How to Get Free Wi-Fi on Your Phone
Having an all singing and all dancing smartphone without being able to access the internet is like having a fancy sports car and only ever driving it in 1st gear. You will want to use the phone as much as you can so how can you grab some free Wi-Fi to do it with?
Use a Router
The simplest approach is to use the internet connection you have on your home computer (assuming you have one, of course). This means that you are limited to using it at home or maybe in the garden if you are lucky. However, it means that you don’t need to be next to the PC to go online and you can also download apps to use later on. Modern routers are cheap and easy to set up, so this shouldn’t be a problem.
Find Free Local Hotspots
There are more free Wi-Fi hotspots around town than ever before. There are websites and apps which scan for any hotspots near you and this is a good way of getting started. Most of the ones you find will be protected networks which need a password in order to use them. However, you might find completely free access in places like libraries or airports, although this is often severely time limited. If you are far from home then it is definitely worth checking, as the trend for free Wi-Fi hotspots is growing globally. For example, if you go on holiday to Spain you will find that there are a lot of free hotspots being rolled out in touristy places such as near to beaches. You shouldn’t assume that you won’t get free access until you check for it.
Find Protected Hotspots
Ok, so if you don’t find free and unprotected access you now need to check out the businesses which offer you free Wi-Fi on a protected basis in exchange for you buying something off them. Unless you are going to be very naughty and try to hack into their network then this means asking them about the requirements for getting access. In some cases this could be as simple as buying a coffee or a doughnut. Some places will let you hang around for a long time once you’ve made your purchase while others might not be too happy with this.
Sign Up to a Free Network
You will also find that some of these hotspots are part of the likes of O2 network or the Cloud or Skype networks. In some cases you will need to be a customer of the company in order to get free access to their network but in other cases you just need to sign up for it. You should check which services are available in your area and then see which one best suits you.
Use Someone Else’s Wi-Fi Hotspot
If you can convince a friend to turn their phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot then you could use this for access. Of course, you will be sure to return the favour at some point, won’t you? Using a phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot will drain the battery and is also going to use up more of the allocated data allowance than just going online normally. You might want to mention that before your friend allows you to hook up.
Use Reverse Tethering
You may have heard of tethering, which involves using a phone as a modem to get a laptop online. However, less common is reverse tethering, which use’s the computer’s internet access to give the phone access to the internet. This could make sense if you can get your laptop online but not your phone, if you are abroad and it works out cheaper to do it this way or if you need a secure connection. There are a few different ways of doing this and the simplest would be to use a service like Connectify or the Reverse Tether app for Android devices.