How to Find Free Unlimited Wi-Fi Internet Access Almost Anywhere

Nancy Messieh Updated 12-10-2018

WiFi certainly doesn’t come cheap, but in a pinch, there are quite a few ways to find free WiFi, no matter where you are. You can use WiFi Hotspot Finders and arm yourself with information before you set out for the day to find free WiFi.


Remember, there are always security issues with public Wi-Fi, which can leave you susceptible to hackers. We’ve looked at some tips on how to spot fake Wi-Fi hotspots How to Spot Fake "Evil Twin" Public Wi-Fi Networks Run by Hackers Not every Wi-Fi network you access is safe. Some of them might even be fake. Read on to learn about Rogue APs and Evil Twins. Read More . It’s also worth keeping in mind that you get what you pay for. In many instances, free Wi-Fi can be slow and frustrating, but can come in handy if you’re a remote worker or digital nomad 5 Super Sites for Remote Workers and Digital Nomads If you're a remote worker or a digital nomad or even thinking of getting into that space, you need to visit these sites. Read More .

Free Wi-Fi at Businesses and Hotels

With a Starbucks on just about every corner of every major US city, it’s no wonder this coffee shop is a popular option for people looking for free Wi-Fi (and a hot drink.)

free WiFi startbucks
Image Credit: Natee Meepian/Shutterstock

Tons of coffee shops, restaurants, fast food joints, malls, and retailers in the United States are also the site of free WiFi. You can get free WiFi at the following locations, among other places:

  • Starbucks
  • Apple Stores
  • Barnes and Noble
  • McDonald’s
  • Panera Bread
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Whole Foods
  • Staples
  • Best Buy
  • Target
  • Subway
  • Taco Bell
  • Michaels

Some hotels also offer free WiFi if you join their loyalty or rewards programs—just don’t expect blazing speeds through these networks. Kimpton Hotels and Omni Hotels, for example, offer free WiFi through a free loyalty program. You can check out this list of hotels that offer free WiFi and how to get it.


There are also quite a few random places you might not think to look for WiFi including laundromats, courthouses, museums, bookstores, and gyms. The hotspot finders listed below are a great way to find more of these locations.

Using Wi-Fi Hotspot Finders

To find out which businesses or locations offer free WiFi in your area, you can use one of the following Hotspot finders:

WiFi Free Spot

The global database includes free WiFi locations in the United States, Europe, Australia, Canada, South and Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Locations are divided by country, state, and city, and includes libraries, hotels, restaurants, and even modes of transportation. The database includes addresses of the locations and links to their websites.


WiFi Map

If you want to take the database on the go with you, there are some great mobile apps worth considering. WiFi Map, available as a free iOS and Android app, boasts over 100 million hotspots in America, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Africa.

The app also includes user-provided passwords for networks that are password protected and will let you know how far that WiFi hotspot is from your current location. (To view these passwords, you will have to put up with some advertising.) With the free version, you can view nearby hotspots within a 2.5 mile radius of your current location on a list. You can also look at hotspots elsewhere by panning and zooming on the map.

If you register for an account using the app, you will also get access to offline maps, which will definitely come in handy when traveling so you can avoid exorbitant roaming charges.


Download: WiFi Map for iOS | Android (Free)


If you’re looking for even more options, check out WeFiPro, also available for iOS and Android users. In addition a database of crowdsourced free WiFi information, the app automatically connects to what it considers the fastest network based on your location.

Download: WeFiPro for iOS | Android (Free) [No Longer Available]

Free Wi-Fi at Airports and on Airplanes

Airport WiFi is often either password protected or, if free, it’s notoriously bad. Still, when you’re stuck in an airport with a long layover, any WiFi is better than no WiFi. If you want to access the password-protected networks often associated with airport lounges, there are a few ways to find out that information.



Available as a paid app, or for free through the website, WiFox is a crowdsourced and regularly updated map of wireless passwords for airport lounges around the world. It’s easy to filter down to the airport of your choice to see all passwords listed.


The advantage to using the paid app is that you get offline access to saved maps, which will obviously come in handy when you’re traveling.

