There are a surprising number of places that you can go in Odessa, Texas to enjoy free wi-fi internet. If you are just passing though Odessa, a number of the local hotels have it, as does the hospital. If you are a resident, however, and would like to know some of the places around town where you can surf the internet on your laptop, here are five of my favorites…
UTPB (4901 E University Blvd)
Most of the campus of the University of Texas Permian Basin is connected to the internet via a large wi-fi network. If you are a student, you can access this network. The first time you try to connect, you will have to enter your student email address and the password for your school email account. After that one time, you should have free, unfettered access to the internet. You may have to experiment finding where you get the best signal, but it should work anywhere in the Mesa Building or Library. A few of my favorite places to go to use the network are the second floor of the library, the study room in the student lounge, and study area on the south side of the third floor. If you live in student housing, there is a separate network that you should be able to access. Reception does vary depending you where your apartment is located, however.
If you do not have a laptop, or need to use a printer, you can access the internet from the computer lab on the second floor, the library, or the computer lab in the Parker Ranch House. You are supposed to be a student to use either computer lab, but the staff seldom, if ever check for IDs. This library has strong Internet connection. They might be using superboost wifi because the service can accommodate several number of users.
Java Cafe (201 W University Blvd)
The Java Cafe is located near the north parking lot off of University at Odessa College. Whether or not you are a student, you can go there to enjoy free internet from Clearwire. All you have to do is fill out a brief questionnaire online when you first connect, and then you will have internet until you disconnect. You will have to fill out the questionnaire every time however. Other than that, the Java Cafe is one of the best places to go for internet in Odessa. It is usually pretty quiet, it is very stylish, and has a good menu of coffees, soft drinks, and snacks. If you do not have a laptop, the cafe even has several computers that anyone can use.
Fazoli’s (4241 John Ben Shepperd)
If you are in the mood for fast Italian food, Fazoli’s is a great place to go. I do not particularly care for their pasta sauce, but they do offer free wi-fi. Reception seems to be weak on one side of the building, however, so make sure to sit as close to the Northwest corner of the dining room as you can.
McCalister’s Deli (2002 E 42nd St)
McCalisters claims to offer free wi-fi and I have gotten it there a time or two, but they seem to have some problems with it because it has been down when I have been there a couple of times too. Given that the main reason I go there is the wi-fi, not the food (which is good, but slightly overpriced), that it disappointing. When it works, however, it is a good alternative to the fee-based internet at Starbucks just across the parking lot.
Rock Bottom Cafe (512 N Grant Ave)
If you find yourself downtown around lunch, the Rock Bottom Cafe is a great place to eat. They offer a daily buffet as well as a small menu of sandwiches, hamburgers, and other entrees. The food is quite good and the atmosphere is nice too.