Free Wifi and Free WLAN Is emblazoned on the front doors of many cafes, restaurants, shopping malls and subway stations. In many places you can connect to the WLAN temporarily or permanently for free. But beyond that there are also hidden and above all safe tips to get free Internet. We’ll show you how to find it and how to get connected.
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Find free WLANs
Facebook Wi-Fi Finder
An app, which is probably already installed on your smartphone, can find WLANs after an update. On the options page of your Facebook app you will see between Pages and Saved the new entry Find WLAN. Facebook has read out the log-in data for the respective WLAN from the restaurant or cafe owners on their Facebook page.
If you don’t have access to a mobile data network anymore, you can shimmy from WLAN to WLAN in a makeshift way.
Free Internet via Instabridge
Instabridge downloads an offline map for your area after the first start and offers a download section for more WLAN maps. Depending on the detected location you will be notified about known networks nearby. The app will automatically dial you in with the appropriate WLAN passwords.
Instabridge has offline maps and security rankings / © NextPit
You can also share your own WLAN network from the app and thus make it available to others. If your data volume is low or you don’t have a data flat rate, Instabridge comes in handy and connects you to the Internet for free.
Another free app to keep on your smartphone for finding free internet is WifiMapper from OpenSignal. Unlike Instabridge, however, Hotspots must always be obtained online. And WifiMapper does not know the password for all of the listed networks. Moreover, the app does not keep offline maps and is therefore not suitable for hard offline use.
The WifiMapper shows WLANs even without password. / © NextPit WifiMapper – WLAN Kaarten
Freifunk: Free as in Freedom
Freifunk is supposed to be a closed, decentralized network of WLAN routers. Thanks to it you get a steady, encrypted Internet connection – so the theory. Unfortunately, the network in Germany has not yet developed to the point where a seamless Internet connection is possible.
Freifunk would be the liberating blow. / © ANDROIDPIT
The best freifunk app is called Freifunk and leads you to a compatible router in your area. The app is designed for the DACH-area and works also on vacation in one of the alpine republics.
WLAN hotspots of the providers
Vodafone and Telekom each offer a nationwide hotspot network. If you are not a Vodafone or Telekom customer, you may only surf for free temporarily, if at all. After that charges will apply. Vodafone customers pay an additional 4.99 per month, while Telekom customers can use the HotSpots with their ID at no extra cost.
Finds hotspots for 30 minutes of free WLAN / © ANDROIDPIT Vodafone Hotspotfinder Connect App – HotSpot Manager
What about the "Stoererhaftung?
Your WLAN hotspots, whether with the guest WLAN of a Fritzbox or with a Freifunk setup, have been legally problematic up to now. Because if a user downloaded copyrighted content on your network, you were threatened with claims for damages and warning fees. That is since the 12. October 2017 no longer the case. Since then, the treacherous "Stoererhaftung" (Breach of Duty of Care) has been abolished, which always stood in the way of the free distribution of WLAN access.
Free public WLAN coverage
Public authorities have also long since caught wind of the fact that WLAN coverage can be quite practical. And this is how many cities and municipalities have set up their own hotspot networks so citizens and tourists can surf. But what good is it if no one knows about it? This is precisely why local authorities provide information about their projects on websites. We have compiled some important pages here:
Free Internet: Cafes and restaurants
Many bar owners will tell you on request which password the local WLAN has. Occasionally it is even on the drinks menu. Here we list well-known examples of restaurant chains that offer free WLAN:
- McDonald’s: Two hours free via Telekom
- Starbucks: Two hours for free via British Telecom
- Karstadt: Three hours free
Free Internet: Airport and train station
Quite a few airports in the world fortunately offer free WLAN. This comes in handy when you want to send a message home that you have arrived safely. In Schonefeld and Tegel airports the offer is reduced to 60 minutes. Afterwards, the Telekom HotSpot becomes chargeable. In Frankfurt, WLAN access is completely free of charge.
In German train stations, the railroad is not very generous. Here, too, the HotSpot partner is Telekom. However, you will only be charged for the first thirty minutes. After that you have to register for a fee. The tariffs cost a maximum of 29 euros per month.
By the way, you can also surf in planes and trains. Airline rates can be found here. In the ICE, on the other hand, even surfing in the 2. Class more and more often free, although the connection often breaks off.
Open WLANs are a security risk for several reasons. Crafty scammers can open a hotspot with the same name with a laptop and grab your data. And connections without password are unencrypted and therefore technically readable for everyone like a postcard.
So in addition to the WLAN, you should also add a VPN connection with a VPN server you trust. Only then it is safe to do private or especially business things over free WLAN networks. Our cooperation partner NordVPN also has some tips for you.
Free mobile data
Telekom: 5 GByte twice for free
Yes, Telekom is giving you 10 GBytes of data volume – as part of the Data Comfort Free rate plan. This offers you the opportunity to activate a data package of 5 GByte twice. This must be done within six months. For the beach vacation on the North Sea an ideal tariff to your friends on Instagram& Co. to make you jealous with your current beach status. By the way, there are no other costs and after six months the contract automatically deactivates. The only pity: You cannot reorder the rate as often as you like.
Free Internet: Sponsored Surf-Basic" mobile rate plan of netzclub.net
Free Internet Flat with monthly 100 MByte data volume at a data speed of up to 7.2 Mbit/s. Where is the catch? This is the case with the Netzclub offer.net not, at least with regard to free surfing the Internet. So if you buy a SIM card from Netzclub.net fetches, can surf mobile. If the high-speed volume is used up, it is throttled to 32 Kbit/s, but not blocked.
To the extent of the offer "Sponsored Surf-Basic" belongs still the free dispatch of the SIM card. If you want to call or send SMS, you pay 9 cents per minute to German networks. There is no contractual obligation and there is also no monthly basic fee.
Who gets the tariff and does not send SMS or make phone calls, thus actually comes into the benefit of free Internet. If you do want to call someone, you can load a credit by direct debit or by O2 credit card.
Free surfing? Yes please. But the tariff is not suitable for everyone. / © netzclub.net
Since quite a few customers probably only use the service for going online, the tariff is co-financed by advertising. So the user will receive periodically advertisements via SMS, MMS or email. However, according to several testimonials, one is not bothered by these messages every hour or every day. Allegedly you only receive advertising mail from Netzclub every two to three weeks.net.
The tariff Netzclub.net "Sponsored Surf-Basic is certainly not for everyone, because many go with your smartphone not only on the Internet. And for very few people 100 megabytes of high-speed volume per month will be enough in the long run.
As an alternative to free surfing, however, this mobile tariff is definitely recommendable. However, it remains to be seen how long this offer will continue and whether more advertising will not soon be sent to customers.