The Internet plays a huge role in our lives, and many people refuse to stay offline even when they are spending time away from home.
At some destinations, staying connected might be a serious challenge, but in London, this won’t be very hard to accomplish at all. As a modern, high-tech global metropolis, London has a fantastic internet infrastructure in place that allows citizens and guests to access their online profiles from many different places, even for free. This can be equally convenient for casual tourists and business visitors, and can be essential for the resolution of many practical issues before they arise.
No matter whether you are staying in accommodation near Heathrow, in a place near Hyde Park, or in another location, you shouldn’t have a hard time finding free Wi-Fi in London. Here is a quick overview of things you may try to get internet access for free.
Ready to get connected?
Internet in your hotel
Free Wi-Fi is available in almost every hotel in London, so most visitors will be well covered in this regard.
In a typical case (including at our hotel), it will be possible to connect from your room, although in some hotels you might be required to go to the lobby in order to check your e-mail. What a pain. Speed also may vary from one venue to another, for example, Park Grand Heathrow hotel is well known for high-speed internet.
Signal strength and bandwidth in the hotel room should be good enough for most web users, but in case you need to stream high-resolution video internationally or conduct other demanding activities, you should inquire with the hotel before you arrive. If your business depends on it, this is especially important. You don’t want to be stuck in a hotel that can’t meet your expectations when it comes to this fundamental amenity.
Of course, if you’re staying at Park Grand Heathrow hotel, this won’t be a problem.
Connecting from restaurants and bars
In addition to hotels, many other hospitality establishments in London provide free internet access for their patrons. Starbucks coffee shop is a great place to go online without paying – you can spend up to 2 hours online there. McDonald’s and several other fast food chains use O2 free Wi-Fi service, where you can simply log on without opening an account, while Cloud Wi-Fi is another similar service where access is free but an account is required.
In smaller restaurants and bars, you might have to ask the staff for a password, although in general, you can expect to be able to connect from a wide variety of venues in all parts of the city. With this in mind, you can schedule a chat with folks back home over a cup of coffee, or answer e-mails after a nice lunch in London’s historical centre. For people spending their vacation in London, logging on a few times per day during meals or coffee breaks may actually be the right daily dose.
Free access in parks and public areas
There are public internet hotspots all around London, and all you need to do to connect is to get in the vicinity of one.
Naturally, the largest number of hotspots can be found in the major tourist area close to Westminster and Mayfair, with some located in other downtown neighbourhoods. If you intend to spend a whole day walking around London, it’s probably a great idea to study a map of Wi-Fi hotspots and plan your path in such a way that you can stop by several.
That way, you can find a bench, log on to the internet, and publish the best photos from your adventure directly to your social media while you are resting. Keep in mind that some of the areas with hotspots are full of tourists also trying to get online, so the connection may be slower than you’d like. That’s why public Wi-Fi should be used only for the most basic tasks and it’s probably not worth the hassle if you are in a hurry.
Keep posting while moving through the city
All major transportation hubs in London are well covered with Wi-Fi signal, so you can stay in touch with all the worldly events while you are travelling to your hotel or exploring the city attractions.
Visitors who arrive via the Heathrow Airport can access free Wi-Fi immediately after clearing customs, even before they check into a nearby hotel.
On top of that, most London Underground stations and tour busses provide passengers with free Wi-Fi access as well. Because of this, you will never feel cut off from the world while you are roaming around London and enjoying the sights. Broad availability of Wi-Fi in public transportation also makes it much harder to get lost in this large city, at least for as long as you are carrying a smartphone and know how to run Google Maps.
Since many tourists use the Tube to get around town and spend most of their time near to its main lines, this source of Wi-Fi is more important than it might seem at first.
What to do when free Wi-Fi isn’t enough?
We listed quite a few ways to access the web from London without spending a penny, but many of the described options come with certain limitations.
Some travellers don’t want to put up with any internet downtime at all, and they would be well advised to explore paid options. One popular package is available from Virgin Media, giving you a weekly pass for high-quality internet access for a very affordable sum.
A few other plug-and-play cards might be available for this purpose, so you should ask the staff after you arrive at Park Grand Heathrow Hotel where to get them. Alternatively, you can even try to find one of the remaining internet cafes in London, where you can enjoy uninterrupted access and high-speed internet suitable for live streaming, online gaming or video uploading.
With these Wi-Fi tips in mind, take advantage of Heathrow hotel deals and book your trip now!