Today, WiFi networks are very helpful at home, but even more in public places . Therefore, these free Wi-Fi networks can now be found everywhere and for that reason, a great decrease has been seen regarding the use of mobile payment data. Well, users prefer to use Wi-Fi to save this rate.
Thus, having free WiFi in various parts of the city, is a great fortune that can now be seen in many more cities and municipalities . Therefore, one of the most ambitious objectives of the EU is the WiFi4EU project with which they expect to have access points to free Wi-Fi in all European municipalities. Later, we will let you know more about this.
Additionally, it is worth knowing what free and open Wi-Fi networks are all about , their main differences with the Internet at home, the steps to follow to connect to a network of these from your smartphone, its risks and some tips, like much more information of interest . Which, we will detail throughout the post.
What are open and free Wi-Fi networks for all the people?
To begin with, it is necessary to understand that WiFi is a technology that simplifies the wireless interconnection of electronic devices . Thus, Wi-Fi enabled devices have the possibility to connect to the Internet or to each other through a wireless network access point. These devices can be: mobile phones, personal computers, game consoles, music players, televisions, etc.
Now, specifically, public and free Wi-Fi networks are those that prevent us from having to use the mobile data of your contract , since they are distributed in various public places and so, you They facilitate Internet browsing without spending anything at all . So, they consist of those available at airports, universities, libraries, shops and hotels, as well as many other sites.
It should be noted that, open and free Wi-Fi networks have similar access to those found in home WiFi networks .
Since, they contain an entry point of the signal that distributes it to a wider radius and in that space, there are a series of receivers that collect the dispersed signal in the space to offer the most stable and high speed possible . Reason why, sometimes you may experience loss of speed .
What are the differences between connecting to an Internet from home Free Wi-Fi spot on the street?
Although public WiFi networks have accesses similar to those handled by the house’s WiFi, certainly both connections have some dissimilarities that should be taken into account.
Therefore, in this section of the post, we want to tell you what are the most important differences that are observed between connecting from a free WiFi point in the street and connecting to the network from the home, below:
How to connect to open wireless networks from our smartphone?
On the other hand, you probably still don’t know exactly how you can connect to an open WiFi network at an airport, plaza, park, cafeteria, hotel, etc. And that is why, then, we indicate step by step what you should do from your mobile phone to establish such a connection easily :
To start with these procedures, we will focus on everything you will have to do from your Android smartphone or tablet to connect to a free and free wireless network. So, then, what you should do to avoid dying in the attempt, taking into account that sometimes this can be very tedious:
Pressing the WiFi icon (Also applies to iPhone)
The most common method to execute the connection between a free WiFi network and your mobile phone or tablet, is through the WiFi icon that you find on these devices. Since, they have the ability to detect the available WiFi networks when activating this option.
That way, once you press the Wi-Fi icon, this function will be enabled and just just click on the name of the network in question , among all the options available there to connect and surfing the Internet. However, in some cases, it is not possible to establish the connection in this way and therefore it will be necessary to use other methods.
From Chrome and Custom Tabs
Although Custom Tabs is estimated only with an effective tool to view pages with the full power of Chrome, without the need to load the entire browser; the truth is that it has other optimal functionalities. Taking into account that, it has been discovered that this tool can also be used to connect to a public WiFi network in case of problems with it .
In that sense, once you download the app on your Android, you will have to access it and click on the pink button that indicates «Demo» . Subsequently, a Custom Tab will appear and with the portal access page, where you must follow the steps. Since then, everything will depend on the type of access to the public network, which can be: a simple button, only a code or a user with a password .
From the Settings menu
In case you know that there is a WiFi network available in some public place, but you cannot find it on your mobile to connect to it; This is the most effective method to use for it. So, if you know the name of that network or SSID, proceed to establish the connection as follows :
- Initially, access the Settings menu of your Android device and go to the option “Connections” .
- Once you access this selection, click on «WiFi» .
- After that, press where it says «Search for hidden networks» , at the bottom of the list of all available wireless networks .
- Now, a small window will appear where you will have to enter the name of the network and in case you have a password, you must also type it. For now, click on the “Connect” button .
- With all of the above, the device should connect to the WiFi network in question.
From iPhone / iOS
On the other hand, in the case of iPhone, there are also certain ways to connect to a public wireless network, in addition to doing it directly from the device’s Wi-Fi icon (as we noted in the first part for Android).
Next, what you can execute there:
Using the Settings menu
This is the most common way used to connect to the public Internet on an iOS device, which requires the following step by step :
- From the home screen, access the Settings option.
- Subsequently, go to «Wi-Fi» and there, activate this option from of the switch so that it looks green now. Thus, the device will search for all available Wi-Fi networks, automatically .
- Once you look at the name of the public wireless network in question, simply touch that name and you will proceed to connect to it.
For your part, if you have iOS 13 or iPadOS, you will likely see other additional network options that are of interest when connecting to a free Wi-Fi network, such as:
- Public networks : They are those WiFi enabled to which you have never connected.
- My networks : In this you will find the networks WiFi to which you have already connected in the past and of course, are saved.
What are the best areas to find and find points with free Wi-Fi networks 100% available?
Among other things, although we have already detailed that this type of WiFi networks can be found in a large number of public sites, we have not really specified what types of places they are and for this reason, to offer you complete information first hand, < strong> below, we present you the best areas to which you can go to find and locate access points for free wireless networks :
In free Wi-Fi zones
In general, you can get Internet without paying anything at all , in the main free Wi-Fi zones of your city that normally do not contain passwords that you must enter on your device and despite the fact that several places if you have passwords, these are specified in some corner of the area or are provided by your workers.
