How to Get a Free Wi-Fi Internet Connection

By Elizabeth Chaplin

Wireless Internet allows computer users to receive free Internet access virtually anywhere. Travelers with laptops can use their computer’s wireless internet capabilities to check email, access social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and download data from hotels, airports and restaurants. These areas have what are known as “Wi-Fi hot spots.” These hot spots have an unsecured Internet connection that does not require a password for users to enter. It is not recommended to transfer any sensitive information over an unsecured Wi-Fi network, but these hot spots are great for web browsing.

Step 1

Visit a restaurant or retail store that offers free Wi-Fi. Many locations, including Barnes & Noble, McDonalds and Panera Bread, offer free Wi-Fi. These chains are easy to find virtually anywhere and make it easy to access the Internet on long road trips.

Step 2

Check airports before traveling. Several airport areas, including the American Airlines Admiral’s Club, United Airlines Red Carpet Clubs and U.S. Airways Club lounges offer Wi-Fi with a membership or free access code card. Hundreds of airports around the world offer free Wi-Fi for travelers.

Step 3

Surf the Net while on a camping trip. Many commercial campgrounds and RV parks, such as the KOA Kampgrounds chain, offer guests free wireless Internet access. Several non-commercial RV parks also offer free Wi-Fi. Before going on a camping trip, call or check the campground’s website to determine if it has free Internet access. Oftentimes, the Internet can be accessed only in a community area or clubhouse.

Step 4

Verify hot spots in hotels or motels. When traveling, it may be necessary to access the Internet. Hundreds of hotels, such as Baymont Inns & Suites, Hampton Inns and many Super 8 Motels, have Internet access. Depending on the location, Internet can be available in the guestrooms or in a community area such as the lobby. Call ahead or check the hotel’s website to see if free Wi-Fi is available.

Tips & Warnings

  • When accessing the Internet in hot spot locations, make sure the computer is connecting to the correct network and not the network of surrounding homes or businesses. Incorrect network connections can result in slow speeds. Restaurant, store or hotel Wi-Fi labels will often have the location’s name.
  • Avoid using unsecured networks labeled “Linksys” or “Netgear.” These connections are usually from surrounding neighbors or business. Although these connections are free, they can sometimes be created by spammers to steal information from one’s computer.