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How to Get WiFi Without an Internet Provider

You have moved to a new location and someone accidentally dug up your fiber optic connection, or you just don’t have the funds for a broadband home Internet connection right now, so how do you get online? There are many reasons why you might not have Wi-Fi access when you need it.

Is there a way to get WiFi without an ISP? We actually have six things you can try.

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If you’d rather watch the video quickly rather than read the article below, be sure to check out our YouTube video where we cover the different ways to connect to Wi-Fi without an Internet connection.

Public WiFi (with VPN!)

There may be many public Wi-Fi hotspots around you, depending on where you live. These are great options for accessing Wi-Fi without an ISP. Some people can even access them from home!

These access points can be owned by businesses such as restaurants or cafes. Some of them are actually provided by the government in some countries. There are also private Wi-Fi hotspot networks that offer premium prepaid internet access that is much cheaper than using mobile data.

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These Wi-Fi hotspots can be very handy when you need accessible data, but never use them without installing a reliable VPN on your computer or mobile device. Remember that everyone else on the Wi-Fi network can see your device or computer and possibly access it.

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Use your phone or tablet as a WiFi hotspot

Most smartphones and cellular tablets today can act as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. This feature uses your mobile data plan with any devices connected to the same Wi-Fi hotspot.

There are a few important things to keep in mind if you decide to go this route. First of all, you use data from your mobile data plan to power all connected devices. If you have cheap data or unlimited data, great. If you have a small data limit or pay a lot for your data, this option may not work for you.

If you decide to use this option to get Wi-Fi without an ISP, set a data limit on the device acting as a hotspot, put your Windows 10 computer into “metered connection” mode, and keep track of how much data you have left.

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You should also make sure to set a password for your mobile hotspot. You don’t want other people to consume your data or connect to the same network as your devices. Using your mobile device as a Wi-Fi hotspot also drains the battery. So connect an external battery or wall charger to avoid this.

One last thing to be aware of is the mobile data provider’s modem policy. While not as common anymore, some mobile data providers do not allow your device to be tied or charge different fees for data when tied. Double-check your plan rules just in case.

Connect the cable to a mobile device

If you only need to connect one device to the Internet, why use Wi-Fi at all? Instead of creating a Wi-Fi hotspot, consider using a USB cable to connect your phone or tablet directly to your computer.

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This has several advantages over the Wi-Fi hotspot method. No one can hack your network, your computer charges your device, and you can even get faster speeds over a USB connection than over WiFi However, everything else regarding data pricing and modem policies remains valid.

Buy a portable cellular router

Remember how we said that using your smartphone’s data plan over a Wi-Fi hotspot can be expensive? Well, some mobile internet providers have noticed a gap in the market and will sell you a data-only SIM, which is not designed for phone use.

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You can use these SIM cards with battery-powered portable 4G routers instead. They offer a dedicated Wi-Fi hotspot, and they also network your devices as a bonus. This way, you will have Wi-Fi without an ISP wherever you go.

If your mobile data plan is good enough, you can simply use it for all your internet needs, whether you’re on the road or back home. Just plug in your mobile router to keep your battery running.

Cellular USB modem

An alternative to a portable cellular router is a USB cellular modem Connecting them to a laptop or desktop computer connects them directly to a mobile data connection along with the SIM card inserted.

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These modems are generally less expensive than portable routers because they lack all of the router hardware and battery. Some laptops can act as Wi-Fi hotspots themselves, allowing you to share your USB tethering data connection with other devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Wi-Fi Boom from your neighbors

When you sit without your own Wi-Fi, you may notice other people’s Wi-Fi hotspots. This brings up the opportunity to just ask someone if you can use their Wi-Fi internet connection. We cannot guarantee that someone will agree, especially if you are a complete stranger. A neighbor you know may be more willing to provide you with this service. If so, here are some helpful hints.

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From your point of view, treat this public Wi-Fi the same as public Wi-Fi. You have no control over who connects to it, so it’s best to use a VPN service to encrypt your data and hide your actions.

You should also ask the person if their router supports “guest” networks. This is a separate Wi-Fi network that prevents your devices and theirs from working at the same time. It only gives you internet access. This is ideal for both a friendly neighbor and your peace of mind.

WiFi for everyone

We hope you’ve found the right solution for connecting to Wi-Fi without an ISP, but in the long run it is usually best to bring your fixed home broadband connection back online, if at all possible. Although as the cost of mobile Internet declines and performance improves, we may all be walking around one day with mobile routers in our pockets!

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