How to Get Wi Fi Anywhere

Four Methods:

Wireless networks are generally locked for home use, but available for free at certain businesses and locations in an area. If you cannot find places to get Wi-Fi, you can get Wi-Fi anywhere by using your smart phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. This process, called “tethering” can either be done through a wireless provider or with a third-party app.


Enabling Smart Phone Tethering on a Plan

  1. Ensure your phone is a mode on a hotspot network.First, it must be a smart phone on an AT&T, Sprint, Verizon or T-Mobile network. Check this list to see if it comes with a tethering chip and what the monthly cost will be.
    • Android, iOS, Windows and WebOS phones have models that are capable of being hotspots. However, the phones you can use differ depending upon your wireless carrier. For instance, Verizon allows Wi-Fi hotspot plans with the iPhone 4S but AT&T does not.
  2. Sign up to activate the Wi-Fi hotspot on your plan.Depending upon the phone and network, the cost is between .99 and per month. AT&T’s per month data plan includes tethering on some phones.
    • You must sign up for a monthly subscription to tether; however, you may cancel if you don’t like it or don’t use it.
  3. Start your phone.Click the hotspot app. It is usually called “Mobile Hotspot.”
  4. Go through the setup process.Once your plan is enabled, the installation will be similar to using a Wi-Fi router. You will be asked to create a login to access the hotspot.
  5. Wait a few minutes, and then turn on your other devices, like tablets, laptops or iPods.Search through the Wi-Fi networks list. You should see your hotspot phone listed in your Wi-Fi networks.
  6. Connect to your hotspot.You can connect between 5 and 8 devices; however, the more devices you connect with the phone, the slower the connection is likely to be.
  7. Keep several important things in mind about tethering to a phone.
    • The phone must stay within 100 feet (30.5 m) of the devices.
    • You can receive calls while you are tethering on 4G phones, but not most 3G phones.
    • Tethering plans include a limited amount of data. After you reach the limit, you will need to pay overage fees on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. T-Mobile will simply slow down your data connection.
    • Wait to download updates, movies and other large data items until you are directly connected to a free Wi-Fi connection. It will help you avoid extra charges.

Enable Smart Phone Tethering by Jailbreaking

  1. Jailbreak your iPhone, if you want to tether on a third-party app.This method allows you to use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot without your carrier knowing. Although you will pay for data use, you will not need to pay a monthly subscription to use a tethering feature.
    • Move on to the next step if you are using an Android phone.
    • Backup your iPhone using iCloud and iTunes before you jailbreak it. Your iTunes backup will allow you to restore the phone to its pre-jailbreak status.
    • Download the Spirit Jailbreak tool.
    • Plug in your iPhone to iTunes.
    • Open the Spirit Jailbreak tool. Make sure it recognizes that your iPhone is connected. Hit the “Jailbreak” button.
    • Allow your phone to restart. You will see the Cydia app on your iPhone, which you can use to get apps that work specifically with jailbroken phones.
  2. Download a third party tethering app.If you are using an iPhone or Android, try PDANet or a similar app. There is a free trial, but you can purchase it for to .
    • Some Android phones need to be rooted in order to use a tethering app. Rooting is similar to jailbreaking. It voids the warranty and allows you more flexibility to control your entire Android phone. The rooting process differs depending upon your model of phone.
  3. Click on the app and set up your hotspot.
  4. Sign into your hotspot using Wi-Fi on your tablet or laptop.

Finding Other Wi-Fi Hotspots

  1. Go to to access maps of free Wi-Fi hotspots.Although the connections may be free, you may be required to purchase food or lodging to get access within the building.
    • Download the WeFi app on your smart phone to find these connections while you are away from your computer.
    • Other Wi-Fi finder apps include WiFinder, JiWire, Wi-Fi Hotspot List, Hotspot Haven and Hotspot.

Using Wi-Fi in Buildings and Businesses

  1. Go to the public library.Consult the person at the front desk to find out the password and log into the network. Some libraries also loan laptop computers and tablets.
  2. Buy a coffee or a burger.Coffee shops and fast food restaurants usually have free Wi-Fi that may or may not be password protected. It is good etiquette to buy something, and some places impose time limits.
    • The same is usually true of bookstores, where some loitering to use Wi-Fi or read is acceptable.
  3. Get an oil change.Many service-related industries give Wi-Fi to their customers while they wait.
  4. Go to the mall.Shopping centers may encourage people to spend more time in food courts by having Wi-Fi.
  5. Sign up for hotel loyalty discounts.Find a chain that you can use while you travel and at home. Hang out in the hotel bar and use your Wi-Fi, if you are not staying in the hotel.
  6. Go to the airport.Some airports have free Wi-Fi, while others ask you to pay per hour of use. You may be able to find coupons for discounted wireless access.
  7. Take a train.Some Amtrak tickets come with free Wi-Fi. Although the journey is slower than air travel, you will be able to access the Internet.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    How can I get free wireless Wi-Fi to my Android phone?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can't get free, legal, wireless Wi-Fi unless you purchase a data plan.
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  • Beware that some smart phones do not have the capability to work as Wi-Fi hotspots. It requires a special chip to be installed in the factory. However, they may allow USB tethering to your laptop computer.

Things You'll Need

  • Wi-Fi Hotspot enabled phone

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Sources and Citations

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