How to Get Free Airport WiFi

How to Get Free Airport WiFi

Range Govindan
Jul 27, 2009

There's nothing worse than being stuck in an airport for a few hours with nothing to do. You'd expect to be able to boot up your laptop and get some free WiFi, but that's just not happening in all airports. Most airports hide their WiFi access behind a paywall. You'll have to shell out some cash to be able to surf for a short while, though some airports do offer 30 minutes free.

When WiFi first became popular, hotspots were appearing all over the place. You didn't have to worry too much about how you could access the internet when you were traveling. Nowadays, things are different. Even coffee shops don't always offer free WiFi to their customers. Before you try and get free WiFi directly from the airport, we suggest that you try asking around at the coffee shops and restaurants around. Sometimes these places have their own WiFi and it is free for customers. You could spend a few hours eating a meal, drinking coffee and browsing the internet.

Sure we get it. The internet isn't just about browsing. It's about VOIP, emails, IMs and more. More and more people use the internet as their main means of communication. Our next tip involves using a simple hack to get through the paywall. It's nothing too fancy and it won't work everywhere, but it's worked in some airports. The tip was discovered by blogger Felix Geisendorfer, who points out a clever little URL hack that enable d him to get free WiFi at the Atlanta airport.

He found that he could easily access sites like Slashdot, Google and some blogs by adding a "?.jpg" at the end of the web address. He used a Greasemonkey script to automate this process. You can download a version of it here. Greasemonkey is a little add-on for Firefox that enables you to run user scripts. You can get it here. This trick will only work in networks which allow images to download without redirecting. Still, it doesn't hurt to try it out. It beats paying $7-$15 for 30 minutes of surfing.

[via Lifehacker, image by Jace with a CC license]

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