If you have a laptop or other Wi-Fi capable device, you don't need to rely exclusively on your home wireless network for downloads. Wi-Fi Internet service extends only a short distance, with most antennas not broadcasting further than 300 feet. Fortunately, you can still find temporary service in a variety of places. If you spend some time researching your options, you can download photos, music and more at your convenience.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Wi-Fi locator
Turn on your computer or a Wi-Fi enabled device to check for network access. On most devices, networks are identified by several small bars representing signal strength. On Windows computers, this network icon appears in the lower right-hand corner when networks are available. On Macs, the icon appears in the upper right of your screen.
Carry a Wi-Fi locator on your keychain or in your pocket. These small devices are available at many electronics stores, and they provide a small digital display or blinking light to indicate nearby Wi-Fi signals.
Connect to Wi-Fi at your local coffee shop. Even if you're not a coffee drinker, you can order teas, pastries and other items. The book "Coffee: Philosophy for Everyone" suggests that most coffee shop patrons are more interested in Wi-Fi connections than fresh-brewed coffee, and it isn't uncommon for a person to order one drink and use the shop's Wi-Fi for a several-hour download. You may need a password to use the connection, often provided by the barista.
Visit your local library. Many libraries have Wi-Fi access. To connect to the network, you will most likely need your library card number to sign in. Library access is sometimes limited, and each library cardholder is allowed a certain number of daily minutes online. Make sure you have enough access time to complete your browsing before you start the download.
Ask about Wi-Fi at restaurants. According to Jack W. Plunkett's book, an increasing number of casual eateries are incorporating Wi-Fi to attract customers. Wi-Fi is typically free or available with a password provided upon ordering.
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