With office-based jobs on the decline and a freelancing boom upon us, many people are choosing to work remotely. However, the ever present need to check emails, diarize diaries and hold meetings about meetings means that access to a strong wi-fi connection and even stronger coffee is imperative to get us through the day.

Now, there are loads of places in Manchester where you could rock up with your laptop and get some work done. Almost every café bar, coffee shop and restaurant offers free wi-fi. Even the Metrolink allows us to get a little work done on the ‘commute’. I’m not suggesting you sit on the Bury to Altrincham line all day (other lines are available), but there should be more to working remotely than just sitting in Starbucks. Sorry, Starbucks, I just don’t like you.

So in a search for the best places to work remotely, I visited a handful of the hundreds of places in Manchester city centre where you can find a temporary office. In each place I was keeping my eyes peeled for:

– Free, easily accessible and a fast wi-fi connection
– Ample plug sockets to keep that laptop battery going
– Excellent / affordable coffee or refreshments

I tested the download and upload speed* in each location and transferred a 14.4MB file of a monkey with a banana to give me an idea of the strength of the connection. This is what I found.

1Home of Honest Coffee

10 WiFi Tested Hotspots to Work Remotely in Manchester I Love ManchesterThe Home of Honest Coffee is a co-working, creative space and café which opened on Chapel Street a few months ago. Claiming to have the fastest wi-fi in Manchester, it is indeed exceptionally fast! It’s the type of place where you can pop in and out as often as you like with no pay by the minute or membership fees. And you don’t even have to buy a drink! But with such a varied menu of hand roasted coffees you definitely should. It’s an excellent space, serving excellent coffee.

Wi-Fi – Download: 55mbps / Upload: 47mbps
Monkey Banana File Transfer – 3 seconds
Coffee – Excellent

77 Chapel St, Salford M3 5BZ
www.futureartists.co.uk
@Honest_Coffee

2Ziferblat

10 WiFi Tested Hotspots to Work Remotely in Manchester I Love Manchester

This pay-per-minute café is an awesome place to set up office for the day. It costs 6p per minute for the time you spend in there, but everything else is free. From coffee, tea and juices to snacks such as biscuits, cakes even breakfast pastries, toast and cereal you can fill your boots for the entire time you’re in here – though you may find it difficult to walk if you do. I found ample space to work and there were plenty of plug sockets to keep me powered up. On the one hand I felt like I was in my granny’s sitting room, but on the other I noticed a classroom and meeting room available for hire for events, workshops and activities. Perfect for holding meetings. And with us being lucky enough to have the biggest Ziferblat in the world on our doorstep, there’s really no excuse not to give it a try!

Wi-Fi – Download: 58mbps / Upload: 38mbps
Monkey Banana File Transfer – 6 seconds
Coffee – Okay. Free biscuits though!!!

23 Edge Street, Manchester M4 1HW
www.ziferblat.co.uk
@ZiferblatEdgeSt

3Pita Pit

4Takk

10 WiFi Tested Hotspots to Work Remotely in Manchester I Love ManchesterTakk is a splendid Scandinavian spot in the heart of the Northern Quarter with a nice amount of space for remote working. It is very busy with freelancers and co-working hipsters alike so on occasion it can be difficult to grab a free table. When you do, it’s great. There are many power outlets for giving your devices some charge and the clink of coffee cups only adds to the bustling atmosphere. The coffee is renowned for being some of the best around, and it is.

Wi-Fi – Download: 7mbps / Upload: 6mbps
Monkey Banana File Transfer – 16 seconds
Coffee – Excellent

6 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FF
www.takkmcr.com

5Foundation Coffee House

10 WiFi Tested Hotspots to Work Remotely in Manchester I Love Manchester

The largest coffee shop in the Northern Quarter, Foundation Coffee is another remote working gem and a perfect place to people watch from the great glass windows at the front. The drinks menu is extensive, and there are cakes, pastries, sandwiches and the like, available all day. The wi-fi speed wasn’t as fast as I know it can be, mainly due to the meetings being held here and many faces hidden away behind laptop screens. Reassuringly though, it is a great spot for working out of home.

