Whether you need to handle finances, pay a bill, or do some research, a computer is the go-to place to get these types of tasks done.
Although smartphones are well on their way to becoming as advanced and useful as computers, they still lack a few features.
As such, if you need a computer but don’t have one at home, then you may wonder where you can go to use a computer.
Here are 10 places where you can use a computer, including stores and community centers.
Where Can I Go To Use A Computer? (10 Places)
If you work in an office, then you have exactly what you need to get your computer-based project completed.
Most office spaces have computers, chairs, and desks.
Some offices even have two computers or two monitors.
If you happen to work in an office setting, then you can use your computer to take care of some personal things within reason.
That said, your employer may have certain rules about performing personal tasks on office computers.
Some might allow it, but you may only be able to use the computer for personal things during your break or after work.
Others may not allow you to use their computers for personal reasons at all.
For example, some offices that deal with personal data may have concerns about their employees accidentally allowing a virus onto their computers.
That virus could access the business’s database and put the private information it stores at risk.
As such, some employers may ask that you don’t use their computers for personal tasks.
Others may have a communal area where they have computers that are specifically meant for personal tasks.
A break room, for example, may have computers that you can access on your time off.
The ideal thing about using the computer at work is that you can also sometimes use their printers and fax machines for free, too.
Every place has its limitations, however, so it’s worth learning the rules before you start using your work computer for personal tasks.
Otherwise, your office is a great place you can go to use a computer.
2. Check With Friends
Even though you might not have a computer at home, your friends might.
You can ask your friend if it’s possible for you to stop by and use their computer.
In most cases, your friend will likely be okay with it.
They may even be able to help you with your task.
Going to a friend’s house to use their computer is beneficial because it also allows you to spend time with them.
While you’re doing whatever you need to do on the computer, you can catch up with your friend and socialize a bit.
Once you’re finished the task, you can perhaps even go out and spend more time together.
If your friend happens to be an expert at the task you’re trying to complete on the computer, then they might even be able to expedite things.
While using the computer at your friend’s house means you’re able to do what you need to do for free, there is a bit of etiquette you should follow.
For one, you don’t want to make it a habit.
Constantly going to your friend’s house just to use their computer can make your friend feel as though you’re using them.
It’s a good idea to space out your visits and ensure you get as much done as possible each time you use their computer.
If you’re using their paper to print, then it’s also good form to compensate them in some way.
That might mean buying them more paper and ink for the printer.
It might mean taking them out to eat or cooking them dinner.
When you need a computer fast, then you can ask around and see if you can use a computer at a friend’s house.
One of the best places you can go to use a computer is the library.
Once the Internet made digital books available, a lot of libraries fell by the wayside.
They needed to adapt to survive.
To do so, many libraries ended up getting computers to encourage people to visit.
Not every library will have computers, but many of them do.
Some libraries require you to be a member before you can use the computer.
They may ask you for your card or pass before letting you use the computer.
Others may allow you to use it even without a library card.
Libraries hope that while you’re using the computer, you might also check out a book or do some reading while you’re in the building.
Not every library has a printer either.
If you need to print something, then you’ll want to check with your local library to see if that’s a service that they offer.
Some might offer printing services, but they may charge you a small fee for printing.
The fee allows them to buy more ink and paper for future printing.
Another great thing about libraries is that they typically have great Internet and Wi-Fi.
You don’t have to worry about a slow connection.
This allows you to get your work done quickly so you can continue your day.
That said, because libraries are primarily a place where people go to read and borrow books, the computers they have aren’t always the latest models.
Some might be quite old.
As long as you have a bit of patience, the library is a great place to use a computer.
Another place that has computers you can use is hotels.
Most hotels have some sort of lobby area where there are computers that their guests can use.
Other hotels will have them tucked away in a communal or recreational area.
You usually need to be a guest who is staying at the hotel to use the computer.
Hotel computers will usually ask for your guest information to ensure you’re a guest before you’re able to use the Internet.
Other hotels might have computers open to the public, but they might also charge you a fee for use.
You might also need to pay a fee for printing at the hotel, too.
The fee covers the cost of printing for the hotel.
You should keep in mind that these computers are usually on a public network.
As such, it isn’t ideal to use them for private reasons like handling finances.
A hacker could easily access the network and steal your information.
Instead, hotel computers are better for simple browsing or printing of non-sensitive information.
The computers aren’t always private either.
They’re sometimes lined up right next to each other, so you might be sitting close to other people.
Other hotels might scatter their computers out a bit more, but you can be sure that you’re probably going to be sharing the space with others.
Finally, depending on the hotel, you may have excellent Internet service or very slow service.
The hotel might charge you more to access the faster Internet.
While there are certainly some caveats to using a computer at a hotel, as long as you’re a guest there, you can use their computers with no problem.
If you need to drop off or pick up a package at FedEx, you may be surprised to find that many FedEx stores also have computers that you can use.
FedEx has in-store computers for public use at some of its locations.
