Is it easy to find WiFi in China? Unless you are paying for international data roaming on your phone, knowing how to easily find WiFi in China will be helpful for when you need to connect to the Internet. These are some ideas for how and where to find Wifi in China.
If you had to guess, how many times do you use your phone check your email, share photos on Instagram, or use Google Maps on a typical day? If you are like me, it’s a lot!
With this in mind, the thought of not being able to connect to the Internet on demand with your phone in China can make you nervous. Just thinking about getting lost and not being able to easily use Google maps or text someone to find your way can make anyone stress. So I thought it would be helpful for you to share how to find WiFi in China.
How to Find WiFi in China as a Traveler
The good news is WiFi is pretty much everywhere in China. As with most developed countries around the world now, you are likely to find WiFi in China around any restaurant or cafe as well as inside your hotel or hostel.
WiFi in public places like shopping malls, touristy areas, train stations and airports is also quite common. However, as so many people are connected to WiFi in these areas, the network is often slow and unreliable.
The problem isn’t finding free WiFi in China – that’s the easy part. The problem is that it’s not exactly easy for most travelers to connect to the WiFi.
There are a few different reasons why it’s hard to connect to WiFi in China. These include:
- First and foremost, WiFi is not as fast as it is back at home. This is changing quickly and depends heavily on where you are in China, but in general, WiFi internet is slow in China.
- It’s also important to note that the Internet in China is heavily censored. In order to access Facebook, Instagram, your email and many other websites, you need to sign up for a VPN before you depart for China (it’s very hard to do once you arrive here).
- There are more public WiFi spots in cities like Beijing or Shanghai in comparison to smaller cities like Xining, Chengdu, or Urumqi.
- Lastly, many public WiFi networks in China require text verification, a process that requires a code be sent to your cellphone.
That last one is important! If you don’t have a Chinese phone number where a code can be texted, you’re out of luck. Using your international phone number won’t cut it here.
So what are your options?
How to Get Past WiFi Connectivity Problems in China
Unless you have local cellphone service in China, you won’t be able to connect to most WiFi networks in China. For expats who are living in China, this won’t be an issue since most foreigners in China all have a local phone number. But for short term visitors, getting a local Chinese SIM card may be a hassle since you may only be in China for a number of weeks.
A separate option would be to rent a phone during your trip to China, but you should have more reasons apart from connecting to public WiFi to make renting a phone worthwhile.
This leaves me thinking that instead of figuring out ways to connect to WiFi in China, it would be far better to subscribe to a service where you can be connected to WiFi no matter where you go and without having to have a local phone number.
Thankfully, with new services like Skyroam, this is now possible.
What is Skyroam? Unlimited Global WiFi Solution
Skyroam is an awesome service for travelers that offers unlimited mobile WiFi pretty much anywhere in the world. Rather than having to go out of your way to find WiFi in China, with Skyroam, you carry a hotspot device with you so you can stay connected to the Internet at all times.
Here’s How Skyroam Works
Instead of spending 10 frustrating minutes trying to figure out how to get a code for public WiFi, Skyroam works like this:
- Purchase or Rent a Skyroam Device: If you travel often, it makes sense to purchase the device. For those one-time travelers, though, it may make sense to rent it instead. Learn more about the difference in pricing between renting and buying.
- Choose Your Travel Needs: If you’re renting, you pay by the day no matter what. With a purchased Skyroam, you activate the days that you want to use (or purchase a monthly pass).
- Turn on Your Skyroam Device: It’s a super-simple device with only one button. You can’t miss it.
- Connect up to 5 Devices: Using your phone, computer, Kindle, tablet computer…whatever you have…just connect to the Skyroam like it was a regular WiFi hotspot.
- Surf the Internet!
Every Skyroam device has a virtual SIM card that allows you to connect to local cellular networks in China (don’t worry…it makes that connection automatically). When signing up with Skyroam, you purchase day passes that allow you to connect to WiFi.
Among the largest benefits of using a service like Skyroam is the ability to connect a variety of devices. Whereas international roaming with your phone only works on your phone, Skyroam lets you connect up to 5 devices at once. That includes your computer, your tablet, your Kindle, your smart watch…anything that connects to WiFi.
Generally speaking, you can expect your Skyroam battery to last between 8 and 9 hours. So I would either power it off throughout the day or bring a portable battery with you to charge up when needed.
Overall you can usually count on steady service no matter where you go in China. The exceptions are of course the middle of nowhere or areas where you should actually be focused on enjoying the scenery rather than checking your Facebook. 🙂
How Can You Sign-Up for Skyroam
The easiest way to sign-up for Skyroam is to register online. Give yourself plenty of time in advance to your trip to allow for the device to arrive at your home. You are only charged when you activate the WiFi, so there is no harm in ordering early!
As I mentioned earlier, you can either buy or rent your global WiFi device for your trip to China. It all depends on the type of traveler you are.
Should you decide to rent, at the conclusion of your trip, you send your Skyroam device back at no cost to you.
Final Thoughts: Finding WiFi in China
As I’ve already shared, finding WiFi is generally pretty easy throughout China. The challenge is you may not be able to connect to WiFi networks unless you have a local phone number.
To get around this, you have the option of either getting a local SIM card or signing-up for a global WiFi service like Skyroam. With Skyroam you can can always stay connected to WiFi making it easy to find your way around town, message your friends, and access the Internet.
Have you used Skyroam before? Share your experience in the comments below!