However, these areas are the following:
- Train stations
- Metro and bus stations
- Universities and colleges
- Shopping centers
- Bars and restaurants
- Squares and town halls
- Hospitals and health centers
Using community Wi-Fi networks
Another of the best areas to get WiFi outside your home and free of charge, is through community Wi-Fi networks . Which, are defined as those wireless networks that allow service providers, an optimal use of unused capacity in the existing WiFi infrastructure in order to provide free access to the WiFi network to all visitors or passers-by .
Thus, a wireless community is made up of users, companies and institutions that decide to build a network, freely and through it, can connect for free. Thus, guarantee universal access to society and support the incorporation of value-added services . Thus, free computer networks at no cost, alternatives to private networks.
It should be noted that, the benefits of this type of wireless networks are extremely important. Since, in these cases, the access point of a subscriber is available to other subscribers on the move and thanks to that, the number of access points within a community WiFi network is increased.
Which, assures you the entrance to the high bandwidth and speeds that the same private WiFi networks offer and with it, you will not have to use the mobile data that is more expensive.
With access to captive websites (WiFi for guests) < / span>
You also have to take into account access to WiFi for guests, which consists of a captive portal based on the website that users view before entering a public Wi-Fi network, generally. Those that are also known as login pages or welcome portals and from them, users can register or authenticate on the network with their personal credentials .
In this sense, the captive portal allows all people to access wireless networks and connect to a server on which access data is stored, which is usually known as “Radius” .
Thus, while users make use of a free and public WiFi, in a way; Companies use these captive portals as a marketing tool to be able to segment users through data collection.
What risks entail connecting to the Internet from a Wi-Fi connection free?
But since not everything can be perfect, beyond saving mobile data when connecting to a free wireless network, there are certain risks for you and your device . Well, these types of networks are not legitimately secure and generate dangers for their users. So, in this section of the post, we detail the main risks involved in connecting to the Internet from a public alternative:
- Theft of personal data, confidential information and / or credentials : The main trance that reveals the connections to free WiFi networks, is related to the theft or usurpation of your private information. Since, if these networks are not secure and reliable enough, all the data you save on your mobile, tablet or computer will be exposed to theft.
- Man-in-the-Middle attacks ”: You can be the victim of this recognized attack that is based on a risk associated with connections to public Wi-Fi networks with the presence of an intermediary between the user (or victim) and the site to which they access. Thus, the cybercriminal also enters the data while they are being transported and unfortunately, they are attacks that are difficult to detect.
- False access points that are presented as networks without a key : As Many public WiFi are presented without a password, many hackers take advantage of it to usurp users’ private information. So, instead of establishing a connection to a wireless network, you will do so directly with the criminal in these cases.
- Be a victim of «Sidejacking» : This is a mechanism used to steal your data through your cookies, thus being one of the greatest risks of connecting to public WiFi in certain areas. Which, they execute it once you enter a website and accept the cookie police.
- Infection of the devices : It is likely that, when using a mobile phone or tablet mainly, you are exposed to the infection of any of these devices with malware. Which is caused by the lack of security and encryption of some public WiFi networks.
In view of the remarkable dangers that exist when connecting to a free and free wireless network in public places, it is valuable to take into account certain security measures to surf the Internet privately while establish connection with these kinds of networks. Consequently, here we leave some recommendations for you to implement whenever you need to use a public wireless network:
- Take care of the actions you carry out from these connections : It is best to choose to visit websites that do not need credentials or personal information, such as bank portals, social networks, accounts email, certain applications and all such absolutely private accounts.
- Make sure you access websites that use HTTPS : It is valuable to keep in mind that, always, the HTTPS protocol guarantees the transmission of information between the user’s computer and the website, only; In addition to that it is completely encrypted. So, even if you access from mobile phones or tablets, you also have to make sure that the websites use this protocol.
- Keep your antivirus updated : Whether you connect from the computer or from the smartphone, it is important that you keep the antivirus software or app fully updated. Well, by having the latest version of the product in question, all its features will be active to avoid the risks that public WiFi reveals.
- Do not leave the WiFi connection activated and configure your device to I asked you if you want to connect : If you are not going to use free WiFi, it is best that you disconnect this connection to keep your data more secure and not expose yourself. It is essential that you prevent the connection from being automatic and configure your mobile to ask you before connecting to the network.
- Remember to erase the connection data : Whenever you connect to a public WiFi, it is of great relevance that you delete the connection data and do not remember them on the computer or device, since this would keep free access to cybercriminals. This applies both to networks with and without password.
- Activate two-step verification : On the Internet, it never hurts to have an extra layer of security. Reason why, we advise you to enable two-step verification or double authentication factor to access your email accounts, for example.
- You also have to : Disable any synchronization process between devices of our equipment in a public network and access a network with WPA or WPA2 security (always try to avoid WEPs because they are totally insecure).
What are the best Android and iOS apps to find points Free Wi-Fi?
As if that were not enough, there are already mobile applications that allow you to find free Wi-Fi access points, very easily . So, to simplify the search for these networks in areas outside your home and to use them responsibly whenever you need them, here we announce five of the best apps you can use for it, which are available for Android and iOS:
This first option is considered one of the most effective for Android users, especially because offers more than 60 million points of WiFi Internet around the world and puts them at your disposal . Among other advantages, it is a totally free mobile app that allows you to connect to WiFi networks without the need for passwords or keys to navigate.
Added to this, provides offline maps so you can always stay connected, especially when you are traveling. Thus, it shows wide coverage throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, the United States and Russia. Among other details, we indicate that you have the ability to connect according to your location using your GPS and has automatic access to nearby free WiFi points.