While the computers are primarily there for people to print labels and perform other shipping functions, they are also available for web browsing and other uses.
Most people who use FedEx’s computers do so to print labels or look up information about a package.
Others tend to use them to print documents.
There are a few great things about using FedEx’s computers.
The first is that you can upload documents to the computer.
Not every public computer allows you to do that.
If you have something that you need to print or attach to an email, then you can plug in a flash drive and upload the document to the computer.
You can also download documents from your email.
You’re then able to print them or save them to your flash drive.
Another great thing about FedEx’s computers is that they’re relatively safe.
When you log out of the computer, everything you have done gets erased.
Any information you submitted gets purged.
Any document that you uploaded or downloaded gets deleted.
It’s a great way to ensure that none of your private information is left behind even if you forgot to close all your tabs.
Finally, FedEx offers printing services.
As a carrier and logistics company, you can expect them to have great printing services.
They might charge you for their services, but you’ll receive high-quality prints in return.
Even better, if the task you need to accomplish can be handled entirely at FedEx, you can save time, money, and gas by doing it all in one place.
If you need to use a computer, then you should see if your local FedEx store has computers available to the public.
6. UPS Store
Not to be outdone by its competitor, UPS also has computers available for customer use.
UPS handles its computer usage a little differently.
They have workstations that you can rent for some time.
You can rent out a desk and computer area where you can do a bit of work.
The UPS store computers allow you to scan documents or photos.
You can then print them out.
If you have a business file that needs editing, you can upload that to the computer and then use their software to edit the document.
If you need a resume edited or printed, then you can also do that at the UPS store.
Finally, they also offer simple web browsing.
You can check your email, download files from your email, and upload files to your email, too.
Since UPS also has printing services, you can take care of any printing needs you have right there.
It may or may not be included in the rental cost of the workstation.
Another thing that UPS offers is its notary services.
If you have documents that need a notary’s signature, then they can get that done for you right in the store.
UPS also ensures that all your information gets erased after using the computer.
This means that their computers are safe to use even if you’re handling private information.
If you need a secure place to do some business and print documents, then you should head to your local UPS store.
7. Community Centers
A lot of communities have community centers that offer a range of services.
One of those services is public computers.
It’s worth checking your local city’s community centers to find out if any of them have public computers.
These computers usually enable you to browse the Internet and access your email.
If you need something printed, then they might also offer that service for a fee.
Using the computers is usually free, too, but you’ll probably have to wait your turn to use one.
Since community centers are open to the wider public, a lot of people who don’t have certain things, like computers, flock there to take care of their needs.
While some people may be relatively quick with their business, others may be there to simply browse the Internet and kill time.
Depending on the type of budget that your community center has, they may only have a handful of computers available.
As such, you might need to wait a bit before you’re able to use a computer.
That said, if you get there early enough, you can typically rely on your community center to have public computers available.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that these computers are accessible to anyone.
They’re good for browsing, but you might not want to use them to take care of business that involves private information.
Otherwise, you can head to your local community center when you need a computer.
Another place that has computers anyone can use is colleges.
There are sometimes restrictions on usage, however, so it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the rules to ensure you’re able to use their computers.
For example, some computers may only be accessible to students.
You may need to have a student ID associated with the college to use the computer.
Others may be open to the public but for a fee.
Colleges also usually have fees associated with printing.
If you’re not a student, then you’ll probably have to pay for printing.
If you are a student, then you may be able to print a certain number of documents before needing to pay.
Even if you’re not a student, a friend who goes to the college can get you access.
Computers at colleges are usually located either in the library or in recreational spaces.
Some dormitories also have public computers, but you won’t be able to access them if you don’t live in that dormitory.
In this case, you may need to call on some friends for help with getting access to the computers.
You can usually use computers on college campuses but you’ll typically need a friend who goes to the college to assist.
9. Business Centers
A business center is a slightly different version of a community center that also has computers you can use.
A business center is a collection of independent offices that people can rent.
Some simply have workstations where people can bring their own computers and use the Internet to do work.
Others provide a desk and computer for businesspeople to use.
Unlike at a community center, you usually need to pay a rental fee to use the computer.
You’re basically renting the workspace and that includes the computer.
Business centers also usually offer other services like printing.
Sometimes those are part of the rental cost, but you usually need to pay an extra fee to use those services.
If you need to use a computer for business, then renting out a spot at your local business center is a great solution.
A final place where you can use a computer is Staples.
Like FedEx and UPS, Staples has a business center where you can use a computer.
You can access both Microsoft Word and Adobe Reader to make writing and editing easier.
Because Staples also has printing services, you can also print your documents right there in the store.
Staples also allows you to browse the Internet and access your email.
If you need something a bit more secure, then stopping by your local Staples is a great option.
There may come a time when you need a computer but you don’t have one at home.
Luckily, there are tons of places where you can use a computer for free or for a small rental fee.
Some of those places also offer additional services to make your time there even more efficient.NEXT: Why Is February So Short? (Explained)