Where to find free wi-fi in London
Who says nothing comes for free? Time Out crosses London to find the pubs, bars, cafés and restaurants that offer free wifi, as well as some free wifi hotspots
This is a pointless article without a map. You're in Islington, you don't know your way round, and do you want to slog through a list of restaurants and bars you have no clue you're anywhere near or not? And no-one is going to bore themselves through the comments/suggestions left here, anymore than they're going to pay any attention to this comment. Tedious 'trendy' magazine. *snores*
most public libraries run a free wifi service..btw watch out for the bt openzone scam everyone , where they try and get you to pay up for wifi 'service' which includes tapping into a domestic users internet access...
The Duchess Pub at 101 Battersea Park Road, SW8 has free wifi. Great choice of ales and good food menu too - especially their home made burgers.
oops! i see skype are charging for wifi access now, lets hope it doesnt catch on or free wifi will be history...
The HOB pub in Forest Hill SE London has free wifi ..ive used it its ok..theres even a belkin open spot near there,, catford library has free wifi as does dulwich library...btw watch out for this scam..BT openzone charge you for using wifi..even when its 'borrowed ' from someones net access and boy do they charge i had a bill for over Â£45 !!! please ignore the BT openzone site !!!!
Does any one know of any nice places more towards South west London eg Kingston, Wimbledon, Morden. thanks
A great pub called the Cumberland Arms at the end of Northend Road near West Kensington / Barons Court / Hammersmith has free wifi too. Fantastic ales and food and also a great cappuccino for Â£2.50. Not the cheapest pub you'll find but staff is very friendly and won't make a fuss even if you spend all day there with just a coffee. Highly recommend this place.
WalkIn WiFi is also free and you only have to register once. Go to their website to see pub with WalkIn :) Kennedys 297 Caledonian Road N1 1EG have WalkIn
Sarah, If you sign up to The Cloud in McDog it is free and you can then use The Cloud anywhere where it is used to supply the free WiFi. That includes Wetherspoon (I am posting this from a JDW pub) and some other pubs. The Green Man at Great Portland Street uses The Cloud and is part of a chain so all of theirs are likely to be OK as well. Phil.
Hello, can anyone tell me, if I sign up to the cloud to use the wifi at mcdonalds or anwhere that has the cloud. Do I need to sign up for a contract and pay them. Not sure.
I'm back in the Antipodes for the rest of this year. On Wellington Waterfront (between Queen's Wharf and Te Papa Museum) there is free wi-fi sponsored by TradeMe, the local equivalent of E-bay. There is talk of extending the free wi-fi across central Wellington by the time of the Rugby World Cup (in September and October). Seventeen miles from Wellington, the Upper Hutt Public Library has free wi-fi for up to four hours/day, though Wellington Public Library charges for that way of accessing information.
Kennedys, 297 Caledonian Road, Islington. N1 1EG, now have free WiFi. WalkIn WiFi - free to register and all it means is you get a newsletter once a month from the pub about special offers and events. Google Kennedy's Caledonian Road for their website.
am looking for free wifi hotspots in SE London Forest Hill, Brockey area...anyone got any suggestions?
When I do on-line banking, that's through websites that have extra layers of security. (Matching pictures or clicking on a missing letter in a secret word.) As far as I know, St Pancras hasn't compromised my bank account (if I've done any banking from there). On 11 January St Pancras's Security Certificate expired and my laptop didn't want to use St Pancras's wi-fi for several days. (I guess it's up to date now.) I found another totaly free hot spot last week. It's at the Victoria Coach Station. (Some of the buses advertise free wi-fi but I haven't been on one of those yet.) (I'm now using a friend's internet connection in Wales.)
The list, and many of the comments, dont make clear that there is are 2 kinds of "free" wifi: password-secured, and totally unsecured. There's a big difference. If you buy something using totally unsecured free wifi, your password and financial info could be available to people preying on unsecured wifi users. The kind of wifi at St Pancras is totally unsecured- which is fine for general net surfing. But you definitely dont want to do internet banking while using that. And I personally wouldnt do any password-protected site, like email. The other kind-- like in public libraries, or anywhere where you're required to "sign in" (either with a password you make up, or with a password the cafe staff will give you on a piece of paper), is the password protected free wifi. This is more suitable for email, facebook, etc. But even these places suggest that you dont use it for internet banking or for making any purchases. It's irresponsible for Timeout not to note the difference between "free" wifi, and which kind is best for what kind of surfing.
