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Here's how to get free Wi-Fi anywhere

AndroidPIT WIFI on the plane
© ANDRODPIT, Shutterstock

Wi-Fi can be found anywhere nowadays, and the best Wi-Fi is free Wi-Fi. Just be careful of the dark corners of free public Wi-Fi, which may not be secure. Here are our tips and tricks to help you stay connected safely while on the go.

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Use your scanner

Your Android will already tell you if a Wi-Fi connection is secured or not. Just go to Settings > Wi-Fi and look for connections that are labeled 'open' or 'unsecured' and connect. Failing that, a connection to a secured network is just a password away. You can look around public spaces, like cafes, for passwords to be posted, or ask a neighbor if you can use their Wi-Fi network for a bit. The important thing is to remember to use your scanner and keep your eyes peeled.

how to get free wifi
Use your scanner to find more networks. / © NextPit

Use Facebook "Find WiFi"

Open the Facebook app, which you're sure to have already downloaded, tap the More tab and open up "Find WiFi" with your iPhone or Android device. This feature will help you find nearby sources of free, public Wi-Fi. Choose from a list of businesses in your area, and see the opening hours alongside the network names. Not all businesses have opted-in to have their networks listed yet, but the Facebook Find WiFi feature is very useful already.

Hit the library

If you live near a library or take your lunch near one, you can always pick up free Wi-Fi for a limited time at the good old book depository. Again, you may need to stroll in and grab a slip of paper, but sometimes the Wi-Fi password is written up on the wall for all to see and use.

book swipe
Libraries not only have free Wi-Fi, you can also learn something there. / © NextPit

Check your cable subscription

Some of the big cable networks also provide Wi-Fi access a freebie in their subscription deals. Take a look at your fine print or call customer service to find out if you have any data access included in your subscription. This is not technically free, but if you never knew you had access to hotspots across the city, it's the next best thing.

Go to Starbucks or McDonalds

It doesn't take a genius to know that certain major chains use free Wi-Fi as a carrot to entice customers in. Just as the free restrooms at McDonalds cause plenty of people to swing by in times of need and stick around for some fries, so too does free Wi-Fi. It almost makes up for paying six bucks for a Starbucks coffee.

Use a crowdsourced Wi-Fi database app


Instabridge is a great little app where crowd-sourced Wi-Fi connections and passwords are compiled into a network of millions. The best thing is that it also includes secured connections, so as long as one person paid for that overpriced latte, everyone with the app can enjoy the connection.

how to get free wifi instabridge
Instabridge is a coordinated network of free Wi-Fi lovers. / © ANDROIDPIT


WeFi is a great app that automatically connects you to any free Wi-Fi in your area, based on the combined resources of millions of users just like you, who know that where there are numbers, there's strength. With over seven million downloads and hundreds of millions of hotspots, WeFi is sure to have coverage right where you are.

A word on public Wi-Fi safety

Before you find a free Wi-Fi network and jump right in, there are a few things you should consider. The truth is, like all things in life, nobody gives you something without expecting something in return. Free Wi-Fi spots can be an absolute playground for those who want to hack and steal. You never really know how secure a good the standard encryption protocols are of a network that anyone can join for free.

Man-in-the-Middle attacks, where hackers can listen in on the data moving between the network and a connected device, can happen. There are also Fake Hotspots to worry about. this is where a hacker will create what looks like a free Wi-Fi hotspot to encourage users to join. Once connected, the malicious creator can hit your hardware with malware or even take control of your device to steal personal information.

If you are ever worried about the authenticity of a network in a bar or cafe, ask a member of staff to confirm the Wi-Fi network is operated by the establishment before connecting. If you really need a secure connection, you may just have to use your phone's Wi-Fi connection for your laptop or other devices.

How do you get free Wi-Fi? What do you do when there is no Wi-Fi? Tell us in the comments.

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David McCourt

David McCourt

David enjoys staying abreast of the latest technology and newest Android apps. Outside of the office, he can be found playing snooker and writing bad 00s indie songs.

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  • marco sarli 39
    marco sarli
    • Admin
    Jun 11, 2019 Link to comment

    I live in Vietnam and unfortunately none of this options is available here. On top of it Mcdonalds ,Starbucks and all the other businesses give you a password,valid only for one hour on the receipt of your payment. What you get is a painfully slow connection and a bombardment of advertising. Also if I would use my ,paid for, data connection at Starbucks or McDonalds I could not because personal data connections get scrambled in this establishments as they obviously want you to see their advertising, surveys and so on.

