It wasn't that long ago that finding a place to check your email or cruise the "information superhighway" was a daunting task. And more than likely, if you were able to find access on-the-go, it was limited to the coffee shop scene.
However, more businesses than ever are offering free Wi-Fi access, so customers can be online wherever and whenever they want.
The majority of Wi-Fi hotspots are located in coffee shops and bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Starbucks, but some local businesses that now offer Wi-Fi is surprising.
For instance, customers of Midas on Watson Road are able to surf the Internet while they wait for their cars to be serviced. There is even a work desk provided with a power outlet in the waiting room.
What do customers say when they discover Midas--a car muffler shop--has free Wi-Fi?
"Some customers are surprised that we have it but a lot of them just expect it now," Midas employee Darren McMahan said recently. "It's about fifty-fifty."
But just because a business has free Wi-Fi doesn't necessarily mean customers are using it. Casey Bickel of Z Salon in Sunset Hills said that even though the shop has wireless, most of their clients don't take advantage of the free service.
"In a month's time, maybe two or three people use it, but people aren't going to be getting online while they're getting their nails done," Bickel said.
Whether grabbing a cup of coffee or getting the car brakes checked, it's always a good idea to call a business ahead and ask about its Wi-Fi policy and whether its network is up and running.
Here is a list of some free Wi-Fi hotspots around the community. If there is a favorite place missing here where you browse the web--let us know.
Barnes & Noble on Watson Road: Load up your Nook with all the new bestsellers in one of the reading corners of this bookstore.
Borders in Sunset Hills Plaza: Grab a book, a cup of Seattle's Best and jump online.
McDonalds on Lindbergh: Be sure to power up your laptop before you grab a Big Mac at the golden arches because there aren't power outlets for personal use in the dining area.
Midas on Watson Road: Instead of browsing through motor magazines while waiting for your car, check your email in the waiting area.
Saint Louis Bread Company in Sunset Hills Plaza on Lindbergh: Update your Facebook status while lunching on a Panini.
Starbucks on Watson Road: After cruising the racks at Barnes & Noble, stop next door and sip on a grande cappuccino while getting your daily news updates on Patch.com for Sunset Hills and Crestwood.
Sunset Hills Community Center on Lindbergh: You don't need a membership to use the wireless in the lounge. Ask the front desk for the password; it changes daily.
Wired Coffee on Lindbergh: Curl up in an armchair with a shot of espresso and get wired and wireless.
Z Salon in Sunset Hills Plaza: At this salon you can jump online to find a picture of that perfect haircut to show your stylist.