Looking for fast WiFi on the go in the US? Try these coffee shops, fast-food joints and retailers | Malaysia

Digital Asia News Update

You want a fast Internet connection when you're on the go, and sometimes your smartphone's carrier signal just doesn't cut it.

A lot of places in the US offer free , but as any road warrior will tell you, the quality and speed can vary dramatically.

PCMag has released a survey of the fastest free WiFi to be found at US national chains for shops, fast-food joints, retail stores and big box/department stores. Some of the results are surprising in a variety of ways.

– For coffee shops, you're better off hitting Dunkin' Donuts than Starbucks if you need serious speed. Although, as PCMag lead analyst Sascha Segan notes, Dunkin's not necessarily the friendliest environment if you want to get work done.

– McDonald's has the zippiest download speeds of all fast-food chains, but the upload speeds leave a lot to be desired across the board.

– Upload speed is the star in the retail store category. At both the Microsoft Store and the Apple Store – numbers 1 and 2 respectively – uploads are significantly faster than downloads.

– Big-box and department stores have an ulterior motive for their free WiFi. Many people comparison shop in these stores, and doing so over WiFi gives these retailers insight into the decisions their customers make.

PCMag also correctly points out that while public WiFi may be free, it's not always safe. Segan suggests arming your PC or mobile device with VPN software, which locks out prying eyes.

The data was collected via the Ookla SpeedTest app, which is owned by PCMag's parent company, Ziff Davis. – The Houston Chronicle/Tribune News Service

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