Long Island-wifi-networkLooking for interesting places to blog from on Long Island? From coffee houses to restaurants to Airports, Here are some of my favorite places to do some mobile blogging:

Starbucks – The Bloggers personal choice for an office away from home. You can sit back and write for hours.  Most Starbucks have some really comfortable chairs to just lounge in, sit back and enjoy your coffee while writing away. It can get pricey but if you budget about $100 a month, ($4 a day for coffee and snack) and 2 hours a day for your writing then this is by far the best way to go. In about 6 weeks you’ll have that gold card from Starbucks to show off.

Starbucks offers 2 hours of AT&T internet access per day if you have a registered Starbucks card. The 2 hour limit is not set in stone as I have never been cutoff from internet access after even 4 hours of usage but I’m sure Starbucks reserves the right if they are busy.

Libraries – They’re quiet and offer free internet but there are limitations. You cannot answer your phone and no eating or drinking. If you can put up with the limitations than this could be another one of your offices away from home. Here are a few library suggestions:

~I have found the Nassau Library System has open internet access to all, no need for a library card. I can just sit down and sign on. Of course it’s a public location so be careful what you do while on their network. There is a library in every town on Long Island and they have varying hours.

~The NYPL (New York Public Library) system also offers free wireless internet access but you will need a library card. Residents of NY State are eligible for free cards. Visitors can apply for temporary cards. Here are the terms: Get a card and enjoy free access to the best library system in the world!

~I do not live close enough to Suffolk County to have had the opportunity to visit and check out the Suffolk County Library System wireless access. Hopefully some local bloggers from there can help me out with this info.

McDonald’s – I have yet to work from a McDonald’s as I stay away from their food, but I love their coffee. On Long Island I find that McDonald’s has become a destination for stay at home Mom’s to bring their kids for lunch because most have small playgrounds. It’s a great idea as stay at home mom’s definitely need the lunch break but for this reason alone I would say that McDonald’s is no great place to write a blog. They have AT&T wireless access that is now completely free but the screaming kids will drive you crazy! ;)

Panera Bread – Now here is a great place to sit down and have lunch while doing some writing but I find that Panera Breads are incredibly busy and you will be rushed out by the staff, politely of course. 45 minutes is the posted limit at the local Panera Bread’s. Catch them on their downtime and the staff will let you sit for hours. Expect to spend about $7-10 dollars on lunch.

Houlihan’s – Houlihan’s in Farmingdale in one of my favorites and I have mentioned them in the past. There is only one Houlihan’s on Long Island and if you need great food and wireless internet, I will personally vouch for them. Right down the block from Republic Airport, expect to spend anywhere from $8-15 dollars on lunch and tip.

Local Airports Can you blog from an airport? Yes and no. We have a few airports around Long Island and I have used them all. It’s a great place to people watch as well as write but not practical for my purposes as they are really difficult to get too. Here is a rundown on how to use the local airports without setting off Homeland Security:

~Kennedy/LaGuardia – Both Airports are run by the Port Authority of NY so it figures that both airports would offer wireless access from the same provider, Boingo. Yes you will have to pay for a subscription starting at $9.95 a month or $4.95 for a full day pass. There are plenty of areas, both pre and post security where you could sit and write a posting or two as well as eat but the access fee would only make this practical for frequent fliers. Terminal 4 at Kennedy has a small shopping mall and food-court with a host of access ports but expect to pay by the hour as there is no free WiFi. Jetblue in Terminal 5 has the only free wireless internet access at Kennedy. None of the Starbucks has open internet access either. In all other terminals you will have to go with Boingo. I’m not too familiar with laguardia. The Port authority website just states they are covered by Boingo but I’m sure there are other on site options too.

~MacArthur – They offer Optimum Wi-Fi. Yes it’s free! You do not have to be a Cablevision subscriber if you are accessing their network from the Airport. Have I seen bloggers there? No. The airport is pretty out of the way and only accessible by car. Not really a practical place to write but if your in the mood to get out of the house and write, take the trip.

Optimum Online Customers – Cablevision is attempting to blanket all of Long Island with wireless internet access. The only catch is you have to be a Cablevision customer. Check out their map. This is the largest and most advanced Wi-Fi network in the nation available only on Long Island. If you have Optimum Online, most Starbucks are within range of an Optimum Online Wireless access point. I hop onto that network first. If the signal is not strong enough I then hop onto the Starbucks network. ;)

Plan ahead and scope out a spot for your writing needs. You’ll find Long Island is incredibly Blogger friendly! I have a project ongoing where I am mapping out Hotspots that I have used. I have this information on a google spreadsheet that I am constantly updating. You can find the spreadsheet here: Do you have any other great locations? Drop me a comment. I would love to learn of more wireless hotspots on Long Island. :)

6 Comments

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  2. cna training March 6, 2010 at 3:35 AM

    Keep posting stuff like this. I really like it.

  3. Richard March 3, 2010 at 8:34 AM

    The two systems are distinctly different. Verizons hot spots are in specific locations such as a coffee shop or hotel lobby (708 hot spots in all of New York State) where as Optimums WiFi “zones” are set up to blanket entire areas. WiFi community zones are available in shopping centers, on main streets and train platforms, in parks, marinas, and at sports fields – the places you go everyday. An Optimum WiFi community zone can be made up of any number of access points, depending on the size of the public space. Sometimes just one will do for a small park, other times many may be called upon to provide coverage for a large downtown area. Each community zone is uniquely designed for Optimum coverage in the specified area. The last count I heard was that Optimum had over 8,000 hot spots in its footprint while still adding more as time goes on.

    1. David - Site Author February 28, 2010 at 11:52 PM

      I’m going to try to compare and contrast Optimum and Verizon after I do some more research. The Verizon hot-spot locator allows me to search for a hot-spot, town by town. The Optimum site shows me the actual footprint of their WiFi network. If I could get a footprint I could easily compare the two. Thanks for the heads up on the extensive Verizon network.

  4. Richard February 28, 2010 at 8:35 PM

    Cablevisions Wi-Fi network is not only available on Long Island. If you are an Optimum Online customer you can access it anywhere in the Cablevision footprint which is all of Long Island, parts of Brooklyn and the Bronx, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey and up the Hudson Valley, NY. It is available anywhere you would be away from home such as main roads, retail and commercial areas, places of interest such as parks & boat marinas and auto service centers. Cablevision Wi-Fi is also available in the waiting areas, station platforms and parking areas of the Long Island Rail Road. They currently have a bid in to launch it on all of the LIRR and Metro-North trains.