Free Wi-Fi Hotspot Locators

Find Free Wi-Fi Wherever You Are

Illustration of Wi-Fi connections around a city
Busakorn Pongparnit / Getty Images

The most basic way to find open hotspots around you is to browse nearby networks from your phone, tablet, or laptop. However, if you're planning a trip, it's wise to scope out the hotels, airports, restaurants, coffee shops, and many other businesses that offer free or paid wireless internet access

The websites and apps below offer an easy way to search through these public Wi-Fi hotspots. Some of them provide the password if the network is private but most of them catalog hotspots that are completely free to the public.

Common Places With Free Wi-Fi

Companies like McDonald's and Starbucks have free Wi-Fi for anyone within range of most of their buildings. An easy way to check this out in a place of business is to scan for open networks or ask for the guest Wi-Fi password.

Most libraries have free internet through their computers but lots of them also offer free Wi-Fi to the public. The New York Public Library goes a slightly different route by giving out free hotspot devices for people without internet access at home.

Hospitals are good places to find free Wi-Fi as well since these places typically have overnight patients who benefit from wireless internet access.

Your cable provider might be giving out Wi-Fi to its customers; check their website for more information about availability. For example, AT&T hotspots use the SSID attwifi, and XFINITY, Spectrum, and Optimum provide Wi-Fi under other network names.

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WifiMapper Mobile App

Want to find where nearly half a billion Wi-Fi networks are all around the globe? Good thing WifiMapper is available because that's exactly what it does.

The best feature in WifiMapper is the ability to promptly remove all hotspots that cost, have a time limit, and/or require you to register. You can also filter them by the provider.

You can be sure that WifiMapper is always up-to-date because anyone with an account can agree whether or not the hotspot is free, requires a paid subscription, or needs a password.

The app will immediately start looking for hotspots around your current location but you can change where it's searching at any time. A small icon on the map identifies if the hotspot is free as well as whether it belongs in a coffee shop, restaurant, or "nightlife spot."

WifiMapper runs on Android via the Google Play Store, and you can install it on iOS through the iOS App Store.

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Facebook Mobile App

The Facebook mobile app is by far one of the easiest ways to find free Wi-Fi if you already have the app installed. 

To use Facebook to find free internet, open the More menu and then tap Find Wi-Fi. You might have to tap See More at the bottom to show it.

If there aren't Wi-Fi networks where you're currently located, find a different area on the map and tap Search this area to look for free internet there. Switch between List and Map view for different ways to view the results.

The Facebook mobile app works on iOS and Android. iPad users can install Facebook, too, but the Wi-Fi option is not available.

Avast is a major company in the antivirus realm but they also have a free Wi-Fi finder app that lets you find free, public wireless networks wherever you may be.

The app is very simple in that you can't filter or easily see what kind of business the hotspot belongs to. However, it does have some pretty neat features not found in most other free Wi-Fi finding apps.

For instance, you can download hotspots in your country to have access to their locations even without an internet connection. Also, Avast reports if the hotspot is safe if it can download at high speeds, and if it has a good rating from other users.

Password protected networks might still be accessible through Avast's app because other users can share passwords with the community.

The Avast Wi-Fi Finder app is available for Android only.

Just as the website name would suggest, OpenWiFiSpots shows tens of thousands of open Wi-Fi hotspots all around the world.

You can search for free Wi-Fi by countrystate, or guide to find coffees shops with free Wi-Fi, airports that offer free internet, Wi-Fi hotspots in restaurants, and other places like public parks, public transportation, bookstores, etc.

Pick where you live from the list of locations at The Wi-Fi-FreeSpot Directory to see which places of business offer free Wi-Fi access.

For example, the listing for the U.S. state of Delaware shows all sorts of hotels, restaurants, and other businesses that provide free Wi-Fi to their customers.

This internet finder site is also useful for locating free Wi-Fi in RV parks and campgrounds.

WiFi Map is an app that describes itself as a "social network where users share Wi-Fi passwords for public places." It has cataloged millions of hotspots around the world that are super simple to search through.

The app is really great but only if you're within 2.5 miles of the network you want to connect to. That's the only way you can get the Wi-Fi password information in the free version. You can still see the hotspots but only their locations, not the passwords.

This app is available for Android phones and ​​iOS devices.

Browse this map to find free Wi-Fi submitted by its users. You can filter the results to show just free Wi-Fi or you can also see Wi-Fi with passwords and/or networks that are unprotected.

If you're viewing free Wi-Fi, you'll just see the network name, but password protected networks show both the name and the password in the details window. Click any location on the map that shows a hotspot to see all of its details.

The hotspot locator at Free WiFi Near Me also lets you filter the results by the type of location. You can find free Wi-Fi at salons, outdoor locations, cafes, schools, and other places.

The WifiMaps website is a huge map that lets you browse through all of its documented free hotspots. Because you can't search for a location, you have to drag and zoom to locate the specific area you want to search for hotspots.

Not all of the hotspots on WifiMaps are open; some require a password, and the password is usually provided. These are most likely guest passwords that could be obtained by asking someone who works at the business.