Download: WiFox for iOS | Android ($1.99)

Airline WiFi

When traveling, it’s also worth thinking about which airlines offer free WiFi onboard, because it just might not worth paying for Is In-Flight Wi-Fi Worth It? What to Know Before Wasting Money on It More airlines are starting to offer in-flight Wi-Fi, but is it worth such exorbitant prices? Here's what you need to know. Read More . JetBlue offers free WiFi to all travelers, while airlines like Southwest and Alaska Airlines offer free in-flight messaging using apps like iMessage and WhatsApp.

When you know which airline you’ll be flying, do your research ahead of time and find out if they offer any free options.

T-Mobile customers can also take advantage of an offer that gets them one hour of free in-flight WiFi.

Free Wi-Fi in Your Town or County

Municipal Internet Access, or Muni WiFi, seems to be an on-again-off-again project for most communities. County residents can sign up for a free account and access the internet for little to no cost—a service covered using taxpayer money.

Municipalities also often provide totally free, unlimited internet access at locations such as municipal offices, libraries, and some schools. To find out more about what your community offers, take a look at your local government websites. Free wireless access is a staple of most large libraries, and often no username or password is required. In some cases, you can also use public computers in these libraries.

New York provides a service for families that can’t afford ISP charges. Families with at least one child attending a public school who don’t have at-home internet can apply for free WiFi service at home provided through The New York Public Library’s Library HotSpot program. New York also offers free WiFi on select subway stations [Broken URL Removed].

Free Wi-Fi via Your ISP or Cell Phone Provider

Another place to check for free internet access is through your ISP. Many of them offer free hotspots, many of which you will find concentrated around major cities. Use your zip code to find out where to find hotspots from Xfinity, Cox, Time Warner Cable, Verizon [Broken URL Removed], and Optimum, among others.

Some US cell phone providers also offer hotspots. AT&T customers can take advantage of a similar free service, which T-Mobile customers will have to pay an additional $9.99 per month for access to hotspots. (That said, these hotspots can be crippingly slow.)


All Free ISP

As an absolute last resort, you could give All Free ISP a try. The searchable database covers the United States and Canada, making it easy to find a service provider near you. The catch is that most of the services that are completely free are offering dial-up Internet—which if you’ve ever used it—you know it’s going to be painfully slow.

In addition, many of the providers, like Juno for example, will display large banner ads for the privilege of using their service. And of course, if you don’t have a landline, this site really isn’t for you. Depending on where you live in the US or Canada, you simply might not find free dial-up service. It all depends on what constitutes a long distance phone call for you.


To find out if you can get free dial-up in your area, you can either select your state or province from a drop-down menu or enter your telephone area code. All Free ISP breaks the list down into cities, includes a rating system, and lets you know what platforms are supported.

Alternatives to Free Wi-Fi

Can’t find any free WiFi in your area? You can use your cell phone to create your own private hotspot How to Save Data When You Tether and Get Online from Anywhere In the modern age, how useful is any computer when it's disconnected from the Internet? Unless you use a specialist professional program, most of your typical day-to-day computing will need a connection. Read More . You’ll obviously need to take certain things into consideration including your own data limits. If you have unlimited data, some mobile networks can throttle your speed to limit your hotspot use when you tether your phone to your computer.

If you’re a remote worker, it’s best to invest in a portable Wi-Fi hotspot 6 Essential Home Office Accessories for Remote Working Working remotely doesn't have to be a challenge. These essential accessories will help improve your home office productivity. Read More for a reliable internet connection.

Related topics: Bandwidth, Freebies, Internet, ISP, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Hotspot.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. azim
    December 29, 2017 at 8:32 am

    thank you

  2. dan
    February 17, 2017 at 6:27 am

    Sometimes when I try to make a (WiFi) call through Google Hangouts, my Android device shows that I am connected to a WiFi hotspot, however, the call fails to go through.
    Any ideas why?

  3. Ferry Djaja
    February 9, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Here is the Facebook Messenger ChatBot that can answer questions about the WiFi password information from the airports and lounges around the world.

