I personally like to leave the world behind me when I travel, but for some, being able to work or keep up with friends and family, is important. Modern communication is astounding and being able to get free wifi, is a big aspect of travel these days. If you don’t know how to get free wifi, you could find logging on to be a costly business. Here are some ways to get wifi for free.
1. Research the Free Wifi Public Establishments
There are establishments in public places and urban areas all over the world that provide Wifi for patrons. Good examples of this are McDonalds and Starbucks, though there are many other places, including department stores, book stores, cafes and restaurants, museums, trains, buses and even Laundromats. There are many lists of fast free wifi areas online. apartmenttherapy.com
2. Look for Hidden Networks
Most hotspots are viewable to the public, but there many hidden networks as well and just because it is hidden doesn’t mean you can’t find it and connect to it. PC applications to help you find hidden networks include NetStumbler and Wefi, and for iOS there is iStumbler.
3. Use the Phone Wifi Hotspot Function
Smartphones usually come with a mobile wifi hotspot function. When you turn it on, your phone emits a Wifi signal that you can connect to with your tablet or other device, giving you Internet via phone; 3GS for example. If your mobile plan does not come with unlimited free data usage, then this will not be free and indeed you should be very careful if using a tablet if this is the case. Best find other ways to get wifi for free.
4. Use a Hotspot of Someone You Know
If you are travelling with no roaming data plan (and sometimes even if you are), it is very understandable if you don’t want to turn on the mobile hotspot, as you can often end up paying through the nose. A good way to get connected and get wifi without paying for it is to use someone else’s phone as a hotspot. If you befriend a citizen of the country you are in, chances are they will have a data plan that you use.
5. Book Hotels That Have Free Wifi
This is an obvious point, but many people forget to check for free wifi hotspot availability for their hotel, or go with a budget hotel that charges for wifi usage. When searching for hostels and hotels, make sure you include ‘wifi availability’ in your search criteria, and check the hotel descriptions. The vast majority of hostels and hotels have free wifi, but you can use consumer sites like Hotel Chatter to make sure.
6. Use Wifi Hotspot Database Information
There are many wifi database apps like WeFi that show you a run-down of available hotspots in your area on a convenient map. Wefi is available for iOS and Android, and makes it easy to find fast free wifi nearby in your area.
7. Connecting to Free Airport Wifi
Many locations such as Airports offer free networking, but require you to do a survey before you can gain access. This does not take long, and once you complete it you will gain an hour or so of free Internet usage. Companies like Google and Gogo are another common choice at airports, and while they usually charge, Gogo will often provide promotions such as limited free wifi usage. Stay in the know by subscribing to mailing lists from these companies.
8. MAC Spoofing
A common problem with public wifi is the limited time you are allowed to spend connected to it. They will let you browse, and then kick you off after a certain (and usually short) time period, without warning. MAC spoofing is a neat trick which makes you ‘invisible’ so you can use the Internet as long as you like, and software such as MAC makeup provide this spoofing ability. A complete guide to MAC spoofing can be found here lifehacker.com
Now you know some cool ways to get free wifi, keeping in touch on your travels should be no problem.
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