Where to find free wi-fi wireless intenet in Chicago — TechLocator is a free wi-fi locator service to help Chicago residents and visitors find places that offer free or affordable wi-fi technology resources and services, like computers with Internet access, Wi-Fi hotspots and technology training.
In 2007, the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Closing the Digital Divide noted that “Like the railroads of yesteryear, the Internet is the infrastructure of today’s global society and economy. To search for jobs, learn about health care, buy or sell goods and services or simply stay in touch with family and friends, the Internet enables new levels of information, connection and transaction.”
Many City departments and sister agencies provide technology resources and services to support these activities. For example, the Chicago Public Library’s Internet-connected computers and free Wi-Fi at its more than 70 library branches are available to all Chicago residents; the Department of Innovation and Technology provides free Wireless Internet Zones. Senior Centers have computer labs and technology training classes for residents aged 50+; the Department of Family and Support Services funds delegate agencies that provide computer access and training to underserved individuals seeking employment; and some Chicago Public Schools sites offer computer and Internet access and technology training opportunities to parents and caregivers.
TechLocator brings all these resources to one virtual place, allowing residents and visitors—including those with limited digital skills—to easily find convenient and publicly-accessible technology resources and services.
Wireless Internet Zones
About the Wireless Internet Zones Program
Chicago Wireless Internet Zones (WIZ) are locations throughout Chicago where free public wireless (wi-fi) networks are available. These networks are provided by the City of Chicago in order to promote and develop wireless technology and offer a flexible means of communication. Wireless Internet Zones are available at all 79 Chicago Public Library locations and in other public places around the city including the Cultural Center (78 E. Washington), Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington), and Millennium Park (55 N. Michigan).
Wi-Fi 802.11b or 802.11g wireless NIC for laptop or handheld Configured SSID for the wireless NIC Set to WIZ (All locations, excluding library locations) Set to CPLWiFi (Chicago Public Library locations) If you do not know how to set your SSID, refer to the documentation that came with your NIC card or see (Example 1) Encryption disabled on the wireless NIC card NIC set for DHCP (Example 2).
If the above requirements are met, you should be able to access the Internet via your Web browser. If you are unable to access the Web, try releasing and renewing your IP address (Example 3).
Limitations and Disclosures
The City of Chicago’s wireless network is not secure and the City cannot guarantee the safety of your traffic across its wireless network. The City assumes no responsibility for the configurations, security or files on your laptop resulting from connection to the City’s network. Information sent to or from your laptop can be captured by anyone else with a wireless device and appropriate software, within up to three hundred feet. The City is not able to provide technical assistance to you and there is no guarantee that you will be able to make a wireless connection. If you need assistance, contact the manufacturer of your laptop or software. The City is not responsible for any changes you make to your computer’s settings.