For many small business owners who need internet access when they travel, adding ten or so dollars a night to the hotel bill for high speed internet access is just part of doing business. During a long trip, that chance to hop online to check email and do a bit of research can add up to a hundred dollars or more. For entrepreneurs on a budget, using free Wi-Fi options can be a great solution.
Free High Speed Internet Access at the Library
Many library systems offer at least one way for people, including travelers, to access the internet free of charge. The most common option is one that allows people to use library computers for 15 minutes to two hours a day. Travelers can usually sign on using guest passes or special computer use only library cards that the library will create for them. This option is especially useful for a small business owner who has laptop issues or who needs to print out a contract or report. (Libraries that offer free internet access do still charge a fee for print outs. Typically, the fee is 10 to 25 cents a page.)
Free Wi-Fi is another option many libraries offer. This option allows small business owners with a laptop to simply visit the library, use their laptop’s wireless card to find the connection and log on automatically. Usually, a page informing the user of library policies will pop up. After reading and accepting the policy, he or she will be able to go online. This internet access option is ideal for a traveler who needs to be online for several hours or who needs more quiet than he or she is getting in the library’s busy computer room, click for source.
Free Wi-Fi at Coffee Houses and Restaurants
Main Street Station, a coffee house in Port Deposit, Maryland, offers free Wi-Fi to anyone who comes into the shop and also has a few computers with free high speed internet access available. Many other individually owned coffee houses also offer free Wi-Fi to customers.
Quite a few chain stores, such as Panera Bread and Office Depot, also offer free Wi-Fi to customers. Other chain stores do provide Wi-Fi, but access is not available for everyone. For example, Starbucks customers who have AT&T DSL, T-Mobile, or a registered Starbucks card, can get free Wi-Fi. Customers who do not meet these qualifications have to pay a fee before they get access. With a bit of sleuthing, small business owners who are traveling will be able to discover free local Wi-Fi or high speed internet access options so that they can save their cash for more important business expenses.