How to get free internet in Cuba

Posted on November 06 2014

How to get free internet in Cuba

Cuba is a hell of an island! To all ya who travel there: prepare yourself to be shocked, perplexed, confounded and amazed. It’s not like anywhere on the planet. When I think of Cuba, I always think of the busy atmospheric streets of Havana with their typical petrol aroma and all these old cars passing by. You feel like you traveled back to the 50s for the moment, like in the movie “Back to Future”.

I love Cuba, because most of the young people there don’t spend their free time on Facebook or Instagram, they enjoy their day outside with friends, in real life, relaxing on the Malecon and playing the guitar at late afternoon sunset. Is it because the internet there is fucked up and costs around $5-$10 per hour? Well, I hope this isn’t the reason and I also hope I will not change their lifestyle with this post.

When me and my brother arrived in Cuba, we stayed in the hotel „Saratoga“ for a week, which was enough time to find a decent apartment in the district Vedado. Why Vedado? Well, first of all, “Habana Libre”, the hotel with the fastest internet connection is located there. Secondly, most of the universities are located there, so if you would like to meet locals and practice your Spanish, this is the barrio to stay! If you are going to stay in an apartment (casa particular), make sure it’s near a hotel, because you must be able to connect to their WiFi network. Forget about finding apartments with in-house internet connection, they don’t exist yet.

So let’s get it started. First of all, you need the following equipment:

  •  a rooted android phone/tablet with wireless or a jailbreaked iPhone. I used my Samsung S5, check out the tutorials to root Samung phones:
  • or a laptop with a wireless adapter and Windows XP or older

The idea is really simple: All devices have a MAC address. This address is unique to your device, but it can be changed easily, and that’s the point where it gets interesting for us. Let’s say someone buys an 1-hour internet access card for $10 and connects to the WiFi. All you have to do now is to find out and “spoof” (copy) his MAC adress in order to get free internet!

Step 1: Scan the wifi network for MAC adresses

Download and Install SoftPerfect Network Scanner. Start it and follow the steps below:

Click on “Option” > “IP-Adress” > “Auto Detect Local Range”

Click on the IP adress next to the green button and click “OK”. Now you are ready to scan the network for MAC adresses. Click “Start Scanning” and wait until it’s done.

Once the scanning is completed it will look like this:

Now you see a list of mac addresses together with their “Response Time”. We are looking for MAC addresses with Response Time greater than 0ms, because a high Response Time often signifies that the device is connected to the internet. What I’m gonna do now is to spoof all these MAC addresses until I have found someone who’s connected to the internet. In most cases you have to try 2-3 different mac adresses until you find someone.

Step 2: Spoof your MAC address

Spoofing your MAC adress on an Android phone is pretty simple. All you need is “MAC Adress Ghost”. Download and Install it on your phone.

Click on the “Tool” icon on the right.

Now type “wlan0” in the Interface text field and the MAC address you want to spoof in the “Mac Address” field.

That’s it. Click on  “OK” and “Save”. Choose the profile you have created and click on “Classic”.

Now you connect to the target WIFI network and that’s it! If you are still not connected to the Internet then try an other MAC address until you find the right one. 

For those who have a laptop with Windows XP or older, download TMAC Adress Changer here. Change the MAC address of your WIFI adapter and you are ready to go!

This is how our “internet station” looked like in our apartment in Vedado. You can see HOTEL PRESIDENTE in the background, our internet source:

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