McDonald's has been offering Wi-Fi to customers for many years. Up until 2011, using a McDonald's Wi-Fi connection cost $2.95 for a couple of hours of internet access. Today, you can use McDonald's internet access for free and without any time limit at more than 11,500 of the 14,000 nationwide locations.
Instructions in this article apply to Windows and Mac computers as well as iOS and Android devices.
How to Find McDonald's Wi-Fi Access
Finding a free McDonald's Wi-Fi location near you is easy.
In only a few steps, you can get the address of a McDonald's where you can bring your laptop or mobile device to and get some work done while you're enjoying lunch.
Visit the McDonald's restaurant locator page. Type your zip code or city and state into the search field and select the Search icon.
Scroll down to the results and find a location that features Wi-Fi under Services.
Click the arrow icon next to Services to see which ones are available.
That McDonald's location is a Wi-Fi hotspot where you can access free McDonald's Wi-Fi. The restaurant locator provides the street address and the operating hours. Most locations are open late, which makes McDonald's a convenient place to get internet access most any time of the day.
Connect to McDonald's Wi-Fi
Since McDonald's Wi-Fi access is free, connecting to a network at any one of the 11,500 locations is easier than ever.
Select the Wi-Fi network icon on the right side of the Windows taskbar or in the upper-right corner of the screen on a Mac. Select the McDonald's Free Wi-Fi network and choose Connect.
When the network connects, the browser automatically opens the McDonald's internet terms of service web page. Select the red Get Connected button.
A status message, "You are connected to McDonald's Wi-Fi. Enjoy!" appears at the top of the web page.
Open a new tab in the browser and visit any website you like. The internet connection stays active for as long as you need it.
Connect to McDonald's Wi-Fi With Android
You can also connect to McDonald's free Wi-Fi network with your mobile devices. Using an Android, you can connect using the following steps.
Open Settings and select Wi-Fi.
Select McDonald's Free WiFi to connect to the Wi-Fi network.
You'll see a Connected status when it's connected.
Open a mobile web browser, and it automatically opens the McDonald's Wi-Fi connection page.
Select Get Connected to connect to the Wi-Fi network and access the McDonald's free internet connection.
Connect to McDonald's Wi-Fi With iOS
Using your iPhone, you can connect using the following steps.
Open Settings and select Wi-Fi.
On the next screen, select McDonald's Free WiFi.
You'll see the McDonald's Wi-Fi connection move to the top of the window with an Unsecured Network status.
Open a mobile browser, and it automatically goes to McDonald's Free Wi-Fi login page. Select Get Connected to finish your connection to McDonald's free internet.
About McDonald's Wi-Fi Connections
Curious just how good a free internet connection could be? Well, McDonald's Wi-Fi is surprisingly good.
During our network tests using the Fast.com network speed tool, the internet connection speeds were comparable to the upload and download bandwidth you might expect from a high-speed home network.
Results from this test showed that this particular McDonald's Wi-Fi internet network had the following characteristics:58 Mbps download speed.14 Mbps upload speed.27 millisecond unloaded latency (when there's not much activity on the network).517 millisecond loaded latency (when data-heavy streaming is taking place on the network).
This means that while you're eating a Big Mac or chicken nuggets, you can stream a Netflix movie without any lag.
Wi-Fi Network Filters
Also, McDonald's restaurants are family-friendly. So, McDonald's internet provider, TelstraClear, has built-in features to protect customers from inappropriate or dangerous content.
If you attempt to access any of the following types of websites, you can expect to find that the site is blocked or inaccessible:Pornography.Some file download sites.BitTorrent or media piracy services.Known malicious or dangerous sites.
Even though there are filters, most any website you need to access to read the news, watch movies, or conduct online business through cloud services or a VPN link will work fine.
Protect Yourself on Free Wi-Fi Networks
One drawback of using McDonald's free public Wi-Fi networks is that any other device connected to the system becomes a threat to your device. This is especially true because these networks are unencrypted, so anything you view could be viewed by anyone else on the network, with the right hacking software.
If you plan to use the public McDonald's Wi-Fi network often, make sure to take the following steps to protect your computer or mobile device:Install effective antivirus software.Connect to the internet through a VPN service.Avoid logging into bank or credit card accounts.Only visit encrypted websites with a URL that starts with HTTPS.
It can be perfectly safe to use free public Wi-Fi networks so long as you take the appropriate steps to protect yourself.
Why Use McDonald's Wi-Fi?
In the era of multi-tasking, lunch and work (or play) often go hand in hand. And if you're getting a bite to eat anyway, this is a way to get a little extra work done.