I spend a lot of time on the internet at home. When I travel, I still want to stay connected. So trying to find free WiFi spots can be a lot of fun. More and more hotels are offering wi-fi these days. Some offer it for free, some charge for it. For example, when I stayed at a hotel in Gatlinburg, TN, the hotel offered free wi-fi. But while staying at a hotel in Niagara Falls, Ontario, they wanted to charge me $20 a day.
Some restaurants also offer Wi-Fi. Again, some offer it for free, and some charge. I often eat lunch in a Panera Bread restaurant, and they have free wi-fi. But today in a McDonalds that had a sign on the door saying they have wi-fi, so I pulled out my laptop, only to get a screen asking how I wanted to pay for the access. Screw that! I put my lap top away.
One strategy for free wi-fi is to park in the parking lot of a hotel offering free wi-fi. Bu this wont always work, as some places will take you to a landing page where you will need to enter a code to gain access to the internet.
I have also bought a WiFi detector, but that only tells me if WiFi is nearby, but not if it is free or not. And I have had it tell me there is Wifi nearby, only to boot up my laptop, have it tell me there is nothing.