How to Find Free or Cheap Wi-Fi When Traveling

Photo (cc) by CollegeDegrees360

Unless you’re deep in the boondocks, the odds are good you can find Wi-Fi nearby these days.

Unfortunately for travelers, most people have wised up and started password-protecting access to it. A free connection is a little harder to come by, but there are still plenty of options. PCWorld recently covered some of the best:

  • McDonald’s is a good bet, since it has more than 11,500 locations equipped with free Wi-Fi. “In some cases, you need only pull into the parking lot to get in range of the network,” PCWorld says. Other fast food places may have it too – start with the closest.
  • Starbucks has 7,000 locations with free Wi-Fi. Incidentally, they also have coffee to keep you wired while using the wireless.
  • Truck stops such as Flying J, Love’s, Pilot, and TA often offer Wi-Fi for $2 an hour or less. Independent stops are more likely to be free than chain locations, PCWorld says.
  • Motels often offer free Wi-Fi, and even if it’s password-protected, PCWorld suggests you just ask: “The friendlier places will often provide a password if you ask nicely.”
  • Apps such as WiFinder for Android devices and Free Wi-Fi Finder for Apple devices can also help locate hotspots in other unlikely areas.

Here’s one more idea for getting free Wi-Fi — up to 500 megabytes per month, or more for less than you probably pay for Internet service right now. Check it out in the video below:

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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