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How to find WiFi hotspots - Road trip tip

Being without internet access makes a road trip seem desolate. Here are two simple tips for getting online for free:

1.) Wifinder is a good site to find public wi-fi hotspots, and people can submit them as they find them during their road trips.

2.) Getting a wi-fi detector is an easy way to find a hotspot, because not everyone posts a sign that says that free wi-fi is available. There are a lot of companies that offer signal detectors. For example, the Mobile Edge MEASL1 is on a keychain, which is a good way to find a hotspot and measure signal strength when stopping in new towns along the way.

[Photo: Flickr | Florian]

If the hotel charges for Internet access, ask for a room on a lower floor - Hotel tip

Hotels in city areas are usually surrounded by cafes and other places that offer free wi-fi hotspots. Rooms on higher floors (above traffic light levels) usually can not pick up strong signals, but a good wi-fi detector can find a strong signal from a first or second floor room.

Sometimes an encrypted connection is free for customers, so getting internet access might be as easy as stopping in, buying some coffee-to-go, and asking for an access code. Test out the connection in the lobby or hallway before actually switching rooms.

[Photo credit: Flickr user dana~2, used in accordance with Creative Commons]

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