Skip to main content

Mobile broadband and WiFi HotSpots

Mobile broadband packages are becoming more competitive on a monthly basis, and providers are always throwing in new sweeteners to attract customers.

Nowhere is that more evident than the free-to-use Wi-Fi networks now offered by most major broadband suppliers. Here we'll talk you through when to use them and where you can expect to find free wireless internet.

WiFi Hotspots

Free wireless is now up for grabs in thousands of hotspots across the UK. This is perfect for users who spend time in coffee shops, public places, or travel locations and don’t want to use up their inclusive allowance.

The technologies behind the two types of wireless access are different. With mobile broadband (3G or 4G mobile internet), it is provided over mobile phone networks. Wireless broadband and WiFi hotspots do not run over mobile phone networks, but rather via a cable or ADSL connection and a wireless router.

wifi hotspots

Which outlets offer WiFi hotspots?

Retailers and restaurants with a free WiFi service include Costa Coffee, JD Wetherspoons, McDonalds, Pret a Manger, Starbucks, Walkabout pubs and branches of Slug and Lettuce.

Finding a WiFi hotspot

A great way of locating free Wifi is by downloading an app for your smartphone, such as WifiZone@UK's offering. This will use GPS and built-in maps to direct you right to your nearest Wi-Fi hotspot.

There are also a number of great sites that offer directories. Perhaps the best of these is the site operated by the Wireless Broadband Alliance, though.

Compare uSwitch's best mobile broadband deals now.