xfinity connection: This article teaches you how to connect your computer, phone, or tablet to the internet for free. If you are able to get on the internet at all, you can use various websites and apps to find and save lists of public Wi-Fi access points to take with you on your travels. If not, you can typically get free internet access at major chain establishments, college campuses, libraries, hospitals, and sometimes through your employer. Be aware that public Wi-Fi hotspots may expose your personal information (such as your passwords and banking information) to others. To stay protected, only use encrypted websites (or a VPN) when using public Wi-Fi.
Visit a chain restaurant, retailer, or hotel that offers free Wi-Fi. The internet’s role in daily life is hard to ignore, which is why many businesses and public buildings offer free Wi-Fi. While there may be a caveat for the Wi-Fi—you may have to buy a drink or a snack or create a membership with the business—the “cost” for the Wi-Fi is usually minor enough that it’s worth paying. Some examples of free Wi-Fi locations include the following:
- Coffee shops (Starbucks, Peet’s)
- Airports (Nearly all airports in the United States and other countries offer free Wi-Fi, although some require payment)
- Hotels (Hyatt, Best Western, Motel 6, Comfort Inn, Extended Stay America, Walt Disney Resorts)
- Restaurants (Taco Bell, McDonalds, Dunkin, Einstein Bros, IHOP, Denny’s, Krispy Kreme, Panera, Arby’s, Wendy’s)
- Retail Stores (Apple, Office Depot, Lowes, Ikea, Target, Best Buy, Staples, Whole Foods, Safeway)
- Truck stops (Love’s, Flying J)
- Malls (Typically there will be a free mall-wide Wi-Fi service, and some stores may offer their own)
Find out how to fix common issues with your internet and WiFi connection.
Before you start troubleshooting, make sure your device is connected to your in-home WiFi network and not the Xfinity WiFi Hotspot.
Try this first:
If you have an xFi Gateway, start by running a full network test in the Xfinity app. If you have an older Gateway, performing a restart of your Xfinity Gateway is the most common way to fix internet-related issues. If our system detects an issue that can’t be fixed through online troubleshooting, you’ll have the option to schedule an appointment with one of our technicians.
Note: If you purchased your own approved modem, press the equipment’s restart button. You can also quickly reset your modem using the Xfinity My Account app or the Xfinity app (download our Xfinity apps).
If the Gateway/modem restart process doesn’t solve your issue, try one of the following sections below, or get help connecting to the network for the first time.
Use WiFi Map to find free hotspots. WiFi Map is a free crowdsourced website and mobile app that can lists free wireless internet access all over the world. Although you’ll need internet access to use WiFi Map initially, you can write down the suggested locations and keep them available for when you’re on-the-go. Check out https://www.wifimap.io in your web browser, or download the official app (by WiFi Maps LLC) to your Android, iPhone, or iPad.
- On an iPhone or iPad, open the App Store and search for WiFi Map: Find Internet & VPN. Tap the GET button on the app to install it.
- On an Android, open the Play Store and search for Free WiFi Passwords & Internet Hotspot – WiFi Map. Tap the INSTALL button to download the app, and then tap its icon to open it.
Use “Find Wi-Fi” on the Facebook mobile app. If you have the Facebook app installed on your Android, iPhone, or iPad, you can use it (in conjunction with your mobile data service) to find free wireless internet nearby.Here’s how:
- Open the Facebook app by tapping the blue-and-white “f” icon on your home screen or app drawer.
- Tap the three-line menu.
- Tap Settings & Privacy (iPhone/iPad) or Settings & Privacy (Android).
- Tap Privacy Shortcuts.
- Tap Manage your location settings.
- Tap Find Wi-Fi.
- Tap Enable Find Wi-Fi.
- Follow the on-screen instruction to allow the correct permissions. You will then see a list of nearby Wi-Fi access points.
Ask your cable, DSL, or satellite provider if they offer free hotspots. Many internet companies, including Xfinity, provide free wireless hotspots around major cities for current customers. All you need to do to access them is log in with your account email and password.
- Most other internet providers that offer free hotspots have Wi-Fi locators on their websites.
Visit a library, hospital, or college campus. Even if you’re not a current student, most college campuses offer free wireless access to anyone on the premises. The same goes for hospitals, even if you aren’t a patient. Most libraries have computers with internet access that anyone can use, but you may also find a library that offers free Wi-Fi.
- Some libraries/schools have daily use restrictions or content restrictions, so make sure you know what you can and cannot do before using these resources.
- Look for a Wi-Fi network called “Guest” or “Open” when searching. If a password is required for guests, ask someone at an information desk how to proceed.
Use your phone’s data plan as a hotspot. If you have internet access on your phone through a mobile data provider, you may be able to use it to get your computer online as well. This is called “tethering,” and some mobile providers allow you to use a certain amount of data for tethering as a part of your plan.
- See How to Connect to the Internet On Your Laptop Through Your Cell Phone to learn how to set up tethering on your iPhone or Android.
- Contact your mobile provider to ask if tethering is included with your plan, and make sure you understand all of the potential charges.
Find out if your school or employer offers free or discounted internet access. If you’re a student, teacher, or employee of a participating company, you may be eligible for free internet access through your school, company, or an affiliated service provider. Even if the service isn’t free, discounts may be available to current students and employees.
- Due to the coronavirus, Spectrum is offering free high-speed internet access to K-12 or college students who don’t otherwise have access to the internet. This promotion applied to new signups between 3/16/2020 and 6/30/2020, but dates are subject to change.
Find free or discounted internet service for low-income households. Some regions offer free or deeply-discounted services for residents that qualify for food stamps, Medicaid/Medicare, or other government resources.
- If you’re in the United States, Lifeline offers free or discounted internet and mobile phone services for qualifying households. To check your eligibility, visit https://nationalverifier.servicenowservices.com/lifeline.
- Call your region’s information line (211 in many US regions) to ask about free and discounted internet options.
Sign up for a free dialup internet service. NetZero offers 10 hours of dial-up internet per month at no cost. You will need a phone line and a modem to use dialup internet access.
- Other Internet service providers (ISPs) sometimes offer free hours or trials as well, so keep an eye out for these promotions.
- If you sign up for a trial, make sure to cancel your account before you are billed for service.
Some cafés will allow you to connect directly to the Internet via Ethernet cable if you have a computer that has an Ethernet port.
If you have friendly neighbors, offer to perform house or yard work in exchange for access to their home network. Make sure that you draw up a contract with them to ensure that everybody is on the same page as far as use goes. Just be sure not to perform any illegal actions (e.g., copyrighted file-sharing) or hog bandwidth with streaming activities.
Note that in some countries and states/provinces, using someone’s internet access without permission can be a criminal offense.
Never access personal information (e.g., your bank account) while on public Internet, as doing so may enable people to steal your information.