  • Sneha Agarwal 1
    Sneha Agarwal Sep 10, 2018 Link to comment

    Thanks for the info. The last 2 Apps make this article more useful.

  • Albin Foro 30
    Albin Foro Aug 28, 2018 Link to comment

    Here in Toronto along with libraries, the subway stations recently installed wifi - mobile data coming "some day". The local Starbucks wifi carries outside the store. I've been able to use it from a nearby park bench without purchase. Bell Canada telco has wifi arrangements for subscribers with several coffee shop chains, no purchase needed.

    SorinDavid McCourt

    • David McCourt 16
      David McCourt Aug 29, 2018 Link to comment

      The last time I was in London there was free Wi-Fi on the tube but only at the stations. Just enough time to refresh your Twitter feed before moving off into the darkness again.

  • Malstron 4
    Malstron Aug 3, 2017 Link to comment

    I use Facebook "Find Wifi", but I try the others alternatives too.

    Brittany McGhee

  • C.A. Carpenter 1
    C.A. Carpenter Aug 3, 2017 Link to comment

    Also, reviewing readers comments.... "thank you for the helpful information"..... I hope they realized that they've been misled.

    A gentleman in Florida was hit with a felony charge for that sole action.

  • C.A. Carpenter 1
    C.A. Carpenter Aug 3, 2017 Link to comment

    Kris.... Why are you encouraging your readers to conduct an illegal activity?

    Accessing non-owned unsecured wifi points in a number of states is against the law.

  • Iqbal Hossain 9
    Iqbal Hossain Aug 2, 2017 Link to comment

    Ow! Can i apply this features in any country?

  • 1
    Mark_Two Jan 19, 2017 Link to comment

    Now many of these applications and sites. I can name at least another one - And do not forget about security, using public WiFi.)

  • Abby Ou 5
    Abby Ou Aug 31, 2016 Link to comment


  • 6
    Rishabh Ryber Apr 28, 2016 Link to comment

    None is so useful...

  • Doctora Real 1
    Doctora Real Apr 21, 2016 Link to comment

    Or you can find a hotspot anywhere!

  • 6
    Chris Krajewski Dec 5, 2015 Link to comment

    I see a lot of comments of people , like they have been using Internet and computers from 2 weeks ! - Dilettantes !!!

    carlo riverso

  • 18
    Deactivated Account Dec 3, 2015 Link to comment

    We fi unable to connect to WI-FI which is password protected.

    • 1
      Pete Nguyen Nov 10, 2017 Link to comment

      Hi Anshul, you may use a wifi certified passpoint. It would also address security issues. You may read Hotspot shield blog for more info about its benefits.

  • 1
    Kenny Aldrich Dec 1, 2015 Link to comment

    I found a mi fi at a goodwill but even though. !y devi ce finds it I cannot log on to it because Verizon wants me to pay..,.I'm not going to pay I'll try to hack it but I'm doubting I can

  • Colin Robinson 2
    Colin Robinson Nov 30, 2015 Link to comment

    Any article that opens up with premises such as avoiding visiting a friend because he doesn't have Wi-Fi in his home, or not stopping in a cafe simply because they don't offer free Wi-Fi to their patrons is an utter crock! Seriously, get a life. Your criteria for friendship are warped and your basis for deciding where to spend your money are nothing more than superficial at best.

    Samuel Odaniels

    • Crystal Trail 3
      Crystal Trail Apr 19, 2016 Link to comment

      Easy now killer...I'm pretty sure the writer was being sarcastic or facetious when he said the comment about not going to friends' homes w/o wifi, etc. He meant it as tongue-in-cheek. He's a writer/blogger, they tend to add humor in their articles. Loosen up a may enjoy more articles that way. :)

      carlo riversoKaren ListonManuelSamuel Odaniels

    • Ruben Sainz Beltran 2
      Ruben Sainz Beltran Oct 7, 2016 Link to comment

      LOL, let me tell you, I travel a great deal in foreign countries, and because I never activate my phone when I travel, so my dependency on WIFI is big... so when ever i will stop to drink or eat somewhere, if not WIFI i keep on moving until I find ne...

      carlo riversoKaren Liston

  • 1
    Julian Pietras Nov 29, 2015 Link to comment


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