Think about it: What’s worse than being stuck at an airport for hours on end? How about not having access to the internet? Outside of reading or counting the sesame seeds on your stale airport bagel, there isn’t much to pass the time until you board your flight.
Thankfully, airports around the globe offer free public Wi-Fi, albeit often ad-supported or with a restricted time allotment; however, there are some airports that don’t have Wi-Fi service at all.
But before you swear off airports, we’ve got good news for you. There’s an app that allows you to view airports around the world, and helps you connect to a Wi-Fi network at each. Say hello to WiFox.
Note: We do NOT recommend ever using free public Wi-Fi without a VPN, and to exercise extreme caution on all public networks (like those at airports).
The WiFox app
WiFox provides a map that indicates the Wi-Fi password or login information for more than 800 airport lounge hotspots from around the world. It is updated continuously with information the developer receives from travelers, pilots and other users via the WiFox app, website and social media accounts.
The app will cost you $1.99 (ad-free) and, because you can use the map offline, you won’t need an internet connection to use WiFox; however, you must have an internet connection to update hotspot data.
But your Wi-Fi connection isn’t the only thing you need to be aware of when you travel. Tap or click to reveal Kim’s three clever safety tricks she uses when she travels.
How to use the WiFox app
The app is the same to use on either operating system. Once downloaded, launch WiFox. You will observe every airport and its lounge in the app’s database, as indicated with the Wi-Fi signal icon.
Notice the icons appear in blue, grey, blue-grey and yellow. The difference in the shade does not represent the service strength, as you might assume. Here is a legend with the details on each color:
- Yellow – Network password has been included in the WiFox database for an extended period. It has a high feedback rating; however, its age may indicate it is more likely to change in the near future.
- Grey – Hotspot may need some updates, like its password.
- Blue – The hotspot is fresh, verified and highly rated.
- Blue/Grey – Hotspot may need some of its details (e.g. network name) updated.
You may also like: Avoid these hidden fees next time you travel
You can also search for a specific airport to see details concerning that site, network, password, pricing and time restrictions. Other options include zooming in either with a double-tap or by expanding the map with two fingers.
Tap the three-bar menu in the upper right for a list view of all the airports in the database. Here you can enter your airport in the search bar as well.
Note: iPhone users must have their display settings set to light mode, or the list view will not display correctly. An update is expected to fix this issue, but there has been no set release date for this update.
A quick click on an airport will show the airport or lounge Wi-Fi details in addition to Copy Password, Suggest Password Update and rate feedback options. Click Copy Password to make it easier to sign in to the airport’s Wi-Fi.
WiFox web version
Unlike the app, the web version of WiFox is free to use. Although the premise is still the same, the desktop edition only includes airports, no lounges. The almost 400 airports are indicated by airplanes listed on the menu to the left.
You can either scroll through the list or search by airport name. Click the three-dot menu next to the search icon and you will have several additional options, such as copying or printing the map.
You can also zoom in on an airport simply by tapping on an airplane, the + sign or stretching the map with your fingers. Any of these techniques will display the specific airport info on the left side menu.
Once you’re at the airport, enter the password when directed and you should have internet service during your time there.
Whether your travels take you to another state or around the globe, WiFox is a handy tool that will allow you Wi-Fi access so you can actually enjoy your wait time at the airport.
But remember: The safest method for accessing the internet while traveling is through the use of a VPN. Tap or click to see how to set up a VPN and why you should use one.