Simple and Effective Ways to Find Free Wi-Fi Anywhere in the World

This story is part. Home Tipsyour home CNET’s collection of practical tips for getting the most out of it, inside and out.

Living in the modern world is almost impossible. A strong internet connection. We are short Study online., Work from home Be entertained with our favorite shows on laptops. Movies on streaming services. Stable Wi-Fi is important day in and day out.

So what happens when you walk away? Home Wi-Fi? Or what if you have internet at home? Not so fast at first.?

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In this guide, We will give you how to get online fast. HotspotAnd how to find free Wi-Fi anywhere in the world. (You can also learn How can you tell if your Wi-Fi is slow due to an internet bottleneck?, How to speed up your Wi-Fi? and our choices The best VPNs.)

What is a hotspot?

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A hotspot is a central location or device that provides wireless access to the Internet to which any network device with valid access can connect. Depending on your mobile service provider and plan, you may be able to use it. Smartphone as a hotspot.

There are two different types of hotspots: public and private.

In the above scenario where you have paid your mobile service provider for the ability to create a hotspot with your smartphone. Smartphones are similar to laptops, A physical device that creates wireless access to other Wi-Fi-enabled devices, such as desktop computers and streaming devices. . Here’s an example of a private hotspot.

The guests, A public hotspot is usually created by a business to provide Internet service when customers and clients are on site. Free public Wi-Fi connections are hotspots. But for accuracy, It’s important to note the difference between regular Wi-Fi and a hotspot.

What is the difference between Wi-Fi and hotspot?

Although hotspots are a physical location or device; Wi-Fi is a wireless technology that can be used to send information between devices. If you have Wi-Fi, it’s because you have a Wi-Fi router that backs up all of your wireless gadgets and an Internet service provider that connects that router to the internet.

As long as you set a strong password, a private Wi-Fi network like this is more secure than a public hotspot because you control who can connect to it. Public hotspots, on the other hand, are open to anyone within range, so they’re fine to use. A VPN Or Some other security measures If you need to do something sensitive like shopping or sending money.

read more: How to save up to $75 a month on your internet bill

A Telstra technician installs a 5G-enabled public Wi-Fi hotspot.

A hotspot is a central location or device that provides wireless access to the Internet.

Brad Wagner/Telstra

How to find free Wi-Fi or free public hotspots?

While this might not happen at home (if you’re really close to someone with an insecure network), coffee shops, Businesses like libraries have many options for finding free Wi-Fi or public hotspots. hotels, restaurants, Fitness centers and more.

If you are going to spend the day searching for free internet. Here are some useful apps to try.

Apps like this will show you a map of your area with a list of available free public Wi-Fi or hotspots. Most will also let you track login requirements and hotspot reviews.

Some places, like libraries, generally offer free public Wi-Fi, but if you’re not using a Wi-Fi finder app, it’s a good idea to call first to make sure.

How to set up and use free Wi-Fi

Make sure the device you plan to use is Wi-Fi enabled. If so, Make sure Wi-Fi is turned on.

Once you arrive at a public Wi-Fi or hotspot, After opening the browser, open your computer’s network settings or click the Wi-Fi icon on your screen. Then select the public Wi-Fi connection you want to use. If the connection is public; You will now be connected; But watch out for a selection site that pops up in your browser. Some businesses require you to agree to their terms of service or provide an email address before allowing you to use their free Wi-Fi.

Some businesses provide a secure network by giving their customers a login and password. If the connection you intend to use appears secure; Find the login and password posted on the business; Or ask someone for help. Yes, It’s polite to buy a pie or a cup of joe somewhere you like a coffee shop.

If your computer is set to automatically connect to available networks; The next time you visit that business, your computer will automatically connect to their network.

htc 5g hotspot device

This hotspot device from HTC uses an incoming 5G connection to provide Wi-Fi internet access to nearby wireless devices.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

How to set up and use a private hotspot?

They’re not free, but if you need an internet connection at home and have a good cellular signal, a paid hotspot is the place to turn. for example, Maybe you live in one. Rural area with limited ISP optionsOr maybe internet plans in your area are beyond your budget.

Depending on your mobile service provider and the plan you pay for, you may already have personal hotspot capabilities. If not, talk to your carrier to determine how much they’ll charge you for that option. If you’re looking for unlimited data, be prepared to pay more.

After you consider the price; You need to decide between using your smartphone as a hotspot or buying a dedicated Wi-Fi hotspot device.

Check your phone’s settings for hotspot capabilities.

Screenshots by Ry Crist/CNET

Should I use my smartphone or a dedicated hotspot device?

A hotspot device will be treated as a separate device on your mobile plan with its own separate data limit. The downside is the extra cost; But the upside is you don’t have to worry about your smartphone usage eating up your hotspot data. Another positive: if you set a A strong passwordUsing a hotspot device to get online is just as secure as an ISP-provided Wi-Fi connection, and it will often provide greater coverage. We are seeing a growing number of complete Wi-Fi routers. mesh routers They are designed to receive their incoming signal through a cellular connection such as LTE. 5G.

Both a smartphone hotspot and a dedicated hotspot device can be used anywhere, but using a smartphone hotspot in public places can be more convenient, especially if you’re trying to get your laptop online for a few minutes.

What Wi-Fi options does my Internet service provider offer?

In 2020, the Federal Communications Commission created the Keep Americans Connected initiative to help people maintain their broadband and telephone connections during the pandemic. Also, service providers like it. Comcast Free public Wi-Fi is extended to anyone (customers and non-customers) during 2020. Many carriers add such benefits — if you’re struggling, you should check with carriers in your area to see what your options are.

Whichever way you go, The bottom line is that there are probably more ways to get online than you realize. We hope this guide will help you discover and utilize them: in the meantime, Here’s some further reading you might find helpful:


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