Places For Free WiFi – How to Locate Them

When you travel you’re typically going to want to limit your data usage. Even if you have a plan that gives you coverage abroad, that coverage is usually limited. When you use too much data while abroad you can find yourself having to pay roaming fees. Maybe, you’re not even traveling, maybe you’re at home. For one reason or another you need free WiFi. There are places for free WiFi out there. The trouble is you have to know where they are. Finding these days though, particularly in a city that you’ve never been to is actually a lot easier than you would probably imagine. 

We’re not going to keep you guessing for long, there is a very practical solution to find places for free WiFi. It involves an app. In this article, what we are going to go over is how to use this app. Also, we want to help you navigate the obvious challenges that you could have if you’re going from free WiFi spot to free WiFi spot. Not all free WiFi is the same. We know that a lot of times when you’ve gone without coverage for a while finding an open WiFi source can seem like finding an oasis in the desert. You still have to be on the lookout though. To make sure that you don’t put your personal data at risk when using these sources of free coverage. Here we go then with the topics that we are going to be covering in talking about these places for free WiFi.    

  • Common Places For Free WiFi 
  • How To Locate These Places For Free WiFi 
  • Does The App Work Everywhere?
  • What To Do When You Don’t Have Coverage 
  • Is It Safe To Use Free WiFi? 
  • Are There Ways To Make It Safer?       
  • Should I Pay An Extra Fee For Coverage When I Travel?

Common Places For Free WiFi

beverage breakfast brewed coffee caffeine
Photo by Burst on

Before we get to how to find places that offer free WiFi we thought it was a good idea to prepare you for what you might find. It’s not a law that you’re only going to find free WiFi in some of these places, but typically it’s an either or situation. In the sense that you’ll find WiFi in a public square, maybe even a bus stop in some countries. Public libraries are also places that you can expect to find some WiFi in. With the app that we are going to be talking about here in a bit, you’ll get in most cases an idea of what type of place the free WiFi is in. That way you can arrive prepared for the occasion. 

There’s also something that you need to look out for when you’re searching for open networks. A lot of the open networks that you’re going to find are printers! Those more often than not are not going to be a place for free WiFi. Essentially what they provide is a local network so that computers or other devices can literally send documents that will get printed out. Sadly, with most printers you’re not going to be able to surf the web or use different apps. Certain coffee shops and restaurants could appear as having an open network. Sometimes though they’ll have some type of lock. What you need to do is make a purchase there and they’ll let you know how to access the network. 

How To Locate These Places For Free WiFi

This is the important part of the article right here. We’ve championed this app a couple of times before on the site. We like to use WiFi Map TripBox to be able to locate these places for free WiFi. The reason we like this particular app is because it literally points out where the spots are. You’re going to be able to use the app to get to them. You can also jot down some of the addresses where free WiFi is being offered and then just punch the address on your map app and you’re going to be able to get there.     

For most locations the app also tells you what type of venue or place you need to look for. That way you know what to expect when you get there like we were talking about before. At the same time you can pick and choose which places you want to visit and which ones you want to avoid. The last thing that you want to do is put yourself in a compromising situation all because you want to get free WiFi. As we’ve mentioned we understand that life can get tough when you’re “off the grid” for a while. Particular if you’re used to your local unlimited plan. You really don’t need to put yourself too much at risk! 

Does The App Work Everywhere?

toronto cityscape
Photo by Skitterphoto on

We can’t say that the app works everywhere. In our experience though it offers a ton of options even in cities that would be considered quite remote. We’re talking about cities that literally didn’t even show up on a map back in the day. These days of course with how precise map apps are it has really helped this particular app gain a reach that probably wouldn’t have been possible in other eras. One of the best features of the app, is one you don’t even have to download the app. Two, you can search for W-Fi spots in a city without having to be in it!   

It’s not like you’re going to figure out when you arrive in a country or in a city whether or not the app works there. You can explore the world before you leave. Even checking if the app can give you options in places you’re not even thinking about visiting. One thing though that seems important to point out is that there is a possibility that not all of the places for free WiFi will show up on the app. If you find one of these places you can potentially add it to the platform. To ensure that other folks who visit the same area do get the benefit of a more complete experience.  

