1.Search for free Internet on a hotspot database.
You can find free Internet near you simply by typing “free internet hotspot” into Google or a similar search engine. There are also mobile options available:
- A free app called “Find Wi-Fi” is available for both iPhone and Android platforms. You can use this app with your phone’s location services to find Wi-Fi near you.
- The Facebook mobile app also has a “Find Wi-Fi” feature that you can use to bring up a map of nearby hotspots. It’s located in the ☰ menu.
2.Use your phone’s data as a hotspot.
This is called “tethering”. You can tether your phone’s data connection to your computer on both iPhone and Android smartphones. Keep in mind that data charges will apply, so you should only do this if you have unlimited data or if you’re in an Internet-related emergency.
- Not all carriers support tethering out of the box. If you can’t find tethering in your phone’s settings, call your carrier to see if they can set it up for you.
3.Check to see if your cable company offers free hotspots.
Many Internet companies provide hotspots around major cities for current customers; all you need to do to access them is log in with your account email and password. Naturally, this will only work if you have an existing subscription to an Internet service (e.g., Comcast).
- Most cable companies have Wi-Fi locators on their websites.
4.Use a free trial Internet service.
NetZero offers 10 hours of dial-up Internet per month for free, though you will need a phone line to use this service. Other Internet service providers (ISPs) sometimes offer free hours as well, so keep an eye out for these promotions.
- You’ll most likely need to enter payment details when setting up your account with your chosen service. Make sure that you cancel your account with them before the trial expires, or you’ll usually be charged for the service itself.
5.Exchange chores for Internet access.
If you have friendly neighbors, offer to perform house or yard work in exchange for access to their home network. Make sure that you draw up a contract with them to ensure that everybody is on the same page as far as use goes.
- If you do this, be sure not to perform any illegal actions (e.g., file-sharing) while on your neighbors’ Wi-Fi. Similarly, don’t hog their bandwidth by downloading large files or streaming HD movies, games, and so on.
6.Find a local store or business in which to work.
The Internet’s role in daily life is hard to ignore, which is why many restaurants, businesses, and public buildings will offer you free Wi-Fi. While there may be a caveat for the Wi-Fi—you may have to buy a drink or a snack, or create a membership account for the business in question—the “cost” for the Wi-Fi is usually minor enough that it’s worth paying. Some examples of free Wi-Fi locations include the following:
- Coffee shops
- Truck stops
- Department stores
7.Look for Wi-Fi while you wait.
This is a broad concept, but any time you’re waiting for a service—for example, for your car’s oil to be changed or for your friend’s dental exam to end—look for free networks under the building’s or business’ name. The majority of businesses will have a free Wi-Fi option available for you while you wait.
8.Use school or library resources.
You may not be able to access the Wi-Fi network in a library or at your school, but you can usually sign into one of the computers at one of these locations and use the Internet from there. Some libraries/schools have daily use restrictions or content restrictions, so make sure you know what you can and cannot do before using these resources.