Free Wi-Fi Hotspot Locator Apps

Find free Wi-Fi hotspots 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, internet cafes 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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Facebook Mobile App

What We Like

  • Built-in features is a nice one stop if you're just using Facebook.

  • No additional apps or plug-ins required.

What We Don't Like

  • Not very accurate.

  • Does not show other networks if you're connected to one already.

  • Hard to find the feature.

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.

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Avast Wi-Fi Finder Android App

What We Like

  • Comes in both Android and iOS platforms.

  • Offline mode comes in handy when saving data quotas.

  • Can share Wi-Fi with other Avast users.

  • Built-in speed test.

What We Don't Like

  • Not available in the US.

  • Program can be a bit intrusive.

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.

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OpenWiFiSpots Website

What We Like

  • Provides a visual Google map of location

  • Gives descriptions of locations.

  • Provides reviews and commentary from users.

What We Don't Like

  • Covers mostly major large cities.

  • Other than an iOS app, just a website.

  • Google maps errors out frequently.

  • List isn't very accurate.

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.

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The Wi-Fi-FreeSpot Directory Website

What We Like

  • List on website is fairly large.

  • Provides some basic information including the establishment's phone number.

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't look like site is being maintained.

  • No reviews or maps for reference.

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.

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WiFi Map Mobile App

What We Like

  • Built-in speed test.

  • Easy to use interface.

  • Accurate maps.

What We Don't Like

  • Reliant on users for accuracy.

  • Ads are obnoxious.

  • Pro version is expensive.

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.

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Free WiFi Near Me Website

What We Like

  • Video tutorial on website.

  • Can easily add new locations.

What We Don't Like

  • Google maps keeps giving errors.

  • Obnoxious watermarks on maps.

  • Supposed apps for iOS and Android, but links weren't working.

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.

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WifiMaps Website

What We Like

  • Clear and readable map.

  • Can easily zoom in and out of locations.

What We Don't Like

  • Appears to be for Russia only.

  • No way to search for hotspots.

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.