How to Use McDonald's Wi-Fi to Get Connected

Learn how to connect to McDonald's Wi-Fi and keep yourself safe

Woman using public wi-fi

Omar Havana / Getty Images

McDonald's has been offering Wi-Fi to customers for many years, but up until 2011 using a McDonald's Wi-Fi connection cost $2.95 for a couple of hours of internet access.

Today, you can use McDonald's internet access for absolutely free, and without any time limit. Free internet is available at 11,500 of the 14,000 nationwide locations.

How to Find McDonald's Wi-Fi Access

McDonald Wi-Fi location search results

Finding a free McDonald's Wi-Fi location near you is easy.

In just a few steps you can get the address of a McDonald's you can bring your laptop or mobile device to and get some work done while you're enjoying lunch.

  1. Visit McDonald's restaurant locator page. Type the name of your town into the search field.

    The McDonald's location search page
  2. Scroll down to the results and find a location that features Wi-Fi under Services.

    McDonald's location results with Wi-Fi
  3. That McDonald's location is a Wi-Fi hotspot where you can access free McDonald's Wi-Fi.

The restaurant location will provide the street address and the operating hours. Most locations are open pretty late, which makes McDonald's a convenient place to get internet access at most any time of day.

Connecting to McDonald's Wi-Fi

Since McDonald's Wi-Fi access is now free, connecting to a network at any one of the 11,500 locations is easier than ever.

  1. Click on your Wi-Fi network icon on the right side of your Windows taskbar and locate the McDonald's Free Wi-Fi network and click on it. Select Connect to connect to the Wi-Fi network.

    McDonadl's Free Wi-Fi network
  2. When the network connects, your browser will automatically open the McDonald's internet terms of service web page. Click the red Get Connected button.

    McDonald's Wi-Fi connect page
  3. A status message, "You are connected to McDonald's Wi-Fi. Enjoy!" will appear at the top of the web page.

    The McDonald's Wi-Fi connected status
  4. When you view the list of Wi-Fi connections on your computer again, you'll notice that the McDonald's Wi-Fi network is now connected.

    McDonald's free Wi-Fi network connected
  5. Now you can open a new tab in your browser and visit any website you like. Your internet connection will stay active for as long as you need.

Connecting to McDonald’s Wi-Fi With Android

You can also connect to McDonald's free Wi-Fi network with your mobile devices. Using an Android, you can connect using the following steps.

  1. Open your Android Settings and select Wi-Fi.

    Android Wi-Fi setting
  2. Select McDonald's Free WiFi to connect to the Wi-Fi network.

    The McDonalds Free WiFi network
  3. You'll see a Connected status when it's connected.

    The McDonalds Free WiFi connected status
  4. Open your mobile web browser and it'll automatically open McDonald's Wi-Fi connection page.

    McDonald's mobile wi-fi connection page
  5. Tap Get Connected to connect to the Wi-Fi network and access the McDonald's free internet connection.

Connecting to McDonald’s Wi-Fi With iOS

Using your iPhone, you can connect using the following steps.

  1. Open your iPhone Settings menu, and tap Wi-Fi. On the next screen, select McDonalds Free WiFi. You'll see the McDonald's Wi-Fi connection move to the top of the window with an Unsecured Network status.

    Connecting to McDonalds Free WiFi with an iPhone
  2. Open your mobile browser and it'll automatically go to McDonald's Free Wi-Fi login page. Tap Get Connected to finish your connection to McDonald's free internet.

    McDonald's free Wi-Fi page
  3. Now you're connected to the McDonald's network and free internet!

About McDonald's Wi-Fi Connections

Curious just how good a free internet connection could be? Well, the McDonald's Wi-Fi offers is surprisingly good.

During our network tests using network speed tool, the internet connection speeds were comparable to the upload and download bandwidth you might expect from a high-speed home network.

The FAST internet speed test page

Results from this test showed that this particular McDonald's Wi-Fi internet network had the following characteristics.

  • 58 Mbps download speed
  • 14 Mbps upload speed
  • 27 millisecond unloaded latency (when there's no much activity on the network)
  • 517 millisecond loaded latency (when data-heavy streaming is taking place on the network)

This means that while you're eating a Big Mac or chicken nuggets, you can actually stream a Netflix movie without any lag.

Wi-Fi Network Filters

Also, keep in mind that McDonald's restaurants are family-friendly. So, McDonald's internet provider, TelstraClear, has built-in features to protect customers from inappropriate or dangerous content.

If you attempt to access any of the following types of websites, you can expect to find that the website is blocked or inaccessible.

  • Pornography
  • Some file download sites
  • BitTorrent or media piracy services
  • Known malicious or dangerous sites

Even though there are filters, just about any website you'd need to access to read the news, watch movies, or conduct online business through cloud services or a VPN link will work fine.

Protect Yourself on Free Wi-Fi Networks

Antivirus software recognizing a public network

One drawback of using McDonald's free public Wi-Fi networks is that any other device connected to the network becomes a threat to your device. This is especially true because all network on these networks are unencrypted, so anything you view could be viewed by anyone else on the network, with the right hacking software.

If you plan on using the public McDonald's Wi-Fi network often, make sure to take the following steps to protect your computer or mobile device.

  • Install effective antivirus software
  • Connect to the internet through a VPN service
  • Avoid logging into bank or credit card accounts
  • Stick with only visiting encrypted websites with a URL that starts with HTTPS

It can be perfectly safe to use free public Wi-Fi networks so long as you take the appropriate steps to protect yourself.

Why Use McDonald's Wi-Fi?

In the era of multi-tasking, lunch and work (or play) often go hand in hand. And if you are getting a bite to eat anyway, this is a way to get that little extra done.