How to get free Wi-Fi Internet access
What is better than Wi-Fi access? Well, free Wi-Fi access, of course! But can Wi-Fi be really free? Let me state this from the very beginning: it may be illegal to use somebody else’s wireless connection. Of course, there are also people who give everyone full access to their Internet connection, and hopefully you will only use networks that are 100% open to outsiders.
So what can you expect when you get access to a free Wi-Fi network? Access will be similar with what you are used to when you utilize your own Internet connection. Still, there may be some limitations you are not aware of, such as not being able to use certain services or access certain websites. Nevertheless, you should be able to browse the web and use most of your favorite social networking sites.
But where should you look for Wi-Fi hotspots that are open to anyone? Always start with the locations where general public is welcome. I’m thinking about malls, sports centers, supermarkets, convention centers, universities and so on. Often times, even most restaurants and coffee shops will provide free Internet access to their customers, and this also extends to people that are sitting outside their buildings.
Of course, if sitting near a restaurant in the rain isn’t your favorite occupation, you should go to a local library. It’s the perfect place to surf the web, because it is a quiet space and – let’s admit it – very few people visit libraries these days. McDonald’s is also offering free Internet access to its customers, and since the fast food provider is present over 100 countries all over the world, it shouldn’t be too hard to locate a McDonald’s even while you are traveling to a foreign country.
Everything starts with having the right application that is able to locate a strong Wi-Fi hotspot. Fortunately, there are lots of great apps that can be installed on your phone, and then provide a huge database of Internet ready hotspots. Notable apps include easy Wi-Fi Radar and Free WiFi Spot.
When you find a hotspot, make sure that it wasn’t set up by evil people, with the goal of stealing your passwords, credit card info, and so on. Only connect to networks that look legitimate, belonging to public institutions or businesses.
If you plan to use Internet access for more than browsing the web, it is a wise move to make use of a VPN connection. Virtual private networks create a tunnel that links you to the target website, minimizing risks. I wouldn’t make use of my credit card even while utilizing a VPN, so try to avoid making purchases or paying invoices while you are using a free hotspot.
But what happens if you aren’t traveling, and yet, for some reason, you want to connect to a free Wi-Fi network that’s around your house? You will need a high gain antenna that is placed as close to the window as possible. You will also need a long UFL to RP-SMA cable to connect the antenna to your router, of course.
Once again, make sure that the network owner allows anyone to connect to his or her hotspots freely. It is illegal to connect to someone’s home network without asking permission, at least in some of the US states. Don’t simply rely on the fact that the router owner has created an open network, because they may have done that without knowing about it.