Friday, January 1, 2010

Free Wifi Hotspots Accessible to Truckers (Updated)


Do you drive a truck? Would you like to be able to access the internet for free? Are you sick and tired of the obscenely overpriced options that the big-chain truckstops offer? Then I've got good news for you!

In my travels about the country over the past 4 years, I've gathered together every location I could find that offered free WIFI access to truck drivers. This list has every truckstop and rest area with free wifi that I have encountered, plus a few I got from doing searches on the internet. There are probably still several I haven't found - in 2009 alone I discovered about 20 new ones, and I'm sure more and more of the small-timer truckstops are seeing the value in offering for free something that doesn't really cost them anything to provide. Contrast that with the exorbitant rates the major chains charge - several dollars an hour! - and it's easy to see why the small-timers are still in business.

Best of all, I'm posting this list for free! That's right, I did a ton of work, and I'm giving it away because I'm just that awesome!

I posted earlier renditions of this list before, but now that 2009 is over with, I think it's time I posted my latest rendition of the list of free wifi hotspots on my shiny new website. Consider this my Christmas and New Year's gifts to all you hard working truck drivers. Enjoy! And if you have any comments or information to share about this list, please feel free to let me know so I can keep this list up to date.

In the meantime, you can repay my kindness by passing the word out about my site, ok? Thanks!

Click here to see the list.

A couple caveats: I don't list motels and restaurants that aren't part of the truckstop, first because it's rude to use their wifi, second because in some places it might be illegal for you to do so, and third because sometimes they lock up their airwaves to keep unauthorized users off which would invalidate the list. Also, I don't list any malls or restaurants because you never know when someone's going to get offended about parting a truck in a mall parking lot.

There are a few restaurants scattered about that have their own truck parking lots and also offer free wifi. I didn't list these because most of these places don't want you parking overnight, or even for long periods, and as with malls, you never know when someone's going to get pissy about you parking there, so I'd rather not be the cause of unnecessary grief unless I'm going to profit big time from it. :-)

Most of you are probably well aware of what places like that you can park at or near anyway.

Last caveat: there are a few towns that have city-wide wifi. These were initially going to be free, but almost-free isn't quite free, and so they decided they needed to recoup the deployment costs. I've been to two of these towns, and both of them offered a 5-minute free usage, which was enough time to swap emails and proteins, and check the weather. No point in mentioning them if that's all you can do.

Below I've linked up a few netbooks available at Amazon, one of which is embarrassingly cheap. They should all have the appropriate WIFI devices built in. I personally use a large laptop, but there are so many of them out there that recommending one would be a full-time job. Netbooks are currently pretty simple, stripped-down laptops, and they're really small. I'm probably going to get one soon, as soon as I figure out what exactly I want. That cheap one looks like I might want it.

UPDATE 7/6/12:

I stopped driving a truck for the past couple years, and then over the past few months have been on the road again and found out the free wifi landscape has changed significantly. The biggest change is that McDonald's wifi has become free nationwide, even in California. True, it's almost impossible to connect outside the wals of the restaurant, but the fact that there are so many of them and so many near or in truckstops, or that have truck parking, that it's very easy to get internet access almost any time you want to.

In addition to that, Lowe's also offers free wifi, AND you can park in most of their lots like you can in most Walmart lots (although, good luck with that in California). Most of the time, you can get signal from your truck too.

Because of this, even though I've found a couple more rest areas and truckstops with free wifi, I have decided that I'm not going to update the list any more. I may change my mind in the future, but for now it doesn't look like there's much point to the list or to updating it.


Other articles you may find interesting or helpful:
10-4 Good Buddy!
Expose Yourself #1 – Smilin’ Bill
Maps are freakin' awesome


1 comment:

  1. As this is a very important and frequently viewed page, I added a Tweet button so you guys could share the page with your trucker buddies! (Please do so!)


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