Get Connected: Where to Go for Free WiFi in Philly
Need to get online in Philadelphia? There are lots of places that offer free WiFi, so that you can check your email, stay up to date on social media, or get some work done, even if you don’t have Internet at home.
You’re on the go and your boss calls you, saying that he or she needs you to send over an important contract ASAP. Or, you’ve recently purchased a home in Philadelphia and don’t have your home Internet connected yet. Fortunately, Philly is practically bursting with places that offer free WiFi. Whether you plan on hunkering down for a few hours to get some work completed or just need to send a quick email, you can find a free connection all over the city.
Plenty of Coffee Shops and Stores
These days, it’s pretty rare for a coffee shop not to have free WiFi. Some places, though, seem better suited for working than others. Chapterhouse Cafe, located just south of South street, tends to be a popular option with people who need to study or work. The WiFi password changes regularly, so be sure to ask the barista for it when you order. Another popular pick is Good Karma Cafe, which currently has three locations across Center City. Both Good Karma and Chapterhouse are open until 10 p.m. daily, giving you a quiet place to work or study until late at night.
Some stores also let you connect for free. For example, the Ikea in South Philadelphia offers WiFi to people who are members of its “Ikea Family” program. While you might not want to browse online while picking out furniture, you can take advantage of the store’s large cafeteria while you surf the web.
The Free Library
There are times when you want to work or browse the web, but you don’t want to have a cup of coffee or a snack along with it. In those instances, the Free Library of Philadelphia is a great option. There are few catches when it comes to using the library’s WiFi, though. Although it is free, you do need to have a library card to log on and connect. The connection is also not guaranteed, meaning that there might be times when you head to the library with your laptop, only to find that you just can’t get online.
The Philly Keyspot Network was created to help people across the city get connected. There are currently 79 Keyspots across the city. In addition to free Internet access, some also offer free use of computers and computer training classes.
The city and surrounding area is covered with Xfinity Hotspots, and you might be able to use one if you’re in a location that doesn’t have its own WiFi connection. The catch is that the hotspots aren’t technically free. If you have Xfinity Internet at home, use of the hotspots is included with your service, and all you need to do to connect to one is sign on with your username and password.
You can still connect to a hotspot if you don’t have Xfinity. The service gives people who aren’t customers two free 60-minute passes every 30 days. You can also purchase an hourly, daily, or weekly pass for a flat fee.
These days, it’s pretty difficult to go somewhere in the city and not find a way to get online for free. Just remember to play it safe when you use any open or unrestricted WiFi connection, since it is possible for people to intercept any data you send. Put off doing anything involving personal data or information for when you’re able to use a private, secure connection.
Image Source: Flickr/Dan Kleinman