Businesses such as Best Buy, Dunkin Donuts, Barnes and Noble, Whole Foods and Burger King provide free Wi-Fi, but people can also discover a nearby hot spot by looking at an online Wi-Fi database such as WeFi. If no free Wi-Fi is within reach, some paid Wi-Fi providers, such as Delta Airlines, give free access to a limited list of websites. Additionally, users may sometimes get free Wi-Fi from loyalty programs or coupons.
Individuals searching for free Wi-Fi may have a hot spot already in their hands. Tethering allows users to share the cellular Internet connection on a smartphone with other nearby devices. Both the smartphone and the carrier plan must support tethering for this to work. Tethering drains the batteries of a smartphone quickly when the feature is active; if possible, connect your device to a nearby power outlet or portable battery pack when tethering.
Just because a residential Wi-Fi spot is open doesn't mean connecting to it is legal. The laws regarding connecting to an open Wi-Fi hot spot without explicit permission vary between states. Additionally, even if you have permission from the owner of the Wi-Fi network, some Internet company contracts prevent owners from sharing their Internet connections.