Finding wireless signal while on-the-go can be a hassle. In a foreign country, it can be confusing to determine which WiFi networks are safe or whether one should give up and use their cell phone data plan, potentially incurring additional fees.
One good way to obtain a reliable WiFi source is to look for a familiar chain restaurant, hotels, or retailer. Stores such as Target, Starbucks, McDonald’s, and hotels such as Marriott often offer free WiFi. Oftentimes, signing up for a store’s loyalty or reward program can help you obtain access to benefits such as free WiFi. In some cases, you may need to sign up for the WiFi network by submitting your personal information; for your maximum personal security you may want to sign up using a spam email address.
Not near a restaurant, hotel, or retailer? Public spaces such as public transit services, various museums around the world, and most U.S. public libraries, may also offer free WiFi. For people who are not in the vicinity of a chain restaurant or hotel, hotspot apps such as Wiffinity or WifiMapper can help locate WiFi networks, even networks that are not readily viewable. Your internet service provider, or ISP, may also offer hotspot maps, so check your ISP’s website for more information on the closest and best wireless hotspots in your area.
Finally, many airports and car rental companies can offer a travel WiFi router, although these devices are generally booked in advance. TEP Wireless, Roaming Man, and Travel WiFi are three companies that sell travel WiFi routers that will ship the router to you so that you can have it for an upcoming trip.
The helpful folks at Panda Security compiled an article with helpful tips on how to locate WiFi networks when traveling, and how to stay safe navigating public WiFi networks. You can check out the article, including a handy infographic, here.