How to Connect to Free Boingo WiFi Hotspots

On May 31, American Express announced their new partnership with Boingo Wireless to provide free unlimited WiFi at over 1 million Boingo wireless hotspots around the world to all American Express Platinum cardholders (personal, business, and Mercedes Benz versions).  To sign up, click this link.

Boingo Home Page

Enter your 15 digit American Express Platinum Credit Card number (will not work for Canadian, Australia, or other international credit cards) and click the Verify Eligibility button.

Enter AMEX Plat CC

Assuming you have the right credit card, fill in your personal information and click the Submit button.

Create Boingo Account

To make is even easier to join Boingo wireless hotspots, download and install the app for your smart phone, tablet, or laptop:

The app/software will alert you to the nearest Boingo wireless hotspot and help you connect to the wireless network.

Download Boingo App

In the welcome email, it says you can use your Boingo account on up to 4 devices, perfect for the whole family.

Boingo Welcome Email

Currently, I am traveling through Spain and France, and have had a few chances to try out Boingo’s wireless hotspots. For those unfamiliar to Boingo, they do not own any wireless hotspots, they just have access to 3rd party wireless hotspot providers. The relationship is very similar to the way Priority Pass Select has access to lounges from 3rd party lounge providers.

I highly recommend downloading the Boingo app to your device (see links above). You will need to log into the service with your Boingo username and password. I have only had a chance to use Boingo on my iPhone, but the steps below should be very similar on other devices as well.

After I installed the Boingo app on my iPhone, I was able to see which networks Boingo had access to. Without installing the app, you will not be able to see the text “Use Boingo Wi-Fi Here!” under the network’s name.  If you are within range of the WiFi hotspot, you can connect to the wireless hotspot from your device.

Boingo1

When you join a Boingo wireless hotspot, you should see a notification from the Boingo app appear at the top of your screen. Clicking on the notification will open the Boingo app.  Clicking the Connect Now button will send your Boingo account information to the 3rd party wireless hotspot provider and authenticate your wireless connection.

Boingo2

After joining a Boingo wireless hotspot, there will be another button that says Secure Me.

Boingo3

Clicking that button will take you to a web page where you can install a secured VPN to your device. I tried to install the secured VPN profile several times from the app and different web browsers on my iPhone but none of those techniques worked. I’m not sure if this problem is related to my iPhone, the wireless hotspots I connected to, or if it is a Boingo software issue. Please share your results of trying to install the secured VPN profile to your device.

Boingo4

If you do not have the Boingo app installed or if the Boingo notification does not appear, you can still join the wireless hotspot.  After loading the authentication page (each authentication page will look different depending on the wireless hotspot provider).  There should be an option to log in as a 3rd party customer.  From the list of operators, make sure to select Boingo.

Boingo5

Type your Boingo username and password into the boxes and you should be able to join the wireless hotspot.

Boingo6

For most people, there are so many free WiFi locations around the US, you may never need to use Boingo.  However, when you travel internationally, there are far fewer WiFi networks to choose from.  You also probably don’t have internet access on your smartphone or mobile device when travelling internationally, so Boingo comes in handy in those situations.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

7 thoughts on “How to Connect to Free Boingo WiFi Hotspots

  1. Pingback: Random News: How to Connect to Free Boingo Wireless Hotspots, Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus Credit Card Update, and Changing Credit Lines on Chase Credit Cards (Online) | Travel with Grant

  2. eric @medicalschoolgreneda

    will this work with gogo.. i googled gogo and boingo… and i think they have a partnership..

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I think Gogo and Boingo are no longer partners:

      Gogo, the Itasca-based provider of inflight Wi-Fi, has discontinued its deal to provide roaming Internet access for customers of Boingo, which provides Wi-Fi in airports, according to a notice sent to Boingo customers Monday.

      That means customers using a Boingo hotspot in an airport to surf the Web will no longer be able to use the same sign-on to continue Internet access when in the air.

      http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-06-02/business/chi-gogo-boingo-end-partnership-20140602_1_inflight-wi-fi-provider-gogo-inflight-internet-access-customers

      Reply
  3. bjl

    the VPN app loaded and seems to work fine on my Macbook Air but never seems to load onto my iPad. I dont get any error messages — it just does not load ….

    Reply

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