If you're needed to connect to the Internet without spending a cent, then free wifi networks fit the bill. I've used plenty during my travels.
If you travel a lot and your data plan isn’t able to offer coverage in all areas, or even if you just want to save some gigabytes without losing your internet connection, free WiFi hotspots can be the most practical answer.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find a free hotspot, and many hotspots are password protected. However, there are a few handy methods you can try that will definitely yield results, depending on the area you’re in.
Hotels and Other Businesses
If you’re in a busy downtown area, free WiFi hotspots will be virtually all around you. Hotels, small businesses, electronics shops, restaurants and malls should all be buzzing with WiFi activity, and it won’t be long before you find one where you can either connect for free, or gain access to the password without much hassle.
The easiest way is to simply take your laptop or bring your phone to a local restaurant or fast food store, while you order a cheap meal and a coffee. Then simply ask the waiter for the WiFi password, and you’re all set.
It’s good practice in such instances to know which businesses actually have WiFi. You can check online, looking up the website or listing description of each hotel or restaurant, and you can also call the reception to ask whether the place has free wireless or not.
The Search for Hidden WiFi Networks
Hidden WiFi networks are another good source of free WiFi hotspots, as well as a much faster and more responsive one than most of the public networks. Since they are hidden, it stands to reason that not many people know about them (most of the time), so the traffic isn’t as heavy.
There are a number of apps that can help you seek out free hidden hotspots. Some of them feature special software that can detect and analyze any WiFi network and give you the best chance to connect to it. You can also try getting in the vicinity of certain electronics stores or premium airport lounges.
WiFi Hotspot Maps and Databases
Another great way to find free WiFi hotspots is to access a global hotspot database that includes as many locations as possible throughout the entire world. While going on a business trip, or visiting a distant family member in an area that you know nothing about, these online maps and mobile app databases can be extremely handy, especially since they include an “offline mode” that allows you to search for WiFi hotspots anywhere you go, without being connected to the internet.
So, just strolling down on a foreign street, you can check the map and find all the restaurants, pizza places and hotels that have free WiFi – easy and convenient!
What Is the Bottom Line?
WiFi networks aren’t as difficult to find as some might consider, although you also can’t go to another country unprepared. It is always good practice to gain as much information as possible about the best spots before you head out.
Also, if you manage to gain access to a special app or database designed to detect and show you the best free WiFi hotspots in any city in the world, that would definitely be the most practical solution to all your problems.