How To Get WiFi Without An Internet Provider: 8 Methods

A few days back, I was in a predicament that many of you might resonate with: my internet provider unexpectedly went dark, leaving me scrambling for connectivity. It got me thinking, how can someone get WiFi without relying on an ISP? After some digging, testing, and a few cups of coffee, I’ve compiled a list of 8 methods that came to my rescue.

1. Tethering via Your Smartphone

How I did it: I quickly delved into my smartphone’s settings, toggled the ‘Mobile Hotspot’ option, and voila! My devices were connected in no time. It’s a straightforward way, given that most modern smartphones offer this feature. My verdict: Suitable for short-term usage, especially if you have a good data plan. Be wary of data consumption, though. Here’s a handy guide from Android Central on how to set it up.

Tethering via Your Smartphone


2. Public WiFi Hotspots

My Adventure: I took a short stroll around my neighborhood and easily found cafes, libraries, and even some parks offering free WiFi. My Two Cents: Always a good option for a change of scenery. However, ensure you have a VPN to protect your data. Check out this list of top VPNs by PCMag.

3. WiFi USB Dongle

My Experiment: I got one of these handy devices that acts like a portable modem. Insert a SIM card with a data plan, plug into your device, and get connected. Recommendation: Ideal for travelers or those without smartphone tethering options.

WiFi USB Dongle

4. Community WiFi Initiatives

How I Found Out: A quick online search led me to discover community-driven projects where locals share a chunk of their WiFi, creating a network of free hotspots. Thoughts: It’s like a digital form of neighborhood watch! Great initiative, but availability might be limited.

5. Purchase a Portable Router

My Journey: I invested in a portable router, inserted a local SIM card, and had my WiFi network on the go. Why I Recommend: It’s especially useful for those always on the move. Plus, multiple devices can connect. TechRadar has a great list of the best portable routers.

Purchase a Portable Router

6. Use Your Old Router as a Repeater

My Exploration: I dug out an old router from my storeroom, set it up as a repeater, and expanded the reach of a weak public WiFi. Final Word: It’s a technical method, but can come in handy if you’re in the vicinity of a distant public WiFi.

7. WiFi Plans from Mobile Carriers

How I Used It: With the absence of my regular ISP, I tried out temporary data packs from mobile carriers. They often offer plans just for WiFi. Why It’s Worth It: A reliable alternative, especially if carriers offer good coverage and speed in your area.

WiFi Plans from Mobile Carriers

8. Neighbors’ Generosity

What I Did: Simply asked my kind neighbor if I could hop onto their WiFi temporarily. And guess what? They obliged! Piece of Advice: Always ask politely, and maybe return the favor in kind. Perhaps share a batch of homemade cookies?

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Benjamin Johnson

Hey there, I'm Ben, the tech-savvy Founder and CEO of I've dedicated my life to helping fellow Windows users optimize their PCs for peak performance. Join me on this journey as we unlock the full potential of your Windows devices together!

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