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How to get free public Wi–Fi with your broadband

Want free Wi-Fi when you're out and about? Read on for how you can get it.

Depending upon your home broadband provider, you might be able to jump onto a public Wi–Fi network when you’re out and about as part of the deal. Sky, Virgin and BT all have options for their customers to use Wi–Fi away from the home.

Whether you’re working in a coffee shop on your laptop or just want to save your mobile data on your smartphone, here’s how you can go about getting free Wi-Fi, whoever supplies your Internet connection at home.

Sky

Sky news wifi

If you’re a Sky broadband customer, you get access to more than 20,000 wireless hotspots across the UK as part of your deal.

Sky’s public Wi–Fi uses the Cloud network and can be connected to in several ways. The easiest is signing into the network through your browser.

If you're using the CLoud regularly, you may prefer using Sky's dedicated Wi-Fi app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Once you’ve snagged that, sign in using your Sky ID and it’ll automatically connect you to a Cloud Wi–Fi hotspot when you’re in range.

In reality, the app is clunky and although it offers a map of where you can log on, it feels in need of some TLC from Sky’s developers.

The Cloud’s own Wi–Fi Finder app is much better and even tells you where you can watch Sky Sports — ideal when Saturday comes and you need your football fix.

You can find out more about Sky broadband here.

Virgin Media

Virgin Media news wifi

Like Sky, Virgin Media offers free Wi–Fi to all of its customers. Similarly, while you can just login through your browser, you may want to download an app to make the most of it. Virgin’s Wi–Fi app for iPhone and Android is a much better offering than Sky’s. To sign up, just enter your My Virgin Media username and password.

Once that’s done, you’ll be immediately logged onto any Virgin Wi–Fi hotspot, including big name locations such as Cafe Nero, Pret and Pizza Express.

If you’re a Londoner, you also get access to Wi–Fi at 250 Tube stations, so you can stay connected even when you’re underground. Free Virgin Wi–Fi is also available in Heathrow, Manchester and Glasgow airports.

Thinking about signing up for Virgin Media? Find out more here.

BT

BT news wifi

BT’s vast network means you can get onto its Wi–Fi network in a massive five million locations without paying a penny extra. This is because BT securely shares the internet from all of its routers, meaning you can sign in wherever you see a dedicated hotspot or where you see ‘BT Fon’ in your Wi–Fi options.

There’s a special BT app for automatic login, which can be accessed by using your BT email address and password. Like Sky’s app, this is a poor addition to your smartphone, so it’s advisable to simply use a manual log in by tapping onto the network and adding your details when you need to get online.

What’s more, BT offers access to two million hotspots abroad. If you see ‘Fon’ in your Wi–Fi options, then you’re good to go.

Get more information about BT deals and sign up here.