How to Find Wi-Fi Hotspots
In this day and age, it would be quite unfortunate to lose internet access, even when on the go. Nowadays, visiting almost any city worldwide means that you can access the internet and communicate with others, or get your daily dose of entertainment.
Roaming data plans are expensive, so we resort to Wi-Fi. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the world, through various access points and hotspots. However, going around an unknown town, searching for a hotspot, doesn’t seem like the greatest idea.
Applications and services that can locate Wi-Fi are readily available, though one should always be mindful of security concerns when accessing public hotspots.
How to Find Free Wifi Hotspots
Finding a hotspot is not that hard in today’s digital age. Most parks have free wifi access, in fact, there are even signs that point to free wifi zones. The internet access in these areas might not be that fast because of over-saturation, but it works.
However, if you don’t know the area, you can resort to a couple of options, mobile applications, online services and asking someone local to the area.
How to Find WiFi Hotspots – Applications
Depending on your mobile OS, there are tons of applications that you could use, though only a couple that would do a good job and that have proven themselves to be reliable. WiFi Map is an easy-to-use application that is available on both Android and iOS systems.
This application is very easy to use. You either enable location tracking for the app to find where you are, or you type in the location manually. Offline browsing is enabled as the wifi hotspots are cached.
Wifi Map easily shows the available Wi-Fi hotspots, in this case, of Central Park in New York. You could zoom in to any part of the world to see whether there’s a free wifi hotspot. While having ads, they are minimal and not intrusive to your navigation.
Instabridge, also known as Free Wi-Fi Password, is another application that works on both iOS and Android devices and can be used to track down a hotspot. This application promises to find you a hotspot and connect you to it immediately, though the odds are that you will have to walk to the hotspot, so the immediate part of the advertised performance is limited.
The app also has more ads, some of which can be rather intrusive. To counter that, it displays the quality of the Wi-Fi hotspots, which makes your choice easier.
Both of the applications offer their own VPN services, to help you stay safe, a necessary option when using public Wi-Fi.
Instabridge has a decent interface, though it is littered with ads, which have been cut out of the image. The ads go full screen once you are done using the map.
Find Xfinity WiFi Hotspots
Hotspots from telecommunications companies are not uncommon. If you are a Comcast member in the United States, then you can use the Xfinity hotspots without much hassle. There is an online service that helps find a hotspot, as well as an application.
Connecting is easy with your Xfinity or Comcast account. It is worth noting that most telecommunication companies have their own wifi hotspots all over their areas of business. Some are free to all users, some are free only to the users of the companies’ services.
You might even find WiFi 6 capable hotspots and in the most modernized locations, WiFi 6E.
Locating WiFi Hotspots Using Online Services
Some people don’t want another application on their phone, even if briefly. The above mentioned WiFi Map is a service that you can use from your browser. It still comes with the same interface and map, though you do need an internet connection.
This might seem paradoxical, but if you plan in advance, you wouldn’t need to install an application. This is the only reliable service that is readily available. Checking with your local internet and mobile phone providers is another way to find somewhat free WiFi hotspots.
Asking Around – Visiting Cafes
Almost every cafe or restaurant will have free WiFi for their customers. This is a good opportunity to have a break and surf the internet, if necessary. Asking around in local shops, hostels or other stores is an easy way to find free WiFi.
This approach doesn’t require any application or online service and also gives you the opportunity to socialize. Either option should work.
General Public Internet Safety Tips
When browsing the internet through public WiFi, there are multiple things that can go wrong. Most public WiFi hotspots don’t have a password, meaning that anyone can join the network. You are not protected on these networks.
Restricting your internet activities to surfing the web is a smart way to keep yourself safe. No sensitive information should be accessed using public internet WiFi, at least not without using a VPN.
Many applications nowadays offer VPN services, from the above mentioned WiFi Map and Interbridge, to OpenVPN, an open source VPN service that is available on desktop systems as well as iOS and Android. Any preferred VPN application or service will be more than helpful when using public WiFi hotspots.
Compared to your home connections which you can secure, public WiFi is not something you can control.
Summary And Conclusion
Wherever you go in the world, unless it’s some extremely distant location with no phone signal, wifi should be very easy to locate.
The answer to the question ‘Where can I find free WiFi hotspots’ is anywhere, with the right tools. Applications, online services or simply asking someone to use their or where you can find free WiFi are all options.
Staying safe while using public internet access points could be a challenge. Using common sense and basic internet safety guidelines should be more than enough for most users.
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