Free? Yes. Fast? Not so much.

Snail_Macro by Dave & Karin

Here I sit in Steam Cafe at 17th & R Street NW, working from home, or rather working from a cafe.  I’m here because my Verizon DSL, while reasonably fast, keeps dropping out about every five minutes or so.  While I appreciate the fact that Steam offers free wireless to their customers, the speed leaves a lot to be desired at between 30-80Kb/second.  That’s fine for sending e-mail and a bit of web browsing, but downloading big files is downright painful.

So I ask my great city, does anyone know of a place in DC that offers free, fast wireless?  Oh and preferably one where a girl isn’t screaming French into her Skype connection.

Hailing from the Mile High City, Max has also lived in Tinsel Town, the Emerald City, as well as the City of Brotherly Love. Now a District resident, he likes to write about cool photos by local photographers, the DC restaurant and bar scene, or anything else that pops into his mind.

7 thoughts on “Free? Yes. Fast? Not so much.

  1. Buzz cafe near Old Town. tucked away empty weekdays packed on weekends. Great Illy Coffee and delicious cupcakes.

    Ben’s Chili Bowl.

    Crumbs & Coffee, the bagels are frozen and the coffee sucks. But the wifi is fine.

    The atrium of the National Portrait Gallery has fantastic wifi.

  2. Jules, that read was depressing. I actually had the thought yesterday of switching to Comcast. Ugh, I just said the C word.

  3. Honestly “fast” really depends on the number of clients connected to the wireless access point *and* the forward connection (Internet Service Provider side). The implication is that you may need to find places that are less crowded, which means avoiding just about all the hip places. (I’m a wifi snob, having jetted around the greater metro area in search of reliable access — fast isn’t nearly as important as low-jitter.)

    And avoid Comcrap like the plague it is.

  4. Several places I visit for free wifi and great coffee:
    Mayorga in Silver Spring on East-West Highway
    Cafe Collage on 14th and T St., NW
    Caribou Coffee on 14th and Rhode Island (tend to be packed at peak hours)