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12 airports with free Wi-Fi and how to get it

1. Barcelona Airport, Spain

Barcelona Airport offers only 15 minutes of free Wi-Fi before you have to pay. Paid Wi-Fi is relatively cheap, starting at €4.90 (US$5.20) for 24-hour access.

Connect in 4 easy steps

  1. Deactivate your mobile data and switch to “wireless connectivity”

  2. Select Kubi from the list of SSID networks available

  3. Open any web page to launch the Internet log-in welcome screen

  4. Select the “free” option after reading the terms and conditions

2. London’s Heathrow Airport, UK

The airport requires a short registration process once your browser opens after connecting to Wi-Fi. The free service is good enough for basic browsing, but there are paid options if you require a faster connection or are sending and receiving large files. Paid Wi-Fi starts at £4 (US$5).

Connect in 6 easy steps

  1. Switch on your device and launch Wi-Fi

  2. Choose the network, Heathrow Wi-Fi

  3. Open an Internet browser

  4. Choose your preferred log-in option

  5. Complete the registration process and agree to the terms and conditions (where applicable)

  6. Once connected, enjoy Wi-Fi for the duration of your stay at Heathrow

3. Melbourne Airport, Australia

The airport offers free Wi-Fi for a maximum of three hours per log-in session. Getting onto the Wi-Fi network requires registration on the web page that opens in your browser when connecting. Faster and better connections are available when you pick the paid Wi-Fi option, which starts from US$3 for 15 minutes.

Connect in 3 easy steps

  1. Ensure Wi-Fi on your device is on and find Airport Free Wi-Fi

  2. Register using your name, e-mail and postal code

  3. Accept terms and conditions, and browse

4. Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport, China

Free airport Wi-Fi is available at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport through two methods. Scanning your travel documents at an information kiosk – they are located sporadically throughout the international and domestic departure terminals – gets you onto the network. The other option involves receiving an SMS but, usually, this requires a Chinese mobile number. Either way, you will receive a password to connect to Wi-Fi.

Connect in 5 easy steps

  1. Turn on your mobile device and let it automatically detect a Wi-Fi network

  2. Once detected, open a browser

  3. On the log-in page, read the terms and conditions

  4. Key in your given password and click “continue”

  5. Enjoy the free Internet service before boarding your flight

5. Auckland Airport, New Zealand

Auckland Airport allows only 30 minutes of free access to its Wi-Fi network before users have to pay for additional connectivity. Paid Wi-Fi allows up to four users for one passcode starting at NZ$9.95 (US$7.15) for 15 minutes and NZ$19.95 for four hours’ connectivity.

Connect in 4 easy steps

  1. Ensure Wi-Fi is enabled on your computer or mobile device

  2. Choose the Auckland Airport wireless network from the available options

  3. When presented with the log-in page, click “get online” and enter your details using the 30 Free Minutes registration form

  4. A confirmation message will then be displayed, notifying you that your session has started

6. Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, USA

The airport’s wireless network systems underwent a major upgrade in 2014. The airport now offers a completely free Wi-Fi system with up to 6Mbps throughout the venue, even in its garages.

Connect in 4 easy steps

  1. Ensure Wi-Fi is enabled on your computer or mobile device

  2. Choose HAS Free Airport Wi-Fi from the list

  3. The airport Wi-Fi splash page will open automatically

  4. Agree to the terms and conditions

7. Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, France

Not only does the airport have free unlimited Wi-Fi, it also offers computers that come with high-speed Internet connections, ready-to-use desktop computers and, at some points, printers. It starts at US$3 for 20 minutes.

Connect in 3 easy steps

  1. Ensure Wi-Fi is enabled on your device

  2. Select the CDG Airport Wi-Fi SSID

  3. Follow the on-screen instructions

8. Frankfurt Airport, Germany

Frankfurt Airport was the first major German airport to offer free, unlimited Internet access 24/7. Connectivity at the airport is said to be one of the fastest in Europe and, in four easy steps, the global network awaits.

Connect in 4 easy steps

  1. Ensure Wi-Fi is enabled on your device

  2. Choose Telekom Hotspot

  3. Enter your name, e-mail address and country of residence, then agree to the terms and conditions

  4. Select “next”, then click on the “start surfing” button

9. Velana International Airport, Maldives

The airport is fairly new to offering users free Wi-Fi, after coming “online” in October 2016. A free session lasts two hours, which is more than sufficient for a small island airport.

Connect in 2 easy steps

  1. Ensure Wi-Fi is enabled on your device

  2. Connect to MLE Free Wi-Fi SSID

10. Changi Airport, Singapore

At the airport, having a local Sim card will enable 24-hour free access to Wi-Fi. Other users will be limited to three hours of free access through scanning their passports at one of the Wi-Fi kiosks or information counters.

Connect in 4 easy steps

  1. Select “#WiFi@Changi”

  2. Launch your Internet browser and key in a valid website address to access the log-in page

  3. Select “3 Hours Free Wi-Fi access” or “24 Hours Free Wi-Fi access” (note: for 24 Hours Free Wi-Fi access, you will require a local/roaming number and will need to install the latest version of the iChangi app. Available for iOS and Android devices only)

  4. Next, input the password obtained via one of the following methods: Mobile phone (enter your mobile number on the Wi-Fi page to receive an SMS password) Information counters (present your password to receive a password for three-hour access) Wi-Fi password kiosk (scan your passport to obtain a password for three-hour access)

11. Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat Airport, Vietnam

The airport underwent a major overhaul in connectivity in 2015 with the installation of 164 wireless routers. The majority of these were dedicated to the international terminal to service global travellers.

Connect in 4 easy steps

  1. Ensure Wi-Fi is enabled on your computer or mobile device

  2. Choose the Airport_Wi-Fi_Express SSID

  3. The airport’s Wi-Fi splash page will open automatically

  4. Agree to the terms and conditions

12. Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport, Taiwan

The airport’s Wi-Fi hotspots are available in three areas in Terminal 1 – in the North and South Departure corridors and on the first floor.

Connect in 4 easy steps

  1. Ensure Wi-Fi is enabled on your computer or mobile device

  2. Choose the “free airport Internet” SSID

  3. The airport’s Wi-Fi splash page will open automatically

  4. Agree to the terms and conditions 

A version of this story first appeared in Silver Kris.

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