free internet tips switzerland

Free Internet: How to Cut the Cost of Getting Online

January 30, 2023 - Raphael Knecht

In a supermarket or on a bus or ski slope, there is almost always a way to get online for free.

Today, there are options for connecting your phone, tablet or laptop to the Internet for free almost everywhere. If you take advantage of these, you can generally go without paying for an expensive unlimited mobile data plan. This guide from gives you a good overview of where and how you can use free Internet.

On the go

Freesurf is available on some long-distance SBB/CFF trains. You need to download the Freesurf app from the SBB/CFF. You also need to have a mobile plan from a third-party mobile service provider which partners with the SBB/CFF for its Freesurf offer. Among them are the biggest Swiss providers Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom, as well as several smaller brands. Your device connects to the Internet over your mobile service network as usual, but as long as you are on the train, the data is not charged to your mobile plan. You do not pay for the data you use, and it is not deducted from your mobile plan’s data allowances.

The SBB offers free WLAN Internet connections in some trains and at many Swiss train stations. Zurich Airport also offers free WLAN. Many bus companies – including Postauto/Carpostal and Flixbus – have free Internet connections for passengers in their buses.

You can also connect to free WLAN hotspots in many public spaces and even on some Swiss ski slopes.

In restaurants

Free Wi-Fi is a basic service at many establishments. Restaurants, cafés, and hotels normally offer their guest free Internet access. In some cases, you can just connect to the public network, but most of the time you will have to enter your phone number or booking number in order to use hotspots.

Some establishments require a password for Internet access. If this is not shown on a sign or on your receipt, you can generally get it from one of the employees.

While shopping

Large Swiss shopping malls normally offer free Internet via WLAN throughout the entire mall. There are also supermarkets like Coop and Migros which offer their customers free Internet access.

At school

Educational facilities normally run their own wireless networks, but free Internet access may be limited to specific people. For example, the University of Zurich only allows students and employees to access its hotspots.

At work

Many employers offer their employees free wireless Internet connections. Many run a separate network for employee’s personal use in addition to the company network.

It is also worth noting that some large Swiss companies have partnerships with telecom service providers by which their employees can purchase discounted mobile plans. Not all of these offers are good deals, so comparing mobile plans is important. Depending on the demands of your job, your employer may even consider paying for your mobile plan or at least covering part of the cost.

While visiting friends

Chances are, your friends and family have wireless Internet access in their homes which you can use on visits. Just ask them whether they mind you using their connections, and how you can connect.

If your friends have unlimited mobile data, you could also ask them to share their connection by activating the mobile hotspot function on their phones. You can then get online by connecting to their phone as you would to any WLAN hotspot.

At home

Even within your own home, there are options for getting online for free. For example, if you have chilled neighbors, they may be willing to share their WLAN login information with you so that you can use their Internet connection.

If you live in a building which also houses an establishment which runs a public hotspot – a medical practice, restaurant, or supermarket, for example – you may be able to use this to get online.

More on this topic:
Compare Swiss home Internet plans now
Tipps for getting the most from mobile data

Free information

Swiss home Internet plans

Internet plan

iWay optical fiber countrywide

  • Optional TV plan

  • Cheap price plan

  • Discounts

Internet Plan

Quickline Internet

  • Internet, TV & landline

  • Cheap price plan

  • Discounts

Internet Plan

Init7 Easy7

  • Internet connection

  • Via optical fiber

  • Direct online application

Compare home Internet plans

Find the best Internet plan now

Compare now
Editor Raphael Knecht
Raphael Knecht was an analyst and a specialized editor at until the end of February 2023. Since then, he is supporting the editorial team as a freelancer.
Free subscription

Sign up for the free newsletter

Subscribe now
more than 3 million pieces of data

Find all comparisons here

Go to comparisons