Sunday, January 27, 2008

Free Wifi from Sydney and Melbourne Cafes

A while back, I was grumbling to myself about the lack of free wireless internet access from cafes in Sydney. OK - you could pay the equivalent of 4 cups of coffee for an hour's access from the national telco, but who wants to do that?

These days I use my mobile phone as a bluetooth modem to access the 3G network from my laptop. Coverage and speeds are sufficient, and my mobile carrier offers 500 MB per month for the price of 8 coffees.

However, I'm please to see that Unwired are setting up free wireless hotspots in a number of cafes in Sydney and Melbourne. I tried out one of these from a cafe near St Peters station in Sydney. Setup was simple and the access was reasonable. The service is branded as uConnect. Keep an eye out for it. The map on the UnWired website shows a number of locations, but not all (map).

Update: McDonalds now offer free WiFi in many of their "restaurants". I took the time to read through their terms and conditions and didn't find anything offensive. At the time of writing, they had 439 stores with free Wifi in Australia. Go to to find out if your local spot is wified yet.