The internet has become an essential part of life, defining how people live in their homes or work in the office. But you don’t always have to wait until you’re at home or in the office to access the internet.
Having Wi-Fi in the car can keep you connected regardless of where you are. The problem is that many of the available solutions require you to make regular payments, and you may not always have the money for that.
This article discusses how to get Wi-Fi in your car for free and save on expensive monthly bills. Keep reading to learn more about connecting to the internet while on your daily commute.
Why Would You Want Wi-Fi In Your Car
There are several reasons you may want a Wi-Fi connection in your car. The following explains the question: Why Wi-Fi in a car?
- Remote Work: If you’re a freelancer or work remotely, having internet on the go is a must. You could be driving in a strange city when a deadline from one of your clients is almost due. With free Wi-Fi in your car, you can handle the task quickly and keep moving.
- Social Connections: Apart from helping you remain productive, having free Wi-Fi in your car can keep you connected to the world. While you might not miss a lot without having internet in your car, staying connected gets rid of the anxiety.
- Lifestyle Choice: Some people have made it necessary to remain untethered with what’s going on. Having free Wi-Fi in the car makes such people more of themselves.
- Geek Culture: A growing number of people want to be always equipped with the latest technological gadgets. Instead of free Wi-Fi, such individuals may wish to have a Wi-Fi router installed in the car.
How to Get WiFi In Your Car for Free
There are various ways you can get free Wi-Fi in your car. While sometimes you may have to pull up in the parking lot of an establishment with free Wi-Fi, other times you can get free Wi-Fi on the more. Here is how to get Wi-Fi in your car free of charge:
1. Pull Up in a Parking Lot with Public Wi-Fi
If you’re looking for free Wi-Fi in your car, you should consider parking in an establishment with a public hotspot. Luckily, various places are offering free Wi-Fi. If you’re in a city, you can’t miss connecting to the internet in any of the following locations:
- Public Libraries: As part of their quest to provide access to information, public libraries often have free Wi-Fi. If the Wi-Fi range reaches the parking lot, why don’t you pull up there? Besides, you can check out the local bookstore at the public library.
- Government Buildings: Government buildings also have free Wi-Fi. In most cases, the hotspot is available to all members of the public free of charge. You can find space in the parking lot and get grinding using the free internet.
- Restaurant Chains: Most eateries have free internet, which is accessible to public members. Ideally, you would need to enter the restaurant, book a take, and order a meal before accessing the free hotspot. You can pull up in the parking lot if you have the Wi-Fi password and enjoy the internet free of charge. Examples of restaurants with free Wi-Fi include Starbucks, KFC, Burger King, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Tim Hortons, etc.
- Universities and Colleges: These institutions provide free internet to their faculty and students to carry out academic activities. Their Wi-Fi hotspots have many people connecting to them, so no one will bother if you join in.
2. Use Wi-Fi Hotspot Database Apps
While it is easier to locate public Wi-Fi hotspots near your residence, doing so in a new city might not be easy. Luckily, there are several apps designed to maintain databases of Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide. Some apps even have Wi-Fi passwords, making it easier for you to log in and start enjoying the free internet.
The following are some of the Wi-Fi database apps you can use:
- Wi-Fi Map: It is one of the best ways to discover public hotspots near you. Whether you’re visiting a new city or in your home area, you can search and access all the available hotspots. The app lists all open Wi-Fi hotspots and their login credentials. The app is available on Android and iOS and can provide map navigation.
- Instabridge: With Instabridge, you get a map of over one million free Wi-Fi hotspots. You can either allow it to auto-connect to your preferred network or use the login credentials manually. It is available on Android and iOS devices and supports WEP, WPA, WPA2, and WPA3 hotspot configurations.
- Swift Wi-Fi: It is a reliable application for providing a list of places with free Wi-Fi. It lists all the available Wi-Fi hotspots and flats the unsecure ones. Depending on what you want, you can use the settings to have the app turn Wi-Fi on or off. It is only available on Android devices and supports more than 35 languages in 233 countries.
- WifiMapper: It is a convenient way of accessing a convenient list of Wi-Fi hotspots available wherever you drive in your car. It displays the name and type of hotspot. Currently, users may not access the login credentials, but that’s something on which the app developers are working.
- Wiman: Do you want to discover Wi-Fi hotspots wherever you go quickly? If so, you should download and install the Wiman app on your Android or iOS phone. Its Wi-Fi connection manager identifies and classifies available Wi-Fi hotspots in signal quality and strength.
- Avast Wi-Fi Finder: You must have heard about Avast as one of the largest cybersecurity companies in the world today. Avast Wi-Fi Finder is the company’s response to the need to drivers to find free Wi-Fi whenever they visit other cities. It doesn’t need an internet connection to search and display all the Wi-Fi hotspots available in a given area.
3. Search for Hidden Networks
As much as the apps listed above can help you access visible Wi-Fi hotspots, they might be helpless for hidden networks. Some hotspot owners usually tamper with settings to hide their network’s or router’s service set identifiers (SSIDs). It becomes impossible for your device to connect to the hidden network.
However, with the proper application like NetSpot, identifying and accessing these hotspots is extremely easy. You can use the app on Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS devices. Apart from 802.11 networks, the app supports bands of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
Why Can Free Wi-Fi Be Dangerous
While accessing public Wi-Fi makes it easier for you to surf the internet, it presents various risks which you might want to avoid. Legitimate providers may want to mine your data as hackers look to harm you. Here are some of the most obvious dangers of using free Wi-Fi:
1. Hacking Threats
Public Wi-Fi hotspots expose your devices to getting hacked. For example, you can launch a malicious attack or steal your private data. However, you can always protect yourself by connecting to the internet through a VPN. A VPN encrypts your data, making it impossible for hackers to access it.
2. Fake Public Hotspots
Some of the networks that appear as Wi-Fi hotspots may be fake and malicious, belonging to a hacker. The network owner could be out to install malware or steal your sensitive information. Most of the fake public networks might come without a password.
3. Privacy Concerns
Public Wi-Fi can compromise your privacy. For example, an airport can use its public Wi-Fi hotspot to track what you do while using its network. It can then use that data for other purposes. Besides, some Wi-Fi apps collect your device ID, IP address, login credentials, SSID, time, etc. The apps may share the information with third parties for a fee, so read their privacy policies before signing up.
4. Vulnerable Wi-Fi Apps
Even though very convenient, Wi-Fi applications have many loopholes. Don’t trust them entirely on their recommendations of secure networks. It’s always best to read the community feedback and opinions before connecting.
Besides, some apps run background scans, creating Wi-Fi heatmaps that enable hackers to locate you. Apps with the auto-connect feature are even worse as they can hook you up on a malicious network.
How to Protect Yourself on A Public Network
If a public Wi-Fi network sends a popup message for you to accept to share your information, don’t accept it. You could leave the front door to your information wide open if you do. So, turn off public network sharing.
Besides, you should enable your firewall before connecting to a public hotspot. Even though that may prevent you from opening some of your apps, it provides robust defense. You may also use a VPN to connect to the network.
The Bottom Line
Having free Wi-Fi in your car is excellent for when you want to stay connected to your work and networks. Now that you know how to get Wi-Fi in your car for free, you can try any of the suggested methods. While at it, remember that public hotspots can expose you to various dangers. Therefore, you should take measures to protect yourself.