Is your data volume used up again? Fortunately, there are numerous WLAN hotspots in Germany that provide free access to the Internet. TECHBOOK reveals where you can find the free hotspots.
On the go without the Internet? Hardly conceivable today: Listen to Spotify on the bus, look up the right way with Google Maps or quickly read a few emails on the way. All of this consumes data volume. Even if some users today already have tariffs with a very high or even unlimited data volume, there are also those who still have to get by with smaller amounts of data in their mobile phone tariffs. If this is used up, the surfing speed drops rapidly. Wi-Fi hotspots can help, with which you can connect to a Wi-Fi network free of charge in the city center and the surrounding area. TECHBOOK explains how to find the hotspots.
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There are free WiFi hotspots here
Restaurants and shops
The first point of contact for many free WiFi hotspots are restaurants and fast food chains such as McDonald’s, Starbucks & Co., which have been offering their customers free WiFi for years – some for a limited time, others without restrictions. Even if some of these places are already known, other shops are likely to surprise you with their free Internet offer. Or did you know that H&M or Galeria Kaufhof also offer a free WiFi hotspot?
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You can surf for free in these large chains in Germany (note that not all branches, train stations, etc. are necessarily expanded):
- McDonald’s (one hour of free surfing)
- Burger King (unlimited)
- Starbucks (two hours of free surfing)
- Apple Store (unlimited)
- DB lounges at the train station (unlimited)
- DB train stations (train stations in Germany offer 30 minutes of free surfing. A list is available on the train website)
- DB Bahn (in all ICEs in 1st and 2nd class on most routes)
- Deutsche Bank (two hours of free surfing)
- dm drugstore (one hour free surfing)
- H&M (unlimited)
- IKEA (unlimited)
- Real (unlimited)
- Galeria Kaufhof (unlimited)
- Subway (one hour free surfing)
In addition, some supermarket branches from Rewe and Edeka also provide a free WiFi hotspot, as do many smaller cafés, bars and pubs. In many cases, the transport companies have already provided hotspots at their stops, as have airports. Even churches are slowly following suit.
Free WiFi hotspots from Telekom and Vodafone
The large providers Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone also operate numerous free WiFi hotspots in Germany. Often their network is even behind the free offer of the shops mentioned. Users can also dial into the hotspots directly. At Deutsche Telekom, the following applies: If you have booked a tariff with the provider, the hotspot function is often included in the monthly basic fee. Otherwise, however, hotspot passes can also be booked for different time windows. Vodafone allows all users to use their own WiFi hotspots free of charge for up to 30 minutes a day, even without a contract. If you need more time, you can also book various hotspot passes here. The exact location of the hotspots of the two providers can be found on a map integrated into the respective website.
Hotspot expansion in cities
Cities and municipalities also offer free Wi-Fi hotspots in various locations, and the number is growing rapidly. Berlin, for example, operates over 2000 hotspots in its “Free Wifi Berlin” network. Together with the four partners of the WLAN initiative (Freifunker, mabb, EKBO, BVG) there are even over 10,000 free WLAN hotspots in the entire city area. The free access by district can be found on the city’s website.
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Many other German cities, including Leipzig, Dresden, Hamburg and Frankfurt, handle it in a similar way to Berlin. Also Munich operates in cooperation with SWM for example, at some 350 sites a free wireless network.
Find free WiFi hotspots and use them properly
To see exactly who is offering a free Wi-Fi hotspot, there are a few tools available. On the one hand, users can use the app to search for public WiFi networks. Examples are “WLAN Instabridge” (free for Android and iOS ) or “Wifi Map” (free for Android and iOS ). But the website Wifimap.io also lists numerous hotspots, sorted by city if desired.
In most cases, Internet access is freely accessible via the hotspots; users do not have to enter a password. But it is precisely for this reason that you should exercise particular caution at the hotspots. The security standard here is usually very low, so that hackers who want to access data have an easy job. You should therefore avoid online banking or entering sensitive data in public WiFi networks as much as possible. In a pinch, you should use a VPN. Read more about how to protect your data in free Wi-Fi hotspots in our guide, Beware of public Wi-Fi networks .
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