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How to find free Internet for your laptop while traveling

Ian Paul | Nov. 26, 2014
Sure, you can do a lot on a smartphone, phablet, or slate, but there are times when only a laptop will do. Unfortunately, situations like this always seem to pop-up while I'm on the road with no obvious Internet access.

Many people complain of frequent dropped connections and slow performance, not to mention the hit your phone battery takes even when it's getting a bit of a charge from your laptop.

Beyond the technical considerations, however, there's also the issue of your carrier and data plan. If you don't have an unlimited data plan, or at least a generous serving of monthly data, you can go way over your bandwidth limits pretty quickly.

You can offset this a little bit in Windows 8.1 by setting your tether as a metered connection, as well as turning off any sync apps like Dropbox and OneDrive. If you end up using your tethered connection a bunch, consider a proper mobile hotspot like a MiFi or a laptop card instead.

Just pay up

Finally, if I can't get free Wi-Fi and tethering won't work, then it's time to look at paying for Wi-Fi. Sorry to break it to you.


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