What To Do When You Don’t Have Coverage

One of the biggest problems with apps, and with map-like apps in particular, is that they are going to see their features widely limited when you don’t have an active internet connection. Some apps are not going to work at all without an active internet connection. In this particular case it’s pretty much understood that there are going to be moments in your journey when you are not going to have an active internet connection. Otherwise you probably wouldn’t be looking into places for free WiFi. Our suggestion in this particular way is very simple. Make a list of the places that you know have free WiFi before you lose your active connection. This is something that you’re going to be able to do from your hotel room.

When you visit a place where you are not certain if you’re even going to have WiFi in the hotel you may want to make a list of places for free WiFi when you’re back at home. That may seem like a little too much. However, you don’t want to bank on the fact that you’ll have service based on a random hunch. If you want to be extra safe the best bet is to just spend a couple of minutes creating your list of spots right now. You can then add those place markers on your map app that you can use without a direct connection. Once you get that done you’re pretty much going to be covered!   

Is It Safe To Use Free WiFi? 

This is a question that a lot of people have. Mainly because many things have been said about the dangers of using open networks. The reality behind hacks and other data loss issues is that they are pretty much the same as being robbed on the street. It’s just an unlucky day. There are people out there that spend all day on free, unsafe networks and nothing happens to them. Then you come along and hook up to the network for a couple of minutes and you get hit. We don’t want to create this idea though that you should never take the free WiFi that is being offered at coffee places or anything like that. Free WiFi is usually safe, but … it can hurt to be a little extra safe if you will. 

Are There Ways To Make It Safer? 

There are certainly things that you are going to be able to do to keep yourself safe while using these types of open networks. Some of the tips are actually rather simple and sort of common sense. For example, ideally you’re not going to want to enter your credit card details and make a purchase on an open network. If you’re making a purchase for things like calling an uber you should be fine with that on an open network. Particularly if you are making the payment through a payment service like PayPal. You’re essentially adding layers of protection to that payment. You also could just decide to pay cash for that particular ride. As we mentioned, there are simple things that you’re going to be able to do to make your time safer. 

Are things like opening your email on an open network less safe? Technically yes, although you should probably be more worried about the type of emails that you’re opening. Opening your email on an open network and getting hacked is having pretty bad luck. Particularly if you’re doing so in some type of public plaza or a public library. Essentially those networks are run by the city or the state. To have people hack into them to then hack other people that get on that network it would take something special. You never know, but it’s not likely.

Going The Extra Mile To Be Safe

We realize that what we mentioned probably didn’t leave everyone at ease. The thing is saying that you are 100% no matter where you find free WiFi would be a total lie. What you can do though if you don’t want to take risks is download a VPN. This will act as yet another layer of protection to make sure that no data is stolen from your devices as you surf through the web. If you were expecting an ad placement right here, sorry to disappoint. Unlike 90% of Youtube content creators we don’t run VPN ads.

It’s not a shot at these content creators. We do want to make it clear that we’re not running an ad here, because it’s actually well intended advice that we are looking to give out. If you want a layer of extra protection when at these places for free WiFi the best thing that you can do is run a VPN when you’re on these networks! 

Should I Pay An Extra Fee For Coverage When I Travel?

It really depends on your budget, where you’re traveling to, how you like to travel. In our view one of the biggest problems still to this day literally when using your phone abroad is the fact that some wireless service providers are not 100% forthcoming with the rates that you can expect to pay. There’s no question that getting coverage in another country through your regular network is easier these days than it ever was before. Still, data speed drops off rather quickly on most providers. Before you know it you’re faced with having to pay an extra fee for coverage abroad. 

What we always recommend, particularly if you’re traveling as a group, is to have at least one phone that you can rely on for coverage. If you’re taking your family of 4 abroad it’s going to be expensive to get coverage for every member of the family. Particularly if you’re taking a trip that lasts more than a week. In these cases, you’ll want the kids to hop from WiFi spot to WiFi spot while you leave essentially the main phone as the one that gets coverage in most of the area. 

Places For Free WiFi Conclusion 

We really believe in the method to find places for free WiFi that we’ve laid out. You don’t even need to download the app. In fact we would recommend that you test the app out in your hometown. Particularly if you know some places with free WiFi. That way you’ll get a feel for how the webpage or the app work. When you go somewhere else you’ll be able to feel more confident when using this app. About keeping yourself safe when using free networks, the best way to do it is through a VPN service. It’s going to seem counterintuitive to pay for a VPN when you don’t want to pay for coverage. However, there are free VPNs out there that do work. It could be a great idea to look into those before you travel as well!