What Places Have Free WiFi: 6 Popular Chains To Choose From

Marketing 12 minute read 28th February 2024

You won’t have to look very far if you’re wondering what places have free WiFi near you. Popular chains of retail stores, coffee shops, restaurants, etc., offer a free internet connection to their customers. There are places to use internet near you.

However, not all popular chains have reliable and fast WiFi. Plus, there are many alternatives available nowadays. Mostly, restaurants with free wifi.

One thing is for sure, though: Finding the best free WiFi connection might take some time and research. Here, you’ll learn how to find the best spots and a list of six popular chain options.

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Apps To Find Places With Good Free WiFi

Did you know there are dedicated apps that you can use to find places with good free WiFi? Or best free public wifi? They usually have a map that pinpoints the location of those hotspots. They might also give information on how to connect to the WiFi.

If you are looking for places with free wifi, be extra careful. Some hotspots require entering a password, while others ask you to agree to some terms. If your chosen hotspot requires a password, the app can retrieve it for you. Some apps even let users review the hotspots they connect to.

For example, Instabridge lets users add hotspots they have already used. They can also add information like popularity, strength, etc. On this app, you can also locate private networks. You won’t need to get a WiFi password as they are open to everyone.

You might think these apps would be useless if you don’t already have a WiFi connection to use them. Instabridge takes this problem away with offline maps. All you need to do is download the map of your area.

Alternatively, you can use WiFi Map, which has an in-built VPN to keep you safe on public WiFi.

Like Instabridge, it’s also a crowdsourced application, meaning users add, remove, and update free WiFi hotspots.

Lastly, if speed is your biggest concern when connecting to public hotspots, use the SpeedSpot WiFi finder app.

Instead of just providing you with names and passwords, this app rates WiFi hotspots according to their speeds. It also tells you the type of encryption of the public WiFi network so you can choose the one with the best security.

What Places Have Free WiFi: 3 Restaurants and Coffee Shops To Choose From

Almost 47% of the people in the US use public WiFi hotspots regularly. This statistic explains why so many coffee shops and restaurants have free WiFi. However, if you’re not ready to try and test, you might want to head to the popular chains. That’s because their service is often better and you don’t have to spend much time searching for them. Keep reading for three restaurant and coffee shop chains we recommend trying.

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1. McDonald’s Free WiFi Is as Good as Its Fries

Whether it’s exceptional french fries or free WiFi, McDonald’s never stays behind in any aspect. So, it makes sense to start this list with the Golden Arches.

With 6.1 Mbps upload and 24.2 Mbps download speed, it has the fastest WiFi among fast food chains. However, the specific numbers may vary from location to location.

You don’t even need a password to connect to McDonald’s WiFi. Turn on your device’s WiFi and look for McDonald’s free WiFi or a similar name. The lack of a lock sign on its side will help you recognize it. Once you connect to the network, you must open a browser and agree to the terms.

Once you’ve done that, click on the Get Connected button, and you’re ready to enjoy the free WiFi. However, open public WiFi poses risks; therefore, be cautious when using it.

2. Taco Bell Comes at a Close Second

Taco Bell was late to provide free WiFi networks to its customers. But once it started, its speeds came at a close second to McDonald’s.

With a 14.29 Mbps download speed, it is enough for a lot of tasks. Although, you might want to stay away from streaming Netflix while you’re there. After all, you wouldn’t want to connect to the Internet only to face long buffering times.

However, if you’re not in the mood for tacos while you use free WiFi, Arby’s also offers 12.24 Mbps. Moreover, you can comfortably use social media with an upload speed of 4.38 Mbps. But don’t expect it to let you conduct long video conferences.

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3. Head Over to Dunkin’ Donuts for Fast WiFi

After covering fast-food restaurants, let’s talk about coffee shop WiFi. These venues have become more than places to get a quick caffeine fix. In fact, Dunkin’ Donuts has gradually become a common place for students due to its fast WiFi.

Its 40.4 Mbps download speed lets you take video calls, stream 4K videos, or browse the Internet. And with 17.20 Mbps, it doesn’t stay behind in upload speeds either.

On the other hand, if you’re a Starbucks fan, you’ll also find free WiFi there. But it might not be as fast as that of Dunkin’s.

What Stores Have Free WiFi: 3 Options for Your Next Retail Trip

People don’t spend as much time in retail stores as they do in restaurants and coffee shops. However, it might be useful to know what stores have free WiFi.

You might want to compare products with the brand’s competitor or get reviews to help you decide. So, here are three options to enjoy a great WiFi connection on your next retail trip.

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1. Apple Stores Have the Best Public WiFi

It shouldn’t be surprising that one of the best technology companies, Apple, also provides the best public WiFi.

It beats all other businesses with 59.4 Mbps download and 41.8 Mbps upload speed. With such amazing speeds, there’s no limit to what you can use it for.

Microsoft Stores lands in second place in terms of Internet speed. But the 55.7 Mbps isn’t very far from that of Apple’s.

Besides, since these are technology brands, their public WiFi will likely be more secure than others. So, if you’re after fast and secure WiFi, you can choose any of these stores.

2. Enjoy Books, Coffee, and WiFi at Barnes and Noble

If you want to sit and relax in a cozy atmosphere while using public WiFi, choose Barnes and Noble. It is one of the biggest bookstore chains in the US, and it joined forces with AT&T for free WiFi.

Testmy claims that Barnes and Noble have 53.4 Mbps download speeds, which may vary from location to location.

Remember, it puts usage and device limits to manage public WiFi. So you might not be able to download large files. But if you’re looking to browse books, sit in a cafe, and enjoy free WiFi, this is your best bet.

3. Get Groceries and Free WiFi at Walmart

Walmart is a store you probably visit on a weekly basis, if not daily. So, it makes sense to search for free WiFi there.

The good news is almost every location offers free hotspots you can use for as long as you want. All you need to do is accept its terms of usage, and you’re ready to go.

However, Walmart’s WiFi is not famous for its speed, so you might face lags. Moreover, you might also face range issues in some locations, so keep that in mind.

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Keep Yourself Safe When Using Free WiFi

By now, you must have a good idea of what places have free WiFi. However, remember that connecting to public hotspots exposes you to security risks.

Moreover, these businesses do not necessarily follow public WiFi security best practices. Therefore, use a VPN and turn off file sharing to keep yourself safe.

If you run a business and want to attract customers with free WiFi, make the most of it. Beambox is a WiFi marketing solution that helps business owners gather customer data and run marketing campaigns effectively.

Beambox does not require additional hardware and has no hidden fees. Start your trial now!

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