Written by Lori Thiessen

One of the things that’s important to me when I choose a coffee shop office is free wifi. Starbucks, as far as I know, still charges quite a bit for wifi which sucks because the coffees are so expensive. Coffee and wifi can run you over $10 and that’s just for the hour. Do the math and you’re looking at $1280/month based on an 8 hr day. There are tons of things I can think of to spend that kind of money on and it ain’t wifi and coffee.

A lot of coffee shops offer free wifi as a way to attract customers and it’s a smart move. Free, ample parking and free wifi makes my café commuter mouth water. And now I’m happy to pay the $5 for a coffee, possibly even several cups of $5 coffee depending how long I’m camped out for.

There are a couple of websites that list places where the wifi is free.

Vancouver Wifi Mug – Caffeinated and Unstrung (http://vancouver.wifimug.org)

This website has a pretty comprehensive listing of every café and restaurant that offers free wifi in the Metro-Vancouver (Lower Mainland area). The downside is that there doesn’t seem to be an email or other way to contact the folks looking after this community-based, free listing. You can add or edit an entry pretty easily.

There are also other cities that have a similar directory:

Seattle (http://seattle.wifimug.org)

Portland, (http://portland.wifimug.org)

Boston (http://boston.wifimug.org)

Chicago (http://chicago.wifimug.org)

For the café commuter who travels far afield this is a handy thing to know.

There is another website with a listing of free wifi spots called Wifi Spot Directory (http://www.wififreespot.com).

This resource isn’t nearly as comprehensive as Wifi Mug but it does cover most provinces, and it also lists other places other than cafes and restaurants that offer free wifi. Plus this is a for-profit site by the looks of things, if that is an issue for you.

Happy Free Wifi Hunting!

Q: How do you find out about free wifi spots in your city?

Thanks for dropping by and I’ll save your seat until next time!