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wifi hotspot finderThere are an increasing number of places around the world where you can find free Wi-Fi to let you log on to the Internet. Thanks to this, I get to watch people wandering the streets, laptops open, looking for a blip of a signal to let them online. I’ve seen people standing on the corner to keep the signal alive, sitting on the street, and all manner of other crazy places – all trying to hold that Wi-Fi signal.

To make your life a little easier, and to avoid you being that guy, here are five wifi hotspot finder sites to help you find free Wi-Fi spots near you. Whether they’re restaurants, airports, Apple stores (always a good bet), or friendly store owners, there’s sure to be free Wi-Fi near you.

Wi-Fi-Friendly Chains

find wifi hotspots

There’s an increasing number of stores and restaurants that offer free Wi-Fi at most or all of their locations – these are great places to start in your search for free Wi-Fi.

Major restaurants include Panera, CiCi’s, Cosi, IHOP, and Whole Foods Markets; stores like Staples, Apple, and Office Depot are known for offering free Wi-Fi.

For more stores and restaurants, try this list and this one.


wifi hotspot locator

[NO LONGER WORKS] WeFi is one of the most feature-rich of the Wi-Fi hotspot locators. WeFi will find new connections, and automatically connect to the best one for your needs.

There’s a desktop version that will automatically add new spots your computer finds into the WeFi database. It’s also got social aspects, letting you see other WeFi users nearby where you are at the moment.

At its basest, though, it’s still a great way to find local Wi-Fi spots near you, and is definitely the best-looking app of the bunch.

WiFi Everywhere

wifi hotspot map

WiFi Everywhere, a Google Maps mashup with FON is a great way to find the closest Wi-Fi hotspots to you. You start with a map of the United States, and then can zoom in or enter an address to find the nearby hotspots.

They often come from places you wouldn’t expect, so make sure to do the search. There’s not necessarily a promise of free Wi-Fi, but by hiding FON Wi-Fi locations, as well as FON Partner Wi-Fi locations, you can weed out a lot of the paid options.

Every listing tells you what kind of establishment it is (restaurant, waiting room, etc.) as well as whether or not the hotspot has been recently active. You can also send a map to a friend – great for arranging meet-ups to not talk to each other.


open wifi hot spots

OpenWiFiSpots has a ton of useful Wi-Fi finding features. There’s a Google Maps mashup that lets you search for Wi-Fi near you, and a listing of services that will offer you cheap Wi-Fi.

My favorite feature, though, is the “Fast Food Restaurants with Free Wifi” list. There’s a list of national chains – Burger King, Denny’s, IHOP and others – that offer free Wi-Fi, as well as localized listings – for instance, two Wendy’s in Anchorage, AK, offer free Wi-Fi.

The list is huge, with many different options for finding free Wi-Fi.

Free Wifi Airports

Just about every airport now offers Wi-Fi of some sort. Most of them love to charge you about $850 for nine minutes of Wi-Fi access- at least, it feels like that much. To help you avoid the exorbitant fees, SmallBusiness created a list of “Free Wifi Airports,” a list of all the airports and terminals where you can log on for free.

The list isn’t enormous, but that’s because the list of airports with free Wifi is similarly not enormous. It’s a good list, filtered by US state, and including Austria and New Zealand. If you’re going to be stuck in an airport somewhere (and if you’re flying, you probably will be), why not make it one with free Wi-Fi? Check this list before you fly.

For more options for finding Wi-Fi in airports, check out an older MakeUseOf post. 6 Sites to Make Flying a Whole Lot Easier 6 Sites to Make Flying a Whole Lot Easier Read More

There’s Wi-Fi everywhere now, it seems. Free Wi-Fi’s a bit harder to find, but if you know where to look, you’ll be able to eat great food, buy great stuff, fly the world, all the while staying connected to the Internet.

Whose Wi-Fi do you use? How do you find hotspots? Which one is your favorite wifi hotspot finder? Let us know in comments!

Photo Credits: Kolya, Lloyd Budd

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  1. Pattie
    June 3, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Find my home wi-Fi ,DELTONA FLA 32738 , 2613 Albury Ave Deltona Fla

  2. Tony
    February 9, 2017 at 8:04 am

    I guess with Trump it's going to be even harder for Americans to realize there's a world outside the US.

  3. hamza
    December 18, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    i need to get access to a wiffi near to me i dont have password

  4. hamza
    December 18, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    i need a password to access to a wiffi near to me what should i do ?????

  5. Stark
    February 6, 2015 at 7:53 am

    I'm using for found free WiFi service - . It have a easy interface and big base of WiFi hotspots.

  6. zack
    August 22, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    how about peurto rico???????

  7. Jerm
    July 12, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    For those in the northwest stop by your local Shari's restaurant. We have free WiFi and we need the business :(

    Seriously, I'm gonna lose my job if some people don't start eating out more! We have $4 breakfasts that are delicious.

    Yes we can! Change you can believe in! Hope!

  8. Army
    June 1, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Awesome!!! I can play online with my DS at my local McDonalds in Lawrenceburg!

  9. Truck trader
    February 5, 2009 at 9:30 am

    after so many crime abt hacking via wi fi net and planning abt some crime ... cops and media people have said to get aware and keep their wifi protected via passwords and codes.

  10. wes
    February 4, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    McDonalds fast food restaurant chain now charges for WiFi!

  11. Tom
    February 4, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Well, WeFi took over control of my own wireless connection and then couldn't connect to my home wireless router. Uninstalled it immediately.

    OpenWiFiSpots lists Burger King fast food places as open WiFi Spots but doesn't list the local Burger King on their map.
    Great work!

  12. Ben
    February 4, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Honestly, I am not sure it is worth the trouble, with directories and apps. I think very little about free Wi-Fi, but seem to get it everywhere I go for free anyway. In metro areas it is hard to find somewhere where there ISN'T free networks available. Maybe I've just been lucky, but my Nokia E71 loves to get online this way and is rarely left without a free network in sight!

  13. David Pierce
    February 4, 2009 at 3:25 am

    Truthfully I'm not sure. Will you test them and let us know? Thanks so much!

  14. tom_mandory
    February 3, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    do i even bother to ask if this will work in any country that is not USA?


    • Choderus
      June 17, 2016 at 11:27 am

      What else matters?