@Nigel from New Zealand: If you only want the WiFi then I can see that you are going to buy something just to ensure you are a customer, so in that sense it wouldn't be free, but I go in Wetherspoons anyway and I don't pay any more for using the WiFi, so for me it is free. A lot of tourists go to McDog because it is cheap and you know roughly what you are going to get there (and some people actually like their stuff), so it helps with holiday budgets and once you are in there you can log on to The Cloud for nothing. Students use McDog for the same reason and because of that there are some which look like internet cafes at times. If you are going in there for the food then it doesn't cost any extra for the WiFi. In St Pancras International station you just log on. No need to buy anything, so that one really is free. Phill.
Hi Phil, Sure, you have to be there to access wi-fi. The point I was trying to make was that the establishments that supply "free" wi-fi expect me to spend money at them. That's especially clear if I need to ask for a password. On my way here from New Zealand I found free wi-fi at Perth Airport in Western Australia, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, and at a hostel in Goreme, Turkey. Before I left New Zealand I had heard that by December free wi-fi was going to be available on part of Wellington city's harbour waterfront. And while I was in Midland, a city on the north side of Perth, I saw a notice that free wi-fi was available in the CBD. You could say that all the airports and cities expect people to spend money in them, so there's no such thing as a truly 'free wi-fi connection', but what I'm interested in finding is wi-fi with no explicit strings attached, which I expected when I read "...as well as some free wifi hotspots". Cheers, Nigel
@Nigel from New Zealand: Not sure exactly what your point is here. If you are a customer in a lot of places in London (e.g. McDog, Wetherspoon, Taylor Walker or Fuller's pubs, etc.) then you don't pay for using the WiFi there. I mentioned St Pancras International Station because you just have to be there to use it. When you go to those places the WiFi hotspot will just show up. In McDog or Wetherspoon (and Taylor Walker pubs I think) look for The Cloud. In St Pancras Station it is their own branded supply. In Fuller's pubs, ask behind the bar (you need a password for theirs). Hope this helps. Phil.
"Time Out crosses London to find the pubs, bars, cafÃ©s and restaurants that offer free wifi, as well as some free wifi hotspots" Okay, you've listed some pubs, bars, cafÃ©s and restaurants that offer free wifi but where are the free wifi hotspots?? Are you claiming credit for the mentions of St Pancras International Station and Westfield Shopping Centre in White City?
Your list does not include the fact that there is free wi-fi in Memorial Park, and the Grassroots Community Resource Centre in the Park 500 metres or so from West Ham underground station. The Park also has a spur onto the Greenway which leads to the Olympic Park
to Marie: Most of the good libraries are attached to universities and unless you have an arrangement with one of them, paid their sometimes exhorbitant fee, or are in a university that is part of their partnership scheme, they will not let you in, and even then wifi access may not be part of the package. Even so, most of them do not have good cafes. Something that you might look into is joining the British Library. Note that not everyone can join. But usually if you are undertaking academic research (such as writing a thesis) and can provide proof of your residence (it doesn't have to be in London, they just need a permanent address) you can usually get a membership varying between 1 and 3 years (for a Masters Thesis I would expect 1 year). They have free wifi, a great cafe in the building, plus a few decent ones around it, are easily accessible (just down from Kings Cross), and, as they are a copyright library, you can gain access to any document published in the UK since the British Library opened (taking between 1 hour and 72 hours to get, depending on the item). I would definitely look into that. The reading rooms are really nice places to study as they have strict guidelines regarding noise (and annoyingly about bringing in personal items).
Hi! Does anyone know about libraries with free wi-fi, that also has a cafe/are close to a cafe? I just moved to London, and are writing my master's thesis here, so I need to sit somewhere where I can take a cooffee break every now and then!
have just been at the Temperance pub - the WiFi works perfect, as well as the place itself. thumbs up!
Really cool, but it would be helpful if the reviews stated whether you can plug in (a real benefit of the British Library), and whether you can access VPNs - some free wifi doesn't.
Fleet River Bakery is exellent for wifi. I sit out side in the morning and get a good signal. Coffee onl Â£2.10 for a monmouth.
