How to get in-flight Wi-Fi

Today, most of us are used to having Wi-Fi access everywhere we go, from cafes and bars to trains and even London Underground. However, there is one area that lags behind: aircraft.

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While you can get in-flight Wi-Fi more and more often these days, it’s still not supported by every airline and it was often slow, unreliable, and expensive back then. We’ll learn the basics of how in-flight Wi-Fi works, how to connect to it, and how to get cheaper or even free in-flight Wi-Fi.

How does in-flight Wi-Fi work?

There are two basic methods that airlines use to access the Internet at 35,000 feet. The first uses a network of mobile broadband towers on the ground to send signals into the air. The aircraft then receives this using an antenna mounted below the fuselage.

As you move, the plane receives a signal from the nearest tower, which will hopefully provide you with uninterrupted internet access – although that obviously depends on how comprehensive the tower network is. It also means that web access tends to drop whenever you hit a large body of water – such as an ocean – where building network towers is a bit more complicated.

That’s one of the big advantages of the other method, which sees planes pick up signals from orbiting satellites, which in turn send and receive signals from Earth. In addition to better coverage, satellites tend to be able to provide faster speeds, but at a cost – a literal cost, meaning that satellites are really expensive to build, maintain and upgrade – that also means speed is not likely to improve quickly.

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How do I connect to Wi-Fi on board?

Unfortunately, the short answer is: it depends. Not all airlines offer Wi-Fi on board, and airlines use multiple carriers with different connection methods.

In general, you can expect your airline to advertise their Wi-Fi service in in-flight flyers or magazines, and that will likely come with connection instructions. Usually, it will involve turning on your device’s Wi-Fi (when the crew says you can turn off airplane mode) and searching for their branded Wi-Fi network. Odds are that when you’re at 35,000 feet, it will be the only network – unless some of your fellow passengers are running hotspots – so it should be easy to find.

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Depending on the airline, connecting may require you to create an account and often a fee – per hour or for the entire flight. Once you’ve paid, you’ll be able to connect and browse the web freely.

Keep in mind the limitations though. Your connection speed will probably be very slow (some flights have as little as 3Mbps to share the entire plane) and as a result most airlines will block you from playing video and possibly even audio. bar. It’s best to plan around just being able to browse the web and check email, not entertain with Spotify or Netflix, although you might get lucky.

How to get cheap or free Wi-Fi in flight?

If you’ve ever been overjoyed when you found out that your flight had Wi-Fi, only to sink into a depression when you realized that connecting to it could cost almost as much as your plane ticket. , you know that in-flight Wi-Fi can be quite precious. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about it, but there are a few tricks that can help keep costs down.

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First, check if your airline offers free Wi-Fi in the first place. At the time of writing, all of the following airlines offer some type of connection for free, although some restrict free access to time or data:

  • Emirates
  • JetBlue
  • Norway
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Air China
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Hong Kong Airlines
  • Nok Air

If the airline you’re flying with charges a fee for Wi-Fi access, you can save money by booking tickets in advance. Some airlines allow you to pre-purchase Wi-Fi access when booking, and you can also often pre-purchase access online if not, at a discounted rate. Again, check with your particular airline to find out your options.

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Finally, there are a few tricks you can leverage to try and circumvent the pricing structure of some airlines. As these involve taking advantage of loopholes or completely fooling the airline’s systems, we cannot recommend them and have not tested them, but they are reported to work in the most cases. determined.

First, some airlines offer different pricing structures depending on the device you’re connecting to – charging more for laptops than for mobile devices on the basis that they’re likely to use a lot more bandwidth. However, there are extensions you can use for Chrome and Firefox that will fake your browser’s user agent, so that you can make your laptop look like a mobile phone and thus connecting at a lower speed – sometimes as little as half .

The other workaround is a bit more specific. It only works with airlines that use GoGo, the in-flight Wi-Fi provider used by most major US airlines and a few other international airlines. It also only works for iPhones, so you’re out of luck if you have an Android phone or PC.

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To take advantage, connect to GoGo’s Wi-Fi network, then browse to GoGo’s built-in Movie Library. Pick a free movie and try it out, which will prompt you to install the GoGo app and take you to the App Store in Safari. Do not download the application but use the same browser window to start browsing freely.

Basically, GoGo gives you a limited internet connection to download its apps, but you can use this connection to browse the web in other places. Like we said, we can’t condone or recommend you take advantage of this type of loophole and haven’t tested it yourself, but it’s one way to potentially get free Wi-Fi on board.

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Posts “How to get in-flight Wi-Fi” posted by on 2017-03-14 16:50:00. Thank you for reading the article at

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