As someone who’s recently become a fulltime freelance writer, there’s nothing more valuable to me than a WiFi password. Sure, I can (and do) stay in bed all day in the comfort of my home internet, but on those rare occasions that I venture out into the real world, I’m never far from somewhere where my iPhone automatically connects. There are plenty of reasons a person might need the internet when they’re out an about (looking up directions,sending emails, watching this video relentlessly on repeat), but unfortunately, some places are more forthcoming with their passwords than others. However, a locked WiFi and a tight-lipped barista doesn’t necessarily mean all hope is lost. There are a few tricks you can try to sneak your way onto that good good internet instead of making the trek to the nearest Starbucks. 

First, cover your bases. Have you checked all the walls for signs? What about receipts? Sometimes the WiFi code is hiding where you least expect it *heart emoji* *sparkle emoji*. If it’s not evident, then it’s time to ask an employee, who will probably be forthcoming and helpful, but might tell you that their WiFi isn’t open to the public. Smile, nod, make a note of their name in your personal list of People Who Have Wronged You, and take a seat. This is where the sleuthing begins. 

Check online. This requires some of your phone’s precious data to poke around sites like FourSquare and Yelp where commenters might have left some insider info about the WiFi, a charitable practice I recommend we all get in the habit of.

Use common sense. Often, WiFi passwords aren’t very creative. Half of the time I ask for a WiFi password, I’m given some version of the establishment’s street address. Here are some other common options, as detailed by ApartmentTherapy

  the name of the store

  a popular dish 

  their phone number




Try another source. In the year of Our Lord 2016, you can’t really go anywhere without there being multiple WiFi options. Slate points out that names like "linksys," "default,""Wireless," "NETGEAR," "belkin54g," and"Apple Network 0273df” are default names for popular wireless routers, and if the owner hasn’t bothered to change the name, they probably haven’t added a password either. And even if they have, the common passwords above might just do the trick.

Try one of these very real passwords that I’ve curated from various Brooklyn coffee shops:






And if all else fails, you can move to Starbucks.