandwidth. Most home users are not limited as to how much they can use, I have Comcast cable at home and there is no limit. If people donít want others to use their WiFi, they should use a password. They are putting a signal out into public air. We have had plenty of people on this board say they donít use passwords on their RV WiFi expressly for that purpose. Neighbors on either side of me do not use passwords and sometimes I have used theirs when my router or cable went out. It is a lots different than stealing a material object from somebodyís home. This is not really the crime of the century here. Many business want you to use it. Staples for example asks you to use it free, but sign in with your email so they can send you endless offers.
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