are free WIFI hotspots common in Canada? - ehMac.ca
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Old Jun 12th, 2009, 12:50 PM   #1
 
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are free WIFI hotspots common in Canada?

I'll be buying an iPod Touch and I want to use WIFI to access email and web sites. I've been trying to find out how common free hotspots are in Canada and so far, it isn't looking good. Most seem to require payment. Is anyone aware of where I can find a good list of free hotspots?

Has anyone had any experience using Boingo? A subscription costs about US$8/month and supposedly gives you access to thousands of hotspots all over the world that would otherwise charge you.
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Old Jun 12th, 2009, 12:58 PM   #2
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There are few free hotspots. Williams Coffee Pub is usually free, and a number of bars I know are free, but require a password.

If you have a GPS, check out POIfriend.com: Free GPS POI (Point of Interest) Downloads, Maps & Community - Garmin TomTom and do a search for hotspots
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Old Jun 12th, 2009, 01:00 PM   #3
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There are tons of Wi-Fi hotspots, Most of them are locked, but you'd be surprised how many you can tap into. Like a mosquito looking for a hemoglobin fix. Public libraries are a good source as well.
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Old Jun 12th, 2009, 01:38 PM   #4
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I supposed it mostly depends on how urban the area is that you live in. However, I have found that free wireless is harder to come by up here in Canada then when I lived down in Atlanta and I would think that in more of the major US cities it would be easier to find free spots.
That being said, when I have been in Toronto I have usually been able to find hotspots when I have needed them. The best thing to do would be to get a Starbucks card for $5 then get the Coffee Shop app. if you register your starbucks card on Starbucks.com you can get 2 free hours of wifi everyday at a starbucks. The coffee shop app will log you in automatically when you launch it, which is handy because other wise you have to type in a 16 digit code from the card whenever you go to starbucks.
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Old Jun 12th, 2009, 02:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by imageinnovation View Post
I'll be buying an iPod Touch and I want to use WIFI to access email and web sites. I've been trying to find out how common free hotspots are in Canada and so far, it isn't looking good. Most seem to require payment. Is anyone aware of where I can find a good list of free hotspots?

Has anyone had any experience using Boingo? A subscription costs about US$8/month and supposedly gives you access to thousands of hotspots all over the world that would otherwise charge you.
Canada is a pretty big place

In Regina, there is free wifi covering the downtown area. It's not the speediest, but it's there.

The two major internet providers here have gone to wireless modems that force security so finding open wireless in residential areas is fading out.

A google for free wifi canada reveals a ton of lists.

My grandson carries his iPod Touch with him while riding in the car and makes a note of any free (or not secure) wireless that he finds.

Take care, Margaret
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Old Jun 12th, 2009, 02:35 PM   #6
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I live near Hanover, ON and there is free WIFI at Coffee Culture restaurant and at the Queen's Bush pub on the main drag. I've used it at Coffee Culture and it works just fine.

Downtown Toronto has a ton of WIFI spots, almost on every corner.

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Old Jun 12th, 2009, 02:39 PM   #7
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free wifi finder canada - Google Search

Some sources are better than others, but there is a ton of free wifi in Canada, with a lot of people marking out sites and posting about them.

Lots of companies and individuals do not encrypt their networks--sometimes because they want them to be shared, sometimes because they don't figure out how to prevent sharing.
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Old Jun 12th, 2009, 02:58 PM   #8
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Canada is behind the curve when it comes to WiFi. There are a few places that have free WiFi: as was mentioned, Williams Coffee Pub, some of the Coffee Culture and Second Cup locations, a few MacDonalds, and some public libraries. Downtown Hamilton has public WiFi, which has been free for the past year or so, but it is slow, and reception is awful since they put the transmitters on the stop lights in the middle of the intersections - so they don't work well when it comes to practical places to sit and use WiFi. Outside of airports and stuff, I don't think Boingo has very much coverage in Canada, though it may be better in places like downtown Toronto. Some areas serviced by Cogeco have pay WiFi, but I don't think their coverage is good.

The best service is in downtown Goderich - they are really doing things in that town, like real High Speed Internet via Fiber Optic, and their entire downtown area is well served by WiFi. Another place is Chatham, and though it is a pay service, TekSavvy offers WiMax which covers the whole county of Chatham-Kent.

I wouldn't go out and buy something WiFi thinking that there will be practical places to connect to all over the place. Coverage is sketchy at best, and the only way I found a few free HotSpots was by doing some drive-by with KisMac - which is how I found the MacDonalds down the road from here, as well as the HotSpot that used to operate up where my girlfriend works, and the Cogeco service that was at my old place of employment.
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Old Jun 12th, 2009, 03:09 PM   #9
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Some good music and web access by wifi on an iPod Touch plus a big ice cream cone while on the beach in Goderich sounds really nice right now. It's been a few years since I've been out that way.
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Old Jun 12th, 2009, 03:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjnmusic View Post
There are tons of Wi-Fi hotspots, Most of them are locked, but you'd be surprised how many you can tap into. Like a mosquito looking for a hemoglobin fix. Public libraries are a good source as well.
Don't overlook hotels and motels along with electronics stores, drug stores that sell computers and cameras and many coffee shops too. I even use the chiropractor's wifi located next door to a pub. Lots of public buildings like pools and gyms too, and just about any mall will have at least one open system.

You will be surprised just how many systems are unlocked out there.
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