Image: Sorbis /
We’ve looked before at how tethering and/or a MiFi can make your tablet more useful when out and about and also lower the cost of buying a new model – it’s a lot cheaper to replace a 3G MiFi with a 4G model than to make the same upgrade with an iPad.

Both these options are great ways to connect on the move – tethering uses data you’re already paying for and a MiFi can be used with multiple devices meaning they’ll work with your laptop just as well as they will with your tablet.

But there’s a third option which won’t cost you anything other than a few minutes of your time – free WiFi.

Some ISPs and mobile networks offer free WiFi to their subscribers, but The Cloud (owned by Sky) and O2 go a lot further and offer it to anyone willing to register their details with them.

Both companies make their money by charging cafes, bars and shops who hope that offering WiFi in store will encourage the rest of us to stay a little longer and spend a little more.

If you’re working on an article or a project while away from the desk you’re going to want somewhere to sit, so grabbing a coffee from a shop where you can also get online makes a lot of sense.

In many locations speeds over public WiFi will be faster than 3G and won’t be as adversely affected by being indoors as a mobile or MiFi’s signal will.

Signing up to both companies is free but while helpfully lets you do so from home, has a slightly messier system which requires you to signup while in a venue which offers their service.

Either way, once you’ve signed up to one or both services, free speedy WiFi is as close as your local branch of Caffe Nero or McDonalds.