How to get connected? Most public library branches offer free Internet access, and there are many Internet cafés throughout the city that rent workstations by the minute or hour. Library internet terminals usually have a waiting list, so go for a walk around that neighborhood or read some free newspapers, magazines or books at the library while you are waiting. But please be patient and polite; the libraries designed this free service for New Yorkers, not tourists.
Midtown has a fair number of Internet cafés. They tend to come and go, so we aren't recommending any here, although we do provide links at right to a few. However, you'll doubtless hear through the travellers' grapevine about the newest, the best and the cheapest. Probably everyone at your hostel already knows where to go. Not staying at a hostel? We leave the research to you; after all, you're online right now, aren't you?
If you have a wireless laptop connection, you will be astounded how many places in Manhattan can pick up free wi-fi service. Every Starbucks offers free wi-fi, and lots of fast-food restaurants and cafés do as well.