We all know that many businesses, from retail and restaurants to large venues and educational institutions, offer complimentary Wi-Fi as a matter of customer service. They’re happy to provide you service to make your day an exceptional one and simply put, we expect it of them.
But what about when you are the customer?
As you forage around the digital frontier for your own free and accessible Wi-Fi, do you mind your manners?
Regardless of what most technology users think, free Wi-Fi is not a right. Having access to a wireless network is a privilege like driving a car or fishing. So follow these simple rules or etiquette and show everyone that your mom really did teach you manners.
Always make sure you have permission. While many businesses offer their Wi-Fi to customers, some might not make it obvious to keep the lurkers from stealing bandwidth from the luxury of their car. So ask nicely if they have a network you can use. And don’t forget to ask about a password, too.
Don’t be a mooch. Seriously, if you’re going to use a business’ free Wi-Fi (especially at a restaurant or coffee house), buy something. Don’t go in, park yourself at a table, log in and use all their bandwidth without making it worth their effort. Order a cup of coffee and pick out a nice poppy seed muffin. You get to use their network while enjoying a cup of joe and a tasty baked good. They get to put a little cash in the register. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Leave some bandwidth for the rest of the customers. Downloading large files or streaming HD movies isn’t cool. There are other people trying to use the network, too. If you have to download something big, go home and do it there.
Don’t do anything illegal. This should go without saying, but here it is anyways. Don’t download pirated movies or software while using someone else’s Wi-Fi. Not only is downloading it illegal, but you run the risk of getting them caught up in your criminal activities when they were nice enough to let you use their network.
If you follow these simple rules, you’ll be a civilized and responsible Wi-Fi user. Business owners will appreciate you. And so will the rest of us.