Some people go to restaurants for the entertaining staff, or the actual food, but there's also a significant demographic that goes to ride the free WiFi train. ("Misunderstood" poets, mostly.) Knowing this, the firm Open Signal took a closer look at the network strength of a few major chains and found that Starbucks is crushing the competition.
Surprised? You shouldn't be. People camp out there for a reason: they're hitting an average 9 Mbps for downloads, which is well above their competitors. McDonald's is averaging less than half that at 4.187... and they're second in Open Signal's study. Dunkin' Donuts and Tim Horton's didn't even net 2 Mbps, while Panera really biffed it with 1.042. (Meanwhile, if you're looking to browse Blu-ray players and tweet at Andrew W.K. at the same time, Best Buy's apparently got some decent WiFi.)
As Open Signal points out, Starbucks' dominance is due in part to their switch from AT&T to Google for their network provider. Though the shift is still underway, the Google WiFi has already proven to be about 80% faster than the old AT&T system. That's also definitely faster than the Bat_Cave Guest network you've been jacking every time yours goes out, so next time, consider hauling your laptop to Starbucks instead of lurking outside your neighbor's house.
Kristin Hunt is a food/drink staff writer for Thrillist, and didn't know Dunkin' even had free WiFi. Follow her to revelations at @kristin_hunt.