You’ve just gotten a call from your Wi-Fi provider, and much to your chagrin, they have informed you that it will be at least another month until they can come to install a router in your home.
Like any respectable, modern citizen, you work from home and when you’re not working, you enjoy surfing the web and streaming your favorite TV series. In short, you use the internet 24/7. So, you need to figure out a way to connect to the internet as soon as possible.
How can you get temporary internet?
Keep reading to find out!
1. Nearby/Public Wi-Fi Network
Since most consumers expect to have free Wi-Fi wherever they go, most businesses provide public Wi-Fi to any customers or eager passersby. While public Wi-Fi used to be exclusive to coffee shops, like Starbucks, it’s now become commonplace among all businesses, regardless of which services they provide.
Many places have even begun offering free Wi-Fi to people without the need for them to support their businesses, like in airports, train stations, shopping malls, and so on. Not only are these great places for you to check your email, but they’re also useful if you’re traveling abroad and need to connect to the internet quickly to contact your Airbnb or check Google Maps.
That said, the easier it is to connect to a Wi-Fi network, the slower you can expect the internet speed to be, especially if you’re in a high-traffic area and the network isn’t password-protected. For instance, Starbucks’ Wi-Fi is most likely going to be faster than an airport’s.
However, for competitive reasons, Wi-Fi networks in these locations are getting faster to attract more consumers and please their loyal customers.
Please note that networks that are especially easy to connect to are also less secure since hackers frequently use them to access other users’ devices and personal information. However, these risks can be mitigated by using a VPN.
All things considered, if you’re desperate to connect to the internet, using a nearby public network isn’t a bad choice. But, you will only be able to use the Wi-Fi as long as the location is open. So, if you need to access the internet late at night, it’s best to check out the next solutions.
Use Hotspot Database to Find Nearby Public Wi-Fi
Have you just moved to a new area and have no idea where to find public networks? If so, you can use a Hotspot Database to track the nearest Wi-Fi points. This handy service provides several tools to help you find free networks close to you.
Some apps, like Facebook, feature this function as an extra tool, while other apps (e.g. Netspot, Wi-Fi Map, etc.) were designed with this sole purpose in mind.
2. Short-Term Cellular Plan
As internet access has become a necessity rather than an indulgence, telecommunications companies have released tons of short-term data plans that allow people to get temporary internet. These plans can last anywhere from one day to a month. They also have long-term plans that last a year.
These plans can offer limited or unlimited data, depending on your budget and preferences.
Turn Your Smartphone/Tablet Into a Hotspot
Your smartphone and tablet can be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices, such as your smart TV, laptop, computer, console, etc. Others can also connect to your Wi-Fi hotspot, which is great if your Wi-Fi-less friend needs to send a quick email when you’re out and about.
Hotspots consume more data than normal 4G, especially if the connected devices are performing high-bandwidth activities. So, if you have a limited data plan, be mindful of how much data the hotspot is consuming.
Follow the instructions below to set up a hotspot on iOS or Android devices.
Step 1: Go to the Settings.
Step 2: Ensure that Mobile Data are turned on.
Step 3: Then, go to Personal Hotspot and enable it. Here, you can also set and change your Wi-Fi hotspot. We strongly suggest setting a secure password so that passersby do not randomly connect to your phone.
Watch the video below to learn how to enable your iPhone’s personal hotspot.
This process will vary depending on which Android phone brand you have (e.g. Samsung, Google, Xiaomi, etc).
Step 1: Head to the Settings.
Step 2: Depending on your phone, navigate to Connections/Networks/Networks & Internet, or another network-related tab.
Step 3: Enable Mobile Hotspot and Tethering/Hotspot & Tethering/Hotspot.
To see how to enable a Wi-Fi hotspot on an Android phone, watch the video tutorial below.
3. Wi-Fi USB Dongle/Mobile Router
Mobile hotspots are great, but they consume your phone’s battery too quickly. So, you may need to find an alternative.
Consider trying a Wi-Fi USB dongle or a mobile router. These nifty devices use a SIM card with cellular data to create a Wi-Fi network.
The great thing about them is that they’re compact in size, with the USB dongle being small enough to put in your pocket and take on the go. Additionally, the USB dongle does not need to be plugged into power. So, all you have to do is plug it into a USB port before connecting your devices to it.
Some USB dongles, like the Mini 4G Dongle USB can support up to 10 devices at a time, which is the same number of devices an average hotspot can support. However, unlike a hotspot, you won’t have to worry about it draining your phone’s battery or cellular data.
If you’re looking for something a little more mobile, check out the TravelWifi Sapphire 3 Mobile Hotspot . Unlike the USB dongle, this nifty device does not need to be plugged into anything as long as it’s charged. So, you can slip it into your purse or backpack and take your hotspot with you wherever you go.
If you’re worried about it losing charge, consider investing in a power bank to keep it powered when you plan on using it for an extended period.
USB dongles are best for smart working and streaming since these activities are usually done at home or in a coffee shop, where you’ll have access to a USB port to plug the dongle into. On the other hand, mobile routers are great for traveling since they work completely wirelessly, allowing you to connect your phone/tablet to them no matter where you are.
Remember, you will have to purchase a SIM to put into either of these devices. So, if you plan on using them for all of your internet-based activities, consider getting a plan with a generous data allowance or investing in an unlimited data plan.
Yesenia Achlim is a technical copywriter and editor with a focus on AV equipment. She aims to break down complicated topics and make technology accessible, no matter your technical expertise. When she’s not teaching you how to replace a projector lamp, you can find her reading and baking.