Still No Power Because Of Irene? Check Out Where You Can Go In The Boston Area To Snag Some Free Wi-Fi

Posted by erik devaney

If you’re in the same boat as me, your apartment is still without power and a robot representative has recently called to tell you that — despite the power company’s best efforts — your power might not return until “well into the weekend.”

“No Internet for the entire week?!?” you may have screamed into your phone. “What century is this anyway?” But before you go smashing your laptop against the wall in frustration, take a deep breath and remember this: there are several places in the Boston area where you can go for a free Internet connection. Hopefully by snagging some free Wi-Fi you will be able to stave off insanity until you are able to surf the web again from the comfort of your own couch.

Boston Public Library - Various Boston Area Locations

Whether it’s the West End Branch Library on 151 Cambridge Street, the Central Library on 700 Boylston Street, the Honan-Allston Branch Library on 300 North Harvard Street in Allston or the Charlestown Branch Library on 179 Main Street in Charlestown, the BPL that you are closest to will offer free wireless connections to the Library’s Internet service.

In addition, the Central Library’s Bates Hall and the Honan-Allston Branch’s Adult Reading Room offer direct plug-in ports. I recently spoke with the head librarian at the North End Branch Library on 25 Parmenter Street who told me that there has been no apparent influx of Internet-seekers following the storm. You know what that means? There will be plenty of room for you!

Norman B. Leventhal Park - 00 Post Office Square, Boston, MA

If you are looking for some free Wi-Fi in the heart of the Financial District and you want to enjoy the lovely post-Irene weather, look no further than Norman B. Leventhal Park. The 1.7-acre park, which rests just above the Garage at Post Office Square, offers a walk-through fountain, a 143-foot-long, vine-covered trellis and — most importantly — free Wi-Fi Internet access. Just find yourself a comfy spot on the park’s manicured lawn, pull out your laptop and search for the “Norman B Leventhal Park” unsecured network.

Starbucks - Various Boston Area Locations

Whether it’s the one on 240 Washington Street, the one on 84 State Street or the one on 2-4 Faneuil Hall Market Place, Starbucks is a go-to coffeehouse for free Wi-Fi in Boston. I recently spoke with an employee at the Starbucks on 27 School Street who told me that there seemed to be no rush for free Internet following the storm. However, I was also reminded that Starbucks does not keep tabs on how many people use the Wi-Fi service, as you can stand outside and access it for free without having to buy anything.

I did see a Facebook update from a friend stating that another Starbucks was packed:

“props to the people who brought power strips to Starbucks… this place is like an airport charging station! (yes, I’m still here… participating in my 8:10 class online - I am a dedicated grad student) thanking Starbucks for bringing in more. ”

Voltage Coffee & Art - 295 3rd Street, Cambridge, MA

We get it. You’re trendy, you’re cultured and you don’t want to get your Wi-Fi from some bigwig café chain (even if that café chain charges a ridiculous amount for a caffeinated beverage you can’t even pronounce). So head to Kendall Square and find a seat at Voltage Coffee & Art. In addition to serving up coffees and snacks, like strawberry scones, the café serves as a gallery for up-and-coming area artists. Just keep in mind that the Wi-Fi here is not entirely free. You have to spend at least $2 to get one hour of access, at least $4 for two hours of access and at least $6 for three hours of access.

Related posts:

  1. Coping With A Hurricane Irene Power Outage: Tips For Living Without Electricity
  2. Power Outages Rise as Irene Approaches Bay State
  3. Power outages, flooding from Irene in Mass.
  4. About 70,000 Without Power in Conn. Ahead of Irene
  5. It Could be Weeks Before all Vt. Homes get Power; Worst Flooding in a Century; Check out Raw Video

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Posted by erik devaney on Aug 30 2011. Filed under Technology, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Still No Power Because Of Irene? Check Out Where You Can Go In The Boston Area To Snag Some Free Wi-Fi”

  1. FauxPa

    Erik Devaney’s reporting on this wi-fi access piece is most helpful. Almost all libraries also have public access computers.
    Devaney’s article yesterday on the extent of outages in NE and particularly in CT is exemplary. I was interested to find how CL&P determines which area gets priority of repair. It helps to know there is some kind of order in this chaos!

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