Bay+City+Logs+Into+the+Twenty-First+Century


Article by Aimee Lambertz
Photo by Ricardo / zone 41.net

If you don't know what WiFi is, you're not alone.  When asked if her restaurant offers Internet access, one Bay City employee answered, "Oh, inter-net access.  We're on Statesbrook."

WiFi, or wireless Internet access, allows customers to browse the Internet on their laptop computers from any table in an establishment.  As more businesses attempt to attract today’s technologically savvy youth, WiFi 'hotspots' have popped up in more locations than just the local coffee shops, branching into delis, fast food franchises, bars, and even restaurants like Bob Evans.

Does WiFi service actually bring in more customers? "Not as much as we'd like," says one computer-wise employee of Lighthouse Lounge, a bar that has offered free WiFi for about 6 months.  Perhaps it's not much of a surprise that bar socialites don't usually bring laptops for company, but the employees are hopeful that this will change.

On the other hand, Italian restaurant Tommy V’s Pizzaria draws in an average of 6-7 laptop users a week, according to manager Vanessa Mendoza. "Lawyers, bankers, realtors, and even students doing their homework" take advantage of the slow hours between lunch and dinner to use the free WiFi service.  Some conduct business; others, simply browse; all tend to enjoy a full meal before breaking out the computers.  Mendoza has yet to see a customer come in just for the WiFi and a cup of tea.

So far, Mendoza says, WiFi customers have caused no problems with monopolizing tables during busy hours; on the contrary, they tend to enjoy the peaceful lull between lunch and dinner.

As more business owners become computer-wise, expect more hotspots to pop up in Bay City.  Meanwhile, check the table below for a listing of current Bay City businesses that offer free WiFi service for customers.

How does one log into the WiFi club?

It's easier than you may think. Most hotspots don’t require a password to log on; simply bring your laptop and connect from any table in the restaurant. Of course, the owners ask that you buy something in return for the service. McDonalds does require a password, but you can get it for free at the counter.

If your computer does not have a wireless networking card built in, you can buy a wireless laptop adapter that plugs into your USB port for $69-$89 at Best Buy.

No battery? Each hotspot has 2-3 tables near outlets that you can plug your laptop into.

How to connect to a wireless (WiFi) network

Connecting is simple. Follow the steps below to find out how to connect to a wireless network with Windows 7.

The Shortcut:

Locate the wireless Internet icon in the lower right corner of your screen by the time/date display. It looks like a mini bar graph. Click on it once. A list of wireless networks will appear. These are networks that are within range of your computer. At the top of the list will be a name that sounds like the name of your location; for example, "Brewtopia" or "Tommy V's." Click on this name. Your computer will then ask you for confirmation that you want to connect to this network; click “connect.” You should now be connected to the internet.

WARNING: Your computer will also warn you that the network is "unsecured." Don't worry; all public hotspots are unsecured. That just means that you should not access any sites that may reveal your personal information to others, such as bank sites. This is because, on public networks, third parties can potentially see the pages you visit and obtain any personal information therein. You should always be careful not to access such sites when you are connected to an unsecured, public network.

The Longer Way:

Click on the Start button on the lower-left side of your screen:

From the pop-up list, select Control Panel. The following dialogue box will appear. Click on "Network and Internet."

In the "Network and Internet" dialogue box, locate the "Network and Sharing Center" link. Under this link you should see the option "Connect to a network." Click here.

On the lower right corner of your desktop, a list of possible network connections will appear. These are networks that are within range of your computer. At the top of the list will be a name that sounds like the name of your location; for example, "Brewtopia" or "Tommy V's." Click on this name. Your computer will then ask you for confirmation that you want to connect to this network; click "connect." You should now be connected to the internet.

 

 

WiFi Hotspots

Hours

Phone

Address

Libraries

Alice & Jack Wirt Public Library Mon-Thu: 10am-8pm

Fri-Sat:  9am-5pm

*Sun:  1pm-5pm

*Sep-May only

893-9566 500 Center Ave.
Sage Branch Library Mon-Tue:  9am-5pm

Wed-Thu:  Noon-8pm

Fri:  9am-5pm

Sat-Sun:  Closed

892-8555 100 E. Midland St.  

Fast Food

Burger King Mon-Fri:  6am-11pm

Sat-Sun:  6am-1am

684-6520 

684-8690

3910 East Wilder 

6304 W. Side Saginaw Rd.

Hooters Mon-Thu:  11am-12am

Fri-Sat:  11am-1am

Sun:  12pm-11pm 

892-5557 966 E. Midland St.
McDonalds Sun-Thu:  5am-11pm

Fri-Sat:  5am-12am

684-3626 

684-2851 

686-4050 

684-1214

918 N. Euclid Ave. 

3840 E. Wilder Rd. 

901 S. Euclid 

5111 McKinaw Rd.

Delis

Jack's Deli Mon-Fri:  7am-3pm

Sat-Sun:  Closed

893-6931 510 Third Street
Souper Café Mon-Sat:  11am-8pm

Sun:  11am-4pm

671-1900 4093 N. Euclid
Tim Hortons/Coldstone Mon-Sun:  6am-10pm 686-7219 3460 Wilder Rd.

Restaurants

Bob Evans Sun-Thu:  7am-9pm

Fri-Sat:  7am-10pm

671-9989 4137 E. Wilder Rd.
Buffalo Wild Wings Sun-Mon:  11am-1am

Tue:  11am-2am

Wed:  11am-1am

Thu-Sat:  11am-2am

671-3377 4050 Wilder Rd.
Tommy V's Café and Pizzaria Mon:  11am-8pm

Tue-Thu:  11am-10pm

Fri-Sat:  11am-11pm

Sun:  12pm-8pm

895-3500 310 E. Midland St.

Coffee Houses

Brewtopia Mon-Thu:7:30am-9pm

Fri-Sat: 7:30am-10pm

Sun:  12pm-6pm

893-0872 810 Saginaw St.
Espresso Express Coffee House Mon-Sat:  7am-5:30pm

Sun:  Closed

893-8898 916 N. Water St.
Gypsies Mon-Wed:  10am-5pm

Thu:  10am-6pm

Fri:  7am-5pm

Sat:  10am-4pm

892-5105 510 Third Street

Bar & Grills

Chasers Bar & Grill 
Mon-Thu: 10:30am-12am

Fri-Sat:  10:30am-2:30am

Sun:  12pm-12am

684-0825 3357 S. Huron Rd.
Lighthouse Lounge Mon-Fri:  12pm-2:30am

Sat-Sun:  2pm-2:30am

895-9208 1125 S. Water St.
Rathskeller Mon-Thu:  10am-12am

Fri-Sat:  10am-2am

Sun:  12pm-12am

892-0621 600 E. Midland St.

© Aimee Lambertz, 2010