How to Get Free Wi-Fi

Get some bandwidth at no charge!
Ash Ash (362)
5 minutes

There are several ways to get free WiFi. It can be tricky, but it's not impossible. A lot goes into powering a WiFi network—from building the infrastructure to technical maintenance. Regardless, we can access plenty of resources to get our online fix. If you’re in a bind, these are the best ways to get yourself online without a charge.

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There are many publically owned spaces that provide free WiFi. For example, it's extremely common to find free WiFi at your local library. You can also check with local museums or some government offices. But free WiFi isn't limited to public buildings. Sometimes you can find parks and hiking shelters with free wireless services. If you find a building with free WiFi, ask one of the people who work there for instructions to log on.

Many cities and even rural towns provide a free wireless network. These networks are usually limited to city/town limits. Check to see if WiFi is provided in your area. There may be steps to follow to find the network and log in. A local official can help provide this information.

It's important to note that public networks like these are not as secure as a private network. Lower your speed expectations, shared bandwidth often leads to some seriously slow loading times. You probably won't be playing online games like this. But you can definitely get online and send important messages.

Free WiFi is a great way to attract customers. You can find plenty of businesses that provide free WiFi. Sometimes you have to buy something first, but other places are less restrictive. Consider checking with gyms and airports, as well. Once you find a business with free WiFi, ask one of the staff for login instructions. They'll let you know if they have any special requirements.

Here are a few common businesses that are known to provide free WiFi services:

  • Starbucks
  • McDonalds
  • Dunkin'
  • Apple Store
  • Panera Bread
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Target
  • Best Buy
  • Barnes & Noble

You can use a WiFi detection app to locate free hotspots. There are several popular choices in both Apple and Android app stores. These apps make a list of free WiFi hotspots nearby. They're great for finding free wireless in places you're not familiar with. As always, check with local staff for login instructions when you find a location with free WiFi. Here are a few WiFi hotspot detection apps to get you started.

Apple App Store

Android App Store

If you already have a device with a mobile network, you may be able to create your own WiFi hotspot. This lets you use the same network on another device using WiFi.

I'll admit, this isn't the same thing as free WiFi as it requires you have to have an existing data plan through a provider. But this does help you access the internet on devices that connect through wireless instead of 3G or 4G.

Check with your phone or tablet provider for specific instructions on creating a hotspot. Once it's active, connect and log in using your wireless device. Congratulations! You're online and ready to go.

We need more bars!
Ash Ash (362)
10 minutes

Okay—2 bars is not going to cut it. If you're stuck on a slow network, don't worry. All hope isn't lost. There may be something you can do to add a little boost to the WiFi signal on your router.