Wi-Fi – Download: 4mbps / Upload: 1mbps
Monkey Banana File Transfer – 8 mins 12 seconds
Coffee – Excellent

Sevendale House, Lever Street, Manchester M1 1JB
www.foundationcoffeehouse.co.uk

6Chapter One Books

10 WiFi Tested Hotspots to Work Remotely in Manchester I Love Manchester

This is no ordinary bookshop. Defying the odds, and opening in a time when no bookshops were opening anywhere in the UK, Chapter One Books and café has quickly become my favourite place to visit. It’s quiet, like a book shop should be, but isn’t so quiet that it’s an eerie place to work. Its lovely set up offers outstanding coffee at amicable prices and has food and light bites served throughout the day.

Wi-Fi – Download: 11mbps / Upload: 15mbps
Monkey Banana File Transfer – 23 seconds
Coffee – Excellent

19 Lever Street, Manchester M1 1BY
www.chapteronebooks.co.uk

7Central Library

10 WiFi Tested Hotspots to Work Remotely in Manchester I Love ManchesterOne of Manchester’s most iconic buildings, the Central Library is an obvious choice for remote working or studying. It is a library by name and by nature, and as such is a much quieter alternative to a coffee shop or café bar. Offering plenty of space to set up camp and with easily accessible, lightning fast wi-fi, the library attracts book-readers, researchers and freelancers alike. The on site café is one of the better public library cafes that I’ve come across. With a good range of coffees, teas and soft drinks and sandwiches, cakes and snacks galore, there’s something here that is guaranteed to get you through the day.

Wi-Fi – Download: 37mbps / Upload 35mbps
Monkey Banana File Transfer – 8 seconds
Coffee – Okay

St Peters Square, Manchester M2 5PD
www.manchester.gov.uk/libraries

8PLY

10 WiFi Tested Hotspots to Work Remotely in Manchester I Love Manchester

Known around the city for their outstanding pizza and their remote working spot, PLY is another one of my favourites haunts for getting some work done. Their ‘cosy corner’ is well designed with a comfy working space, power outlets and as many books as you could want. It’s always busy and quite loud as it is primarily an eatery. Working from here is great, but fighting the urge to devour a pizza is not as easy as you’d think.

Wi-Fi – Download: 1mbps / Upload 1mbps
Monkey Banana File Transfer – 1 min 40 seconds
Coffee – Good

26 Lever St, Manchester M1 1DW
www.plymcr.co.uk

9Home Sweet Home GN

10 WiFi Tested Hotspots to Work Remotely in Manchester I Love Manchester

Another eatery on the list, Home Sweet Home is an excellent place for comfort eating and getting work done. Setting up on the high benches I whiled away the hours and worked late into the evening, wolfing down a hot chocolate with toasted marshmallows as a naughty autumnal treat. Like my visit to Foundation Coffee, the wi-fi connection here was not as strong nor as fast as I know it to be, but don’t let that put you off – get here early and grab a good spot. The servers here will keep bringing you whatever you need until you ask them to stop.

Wi-Fi – Download: 4mbps / Upload: 1mbps
Monkey Banana File Transfer – 2 mins 43 seconds
Coffee – Good. The hot chocolate is better!

51 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HW
www.homesweethomenq.com

10Koffee Pot

10 WiFi Tested Hotspots to Work Remotely in Manchester I Love Manchester

Attention hipsters! This is the place to be. The Koffee Pot, relocated to Oldham Street at the beginning of this year, attracts young, creative types for co-working and freelancing. Their menu of drinks and eats is extensive and the wi-fi is easily accessible with the password prominently displayed above the counter. You will, however, have to fight for the download speed if it’s busy! Go first thing in the morning, grab an epic full English and crack on with some work.

Wi-Fi – Download: 1mbps / Upload: 1mbps
Monkey Banana File Transfer – 4 mins 32 seconds
Coffee – Very Good

84-86 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE
www.thekoffeepot.co.uk


* Wi-Fi upload and download speed tested and calculated via Speedtest.net and is measured in megabits per second

14.4MB file transferred via Mail Big File Free

Speeds experienced on a 2012 MacBook Air

The wi-fi speed in some venues was greatly affected by high usage

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