If you are a subscriber to Verizon FiOS internet service for your home or business, did you know that you can also use Verizon’s extensive nationwide WiFi network for FREE? And, if you own one their Mifi wireless broadband hotspots (I do, and LOVE IT), you are also entitled to use their WiFi network (although, unless you left your MiFi at home, I am not sure how valuable this would be to you). You simply install a small piece of software on your laptop (sorry folks, PC’s only – no MAC support yet), and the moment a Verizon hotspot is within range, the software pops up and asks if you want to connect. Moments later, you’re on the internet. I experienced this on my last visit to Newark Liberty International Airport. Although I already had my MiFi fired up, a little window asked me if i wanted to connect to the Verizon/BOINGO wireless network. Piece of cake.
What about AT&T Customers?
Fear not – AT&T already has has a similar offering. If you have an iPhone or other compatible smartphone on the AT&T network, you are now able to use your device at thousands of Starbucks and other AT&T hotspots nationwide.
Are there any other options for free WiFi?
If you are in the NY metropolitan area, and happen to have Cablevision’s OptimumOnline broadband internet service for your home or business, you can now c0nnect to the free Optimum Wifi network. Cablevision has installed thousands of Wifi hotspots through the NY/NJ/CT area, in what is one the largest wide-area WiFi networks ever constructed. Their service is compatible with PC and Apple laptops, as well as many handheld devices. The only downside is that their WiFi network is constructed using small WiFi access points that are hung right on the Cablevision wire on telephone poles. Sometimes, that is quite a bit of a distance away from the cafe or shopping center you happen to be in when you want to connect. Therefore the signal will not be that good, as your distance from hotspot on the telephone pole increases. And unlike the Verizon and AT&T WiFi networks which are essentially nationwide, the Cablevision WiFi network ONLY operates in the NY/NJ/CT area, in places where Cablevision already provides cable service. Even if you travel to nearby cities such as Philadelphia or Atlantic City, you will not be able to use your Optimum WiFi service.
Why use WiFi when I already have internet access?
Simply put – SPEED. Chances are, your internet experience when using WiFi will be significantly faster than on any of the carriers’ regular broadband cellular networks. In addition, some of the WiFi networks may be available in places where there may be a poor cellular signal to begin with.
So if you have a qualifying service from AT&T, Verizon, or Cablevision why not contact them and get setup for your free WiFi access? You never know when it will come in handy.