International Wi-Fi Internet Service Providers

Wireless internet access for travelers and road warriors

Wi-Fi hotspots are everywhere these days, particularly for travelers, with thousands of hotspots throughout the world in public locations such as airports, hotels, and cafes.

Although you can find free Wi-Fi at many retail establishments, you might prefer the assurance and ease of a dedicated Wi-Fi internet service plan that lets you log in to hotspots in most countries with one account. Below are several wireless internet service providers that offer global Wi-Fi internet access.

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AT&T International

AT&T international promotions
What We Like
  • SIngle-day plan available.

  • Available in 200 countries.

  • Wi-Fi location map.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited availability in some countries.

  • Per minute charge for talk on Passport plan.

AT&T offers a free Wi-Fi hotspot service to all data plan subscribers. The hotspots are located at thousands of airports, Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, McDonald's, and other places around the world. (Check out the map of AT&T Wi-Fi locations to view coverage.)

In addition, AT&T offers several paid plans that include:

  • AT&T International Day Pass: Add on to the same plan you have at home for use in more than 200 countries. The cost is $10/day for one line and $5 for each additional line.
  • AT&T Passport: Coverage for as long as you need it. Includes talk at $0.35 per minute, unlimited texts, and a 2 GB or 6 GB data plan. Available by the month for $70 (2 GB) or $140 (6 GB) per device.
  • Mexico & Canada: An add-on option for a current AT&T plan for calls between U.S., Mexico, and Canada without extra roaming charges.
  • Cruise Packages: Available for more than 170 cruise ships with no extra charge on land in Mexico, Canada, and select Caribbean Islands. The one-time charge for 30 days of talk, text, and data is $100; talk and text only is $50.
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T-Mobile Travel

T-Mobile travel options
What We Like
  • 210+ locations.

  • Special pricing for seniors.

  • Unlimited data and texting.

  • No extra plan needed for Mexico and Canada.

What We Don't Like
  • Standard speed approximately 128 Kbps.

  • Limited coverage in rural areas.

  • Per minute talk fee on most plans.

T-Mobile hotspot service is available at more than 45,000 locations worldwide, including airports, hotels, Starbucks, and Barnes & Noble.

Plans include:

  • Magenta: No setup or data-roaming charges. Calls are $0.25 per minute.
  • Magenta MAX: Twice the speed of T-Mobile's other plans. Unlimited data and texting with low-rate calling.
  • International Pass: Added to T-Mobile Essentials plan for as low as $5 a day, covering unlimited calling in 210+ locations and 512 MB of data.

Sprint has merged with T-Mobile. Sprint customers have different travel benefits.

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Verizon International

Verizon international travel plans
What We Like
  • Coverage in 220+ countries.

  • Afffordable add-on to regular plan bills only on days used.

What We Don't Like
  • The Pay as You Go plans are expensive.

  • Fees for overages on some plans.

Unless you have a long trip planned, Verizon's TravelPass is the best way to go. It is an add-on to your current plan that costs only on the days you use it.

If you don't select a plan, you are billed at Pay as You Go rates that range from $0.99 to $2.99 per minute for talk, depending on the country, and $0.50 for sent texts, $.05 for received texts, and $2.05 per MB of data.

Plans include:

TravelPass: Added to a current Verizon plan, TravelPass supplies unlimited calling and texting with 4G LTE data. Only charged on the days you use calls, send texts, or use data while abroad. Adds $5 per device in Mexico and Canada or $10 per day in 185+ countries only on the days you use the phone internationally.

Monthly International Travel Plan: Adds a one-time bundle of minutes, texts, and data in a monthly bundle containing 250 minutes of talk, 1000 sent texts, unlimited received texts, and 5 GB of data. The cost is $100 for the month.

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Boingo Global

Boingo Global webpage
What We Like
  • Prepaid data at low rates based on how long you travel.

  • No contract required. Can cancel at any time.

  • Hotspot locator.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited hotspots in some locations.

  • Limited support.

Boingo Wireless claims to be the world's largest network of Wi-Fi hotspots, with more than 1 million hotspots worldwide at thousands of Starbucks, airports, and hotels.

Boingo offers several plans for global wireless internet access at these hotspots, for both laptop users (Windows and Macs) and smartphones. (Many different devices are supported.) You can also use your VPN, if you have one, which gives it a slight edge over others on this list.

Plans offered are:

  • Boingo Global: Up to 2,000 minutes of Wi-Fi access without roaming fees at more than 1 million hotspots. $39/month.
  • eSIMple: International data at local rates—no SIM required. Global cost is $16.99 for 7 days for 1 GB data in 65 countries or Europe Plus cost is for $7.99 for 7 days in 35 countries.
  • Boingo Unlimited: Unlimited use of four devices, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones at more than 200,000 hotspots worldwide. The cost is $14.99 per month.
  • Individual plans available for Asia Pacific, Europe Plus, UK and Ireland, and North and South America. Price varies.
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Other Wi-Fi Connections

Man using Wi-Fi outside

Lucian Novosel / Unsplash

Many large international municipalities offer free Wi-Fi connections. Paris, France, offers the most free Wi-Fi hotspots, but it's closely followed by other major international cities that offer free Wi-Fi.

If you can find a Starbucks or McDonald's, you'll likely find free Wi-Fi. Likewise, other public businesses and institutions such as libraries and airports offer free Wi-Fi connections, negating the need for provider-specific, paid access.

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