I’m traveling to India for the first time & have been suggested to get a prepaid SIM Card from Airport once I land. I was wondering if I could access the internet at the airport itself for free. My flight is from New York & will have a stop in Dubai; I will be reaching pretty late in Mumbai, India. Is there free WiFi service available & if yes how do I avail the same to use WhatsApp & inform my family that I have safely reached. ~Amy from New Jersey.
Hi Amy, Welcome to India. Before we get into this topic, you need to understand that the Internet is mostly chargeable in this part of the world apart from a few initial minutes which are free. While your transit is through Dubai you would experience great internet speeds for longer durations here in India; it is mostly limited to 30 minutes to 45 minutes with average speeds. While I have traveled through most of the Airports in India, the services are primarily powered by Tata Docomo wi-fi that is listed as Tata DOCOMO or Tata DOCOMO Wi-Fi where you will need to provide your Name, e-mail, Country, Mobile Number & agree to the Terms & Conditions. Following this, within a few seconds, you should be receiving an SMS on the mobile number provided that acts as verification code & then you get access to 45 minutes of free Internet.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport(CSIA), Mumbai, I.G.I Airport, New Delhi &
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad are a few where I have tried and tested the same. The service providers would be different like Aircel WiFi or Tata Docomo, but the way of signing up is the same. You need to ensure that you have International Roaming Enabled on your Mobile Number to receive the verification code since without that you cannot access the Free Internet. Do make a note that a few airports would need you to have an Indian Number for receiving this code for security purpose & this is where you will have to take a fellow travelers help & get the code from their phone.
Alternate Options – Finding Open Hotspots:
Just in case your number isn’t accepted into the free wifi login pages because of it being International or because it is not an Indian number, it’s time to find free wifi hotspots. Sometimes there are open hotspots available that you can use or locked networks the passwords of which are shared on Foursquare. The location saving & sharing application allows users to not just check-in but also share tips on different locations & this is the goldmine. Just take a look at nearby locations on the Foursquare app & within the Tips tab you shall find the Wifi login & password details shared by the users who have been there earlier.
There are a few Android Apps available in the play store that save all the locations of businesses and the wifi hotspot locations all around the world managing them as a database. A few of these are TWC WiFi Finder, WiFi Finder & The Cloud WiFi Finder all of which have more than a million downloads & an amazing community that keeps sharing the private information in the public. If you are traveling to any new location, it is recommended to download all of these three applications and get ready to start walking around different places in search of hotspots. (This is similar to searching a Pokemon with the PokemonGo App).
Bypassing Boingo’s Paywall:
Boingo is a Wi-Fi service that has more than a million hotspots worldwide. Once you are in any of those in the range, you shall find an option to signup and get started. There are several plans with the most popular one costing you $10 a month while giving you access on 4 devices. Again do make a note that the plans are available based on the locations and a global plan costs more than $39 a month. To bypass the paywall, there’s a trick that’s been mentioned by a few users. You need to first visit one of the free web pages that are the advertorials shown to the users. Just click on them, and while the tab is open, access other web pages through different homepage. Leave the first tab open and browse to your heart’s content. Though this trick is not fooling proof, & is a hack worth trying & sharing with friends who are traveling to a distant place.
Worldwide Wireless Passwords Map:
There is this very interesting password map from around 200 Airports all over the world where the information is crowdsourced and made available publicly for everyone. This consists of the logins from a bar or an airline lounge that are generally available at a premium. You can click on the live map below that’s embedded for your use & find the Wi-Fi passwords. Alternatively all this information is available offline for the iOS users through WiFox Application on the Apple Store at $1.99, though we suggest you to just click on the Airport you are travelling to and take a screenshot of the details showcased there that can be accessed offline too.
The ?.jpg Trick:
There is an interesting hack shared by Felix Geisendörfer who had posted in his detailed story that when you are redirected to a page that asks for money you can just add ?.jpg at the end of the URL and access it fully. It’s a very simple trick that yet works for almost everyone & you can access the basic websites that do not need you to log in, and you can easily spend some time at the Airport before someone comes to pick you up. (Tip: Try access phoneradar.com?.jpg & let us know if it works when you are asked to pay at the airport)
The best hack or way to access the internet would be to make a few friends while on the flight who are locals at the destination country & once landed ask them for Internet Access. Once you have sent the most important emails, WhatsApp Messages or Facebook updates you can always thank that friend and head over to a network provider’s store to get a Prepaid SIM Card that would offer you a value for money deal for the data you are looking forward to using. If you feel, there’s a way missing let us know in the comments section below & we would be adding them in the story.