There are plenty of of free Wifi connections around and available. The trouble is wifi is becoming more difficult to connect to because of the technology involve. Especially with mobile phones
An example, I'm at the Hyperdome Shopping Centre at the moment and when I looked at my phone a message in the notification says that there's free wifi. I touch that. That may take me to the settings where I can select the Wifi I want. The name of the Wi-Fi may not be the name of the message I got in the notification.
In the connection to wifi screen there could be many of them. The next step is often to sign in so you can be connected to the internet
In the case of the Hyperdome ther are three ways of doing it. login with Facebook to get the most data,login with an email address to get less data or just touch an option to not login at all and get even less data.
I've decided to go with Facebook to get the most data but got a phone call in the middle of trying to register, which means even though its connected to their WiFi I wasn't getting any internet connection. It then took me about a half an hour disconnecting reconnecting disconnecting reconnecting to get eventually to be able to use internet. In doing so I had to reboot the phone because ther was no way it was going to let me do it by the way it was.
This is a problem for mobile phone users and uses of networks in general.
To use an analogy , you can ring someone on a phone and the phone may ring at the other end but that does not mean you are talking to someone If they dont answer. So even if you connect to a Wifi connection that does not mean that your devise is “talking” to the device that the other end. A similar analogy is if you ring someone and get an engaged signal meaning they are already on the call. If you connect to a Wifi you dont usually get any indication if the other end is already handeling to many connections. Either nothing happens at all or everything goes very sloooooow.
All the above is only getting a wifi connection not necessarily getting an internet connection.
The only real way is to actually test it by connecting to the internet and see if you actually enter something and you are get a responce back. To do that you could go to a Google search type in something and see if you get a response or even do a speed test.
But even then when using a mobile phone you don't know if you're getting an Internet connection from your mobile data or from the Wi-Fi connection.
The way to be sure is to switch off your Mobile data. If that is switched off and you can still call up a completely new web page then you are getting connected to the internet via Wifi