Ever since my dad put our family on a limited data plan (aka it cuts off once we’ve used it all), I’ve become a bit of a WiFi addict. I feel almost guilty whenever I load data on 3G or LTE instead of waiting until I have WiFi to check Instagram or Snapchat. So, for all of the other WiFi mooches out there, here’s a comprehensive guide to the best locations uptown on Tryon St where you can access password-free wifi without spending a dime.
Network: “Google Starbucks”
Address: 101 North Tryon, 101 South Tryon, 135 Levine Avenue of the Arts
If you were to look up “quality high-speed free WiFi” in my personal dictionary, the Starbucks logo would pop up without a doubt. Not only is it reliable and quick, they even have a daily poll once you connect to the network that I am addicted to participating in.
Sometimes if I regret my answer, I’ll log in on my computer and change it to conform to the rest of the Starbucks population.
On top of that, there are so many Starbucks stores Uptown that pretty much wherever you are, there is a “Google Starbucks” network within range at all times.
Address: 327 South Tryon
For all of the Wells Fargo bankers who want to sit outside in the plaza for lunch while still being connected to WiFi, this is your spot.
You can sit anywhere in this section of chairs to the left and still get access to all three bars of Mariposa’s wifi.
Rí Rá Irish Pub
Network: “Ri ra”
Address: 208 North Tryon
Not only can you get access from the front of the store on Tryon, but this network reaches all the way around the corner to the Hearst Tower patio.
Now you can Instagram your Edamame and Buddha Roll from Soho Bistro with a scenic background from the convenience of Rí Rá’s WiFi.
Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
Address: 130 North Tryon
You’ll be fooled by Duckworth’s guest WiFi network because it has no password, but it won’t let you connect from outside. Solution: BPAGUEST. It reaches all the way to Tryon, or you can use it as a WiFi-stepping-stone to avoid data usage while you’re on your way to 7th Street Public Market.
Trade and Tryon intersection
This is a special connection opportunity for all of UNC-Chapel Hill interns in town this summer, as my phone somehow connected to UNC’s WPA-protected WiFi while I was standing at the corner of Trade and Tryon.
The internet is a mysterious thing. I can’t explain this one, but it was pretty relaxing to scroll through my emails next to a waterfall. Go Tar Heels!
There were many networks that fell under the category of “Lie-fi” which is a password-free network that appears on the list of available networks, but doesn’t let you join. Ugh.