  4. Chris Staniss
    January 26, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    I did the Free Wifi setup on and it is working, the only problem is that it reaches 2 miles, so if you are 2 miles away from a public wifi then you are screwed. I live in the city though so it worked like a charm! Instead of a McDonalds or Starbucks I went into a small restaurant next door and asked for their pw from the waitress. "I need to send my boss something, FAST" ;)

    • Sonya
      March 7, 2017 at 5:02 am

      I'm so confused why no one has mentioned FreedomPop. They have been around forever and have free internet plans.

  5. Trevor Philips
    May 1, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    It is worst in Ghana. No free INTERNET connection.

  6. Bishal
    March 30, 2015 at 3:09 am

    I am in India
    I can't find it

  7. jack
    January 28, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    im in south africa what do i do

  8. 2leep
    January 1, 2010 at 8:36 am

    This Really is Obsolete now If im not wrong and the interruption rate is way too high

  9. Jay
    November 18, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    really ?

  10. James
    October 27, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Hummmm. Do you get email server for free too or just browsing?

    Ads? Not me. I never use the ISP home page because of all that crap they add on. I go right to Google and get a nice clean screen.

    I have Gnash installed too. With that anytime an add starts to load on a website you just right click it and it immediately goes blank. The downside is that you get notices that your flash player is not turned on but, with dialup, videos are pretty much out anyway.

    I'm content to pay a small amount to Earthlink each month. Hell I could get shed of computers period and save a lot of money yearly. but I have to have something to amuse and frustrate me in my well earned retirement and this is it.

    I used to hate MS for the way they loaded all their sites with Madison Avenue fillers. I learned to stay away from other people who wanted me to have my home page at their house.

    Puppy Linux realy does rock (as the kiddies of today say).


  11. James
    October 26, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Thanks for the reply. I am a moderate who expects to pay my way in life so I don't expect free Internet access. Sure would be nice though if we in the countryside were treated the same as those in cities. That's my complaint about any "profit driven" industry these days.

    Let me clarify. Free access if it is unethical is not good. Free and OK with everyone is a different story. The second choice though I do not expect to find. Is WIFI simply "hitchhiking" on a service which is intended for others like those who stay at hotels? If it is then someone else parked nearby and connecting is not too cool I would think.

    What is the real deal here? WIFI is open to everyone? Someone has to pay don't they?



    • Guy McDowell
      October 26, 2009 at 8:30 pm

      This article doesn't have anything to do with WiFi really. It has to do with being able to get free dial-up Internet access. The companies provide it for no-cost to you since they usually also have a lot of ads bundled with their service. The ads show up in a frame either at the top or bottom of your browser and can't be turned off, usually.

      • Liddy
        January 22, 2016 at 7:05 pm

        Thanks! This is important to know. Always a catch 22. So unfair.

  12. James
    October 26, 2009 at 12:23 am

    Hey I resent your remark, "Beggars can't be choosers" above. Just because I live in a small town with no facilities does NOT make me a beggar. Someday, perhaps, telephone companies will think more of their responsibilities to people they are franchised to "serve" rather than ignore sparsely populated areas that do not provide any attractive profit for them. This is where the government comes in. By mandating that everyone be treated equally in this vital, yes vital, area of communications then perhaps our children will catch up to the rest of the industrialized world in academics. Yes folks, all you conservative know it alls, the USA is far behind the other countries of the free world, except in profits for the rich.

    • Guy McDowell
      October 26, 2009 at 8:04 am

      If you can get free Internet access like I talked about here, then you can get better paid dial-up as well. So, saying beggars can't be choosers doesn't apply to you. Unless you want the paid service for free as well.

  13. Daybrinjer
    June 26, 2009 at 12:43 am

    I prefer high speed, a little driving around never hurt me, I look for unencrypted WI-FI at businesses and then go in and buy something and sit with my laptop.

  14. Tyrone
    June 25, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Thanks for the article. Someday there will be an Internet emancipation, much as Abraham Lincoln emancipated people. Free the internet.

  15. Jason Doolittle
    June 25, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Wow, truly amazing dude. Very good resources indeed and most useful!