Here are some quick tips for the ultimate WiFi scab.

The savvy student knows that you need internet connectivity to keep up with your study and for networking, but you don’t always have to pay for it. Here are 10 ways you can stay connected when you’re off-campus.

Eduroam

Eduroam is a service that allows students to use internet access provided by participating universities and ITs all across the world. So if you’re off-campus some day, you can still access another college’s WiFi. For example, if you study in DCU, you have access to the WiFi in DIT, Trinity College, UCC, IT Tralee, UL – practically every corner of the country. Likewise if you are out of the country, you can access WiFi from any participating college. The full list of participating Eduroam colleges is available here.

Local library

Hit the (net)books! Most local libraries have free WiFi – just ask the librarian how to log in (you might need a password). Libraries – especially in bigger towns and cities – are usually full of studenty types who turn the reading area in their own office space, so be sure to get a seat early in the day. And don’t get caught out by the opening hours (they can be a little sporadic at times) or the librarian’s lunch hour(s).

Go to the airport

Maybe this is a little drastic, but airports usually give free WiFi to travellers, so you can log in there. Just be aware that the connection can be painfully slow or have a nuisance time limit. And unless you live near an airport, it’s going to cost you a bus ride to get there.

Shopping centres

Likewise for shopping centres – a lot of the main ones offer free WiFi. Public parks sometimes offer the service too.

iPhone AT&T and apps

If you use an iPhone with AT&T you can check for WiFi areas. Or download the WeFi app to get access to 16 million worldwide free WiFi hotspots. If you’re travelling around Europe, check here for a database of free WiFi providers before you set off on your trip.

And here are a few ways of getting practically free internet access.

Cafes

Cafes (and a few fast food restaurants) provide free internet access – but unless you want to get filthy looks, it’s courteous to make a purchase.

Get the bus

For the cost of a bus ticket (literally), you can be surfing the web in no time. Watch out though – some services don’t always consistently provide WiFi (I know from experience that JJ Kavanagh & Sons are very much hit-and-miss with their internet access).

Half price internet from O2

If you use your O2 Campus.ie discount, you can get a free modem and 15GB of internet for €9.99 a month.

Final tip...

Buy a USB WIFI adapter to get a stronger signal – it will amplify the signal which can be a lifesaver.