Manchester Airport is one of the busiest airports in the UK, with millions of passengers coming through every year, but does it have free Wi-Fi available? How can you connect to this free Wi-Fi if it’s there?
Manchester Airport now has free, open Wi-Fi that can be accessed without needing to login or provide any details. Simply look for the “_FreeWifi” SSID on the networks list of your device, and select Connect to use the network.
This is a great bonus, since several years ago when I last checked, Manchester Airport did have Wi-Fi, but you had to go through login screens and provide details to connect. Plus from what I remember, you used to only get 30 minutes free; after that you had to pay.
Now, they seem to have opened it up, which is much better, allowing anyone in the terminals to connect easily and use the internet for free.
Let’s run through how to get started.
Connecting To The Free Wi-Fi At Manchester Airport
I did this successfully in Terminal 1 of Manchester Airport, but it’s safe to say this free Wi-Fi is probably also available in Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 there as well now.
Simply open up the Networks list on your device, and look for the _FreeWifi username. On Windows laptops, just click on the Wi-Fi symbol in the bottom right corner of your screen. On smartphones, this is probably on your Wi-Fi, Networks or Internet tab of your Settings menu.
Then select Connect and wait and few seconds, and you should be good to go!
It’s great that they’ve opened up the Wi-Fi to make it much easier to use, not having to go through any login screens or pay. The speeds are also decent at least when I used it.
Using a VPN To Secure Your Connection on Public Wi-Fi
Despite the Public Wi-Fi at Manchester Airport now being really easy to access, this also means there’s security downsides as well, with such an open and easily accessible network.
It’s recommended to not login to any sensitive accounts (email, banking, social media etc) on a large public Wi-Fi network like this without using Virtual Private Network or VPN to add another layer of encryption to your connection.
A VPN is just a piece of software which routes traffic through strongly encrypted servers, protecting your data from any hackers and snoopers.
In any kind of situation where you are entering private and sensitive information over Wi-Fi and you do not have control over who is connecting to it or the security settings (ie. on any public Wi-Fi network), then a VPN is essential to make sure your browsing is fully secure and private.
Lots of casual users don’t want to be messing around with VPNs when they’re not tech savvy, and are also wary of being ripped off with expensive VPN subscriptions. But they’re actually very easy to install and use, and the good news nowadays is that there are also a lot of viable 100% free VPN options you can use now to see how they work. Some of them even have unlimited use.
Here’s a selection of good free VPN options to get started with:
|Provider||Free Server Locations||Data Limit||More Info|
|ProtonVPN||3 (USA, Amsterdam, Japan)||Unlimited||See here|
|AtlasVPN||3 (USA East, USA West, Amsterdam)||5 GB/month||See here|
|TurboVPN||4 (USA, Germany, Singapore, India).||Unlimited||See here|
|Hide.me||5 (Netherlands, USA*2, Germany, Canada)||10 GB/month||See here|
|PrivadoVPN||10 (USA, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina)||10 GB/month||See here|
|Windscribe||10 (USA, UK, Canada, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Romania, Denmark).||10 GB/month||See here|
|Tunnelbear||49||500 MB/month||See here|
I personally used the PrivadoVPN service when on the public Wi-Fi at Manchester Airport, and the connection speeds were good.
If you’re wanting a Premium VPN which offers more server locations, 100% unlimited fast servers, plus access to streaming services, then there’s also loads of good options, ranging from $3-8/month in price.
Here are some good ones:
Bottom line – PIA have the best of everything with great value plans plus loads of servers in 80+ countries, but PrivadoVPN also have a great value limited time offer just for our readers.
*If you’re wanting a VPN specifically just for shorter term use (just 1-4 weeks on holiday), see our special guide on this, where we list shorter term VPN plans more suited for vacation use.