So, I was in the back of a taxi this evening coming up Amsterdam Avenue, and at 72nd Street, I decided to open up my laptop and see how many wireless access points were visible along my trip. Between there and 120th Street, I picked up 180 WiFi nodes; only 48 of them (27%) were WEP-protected. Of course, there’s no telling how many of them were willing to dole out an address to me, nor how many of them had filters preventing random computers from connecting, but that’s still damn impressive, and way more access points than I would have thought I’d see. There were plenty of interesting nodes, too: a bunch for Columbia University, one at St. John the Divine, one in a New York City Housing Authority building, two NYCwireless nodes, and one beaming out the bedroom window of a certain Filipino broad. There were also a dozen or more powerful nodes named TBA; I wonder if there’s a wireless project in the planning.
Nonetheless, if you’re looking to cop some free wireless access in New York City, I’m pretty sure that you can just set up shop at any of the sidewalk cafes along Amsterdam Avenue and surf away!