Like food, water, and shelter, the internet has become a bare necessity. With its applications to work from home or keeping in touch with your globetrotting friends to stalking your ex or video calling mum from your dorm. Be it be ordering food or pants or heavy machinery or paying bills of essentials or cards, the internet is an irreplaceable part of our lives.
But like all resources, it is limited and expensive. We get a small amount of data on our phones which allows for most low usage stuff but not enough for videos, movies etc
They say there is no free lunch, that may be true, but there’s certainly free internet in the world. Here are a few ways to find free Wi-Fi:
1. Public libraries: With the advent of e-learning and growing educational content, most of the public libraries provide free internet to the public. So, just ask anyone the location of a nearby library or just google “public library near me” and you’re all set.
2. Coffee shops and restaurants: A lot of cafes and restaurants provide free Wi-Fi to attract and retain customers that just want to work or chill. These include big chains such as Starbucks, McDonald’s, Panera Bread, Dunkin Donuts, buffalo wild wings, best buy, etc. or you could just walk into some modern-day restaurants. Wherever you feel like. Most of the time, some of these restaurants will even have quirky WiFi names inspired from Harry Potter or other cult classic movies or series.
Pro tip: McDonald’s Wi-Fi is good, almost twice the average speeds
3. Apple store: Apple stores provide free Wi-Fi too. Although sometimes the signal can be weak, you may have to move around to catch a strong one. Be careful and don’t knock anyone down!
4. Airports/Bus Stops/Railway Stations: These nodes for transport accommodate a lot of people with basic amenities every day, the internet being one of them. You can also freshen up a bit or grab a bite to eat and continue your work in their common areas or eateries or shops… however, you wish.
5. Lodges: Lodges such as the Marriott provide complimentary Wi-Fi for their customers. So maybe book a room and do your work in peace.
Here is a list of National Chain Businesses that offer free WiFi:
- Panera bread
- Dunkin donuts
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- Apple Store
- Mariott Hotels
- Barnes and Noble
- Best Buy
Tap into Wi-Fi Database:
Whenever possible, try and find the best Wi-Fi places in the areas you wish to travel.
Tips to Use Free WiFi:
WiFi hotspots in libraries, coffee shops, restaurants and other public places might be convenient, however they are not secure. If you connect to these WiFi networks and send information through your phone, it might be accessed by someone else.
While to protect the information you are sending out, only use fully encrypted sites to send information. Also avoid using apps that require personal and financial information.
How does Encryption work?
Encryption is the key used to keep your online information secure. It scrambles the information India code, thus making it inaccessible to others.
How to Find out an Encrypted Website:
While sharing emails, sending videos and sharing photos online, you are sending personal information over the internet. This information which is shared by you is stored on a powerful server that collects the content and then delivers it.
To find out if a website is encrypted, look out for https at the start of the website address. Many websites use encryption only on the sign in page. Look for https on every oage5you visit not only the sign in page.
What in case of Mobile Apps?
Mobile apps, unlike websites do not have a web address indicator. If you are planning to do transactions or anything related to your bank account, be careful to use a secured WiFi network or your mobile data.
Use a VPN:
This is the most effective trick found to stay safe on public WiFis. All you have to do is install a VPN or a Virtual Private Network on your devices. It helps in securing the information that is going out from your laptop or mobile phones.
Hotspot Database Apps:
Because of the increasing demand of public WiFi, there are apps that are entirely dedicated for this purpose and helping it’s users.
This easy to use database app consists of a long list of hotspots and their information. For each of the hotspot, a foursquare is displayed along with the wifiMapper comments. The hotspot type and it’s exact places are also displayed. The developers are working on the functionality of password sharing and also maps in offline mode.
It is the largest and the most used hotspot database in the world. This app can help you find WiFi wherever you go. It acts like a built-in WiFi connectivity manager on all your devices. It provides free WiFi hotspots basing on their functioning quality. The app offers special rewards for it’s users.
Avast WiFi finder:
Cybersecurity company Avast has made it very convenient to find Free WiFi. The benefits include the working of the app without an internet connection which aqcquites a large database of WiFi passwords from its users from around the world.
Look out for Hidden WiFi Networks:
SSIDs or Service Set Identifiers are well identified as wireless networks. These are essentially network names. Without much hassle, it is easy to hide the SSID by creating a hidden network, which wouldn’t be visible to the devices that are enabled with the WiFi facility.
However there are ways to discover these hidden networks, by using a WiFi analyzer app. It is very much possible to discover all the networks that are hidden with the help of apps like Netspot.
Netspot is available on macOS and windows computers offering two modes of WiFi analysis. It supports all 802.11 networks in both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Netspot’s discover mode is a powerful and a free tool that even leaves behind the paid WiFi scanners behind.
How to use Netspot:
- First launch Netspot.
- Secondly, activate the discover mode in it.
- Wait until all the hidden ne6are discovered by the automatic scan.
Tips to Protect your information while using Public WiFi:
- While using hotspot, login or send secured information only through the websites that are fully encrypted. Your entire visit from the time of login till logout should be fully secured.
- Do not stay permanently logged in, after you have finished your work, logout.
- Never use same passwords on the all different websites you visit. It might pay way for someone who has access to one of your account to all the other accounts.
- Many of the web browsers alert their users who visit malicious or fraudulent websites. Keep an eye on these alerts and update your browser and security software.
- Always consider changing your mobile settings. So that it does not connect to the nearby public WiFi automatically.
- If you are a person who regularly uses WiFi to access your accounts. Consider using a Virtual Private Network. VPN’s encrypt the traffic between your devices and the internet, even though the websites are unsecured.
- WEP and WPA are most common WiFi networks encryptions. However, these might not protect you from all the hacking programs. WPA2 is the strongest recommended network.
- Installing browser ad-ons or plug-ins will be of help.
Enable two-factor Authentification on the most visited websites.