Despite initiatives to spread wifi citywide or even worldwide, most people are limited to the signal they either pay for at home, or pick up at random locations.
Most of such hotspots are predictably available in cafes, libraries, schools and parks – but some of the places you can find often completely free are surprisingly strange.
Here are 9 weird places with wifi you might not have known about:
1. In transit
How is anyone expected to enjoy travel without TV streaming these days?
While wifi on trains and airplanes have become the norm, buses like Greyhound have free wifi now, too, as do taxi-cabs in London. NYC’s Transit Wireless proposal also hopes to bring wifi and cell phone service to underground stations later in 2014.
2. At jury duty
Most courthouses all over the US are equipped with wifi. Though we don’t suggest you try to go there for this reason alone, if and when you have to go to court, at least you can live tweet your trial without using too much data.
3. At the gas station
Starting in 2008, BP gas stations began offering free wifi to all customers, which according to the NY Times is a way to get customers to stick around a little longer and buy more stuff. Sad? Maybe a little, but it’s still free wifi.
4. In a phone booth
Say goodbye to those bizarre and germy quarter-eating boxes that for some reason still exist. In NYC, mayor Bill De Blasio has proposed to transform them into wifi and digital information hubs, that give New Yorkers (or more likely, tourists) broadband access, while earning the city $17.5 million annual revenue.
5. At the North pole
Ironically, one of the world’s coldest spots had a hotspot installed back in 2005. Located at the tented Barneo ice camp, which is often too cold for occupation, the installation was designed to test the limits of the technology, and presumably allow elves to google toy-making or something.
6. Atop Mount Everest
In 2010, eight Mount Everest base camps were given 3G and free wifi, which according to Salon “ruins the magic.” But let’s face it – no one will believe you climbed Mount Everest if you don’t Snapchat the evidence, or at the very least check in on Foursquare.
7. At the beach
While not all beaches are aboard the universal wifi boat yet, plenty exist in locations like Florida, California, France, Italy, Thailand and more. Whether or not these beaches subsequently provide water/sun protection for laptops – or even better, sand cubicles – remains unclear.
8. On a donkey
In Israel, a biblical themed park called Village of Yore has in all seriousness attached routers to its tour donkeys’ necks to attract younger crowds to get off their asses and onto their asses (see what I did there?).
Why? God knows. Check out the park, maybe you can ask Jesus.
9. In space
Lastly, if there’s any weird places with wifi you are less likely to be than a biblical theme park or a beach in Cannes, here’s one for you: the Moon.
As of late May 2014, researchers at NASA and MIT announced they could transfer data to space with lasers, allowing future generations that may live or work in space to communicate back home.
For now, maybe China’s Jade Rabbit lunar rover can use it to bide time on Youtube, which is banned in China.