Travel Tip: Getting Free WiFi (And Keeping It)

Posted By: DAN, Posted In: Adventurer, at: 2014-07-27 20:44:38 EST.

People Need WiFi. I need WiFi. International traveling can be rough for nerds. Here are a couple of things I have been using to stay connected. Im pretty sure I found both these tips on LifeHacker.


The first thing you need is a Smartphon App: Free Zone

Free Zone has a couple of cool features:

  1. Has an option to alert whenever an open or accessable network is available near you.
  2. Has a database of passwords for various WiFi connections that people have saved for public (yet password-protected) places. (e.g. restaurants)

While its a great idea, the second option hadn't worked out for me that well, but the more people that use the service, the better it will work. I know I logged at least a couple of restaurant passwords into it in the last couple of weeks.

So the Free Zone App can help you find the WiFi, but plenty of places have time restrictions. For example, I am typing this post from an airport that allows 20 minutes of free internet, and then will not allow you to acess anything anymore without paying a subscription fee. As much as I love the internet, I don't pay for things because I'm a Danarchist and I don't need to make excuses.

There are plenty of places like this. You try to access, it brings up an agreement that you need to accept or something, and then allows you to surf for a bit before shutting you down.

So the time limits imposed can easily be circumvented by spoofing your MAC address. With just a smidgeon of searching, I found this free Windows tool: TMAC

Im pretty sure spoofing your mac is pretty easy in Windows, but this takes out all the guesswork, and just works well.

As soon as your net stops working, all you need to do is:

  1. Open TMAC
  2. Click "Random MAC Address"
  3. Click "Change".
  4. Reconnect to the network that just locked you out. Voila! 

It keeps your old MAC for restoring, and makes sure that the new random address is compatible with your network interface card (NIC). Or something like that. I'm not a wizard, but I know it works great :D