Coffee at Peyton and Byrne is the worst Â£2.30 coffee I have ever tasted in my entire life. I am a low-budget coffee fan making coffee every morning with a humble Italian Bialetti Moka Express. I feel like I am cheated by all this misconception of 'good look' over 'good food'. Their food and pastries are very very average too. If you want something decent near Wellcome, just cross the road and buy coffee at Euston or go to UCL cafe for a decent cappucino for much less than 2 quid! Overpriced and average (with very bad and bitter coffee) are two words to describe this food chain that has successfully monopolized coffee&snack trade in museums and libraries across London.
Brilliant site and posts! Does anyone by any chance know of a good spot for logging in and having your dog with you? I have a Cocker (unfortunately at times not a handbag dog..) and would love to be able to walk her and go straight to a nice place to do some work/ study rather than have to go straight home... Anywhere in London will do even if it is not that close to a park.
Mikee, the free wifi in McDonalds is fine. You connect through a wireless modem. If you are trying to connect through a T-Mobile dongle, you won't be connecting to The Cloud but to T-Mobile and will need to get a T-Mobile signal. I don't use a dongle at all. I just log on usng the wireless modem in my laptop and follow the instructions. In McDog or Wetherspoon you will be asked to register with The Cloud but it doesn't cost you anything. Once you have registered you can connect whenever you want without bothering with the dongle. Phil.
The wifi in London is one of the worst. I already bought two types of dongle- the T-Mobile USB dongle and the "Three" USB dongle. AT&T Dial-up is even better (at least it gives you 64Kbps) compared to these promising dongles. Besides its slow speed. I often get cut-off even if the signal is good. Its like using your laptop and via your mobile phone to connect to the internet. It gets connected the first time displaying a 3.6Mbps, but if I look at the actual speed panel... I am getting less than 2Kbps. I am actually in the sloane chelsea area. I even move to another hotel room where there are no barriers/possible interceptors. I once went Mc Donalds... it says free - connect for free. The problem was - I think Mc Donalds has this credit limit with the Wifi provider... and at that time wifi was unable. Starbucks has this card that you can buy but you need to register online to get a free wifi... Huh.... i miss home already
I don't think anyone has mentioned that St Pancras International station has free wifi pretty much throughout, except at the platforms. Certainly where all the shops and the bench seats are, Open your browser and follow the link. Just one click and no need to register or give an e-mail address etc. It's pretty quick as well most of the time. Phil.
Charlies Sandwich Bar on St Pauls Road near Highbury Corner has free wifi (and great Turkish Mezze too).
There are several ways to get internet abroad for your iPhone. There are four main ways (in order of recommendation): 1. Unlock your iPhone and buy a local sim card. Top up for internet. 2. Rent a local iPhone. Http://www.aziphone.com 3. Download a free wifi-finder app for where youâ€™re going and try to pick up free wifi. 4. Call your mobile network to go on their travel roaming plan. Use data for emails mostly. This one might work for those bold enough. Rack up an inane amount of roaming charges upwards of $300 and then call your carrier afterwards. Be shocked and apologize. Ask it to be wiped out. Iâ€™ve heard stories of people having $600 being written off. more advice from http://azitravel.com/blog
This report is outdated and as commented, not a guide to free Wi-Fi but more a plug for a few chosen places. How about an update Time Out? If you include a guide to genuine free, good quality WiFi where users wont get kicked out after labouring over a coffee for two hours, I would really appreciate it for one!
the very nice hat and tun on hatton wall, near farringdon, has wi fi. you need a code from the bar but it's free. and it's a proper, open-fire-equipped pub, as well. i'm there now. lovely. :)
The Westfield shopping centre in White City has a free network with a good signal and plenty of comfy seats.
Thanks Ian, I am on my laptop with it plugged into the wall for power at departure! How brilliant! the staff is so kind and it's a creative based cafe/library which is great for me because I'm a designer :) Now I can work in peace!
Much as I dislike Starbucks, I have to back them up a bit here. They do have info on their web site about the WiFi they use. It is currently only available in Holborn and Chiswick in the London area. http://starbucks.co.uk/en-GB/_Card/Starbucks+Card+Rewards+Wi-Fi+Support.htm Phil.