Need Wifi When You Travel? These Two Apps Will Help

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Whether you’re headed up north to a cabin, out of town on business or at your kid’s soccer game a few towns over, our lives are increasingly on-the-go. At the same time, we are hyper-connected to the internet. Sure, our smartphones let us check email, Facebook and Twitter while we’re on the run, but some things are more easily done if I’m working on a latop connected to the internet.

I love these two smartphone apps that help me keep my laptop connected to the internet wherever I am:

Wi-Fi Finder app. As the name implies, the free Wi-Fi Finder app for Android or iPhone (referral link) shows you all public wifi connections near you. This is particularly useful when you’re out of town and clueless about where the nearest coffee shop with public wifi is located.

pdaNet. pdaNet is not a free app. You pay a one-time fee of $16 for this Android, iPhone or Blackberry hotspot app. You also download and install a driver to your laptop. Once you have the app and driver, then you can use your smartphone as a modem to connect  other devices like a laptop or tablet to the internet. This replaces the “hotspot” functionality you might be paying for in your monthly cell phone bill. The internet connection runs over your phone’s data connection. Be sure your plan is big enough to support your usage without additional fees. Note: iPhone users will have to jailbreak their phone in order to use pdaNet. Step-by-step instructions are found at pdaNet’s website.

I shared two other ways to find and get free wifi in my post 4 Ways to Get Free Wifi When You Travel at It’s a WAHM Thing, where I am a contributing writer.

What do you do to maintain an internet connection when you are away from home?

Photo by Florian


  1. Therese S. says

    Depending on your cell service. If you have an iPhone, you can set it up as a wi-fi hotspot.

    I have used this feature on my iPhone when travelling in the car (as a passenger) or at a low-end hotel that doesn't offer free internet.

    This will only work, when there is cell coverage.

  2. Flannel Guy says

    I used the free version of pdaNet with success about a year ago. Then Verizon seemed to catch on and it didn't work anymore. Trying it again. I'll let you know.

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