As Wi-Fi spreads, more free locations popping up

(USA TODAY)  Panera, like Schlotzsky’s Deli, Krystal restaurants and other independent cafes, libraries, parks and a growing number of cities, offers free wireless Internet access. No strings attached. (Related item: Find a hotspot)

The trend marks a major change from well-publicized efforts by companies such as Starbucks, Barnes & Noble and FedEx Kinko’s as well as many hotel chains. They offer Internet "hotspots" at many locations for a fee ranging from $4 to $10 a day. Have a Wi-Fi laptop? You can access the Internet in seconds — after you fork over your credit card payment, register and sign in.

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