Finding free public WiFi can be like scoring an onion ring in your chips – unexpected, but always welcomed. With that in mind we’ve compiled a list of the top five places you can find free WiFi in your local area.

1. Libraries

Public libraries offer a stack of free services to the community but one of the best has to be the free WiFi. This spot is ideal for the solitary WiFi warrior looking to lay low and procrastinate for a while.

2. Cafés

Originally a perk offered only by large chain cafes to students and ‘serious writers’, WiFi and latte now go hand-in-hand. So if you’re looking for a place to video chat with a friend or zone-out over a coffee, simply switch on your WiFi and follow the strongest signal.

3. Shopping centres

Before you storm the information kiosk of your local community shopping centre, consider your surroundings. Generally the larger the shopping centre the more likely you are to find free WiFi. Some department stores are even getting in on the act. Often concentrated by the food court, shopping centre WiFi can be a bit hit-and-miss depending on where you are, but more often than not it’ll be enough to upload a few statuses, just don’t try to stream ‘The Lord of the Rings’.

4. McDonald’s and Apple stores

fast food chains and retailers like Apple have built a reputation over the years for supplying fast and reliable WiFi to backpackers. At Apple you’ll generally find the staff are accustomed to folks using the free WiFi and will in some cases leave you to your own devices. Depending on the fast food chain you enter you might be judged if you take up a table to browse but forget to order.

5. Public transport

Ferries, buses and trains are now offering commuters free WiFi during their trip. Some offer the service all day long while others are only available at peak times or on specific services. A quick Google of your local public transport website should give you a good idea of what to expect.

Bonus: amaysim bus shelters

In the spirit of giving you more we’ve equipped a couple bus shelters around the Sydney CBD and one in Melbourne (outside Luna Park) with free WiFi until the end of October. So the next time you’re stuck in an endless queue for the bus in Circular Quay or Clarence St, look out for our bright orange bus shelters and enjoy some online entertainment on us.

Know any sure fire places with free WiFi? Share your sources in the comments.

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